Making baker’s croissants: Capturing butter heaven

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You haven’t really made friends with a croissant until you’ve met one coming out of the oven. Oh, so light, crisp on the outside, tender inside, and fragrant with ever-so-slightly toasted butter. It’s an experience that stays with you.

“But I don’t work in a bakery,” you’re thinking. “How will I ever know this moment of which you speak?”

You can make croissants yourself, that’s how. I expect some of you may shrug and decide to do your mousing around someplace else at this point. But if you’ve ever wondered how such an amazing baked good comes to be, or entertained the wish to make croissants yourself, stay with me and I’ll show you how.

First a little back story.

I spent 5 months working the overnight bakeshop shift at the New England Culinary Institute.

Class began at 10 p.m., and was done by 6 a.m., just before the bakery, La Brioche, opened. The overnight class was responsible for creating all the morning pastries for the case: croissants, Danish, muffins, cookies, quick breads, pies, rolls, and cakes. As I remember it, the time spent there was a lot like the Twilight Zone. The first 3 hours were no problem. They were spent scaling, mixing, scooping, dividing dough, proofing, running the first product through the ovens.

Somewhere around 3 a.m. was what I called “the witching hour,” where most mistakes were made, or your body and brain seemed to take a vacation from each other. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that “Mmmmmbop” was played on the radio EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at that time. Hard to say.

What brought me back from the witching hour were the croissants. Especially the ham and cheese. Never underestimate the redemptive power of melty cheese surrounded by buttery layers of pastry.

We made our croissants with the aid of the ultimate pastry power tool: it’s called a sheeter. It functions like a rolling pin on steroids. Any dough you put on one side is put under a stainless steel roller in the center, and comes out the other side thinner than it went in. It’s a very efficient way to make laminated doughs.

Huh? Isn’t laminate a kind of flooring? Laminated in this case refers to layers, and is how pastry comes to be.

The short version is this: A flour/egg/water/and-or/yeast dough is mixed and allowed to rest. Then butter is worked so that it’s plastic (flexible), mixed with some flour to stabilize it, and enclosed inside the dough.

From there, the package is rolled out and folded to create distinct layers of dough and butter. When this dough is baked, the butter layer expands and separates the dough layers, creating the ultimately flaky product we know as a croissant.

You can laminate a dough that has yeast (baker’s croissants, or croissants de boulanger) or one with no yeast (puff pastry, used for croissants de patissier). If you wanted dough to make vol au vents, or turnovers, you’d use puff pastry. If you want to make croissants or Danish, you’d use the dough I’m going to show you. The techniques are the same; the ingredients are slightly different.

Ready to go? Let’s make Baker’s Croissants.

First, we’ll put the dough together. Break 2 large eggs into a measuring cup, and add enough water to make 2 cups of liquid.

Place this in a mixing bowl or the bucket of your bread machine. Next, add 1/4 cup of sugar; if you plan to make only savory croissants, you can leave half or all of this out.

Add a scant tablespoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of instant yeast…

…and 5 1/2 cups (23 1/2 ounces or 1 pound, 7 1/2 ounces) of flour. Measure out another 1/2 cup of flour and keep it ready, in case you need to adjust the consistency of the dough. This is what recipes mean when they give you a range with flour amounts: start with the lower number, and use the rest only if you need it.

You can also add 1/2 cup of dry milk powder; mine has clumped up a bit, so I’m putting it through a strainer to break up the lumps.

This is optional, but makes the dough a bit richer. Finally, 2 tablespoons of butter, either very soft or melted and cooled. Leave the rest of a pound of butter out on the counter; you’ll be using it shortly. Mix up the dough…

…and use part or all of the additional 1/2 cup of flour to adjust the texture if the dough stays tacky after being kneaded for a few minutes.

This dough is too sticky; I’m going to adjust it with 2 to 3 tablespoons more flour from the reserved half cup I measured out in the first place.

That’s more like it. The dough is still soft, but it’s smooth and doesn’t stick when I touch it.

Sprinkle the dough with some flour, and sprinkle a little more flour into a large plastic bag. Put the dough inside it.

Pat or roll it into a square-ish shape (this will help you later). Put the bag on something flat (it’s kind of floppy), and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you’ve used your bread machine to mix and knead the dough, take it out as soon as the kneading is done, put it in a bag, and refrigerate it.

However you’ve mixed your dough, you don’t want to give it a full first rise. The yeast will have plenty of time to grow during all the time the dough is being rolled and rested.

Next we’ll make the butter inlay. When I had a sheeter, I just pounded the butter to make it malleable, spread it into a uniform slab, and rolled it in. When I’m making croissants by hand, I add some flour to the inlay to keep it more stable; it doesn’t all melt and run out in a puddle when the finished product is baked.

Measure out another 1/2 cup of flour. Sprinkle some of it on a piece of parchment paper. Unwrap the rest of the pound of butter you’ve kept out, and put it (the butter should still be cool to the touch, but not rock hard from the fridge) on top of the flour on the paper. Sprinkle the top with some more flour and cover with plastic wrap.

