Last updated on November 4th, 2018 at 06:48 pm
These Flaky Buttery Homemade Croissants will make your morning breakfast so much more delicious! A complete recipe guide with pictures and video to teach you to make the most perfect croissants from scratch.
It’s been over 6 years since I have shared with you my croissant recipe and since then I am pleasantly surprised to see that many of you have followed the recipe and have been successful yourselves. After all, this is why I do this. Especially when it comes to baking, because many of you have never baked before or are scared to attempt to bake.
However, I want to show you that baking is not so difficult and with a little practice you can all be successful at it. Even when it comes to making something as decadent as these croissants. Making these croissants is a labor of love, and I say this because it will take you a couple days to finish them. However, they are not that difficult to make.
I used to be scared of making croissants because of all those layers. I thought they would be hard to make and that it’s something that it better be left to the French since they are the experts in this field. However, curiosity won in this case. As they say, curiosity leads us to the path of risk, but then what is life without risk. But once I started making them I realized it’s really not that difficult to make, which is why I put this guide here together for you to help you overcome your fears of making croissants.
I remember the first time I made these it was for my sister’s birthday and I thought it would be the perfect gift for her if I could make these croissants. You may think it’s a weird gift but you don’t know my sister. Croissants are her favorite thing in the world, she pretty much has one for breakfast every morning, or any chance she gets. I sure did surprise her and she loved them.
Croissants are probably loved by everyone and there’s a reason for them. We’re talking cloud-like puff pastry, buttery, flaky, yeasty, chewy bread. It really is one of the most decadent things you can eat. Croissant dough gets its many layers as a result of rolling and folding over and over, giving you hundreds of layers of dough. As you bake them, the croissants spring up into flaky, golden brown, glorious layers.
HOW TO MAKE CROISSANTS
- The first step to making croissants is making the dough, which is a regular yeast dough called a poolish. A poolish is a like a mini dough made the night before making the final dough. In this case it’s the preliminary dough before adding the butter to it.
- While the yeast dough chills in the fridge you have to prepare the butter. I like to turn my butter into a square or rectangle and to accomplish this, I find it easier to use butter sticks and place them together between two pieces of plastic wrap. Then all you have to do is pound and roll out the butter until you get the desired square or rectangle. While it may seem like a lot of butter that’s used here, just remember that butter is what makes all those hundreds and hundreds of layers. Butter really is the secret to flaky croissants.
- Laminate the dough. Laminating dough is the process of folding butter into the dough many times, which is what creates all those layers. Basically you roll out the dough, fold it into thirds, roll it out again, fold it into thirds again, repeat. I usually like to repeat this process a total of 5 times giving us a total of 729 layers. Yes, that’s right! 729 layers!
- Once the dough is laminated, chill it overnight, or at least 8 hours. Next day get ready for baking.
- All that’s left to do is is roll out the dough, cut it into squares, then triangles, roll out the croissants and bake.
- Don’t be afraid to fill the croissants with your favorite fillings. I love filling mine with Nutella, chocolate, jam or even ham and cheese. So delicious!
And this, my dear readers, is how you make the perfect croissant. A few steps, but the end result is worth the wait. Maybe it’s a good thing they take a while to make, because otherwise, I think I’d be making them every week and eating croissants for breakfast every day. Not that I’d be complaining.
Don’t be afraid to confront your fears. Sometimes we surprise ourselves with what we can achieve. I really do hope you try these, because not only will you feel good about such an accomplishment, you will have the joy of sharing these with your friends and family. After all, that’s what baking and cooking is all about.
CRAVING MORE BAKED GOODS? TRY THESE:
- Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
- No Knead Bread
- Texas Roadhouse Rolls
- Soft Buttermilk Dinner Rolls
- Best Ever Dinner Crescents
If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
- 1 1/2 cups milk lukewarm
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 3 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour up to 4 cups if needed
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups butter unsalted, cold
- 1 egg for egg wash
- In the bowl of a mixer, add the warm milk, brown sugar, yeast and stir it with a fork slightly. Let it stand for about 5 minutes. If the yeast is good, the mixture will get all foamy as the yeast dissolves. It could take a bit longer but if your yeast does not dissolve, see recipe notes.
