Go Back

Croissants for the Home Baker

Buttery, flaky and downright delicious, these croissants are amazing. The entire process takes 2-3 days, so plan accordingly. This is the printable recipe, but I highly recommend reading through the blog post and pictures to give you an overview if you are new to croissants, before beginning.
Prep Time 2 d 12 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine French
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

Poolish

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

Croissant Dough

  • 1 3/4 cups milk room temperature or lightly warmed
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • 6 cups all purpose flour may need an extra 1/2 cup
  • all of the poolish

Butter Block

  • 2 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 sheet parchment paper

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream

Croissant Fillings (optional, depending on the fillings you choose)

  • 24 slices Gruyere cheese and Smoked Ham
  • 1 bar chocolate
  • 1 block almond paste

Instructions
 

Day 1

    Poolish (2-3 hours)

    • In a microwave safe, medium-sized bowl, warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove until warm to the touch. It should feel like baby’s bathwater (not too hot as this can kill the yeast).
    • Add the yeast to the bowl (notice the yeasty smell to make sure your yeast is active...this happens within a minute or so of adding instant yeast).
    • Mix the flour into the milk/yeast mixture, forming a thick batter. 
    • Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place. Let poolish rise until doubled in size, at least 2 hours.

    Dough (20 minute mix, refrigerate overnight)

    • Add the risen poolish to the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add room temperature milk, yeast and sugar. Mix with dough hook. Add the salt and melted butter.
    • Add flour a cup at a time and mix with dough hook. After the flour is incorporated, pick up a chunk of dough and roll it into a ball. If it rolls into a ball and isn’t super sticky, you can stop adding flour. If it is overly sticky and doesn’t form a ball, continue adding flour a bit at time and mixing. This helps to avoid over-flouring the dough. 
    • Knead the dough with the stand mixer for 10 minutes. I like to set a timer and let it mix. A long kneading period helps the gluten develop. You can check this post for more information on how to test for readiness of dough.
    • After the dough is kneaded, place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Refrigerate the dough overnight.

    Day 2

      Butter Block (10 minutes)

      • Pull 5 sticks of butter out of the fridge. 
      • Line the sticks of butter in the center of a row on a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle ¼ cup of flour over the butter.
      • Pull one side of the parchment paper over the butter. Using a rolling pin, hit the butter to flatten it and meld it together to form a butter block. Continue hitting the butter until it flattens. 
      • Roll the butter into an 8 by 12 inch rectangle (I use a measuring tape to help guide me). Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use. See photos in blog post for step-by-step guide.

      Lamination (30 minutes active time, 3 hours refrigeration/freeze)

      • Prepare a sheet of parchment paper with a light dusting of flour. Use a measuring tape to guide you and set it to 18 inches at the top of your parchment paper. Take the dough out of the fridge.
      • Roll the dough into a 12 by 18 inch rectangle. Place the butter block in the middle of the rolled out dough so that the butter block aligns with the top and bottom of the dough.
      • Fold the left side of the dough over, covering the butter block. Repeat with the right side of the dough, folding over on top of the left side. Pinch together any seams so the butter is fully encased in the dough.
      • Rotate the dough 90 degrees or a quarter turn and roll out the dough to a 28 by 12 inch rectangle. 
      • Fold the dough in the same manner as above, folding from the left side ⅓ and then the right side ⅓, resulting in about a 9 by 12 rectangle. This is your first fold.
      • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
      • Second fold: After 1 hour, pull the dough out of the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, repeat the process of rolling the dough out to a 28 by 12 rectangle and folding the dough over. Wrap again and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
      • Third fold: Repeat the same process as the first and second fold. FREEZE for 1 hour. At this point you can continue freezing the dough for up to 1 week. When you are ready to use the frozen dough, pull it out the night before you intend to use it and put it in the fridge before shaping. After 1 hour, pull the croissant dough out of the freezer and proceed with shaping.

      Shaping Croissants (20 minute shaping, 2-3 hours proofing) 

      • Line a couple baking sheets (my favorite here, affiliate link) with parchment paper.
      • Prepare any fillings you plan on using (sliced cheese, sliced ham, almond paste or chocolate, etc..) by cutting or breaking them into small pieces or slices.
      • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 30 by 10 inch rectangle. 
      • Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough in half so you have two sections 30 by 5 inches.
      • Cut each 30 by 5 inch section into 6 pieces, resulting in six 5 by 5 inch sections.
      • Slice each 5 by 5 inch section from corner to corner, resulting in a small triangle. Starting at the base, roll the triangle up to form a croissant. Place on a baking sheet.
      • If you want to add a filling, place the filing at the base of the triangle and roll up, forming the croissant shape. You can also roll the 5 by 5 inch square up (cinnamon-roll-style) with a filling inside (ie: chocolate, almond paste) if you want a larger croissant. Continue with this process until all the croissants have been shaped.

      Egg Wash/Rising/Baking

      • Let the croissants rise, covered for 2 to 3 hours until puffed up and almost doubled in size.
      • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
      • Whisk together the egg, heavy cream and a pinch of salt. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the croissants with the egg wash.
      • Bake croissants for 10 minutes without opening the oven door. After ten minutes, rotate the pan 180 degrees in the oven for an even bake and continue baking another 8-10 minutes. 
      • Allow croissants to cool slightly before digging in. Enjoy all your hard work!

      Notes

      This recipe takes 2-3 days to complete. Plan accordingly. I highly recommend reading through my blog post and looking at the pictures before beginning if you have never made croissants before. This will help you get an overall feel for the process before starting.
      Keyword croissant