This recipe provides a step-by-step tutorial for baking croissants in your home kitchen that are light, flaky, and of commercial quality. Practice makes some tasks easier, such as figuring out the temperature of the butter and how much pressure to apply while rolling the dough with a pastry as intricate as croissants. If you stick to the strategy, you can obtain buttery homemade croissants. We wish to give you detailed directions on this recipe on how to make authentic French croissants.
Here are some additional tips to help you make your first attempt at croissants successful. The recipe is an adaptation of Classic Croissants by Jeffrey Hamelman. We started by roughly following the instructions in his recipe, changed everything to our metric system, and learned some useful croissant information in the process. Possibly enough to make sharing it all with you worthwhile if it motivates you to attempt making croissants on your own.
What is Croissant?
The word “croissant” refers to the buttery, flaky pastry’s unique crescent shape. Croissants and other viennoiserie are made with a layer of yeast-leavened dough. The dough is loaded with butter, rolled and folded repeatedly, and then rolled into a sheet in a process known as laminating. The process results in a flaky, layered texture like puff pastry. Since the Middle Ages, sometimes even earlier, crescent-shaped pastries and cakes have been made. Croissants have long been a staple in French bakeries and patisseries.
Due to its origin and distinctive shape, the croissant has earned the title of most well-known French food item worldwide. The croissanterie was a uniquely French response to American-style fast food; 30–40% of the croissants supplied in French bakeries and patisseries nowadays are frozen. Due to the development of factory-made, frozen, pre-formed, but unbaked dough in the late 1970s evolved into a portion of fast food that can be freshly baked by unskilled labor. Even today, croissants are frequently served with continental breakfasts.
How to Make Croissants?
About 15 nice croissants will be produced from this recipe, plus some leftover ingredients that you may use to create a few slightly odd-shaped croissants or other creative croissant-like concoctions. Perhaps you can find solace in that your first attempts won’t be very “croissant worthy” if you don’t succeed. However, as you can see, we persisted and improved. But we must admit that it is and will always be a challenging procedure.
To achieve success, you must focus and work precisely. So leave the yelling kids, the agitated pets, and all other distractions behind! Play some tunes to help you make croissants, then let’s get started. Once the dough is combined and has reached the low to moderate gluten development stage, knead it for three minutes at a low to medium speed. This section is typically completed in the evening.
Too much gluten development will make it difficult to laminate since the dough will fight back. To make it simpler to roll the dough into a square form the next day, shape it into a disc rather than a ball before putting it in the refrigerator. The disc should be placed on a dish, covered with cling film, and chilled overnight.
- 42 3 cups/605 grams of bread flour, plus additional flour for dusting
- 66 grams/1/3 cup granulated sugar
- Twelve grams of kosher salt in 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon.
- 7 grams (214 tablespoons) of active dry yeast
- 214 grams of water, or 34 cups plus two tablespoons, at room temperature
- 12 cup/120 grams of room temperature whole milk
- 14 cup/57 grams of cooled, cut into 1-inch pieces, unsalted butter
For the Butter Block and Assembly
- Three sticks of unsalted European or European-style butter, 112 cups/340 grams, cold
- universal flour, for use in rolling
- one huge egg yolk
- 1 tbsp of creamier milk
Start the détrempe 24 hours before serving: The flour, sugar, salt, and yeast should all be combined in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Fill the well you just made in the middle with milk and water. Five minutes of low-speed mixing is required to form a tight, smooth dough around the hook. Take off the hook, then place a damp towel over the dish. Wait 10 minutes before moving.
Dough hook reattached, mixer set at medium-low speed. The butter chunks should be added all at once. Continue mixing for 8 to 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl and hook once or twice along the way, until the dough forms a very smooth, stretchy ball that is not at all sticky.
Create a ball out of the dough, then set it seam-side down on a lightly dusted work area. Cut a “+” shape into the dough by making two deep, perpendicular cuts with a sharp knife. This will facilitate the dough’s expansion into a square form throughout the rising process and make it simpler to roll out later. Place the dough in the same mixing basin, slashed-side up, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature for 45 to 1 hour, or until it has risen to about 112 times its original size. Place the bowl in the fridge and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 12.
Make the butter block while the dough chills: A big sheet of parchment paper should be placed in the center with the butter sticks placed side by side. Use a rolling pin to gently beat the cold butter into a flat layer only 12 inches thick, fusing the sticks and making it pliable. The parchment paper should then be folded over the butter to create a packet. Flip the packet over. (At this moment, don’t bother about the shape.) The parchment could split.
Turn the packet over and unwrap it, replacing the parchment if necessary with a fresh sheet. To create an 8-inch square, fold the parchment paper over the butter, producing neat, clean folds at right angles (as if you were wrapping a gift). Once more flipping the packet over, roll the pin across the contents to press any air bubbles out and flatten the butter into a thin layer that fills the entire packet. A level square of butter with straight edges is the desired outcome. Refrigerate the butter block after moving it there.
