Croissants completely made from scratch. Worth every minute.
Guys, I don’t even know where to begin.
I made croissants and I can’t get over it. Even though this happened a couple of days ago, I am still on cloud nine. These beautiful pastries came out of my kitchen and actually looked, tasted and smelled like the real thing. It’s a good thing I have proof in form of these pictures or I wouldn’t even believe this is real life. I could have sworn I walked into a bakery the minute these pastries started to get all golden and crisp.
Is there anything better than butter? So, so, so much butter.
I don’t even care if this sounds cliché or that I might be a bit biased, but homemade croissants… there is nothing like it.
And yes, you can do it too. If I can whip up these delicate, light and melt-in-your-mouth pastries, you’ve got nothing to worry about!
Making homemade croissants was definitely something I always wanted to try, but the time commitment and ALL that butter, was a tad bit intimidating. While I am not claiming that beginners should give this recipe a go, I definitely do not think that it’s too difficult either. Someone that would classify themselves as intermediate when it comes to baking, should be able to pull it off. And you will be bursting with joy when you do ;).
Just make sure you plan enough time. From start to finish, meaning until I was able to hold my first croissant in my hands, 27 hours 45 minutes had elapsed. Yep, you read that correctly. While that might sound alarming and like waaay too long for a couple of pastries, most of that time is inactive. You’ll have plenty of time to hang out with friends, go grocery shopping, get a haircut, watch a movie, sleep or do whatever else your heart desires. I would guess that I worked a total of 2 – 2 1/2 hours on these. Not bad at all.
I should mention, that I was totally and completely planning on taking pics along the way. I really wanted to give you guys a visual guide, but after making the dough and when I was almost ready to pick up my camera, I realized that I had used bread flour instead of all-purpose. My baking world started to crumble and I was convinced that these French pastries would never turn out, that I would be left with a big old mess and move on to the next thing.
Gladly, I was proven wrong. Whish is precisely why I am so confident in telling you that you can do it. Even if you make a couple of mistakes along the way. So. I am already thinking about the next time I make these and I will definitely take pictures then and edit this post. I promise. But I had never made croissants before, didn’t have any pictures this time around and it all worked out in the end. I made sure to be super precise in the instructions and am always here for any questions you might have!
Never ever will I forget that first bite.
Even if I’m jumping the gun, I am thinking about making these for Christmas morning. Guys, I will stop in a second, but can I just say that I am beyond excited for Christmas this year?! It can’t come soon enough. I have no clue why, but I say bring it on. Also, I am watching a youtuber’s “Vlogmas” from last year as I’m typing this… I am doing everything I possibly can to keep me from busting out Christmas movies, ha.
Alright, alright, I’ll stop now.
I’ve got to run and buy more butter anyways. Don’t know what happened to my stash.
Have a lovely weekend, friends!
- 1/4 cup (6 oz) skim milk
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/3 cups (6 1/4 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups (14 oz) whole milk
- 6 cups (28 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 3/4 cups (22 oz) unsalted butter, cold
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 1. Start by making the preferment (this is part of the dough with a batter-like consistency that slightly ferments and gives the croissants incredible flavor and aroma). In a medium saucepan, bring milk temperature up to 80-90 degrees F. It doesn’t have to be exact – you just want it to be slightly warm to the touch. Pour milk into a medium bowl and sprinkle with the yeast. Using a wooden spoon, stir until yeast is incorporated. Then stir in flour (dough will be sticky). Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, for 2-3 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator).
- 2. Before you make the dough, make sure you have all your ingredients measured and ready to go. Place preferment into the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the dough attachment. Add yeast to the preferment and mix on low speed until fully incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stop mixer, scrape down sides (to make sure everything gets mixed and incorporated evenly). Turn speed to medium and mix for another couple of minutes. Slowly add half of the milk and mix until fully combined.
- Reduce speed to low and add flour, sugar, salt, melted butter, and the remaining milk, mix for 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and let dough rest for 15-20 minutes. Increase speed to low and mix until you have a smooth and elastic dough, no longer than 4 minutes (too much mixing will result in tough croissants). If the dough seems too firm, add another tablespoon at a time to loosen it up (I added a total of 2 tablespoons). Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a cool place to rise until doubled in size yet again, about 1 ½ hours.
- Flour your work surface. Turn dough out onto the surface and press into a rectangle, about 2 inches thick. Cover with plastic wrap and place dough into the fridge to chill for 4-6 hours.
- 3. An hour before the chilling time is over, place the cold butter into the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until pliable, about 3 minutes. Remove from the bowl, form into a rectangle and cover with plastic wrap. Return to the fridge.
- 4. Now begin the laminating process (incorporating the butter into the dough). Lightly flour your work surface. Remove dough and butter from the fridge. Unwrap the dough, place onto the floured surface, and roll out into a rectangle, measuring 28x12 inched. The longer side of the rectangle should be facing you. Starting from the left side, break pieces of butter off the rectangle and spread and spot over 2/3 of the dough (leaving the right side without any butter). Make sure the butter stays as cold as possible, don’t touch it too much. Fold right side over the butter (to the center) and do the same with the left side, as if folding a business letter. Using your fingers, seal the seams.
- Give the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees). The seams should be on your right and left and not on the top and bottom as before. Roll out the dough one more time into a 28x12 inch rectangle and fold in the same way as above. Wrap in plastic wrap and place into the fridge for 2 hours.
- 5. For the final fold, dust your work surface one more time. Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap and roll into a 28x12 inch rectangle. Fold like a business letter one last time. You should have a rectangle, measuring roughly 9x12 inches and 1 ½ to 2 inches thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and place onto a cutting board. Put dough into the freezer for 1 hour. You can either move on with the next step right away or transfer the dough from the freezer to the fridge to chill overnight or until you need it the next day. The dough can be made ahead and kept in the freezer for 1 week.
- 6. Once you’re ready for the final step, flour your work surface one last time. Roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring 32x12 inches and 3/8 inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into triangles. Each one should measure 10-12 inches on each side and 4 inches along the base. You should end up with 16-18 triangles.
- Line 2-3 baking sheets (depending on size) with parchment paper. To shape each croissant, make sure the base is facing you. With both of your palms on each side of the base, grab the two outer points and roll the base toward the point. Once rolled up, pick up the croissant, stretch the point slightly and tuck it underneath the rolled dough, the croissant should be sitting on the point. A properly shaped croissant will end up with 6 to 7 ridges. Make sure you place the croissants with enough space onto the prepared baking sheets. Cover with clean kitchen towels and place croissants in a draft-free, cool place. Let rise until at least double in size, about 2-3 hours. Croissants are ready when they’re puffy and if you press a croissant with your fingertip, the indentation fills in slowly.
- 7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and make the egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients and using a pastry brush, brush each croissant with the egg wash. Let the wash dry slightly before baking, about 10 minutes. Place the croissants into the oven and immediately turn oven temperature down to 400 degrees F. Bake croissants for 10 minutes, then open the oven door, rotate sheet pan quickly 180 degrees to ensure the croissants bake evenly, and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Croissants should be deep golden brown, crisp on the outside, and feel light when picked up. Let croissants cool on wire racks and repeat with remaining croissants.
- Croissants are best when enjoyed while still slightly warm and on the same day. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days and reheated in a 375 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.
- The process of making croissants works best in a relatively cool kitchen. Anywhere from 68-72 degrees is perfect.