Now for a little therapy. Give the butter some whacks with a pastry or rolling pin to make it flexible.

Now put it in the mixer with the remaining measured flour and set up your paddle. Mix the butter and flour at low speed, just enough to make the mixture smooth. You don’t want to beat air into the mixture.

Scrape the butter back onto the parchment and spread it into an 8” square. Make sure the corners and edges are tidy: it makes a difference, all the way through the process. Cover and chill the butter for 20 minutes, until it firms up (but not too far).

Let the fun begin! You’ll need a 24” ruler or measuring tape; flour for sprinkling; a dry pastry brush; a small bowl of water and a wet pastry brush, and a rolling pin.

Dust your work surface with flour, and put the dough on it. Pat the dough into a 12” square. Be neat. Now put the butter square in the center, turned 45 degrees, so it looks like a diamond in the square.

Take the top corners of the dough and put them in the center, pinching together the seam.

Repeat with the bottom corners so the butter is completely enclosed.

After pinching that last bit of the seam closed, sprinkle the packet with a little flour, and tap it with your rolling pin, to encourage it to elongate.

Roll the dough into a rectangle 20” long by 10” wide (the width of a standard rolling pin barrel), stopping to free the dough from the work surface periodically, sprinkling a little flour underneath if necessary. Once the dough is long enough…

…brush any excess flour off the top, and fold the bottom edge 1/3 of the way up. Line up the edges neatly.

Fold the top down.

Turn the dough packet 90 degrees, so it looks like a book you could open.

If the dough is still relaxed and flexible, repeat the steps you just took: roll out, brush off, fold in thirds.

Once that’s done, you can mark the dough with a couple of dimples that record that you’ve given it two turns.

Now it’s time to let your dough have a nap. Sprinkle it with flour and put it back in its bag. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour, so the gluten in the dough can relax.

After the dough’s rest, give it two more turns just as you did the first time. Flip the dough over between the first and second turns to even things out.

Hint: as you’re folding the dough, be fussy about lining up the corners. Use a little water to tack them in place, if necessary, so the layers don’t slide around as you roll the dough.

Rest the dough again. A small aside here. This is one instance where more is not better. After you’ve made 4 turns, you’re going to feel pretty confident. You’re just hitting stride with this business, and you think, “if 4 is good, how many more layers will I get with 6? My croissants will be sky high!” Check this picture out. Which of these two croissants had more turns?

Answer: the one on the left had 6 turns, the one on the right only 4. For more distinct layers, better flake, and by the way, less work, 4 turns works.

By the way, the one in front needed more time in the oven than it got. See how there’s white dough at the overlap? That means there’s still raw dough inside.

I know this is a long piece, but here’s something you should know. Even when this dough isn’t perfect, it’s still mighty good.

The first batch I made for this blog was somewhat abused by circumstance. I had a number of other things demanding my time while I was trying to get it made, and as a result I alternated between pushing it (rolling it too cold) and neglecting it (leaving it out too long).

The result? Dough that looked like cellulite when I rolled it. Here’s how it looked after dividing the batch in half.

While you can see that the butter layers aren’t contiguous, and the yeast layer is a little spongy-looking, this dough still baked up pretty well. It’s the dough that I used to make the ham and cheese croissant you saw above. So even if your dough doesn’t look fashion-model perfect, don’t be discouraged.

Back to our project.

After you’ve finished your turning and folding, let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Overnight is better. You could also divide it in half and freeze half at this point.

We’ll use both halves here, so I can show you more things to do with it. You can see it’s rather poofy-looking, because the yeast has been working.

I’ll put half the dough back in the bag and refrigerate it; we’ll see it in action in a bit. Roll the remaining dough into a 12” x 18” rectangle.

Pick it up and dust the work surface with flour underneath the dough as you’re doing this; the dough should move freely over your work surface as you roll. Trim the very outside edge of the dough with a straight edge and a pizza cutter. This takes off the sealed edges of the dough that could inhibit its “poof.”

Save the scraps; we’ll play with them later. Just tuck them under some plastic for now.

Next, cut the remaining dough in thirds lengthwise and in half across the middle.

Cut each of these rectangles diagonally in half.

Put a 1/2″ notch in the center of the triangle’s short side. This will help the croissant to curve once it’s shaped. Set up all of your pieces of dough.

The idea when rolling croissants is to roll them up from the bottom, and to end up with the point of the dough neatly underneath the finished product. To ensure this, it’s a good idea to stretch them out just a bit. I use a pastry roller to tease a little more length out of the dough.

Roll the dough up like this:

Keep going…

You can put a dab of water on the tip to help it stay put when you get to the end:

All rolled up.

There are two things to notice here. The point of the dough is underneath the croissant, and the “ears,” or open points of dough at the ends, are facing up. That’s what you’re aiming for. But we’re not quite done, because this is called a croissant, not a droite. Gently curve the ends toward each other.