With the heel of your hand, press down on the dough. Stretch the dough outward and flatten it into a rough square no larger than 8 inches on one side using the four points where you cut the dough. (Its size will have doubled.) The dough should be taken out of the fridge, uncovered, and placed in a clean work area eighteen hours before it is to be served.
The dough should be placed on top of two pieces of plastic wrapped parallel to one another on the work surface. Maintaining the squared-off borders, wrap the dough rectangle, then roll your pin over the top, as you did with the butter, pressing the dough into the plastic to create an 8-inch square with straight sides and angles. For 20 minutes, freeze.
Both the dough and the butter should be taken out of the refrigerator. Set the butter aside. Put the dough on a lightly dusted surface after removing the plastic wrap (you’ll need it again). Roll the dough, retaining an 8-inch width and rolling it out to a length of 16 inches (barely wider than the butter block). Make sure no flour sticks to the dough’s surface by brushing off any excess with a pastry brush.
The dough will be used to enclose the butter block before being rolled out completely. They should be equally solid, with the dough being a little colder than the butter, to ensure that they do so evenly. While still being able to bend without breaking, the butter should be cold. Allow it to rest at room temperature for a few minutes if it seems hard or brittle. Once the top of the butter block is revealed, carefully invert it in the middle of the dough rectangle using the parchment paper, making sure all four sides are parallel. Peel off the parchment paper after gently pressing the butter into the dough. It would help if you had a block of butter with a thin border of dough running along two edges and overflow dough on the other two.
Rotate the dough 90 degrees, so the middle seam is vertical, then lift the entire block and lightly flour the underside. One side of the dough that is protruding should be grabbed and brought over the butter toward the center. Repeat with the other side of the dough to completely enclose the butter. Stretch the dough if required and pinch it together at all seams so that no butter is visible. You don’t need the dough to overlap, but you want the two sides to touch.
The dough should be lightly beaten all along the surface to extend and flatten it. Position the rolling pin perpendicular to the seam. Roll out the dough lengthwise along the seam into a narrow slab that is 24 inches long and 14 inches thick. If additional flour is required to prevent sticking, gently duster underneath and on the slab. To maintain consistent layers of dough and butter, push the dough toward and away from you with the rolling pin rather than downward. Try your best to keep straight, parallel sides by lifting the dough occasionally to ensure it isn’t adhering to the surface. (It’s alright if the shorter sides round slightly; you’ll trim them.)
Trim the shorter ends using a wheel cutter or long, sharp knife, removing extra dough where the butter doesn’t stretch and cutting off the corners to create a straight-edged, even rectangle of dough. The most constant and even lamination will result from maintaining the rectangular shape, especially at this point. If you notice any air bubbles while rolling the dough, pierce them with a paring knife or a cake tester to release the air and continue.
To make the dough stick to itself, lightly press. Flour should be brushed off the dough’s surface. Grab the shorter side of the rectangle further away from you, align the sides, and fold it toward the middle of the dough slab. Leave a 1/8-inch gap where the ends meet in the middle and repeat with the opposite side of the dough. The slab should now be folded in half crosswise along the center slit. This “double spin” has resulted in four times as much butter being layered inside the dough. It would help if you now had a four-layered, rectangular book-shaped dough package.
Wrap the book tightly in the plastic that was set aside. Roll the dough wrapped in plastic over to flatten it and reshape it if it is thicker than about 112 inches or if it has lost some of its rectangularity. The book should be frozen for 15 minutes, then chilled for an hour.
Give the dough about five minutes to rest at room temperature. Place unwrapped items on a lightly dusted surface. After beating the dough, roll it out (Step 10) to form another long, slender 3/8-inch-thick slab. It ought to be comfortable and easy to extend. Remove any extra flour by dusting.
Like a letter, fold the dough in thirds, bringing the top third of the slab down and over the center third before bringing the bottom third up and over. The layers are tripled in this “simple turn.” To help the layers stick, lightly press. Wrap more tightly in plastic and freeze for 15 minutes before cooling for an hour.
After letting the dough remain at room temperature for about 5 minutes, unwrap it and set it on a surface lightly dusted with flour. As before, beat the dough and flatten it out into a 14 by 17-inch block (15-by-16-inch for pain au chocolat or ham and cheese croissants). Try to position the dough as close to those measurements as possible because it will start to spring back. Remove any extra flour with a brush, wrap it in plastic, and place it on a cutting board or baking sheet—Twenty minutes of freezing followed by overnight cooling (8 to 12 hours). Consult recipes if you want to make ham and cheese croissants or pain au chocolat.
Set up racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven 45 minutes before serving. Over medium-high heat, simmer some water in a skillet. (The oven’s steam release will produce the perfect environment for proofing.) Close the oven door after setting the skillet on the bottom.
Prepare two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside while the steam in the oven is released. Give the dough about five minutes to rest at room temperature. Remove from packaging (save the plastic for proofing), set on a very lightly dusted surface, and if necessary, roll out to a size of 17 by 14 inches. Use a pastry brush to remove any extra flour very thoroughly. Create a rectangle that is exactly 16 inches long by cutting the shorter sides with a wheel cutter or long knife and ruler, trimming any uneven edges where not all the layers of dough fully extend, and then cutting the rectangle into four 4-by-14-inch rectangles.
