Light and airy and crisp, with a deeply caramelized buttery flavor, these croissants are definitely worth the time. Croissants require time, patience, and a lot of rolling, croissants aren’t easy. The croissants are golden brown, extra flaky, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and unbelievable warm from the oven. One bite of this delicate French pastry will immediately transport you to a French bakery.
I’ve wanted to try making them forever, and there are TONS of croissant recipes out there to choose from. But after creating this easy puff pastry recipe, I had a feeling that I could create a version that’s quicker, simpler, and far less intimidating than anything else. this homemade croissants recipe and I’m confident in YOU baking them. You need zero fancy equipment and zero special ingredients.
What is Laminated Dough?
Laminating dough is the process of folding butter into dough many times, which creates multiple alternating layers of butter and dough. When the laminated dough bakes, the butter melts and creates steam. This steam lifts the layers apart, leaving us with dozens of flaky airy buttery layers.
We’re going to laminate the dough 3 times, which will create 81 layers in our croissants. Yes, 81! Let me paint that picture for you.
Start with dough, butter layer, dough = 3 layers
Roll it out and fold it into thirds = 9 layers
Roll that out and fold it into thirds = 27 layers
Roll that out one last time and fold it into thirds = 81 layers
So we’re only laminating the dough 3 times, but that gives us 81 layers. When the croissants are rolled up and shaped, that’s one 81 layer dough rolled up many times. So when you bite into a croissant, you’re literally biting into hundreds of layers.
make easy dough from butter, flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and milk
roll out dough into a large rectangle
make the butter layer (I have an easy trick for this!!!
enclose the butter layer inside the dough
roll out the dough into another large rectangle, then fold it back together
roll out the dough again, fold it back together again
roll out the dough one more time, fold it back together
shape the croissants.
Classic French Croissants
Light and airy and crisp, with a deeply caramelised buttery flavor
Prep Time 12hrs
Cook Time 20mins
Total Time 13hrs
1tbspactive dry yeast
340 gunsalted butter, at room temperature
Make The Dough
Cut the butter into pieces and place in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (or you can use a handheld mixer or no mixer). Add the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Gently combine the ingredients. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the milk. Once all of the milk is added, beat the dough for at least 5 full minutes. The dough will be soft.If after 5 minutes the dough is too sticky, keep the mixer running until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove dough from the bowl and, with floured hands, work it into a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured silicone baking mat lined, lightly floured parchment paper lined, or lightly floured baking sheet. Gently flatten the dough out, as I do in the video above, and cover with plastic wrap. Place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator and allow the covered dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Shape The Dough
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Begin flattening out the dough with your hands. Roll it into a rectangle. The dough isn’t extremely cold after only 30 minutes in the refrigerator, so it will feel more like soft play-doh. The dough will want to be oval shaped, but keep working the edges with your hands and rolling pin until you have a rectangle.
Place the rolled out dough back onto the baking sheet, cover the rolled out dough with plastic wrap, place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator and allow the covered dough to rest in the refrigerator for 5 hours.
Butter layer: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and flour together until smooth and combined. Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Using a spoon or small spatula, smooth out into a rectangle. Place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator and chill the butter layer for 30 minutes. You want the butter layer firm, but still pliable. If it gets too firm, let it sit out on the counter for a few minutes to gently soften. The more firm the butter layer is the more difficult it will be to laminate the dough.
Laminate The Dough
You need to roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Do this on a lightly floured surface. Remove both the dough and butter layers from the refrigerator. Place the butter layer in the centre of the dough and fold each end of the dough over it.
Seal the dough edges over the butter layer with your fingers. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle. Roll back and forth with the shorter end of the dough facing you. Use your fingers if you need to. The dough is very cold, so it will take a lot of arm muscle to roll. Fold the dough lengthwise into thirds as if you were folding a letter. This was the 1st turn. If the dough is now too warm to work with, place folded dough on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before the 2nd turn.
Turn the dough so the short end is facing you. Roll the dough out once again into a rectangle, then fold the dough lengthwise into thirds as if you were folding a letter. The dough must be refrigerated between the 2nd and 3rd turn. Place the folded dough on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before the 3rd turn.
Roll the dough out once again into a rectangle. Fold the dough lengthwise into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
Place the folded dough on the lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Shape The Croissants
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into rectangle. Use your fingers. Once again, the dough is very cold, so it will take a lot of arm muscle to roll. The dough will want to be oval shaped, but keep working it with your hands and rolling pin until you have the correct size rectangle.
Using a sharp knife, slice the dough in half vertically. Then cut 3 even slices horizontally, yielding rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to make 2 triangles. Work with one triangle at a time. Using your fingers or a rolling pin, stretch the triangle. Do this gently as you do not want to flatten the layers. Then tightly roll up into a crescent shape making sure the tip is underneath. Repeat with remaining dough, placing the shaped croissants on 2 lined baking sheets.
Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour, then place in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Egg wash: Whisk the egg wash ingredients together. Remove the croissants from the refrigerator. Brush each lightly with egg wash.
Bake The Croissants
Bake until croissants are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. Remove croissants from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving. Croissants taste best the same day they’re baked.
Croissants are perfect for getting started ahead of time. The dough can rest for 4 hours or overnight. You can also freeze the dough after the 3rd turn in the lamination process. Instead of the 4 hour rest in the refrigerator, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or aluminium foil, place in a freezer zipped-top bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Keep dough cold, Make sure the dough is always cold. If it warms up too much, stop what you’re doing and place the dough back in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
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