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Homemade Croissants

These Homemade Croissants are golden and crispy on the outside, and buttery and flaky on the inside. While croissants in general require a lot of rolling of dough, rising time and patience, these croissants use a method that makes them easier to incorporate the buttery layers. The dough is rolled into circles, coated in a generous layer of butter, then layered on top of each other. The result? A perfectly baked croissant with less rolling and chill time.

Croissants are one of those pastries that just seem extremely intimidating. I remember making them for the very first time in my pastry arts class. There was a lot of rolling, chill time in the fridge, and more rolling. They turned out good, but honestly I don’t think I’d desire to make homemade croissants again with all of that effort. I just don’t have the time to spend an entire day baking. This homemade croissant recipe, however, is much easier.

Traditional croissants are made by encasing a rectangle of butter in the dough. The dough is then rolled and turned this way and that and to be honest, it just confuses me! This method is much more straight forward. Read below for extra tips and full instructions on how to make croissants.

Here’s what you need to know…

Because this dough has a long rise time, the water needs to be cold when mixing the dough. The dough will still rise. The instant yeast just needs the water and sugar source to activate it. It will just rise in a slower manner, which is what you want.

Traditional croissants are made by encasing a rectangle of butter in the dough. These croissants are made by rolling 10 pieces of dough into a circle, then slathering on a generous amount of butter onto 9 of the circles. The circles are stacked on top of one another, with the non buttered circle being placed on top.

The dough is covered and left to chill in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours. The next day, the stack of dough is rolled into a 16 inch circle, then cut into triangles.

A small slit is cut at the base of the triangle, which helps create the croissant shape, then the triangles are rolled up into a croissant shape.

The dough rises one last time for 1 hour, covered, then is brushed with egg wash and baked in the oven until golden and crisp. The egg wash helps to give the dough a beautiful golden brown color.

Less is More

In the food world, it seems like more is always better. More cheese on your pizza, more frosting on your cake. However, when it comes to croissants, less is actually better. It seems like 200 layers of dough would yield an incredible croissant. It will, but what happens is that with all of these layers, they become compressed into each other, so that when you slice the croissant open, it’s difficult to differentiate the layers from one another.

A croissant with fewer layers will allow for the layers to be differentiated from one another and will yield a beautiful open, honeycomb like texture. On the outside, this croissant may not look as tight and neat as the one with more layers, but it will yield a more crisp, puffy and flaky croissant.

Let me know what you thought!

If you try this homemade croissant recipe and enjoyed learning how to make homemade croissants, please let me know how they turned out for you in the ratings and comments below. I love hearing your feedback, because it helps me improve my recipes for you. Also, make sure you find me on instagram where you can find the full baking video for these croissants as well as more fun behind the scenes.

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Homemade Croissants


  • Author: Jolene
  • Total Time: 12 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

These Homemade Croissants are golden and crispy on the outside, and buttery and flaky on the inside. While croissants in general require a lot of rolling of dough, rising time and patience, these croissants use a method that makes them easier to incorporate the buttery layers. The dough is rolled into circles, coated in a generous layer of butter, then layered on top of each other. The result? A perfectly baked croissant with less rolling and chill time.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 packet active dry yeast or instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups COLD whole milk
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Butter Layer

  • Roughly 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg, beaten

Instructions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add yeast, sugar, milk, flour and salt. Mix on low speed until a dough ball forms, then add softened butter. Knead dough on medium speed for 10 minutes. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow dough to rest for 45 minutes at room temperature, then place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. Punch down dough, then place on lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 10 roughly equal pieces. Flour your work surface and the dough, then roll a piece into a 10 inch circle. The dough will be thin. Transfer dough circle to a piece of parchment paper. Spread a layer of softened butter over the dough circle, gently. Roll another dough piece into a 10-inch circle, then place on top of the butter layer. Spread a layer of butter over this dough circle. Repeat until all pieces of dough are used. Do not butter the top piece of dough.

3.  Slide the dough (which should be on parchment paper), onto a baking sheet. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight, or up to 24 hours).

4. Roll out stack of dough into a 16 inch circle. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 roughly equal triangles. Cut a small slit in the wide edge/base of the triangle, then roll, starting at the wide edge/base triangle. Place, tip side down, onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the triangles, placing them 2 inches apart. Cover the croissants with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 400F. Using a pastry brush, brush the croissants with egg wash. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown in color. Serve warm and enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 12 hours (this includes the overnight rise in the refrigerator and other rising times)
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: French/American

Keywords: croissant, homemade croissant, easy homemade croissant

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4 Comments

  1. They look so yummy I do love a very good croissant in 2015 I went to Zurich Switzerland they have very very tasty favourites croissants there so soft chewy delicious
    I was wondering if I could use gluten free flour will it turn out the same as regular flour?!? Has anyone try making gluten free breads before!!
    I have try making bread in gluten free bread before it’s not the same it’s very hard to make I tried to make for my dad he has to have gluten free on everything when I buy items they are very very expensive to buy the ingredients and or buy already made I prefer already made it’s much easier then making for myself and less hassle

    1. Susanne,

      Gluten free flour is tough! I haven’t worked with it much and haven’t tried baking breads with gluten free flour, but I’m guessing you won’t get the same structure. If I do begin experimenting with it and am able to figure out a good recipe, I will be sure to share!

      -Jolene

    1. Annie,

      Since this dough has a long rise, that is why the cold liquid is used. It allows for the dough to activate in a slower time frame, developing more flavor. So, the croissants never rose after you rolled them? The yeast cold have been old? You can certainly warm up the milk to a temperature between 105 to 110F, which will ensure that the croissants rise. I would recommend trying. Sorry things didn’t work out the first time! Hope this helps.

      -Jolene

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