Separate the rectangles, then cut two long, equal triangles by drawing a straight line from the opposing corners of one rectangle using the wheel cutter and ruler. To create eight triangles, repeat with the remaining rectangles. Each triangle is transformed into a triangle with longer sides equal in length by cutting the short side at a little angle.
Grab the two corners of the shorter end, the crescent’s base, and gently pull them outward to extend the points and broaden the base to about 3 inches, working on one triangle at a time. Place the crescent on one of the baking sheets lined with parchment, resting it on the triangle’s point. Once the triangle is lengthened and the dough is thinned as it narrows, gently pulled outward from the middle of the triangle to the point. Roll the dough snuggly, starting at the base (the short end) while maintaining the point’s center and using moderate pressure. Avoid stretching or rolling the dough too firmly. If the dough becomes too soft while rolling, cover the triangles and place them in the freezer for a short period before continuing. Four of them per baking sheet, equally spaced. Wrap the baking sheets in plastic wrap very lightly to allow the croissants some opportunity to expand.
Open the oven and place your hand inside three and a half hours before serving: Given that the water in the skillet will have cooled, it should be humid but not hot. The croissants should be proof at a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees. (If it gets hotter, the butter will melt, and the croissant will get denser.) Place the baking sheets in the oven, and allow the croissants prove there for 2 to 212 hours, or until they are nearly double in size, incredibly puffy, and jiggle softly when the baking sheet is gently shaken. The croissants are quite delicate, so resist the impulse to poke or touch them. Also, don’t rush this step because an under-proofed croissant won’t be as airy and delicate.
The baking sheets should be removed from the oven, gently uncovered, and then placed in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes while the oven is preheating. Heat the skillet to 375 degrees after taking it out of the oven.
Stir the yolk and heavy cream until they are streak-free in a small bowl. Gently brush the yolk and cream mixture with a pastry brush over each crescent’s flat surfaces, avoiding the cut edges that have dough layers exposed.
Bake the sheets for 20 minutes after placing them in the oven. Bake the croissants for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking trays and switching the racks. Remove from the oven, then let the baking sheets cool fully.
Are Croissants Healthy to Eat?
Croissants can still be a part of a balanced diet even though they are not thought of as nutrient-rich foods and may even be called “empty calories” by some. Foods with empty calories primarily contain added sugar and bad solid fats like saturated or trans fats. A great supply of folate and other vitamins and minerals may be found in multigrain bread.
Keep croissants and bagels as infrequent indulgences because they are low in nutrients. Some persons may need to limit their intake of croissants because they include some relatively rich calories, salt, and saturated fat. Some may also include trans fat, which is unhealthy for your health.
How to Serve Croissants?
Croissants can be filled with cheese, ham, mushrooms, chicken, or other ingredients and eaten for breakfast or tea. The day of baking is the finest day to serve them fresh. A paper bag should keep croissants at room temperature to preserve their freshness. When stored in an airtight container, croissants can be frozen. To warm up. From room temperature, bake for 10–12 minutes at 350°F (180°C), or bake for 15–20 minutes from frozen. The first croissants appeared in Budapest in 1686. (Larrouse Gastronomique).
The ideal way to enjoy croissants is warm, so either cut them in half and toast them in the toaster for five minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When your croissant is warm, top it with butter, chocolate spread, or hot coffee for a delicious pick-me-up. The best is gentle heat. If you’re at home, you may reheat croissants completely by baking them for 5 minutes at 175° C (155° fan) in the oven. Eating your croissant at room temperature is a close second.
Which is a Healthier Donut or Croissant?
These foods’ calorie counts are as follows: The doughnut has 270 calories, compared to the croissant’s 330. The calories from fat are more significant. The croissant has 160 calories from fat, while the doughnut has 140. Bagels made from whole grains offer roughly 30% more fiber than croissants. A 3-inch, two 1/2-ounce whole-grain bagel includes roughly 2.5 grams of fiber, compared to a large, two 1/2-ounce croissant’s less than 2 grams.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 states that for every 1,000 calories consumed, you need 14 grams of fiber. According to livestrong.com, store-bought doughnuts are made with the toxic trinity of trans fat, sugar, and refined flour. Many have between 250 and 300 empty calories and a shocking 10 to 20 grams of fat per serving.
To overcome our reservations, we’re making croissants from scratch. I can understand if you’re getting ready to run away while yelling. I’ll say it straight out: creating croissants is challenging. It takes time, patience, and rolling to roll out croissants. Although this dish requires intermediate baking skills, you can still attempt it. You can easily handle this dish. Please permit me to accompany you throughout the procedure.
I started on the croissants early this year. Weeks were spent experimenting with this dough while I read over a few recipes, tried them out, and made any alterations I felt were required. Fresh from the oven, the croissants are golden brown, incredibly flaky, crisp on the outside, and delicate on the inside. Along with the croissant recipe, I also include a thorough video instructional, step-by-step photography instructions, and a ton of helpful advice.