- Add the flour and salt to the bowl. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and very soft. I used about 3 1/4 cups of flour, but if you need more because the dough is too sticky than just add more, about 1 tbsp at a time. You might want to start with 3 cups and add as needed. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead for a couple more minutes on your working surface. The dough needs to be soft and slightly sticky. Place the dough back in the bowl, wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for an hour.
- While the dough is chilling, prepare the butter. Arrange the sticks of butter horizontally on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover the butter with another piece of plastic wrap. Pound and roll out on both sides until the butter forms a nice 8 by 5 inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Flour your work surface lightly then roll out the dough into a big rectangle that's about 16 by 10 inches. Place the butter directly in the center of the dough and fold the dough as you would a letter, bottom third of dough over butter, then top third down over the dough. If you have any excess flour, make sure you brush that off.
- Turn the dough so that the short side is nearest you and start rolling it another 16 by 10 inch rectangle. Fold in thirds like a letter again. This was the first fold. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and chill it for another hour.
- Repeat as above. With the short side near you, start rolling until you get another 16 by 10 inch rectangle. Fold it in thirds again, wrap and chill for another hour. Repeat this 3 more times so that it will make a total of 5 folds. After the last fold, refrigerate it over night or at least for 8 hours.
- Cut the dough in half, freeze half if you're only going to use half of it. Roll out each piece of dough into a long rectangle, so that it's about 1/4 of an inch in thickness. I found it easier if I cut the piece into 3 pieces, so that I work with 3 squares. Using a pizza cutter, cut each square into 4 triangles.
- Using one triangle at a time, start rolling from the wide side, at the same time, stretching the end of the triangle. Continue rolling the croissant, and as you'll notice because you stretched into a long piece, you'll be able to roll the croissant a few times.
- Repeat this with remaining dough and place the croissants on an ungreased baking sheet, with about 1 to 2 inches in between them.
- Let the croissants sit for another hour, you'll notice they'll rise a bit, then brush them with egg wash. You can make the croissants ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to 18 hours before baking. If you're making them ahead, make sure to cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap.
- Preheat your oven to 400 F degrees. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the croissants for 8 to 12 minutes at 400 F degrees then turn down the heat to 375 F degrees and bake them for another 8 to 12 minutes. You want to make sure they are nice and golden brown.
- YEAST: Always check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it hasn't expired. All your yeast products whether it’s in a jar or a package should be stamped with a “Best if Used by” date. Always make sure you check this date, even when you purchase the yeast, who knows it could have been on the shelf past its expiry date.
- Make sure your milk is not too hot or it could kill the yeast which will cause your dough not to rise at all. The ideal temperature for the milk should be between 105 F degrees and 110 F for proofing. While 95 F degrees is the best temperature for yeast to multiply, that's not warm enough for proofing active dry yeast.
- To keep your yeast fresh and longer lasting, unopened yeast packages or jars should be stored in a cool or dry place such as your cupboard. However, you can also store your yeast in the fridge or freezer. If you do store it in the freezer and need to use yeast for your baking, make sure you take out the amount you need and let it sit at room temperature for at least half hour before using.
- Once your yeast package or jar has been opened, you must refrigerate the yeast or freeze it in an airtight container.
- One thing to remember about your yeast, is that it is a living organism and over time it will lose activity, even if you’ve never opened the jar or package. So if you don’t bake often, buy the smaller yeast packages rather than a big jar of yeast.
- FILLING: You can add various fillings to your croissants just before rolling them. Try chocolate, fruit jams or even ham and cheese!
- Yields: 24 croissants or 32 smaller croissants. In the pictures above I made 32 smaller croissants, but nutritional information per croissant shown below assumes 24 croissants.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.