How to Make Croissants

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Flakey, delicate and oh so buttery, this authentic Parisian Croissant recipe is quite the special treat. Whether you’re making a batch for the holidays or just feel like indulging, this is the ultimate croissant recipe. Enjoy alone or pair with some hot chocolate, quiche or eggs benedict.

baked croissants on cooling rack

Les Croissants!

Today, I am so excited to be sharing this Croissant recipe! I have had this particular recipe in my recipe box ever since I got home from Paris nearly five years ago! Why it took me 5 years to find the time to make these croissants, I’ll never know. But I’m so thrilled to be sharing this recipe with you today.

I’ve been testing and re-testing this recipe to ensure nothing was lost in translation. Ingredients are not considered equal when you’re comparing France to America. I tried to do my best to get these homemade croissants as close to the ones I had in Paris with the ingredients found here in the States. If you’re willing to go through the trouble to make these start to finish, do yourself a favor and get the recommended ingredients.

mixing yeasted dough in glass bowl

European Butter vs American Butter

In my recipe, I recommend using European Butter. Why? Because European Butter has a higher fat content (82% or higher). European butter melts faster and looks more yellow because it’s ‘cultured’. You get more of that typical butter flavor from cultured butter. This means flakier, richer, more buttery-tasting croissants.

American butter (with sweet cream, salted or unsalted variations) is 80% fat and is ‘uncultured’. This means it offers more of a neutral flavor. While this butter is great for just about every kind of dessert, for croissants in particular, I recommend European Butter.

Yes, you still can use American Butter in this recipe and have no problems. Just know they could be even more buttery (in taste and texture) using European butter.

folding croissant dough in book fold

Bread Flour vs. All Purpose

My recipe from Paris called for bread flour in making the detrempe (dough portion of this recipe). Problem is France’s bread flour and America’s bread flour are not considered equal. Also, it didn’t make sense to me to use bread flour for a pastry like croissants. You want it to be tender, buttery and flakey, not chewy or bread like. We’re making croissants, not pizza dough.

So, I did test this recipe twice with American bread flour and while it yielded great croissants, the dough was harder to work with. So, all purpose flour is the recommended flour. You can even use pastry flour if you’re worried about protein content, but as long as you’re not kneading the dough too much, you should be fine using unbleached all purpose.

croissant dough cut into triangles

Yes, You Should Weigh Your Ingredients

Now, as you will quickly realize, this recipe is in grams! Ah, the metric system. I grew up in Canada and speak both metric and imperial, but for the purpose of this recipe, I’m keeping it as authentic as possible and sticking with grams. Most kitchen scales sold in the states have the option of switching between ounces and grams, so no need to worry.

Yes, you will need to use a kitchen scale for this recipe. I only say that because I care. If you want amazing homemade croissants that taste like they came straight from Paris, you need to measure your ingredients by weight. There is trust and accuracy in the scale. I know its annoying but you won’t be sorry! (This is the scale I own and used for testing this recipe.)

I did put imperial measurements in the recipe card, but keep in mind these are estimations. Since everyone measures everything differently (especially flour), I can’t really guarantee success if you’re using those measurements, but they should get you really close!

rolled croissants

How to Make Croissants

This recipe is extensive and takes some time. You can expect two days. This is a reason why lots of people don’t make any kind of croissant recipe at home. It takes time! But the results are BOMB. Here is the basic run-down and what you can expect. There are LOTS of step by step photos and details in the recipe card below.

Make the Detrempe

First thing to do is make the dough that you will use to laminate with the butter. This is a simple yeasted dough made with flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar and melted butter. Rise 30 minutes on the counter and then refrigerate.

Make the Butter Block

Using cold butter, sandwich the needed amount between two sheets of parchment paper and press (or bang) it out into a 30 cm x 15 cm rectangle. I find using a bench scraper works great to even out the edges within the parchment paper without getting it dirty. Refrigerate.

Starting the Tourage (laminating process)

Once your dough and butter block are cold, you’ll roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 50 cm x 17 cm. A little larger is fine! You just want to make sure the butter block will fit onto the dough and have one side be able to fold overtop of the butter block. Fold into three so you have five total layers: dough, butter, dough, butter, dough. Roll out to be a large rectangle and then create a double fold or book fold: fold the two edges in towards the center and then fold those edges in again. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Roll and Fold

To create more layers, roll rested dough out to a rectangle and fold another double fold or book fold. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Shape Croissants

Roll dough out to be a 4 mm thick rectangle, approximately 50 cm x 25 cm. Trim any extra dough to make the rectangle as accurate as possible. Cut triangles that are 10 cm wide and 25 cm long. You should get 10 full size with a few smaller ones made with scraps of dough. Roll triangles into croissants and place onto baking sheets.

Rising

Brush croissants with beaten egg and rise 2 to 3 hours or until croissants look and feel puffy and have doubled in size.

Baking the Croissants

Brush Croissants with more egg wash and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown in color, including the creases. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

brushing croissants with egg wash

Can you Freeze Croissants?

Yes, you absolutely can freeze this croissant recipe. If you’re going to go through the trouble to make these from scratch, storing extra dough in the freezer is an important step. This allows you to pull them out and bake at your leisure to enjoy a fresh croissant whenever you want. There are two main spots you can stop and freeze your dough.

The first spot you can stop and freeze your croissant dough would be after you’re done all the folds and right before you’re about to pull it out to roll and form croissants. Instead of doing that, wrap it well and freeze for up to two months. Transfer to the fridge for 24-48 hours to defrost, then roll, form into croissants and bake.

The second spot (and recommended spot) to stop and freeze your croissants would be after you’ve formed them into their classic shape and before you’ve let them rise. Don’t give them an egg wash, but instead carefully place them into the freezer on their baking sheets. After 1-2 hours, they should be solidly frozen and you can transfer them to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to two months. To bake, simply place frozen croissants onto baking sheet to defrost and rise. Once they’ve doubled in size, you can bake and enjoy.

baked croissants on cooling rack

Other French Recipes You Will Love

I hope you all enjoy this Croissant recipe as much as me and my family did! Be sure to pin/print/save/bookmark this one because it’s certainly a good one. Have a great day, friends!

Authentic Parisian Croissant Recipe

servings 10 croissants
Prep Time 2 d
Cook Time 15 mins

Ingredients

For the Detrempe (dough)

  • 500 grams all purpose flour scant 4 cups
  • 10 grams salt approximately 2 teaspoons
  • 70 grams granulated sugar approximately 6 tablespoons
  • 10 grams instant dry yeast approximately 4 teaspoons
  • 230 grams warm water approximately 1 cup
  • 50 grams melted butter cooled, approximately 2 tablespoons

For the Butter Block

  • 250 grams European butter unsalted, approximately 1 cup + 2 tablespoons

Instructions

  • Using a rolling pin and parchment paper, pound the butter into a thin rectangle 30 cm x 15 cm. )I find using a bench scraper works great to even out the edges within the parchment paper without getting it dirty.) Refrigerate.
    butter block
  • Proof yeast in warm water. In a separate large bowl, add flour, salt, sugar and melted butter. Stir in proofed yeast and water. Knead gently to create dough. Cover with plastic wrap and rise 30 minutes on the counter and then refrigerate for a minimun of 2 hours (but up to 6 hours.)
    croissant dough
  • Once dough and butter block are cold, roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 50 cm x 17 cm. (A little larger is fine and normal.) Place butter block onto one side of the dough. Fold extra dough overtop of the butter block to cover half of the butter.
    laminating croissant dough with butter
  • Fold other side with butter and dough overtop the first fold. You should have five total layers: dough, butter, dough, butter, dough.
    laminating croissant dough with butter
  • Roll out to be a large rectangle and then create a double fold or book fold: fold the two edges in towards the center and then fold those edges in again. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
    croissant dough wrapped in plastic wrap
  • To create more layers, roll rested dough out to a rectangle and fold another double fold or book fold. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
    folding croissant dough to create layers
  • Roll dough out to be a 4 mm thick rectangle, approximately 50 cm x 25 cm. Trim any extra dough to make the rectangle as accurate as possible. Cut triangles that are 10 cm wide and 25 cm long.
    croissant dough cut into triangles
  • You should get 10 full size with a few smaller ones made with scraps of dough. Roll triangles into croissants and place onto baking sheets.
    rolled croissants
  • Brush croissants with beaten egg and rise 2 to 3 hours or until croissants look and feel puffy and have doubled in size.
    brushing croissants with egg wash
  • Brush Croissants with more egg wash and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown in color, including the creases. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
    baked croissants on baking sheet

Nutrition

Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 417IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breads, Breakfast
Cuisine: French

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