You could freeze the croissant at this point (I’d recommend a rigid plastic container with a lid) for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before egg-washing and baking.

A nice riff on plain croissants is a little cinnamon filling. On the overnight shift we sprinkled some cinnamon-sugar inside before rolling the dough; since coming to the land of Arthur, though, I’ve discovered Baker’s Cinnamon Filling. I’m putting about a teaspoon of it in this croissant before rolling it up.

You can use our pain au chocolat sticks, too.

After you’ve formed all of your croissants, put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate them for half an hour; this is to let the butter firm up again, so it doesn’t run right out when they’re baked.

We’re going to take the other half of the dough and fill it, too. Roll it out the same way as the first half, including trimming the edges. This time, cut the rectangle in thirds in both directions. This should give you nine 4” x 6” pieces of dough.

Take a piece of dough and turn it sideways. Place half an ounce of Swiss cheese on one end, and the same amount of ham on top of that.

Fold this end 1/3 of the way over.

Fold over again, so the curve on the right is just past the edge on the left.

Press gently down on top, to seal things together.

You can do this with other fillings, too. Spinach is good. If you look closely, you can see that I wet the left edge of the dough to help seal the seam.

Chocolate, of course, is wonderful.

This is my idea of treasure:

Once again, you could freeze at this point; you could have a stash that dresses up your weekend breakfast for weeks!

Remember that little scrap pile? At the bakery we collected them all, then made filled coffee cakes from them, but at home there aren’t that many.

I have a little cinnamon filling left, so I’m going to spread it on one strip, put another on top, and twist them together into a round to make a Danish.

I’ll put a spoonful of preserves in the center before baking this off.

Time to bring this project on home. Remember to refrigerate the shaped croissants while you preheat the oven to 425°F.

If you happen to have a convection oven, this is a good place to put it to use. If using convection, set the oven to 400°F. Those of you who have been following us on Facebook know that I have a brand new set of Bosch ovens in the test kitchen. They’re heating up for their inaugural bake right now:

Put the croissants on baking sheets, leaving plenty of space between them; they’re going to expand quite a bit during the bake. Time for the pastry brush and some egg wash. My new favorite thing to use here is cartons of egg substitute instead of breaking eggs and whisking them. Here’s why.

I can pour out exactly the amount I need.

No globs of egg white suddenly puddling on top of things, then sliding off and gluing whatever I’m baking to the pan. And it saves time.

Into the oven they go. The window on this oven is huge. It’s also so clear that you don’t need to open the door to see what’s going on inside.

Cool, or what?

Bake the croissants for 15 minutes; then turn the oven temperature down to 350°F for another 15 minutes. They should be a deep golden brown, even where the dough overlaps itself.

The moment is here. Time to tear in. Make friends with one of the most heavenly things you can do with butter and flour. Meet your first warm croissant.

Please read, bake, and rate our recipe for Baker’s Croissants.

Susan Reid
About

Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently enjoying her fourth career after stints in advertising, running restaurants, and teaching at the New England Culinary Institute. She joined King Arthur in 2002 to ...

comments

  1. Sandra (Alicante)

    As luck would have it, I was just thinking of doing a batch of croissants/danish, as I have just run out. I like to make ‘snails’ – you roll out the dough to a sheet, spread with a minimum of soft butter, sprinkle with sultanas and a little sugar and roll like a swiss roll. Cut in inch slices and carry on from there. MMMM!
    My recipe differs slightly. I use brown sugar, less butter and no eggs – ok, actually quite different!
    I have found it easier to do 1 tri-fold, a book fold (both ends to middle, then close like a book) and then another tri-fold.
    Using European butter, I don’t have to blend with flour. Don’t make them in a really hot kitchen, at 32c the butter will be leaking out! Also, don’t bother using really strong flour, 10% protein is fine.

    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with us. ~Amy @KAF
    I like book folds, too, but if someone has never made this kind of dough before, the letter folds are a little less tricky. Susan

    Reply
  2. anne_meanders

    What an inspiration! You have demystified the process with your wonderful photos and straightforward directions … so helpful. This may be my weekend’s (is it really only Monday? Boohoo.) fun. Thank you KAF!

    Reply
  3. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - FMP-FASE- Petrópolis, R.J., BRAZIL

    Croissants are one of the favorite breads i bake always here. I prefer to bake with my own produced dough. We have the facility to buy laminated dough, ready right on supermarket shelves, but nothing compared with home made ones.
    I make my dough here same as Brioche, but with less eggs than Brioches, with excellent unsalted butter. Here, the best one is from a century Brazilian brand we call Aviação, produced since 1920. http://www.laticiniosaviacao.com.br
    The other main ingredient is patience. My laminated dough is folded 5 times after been rolled thin and refrigerated for 3 hours between each folded. It turns superb, nothing compared with some industrialized croissants we find everywhere. I bake one, with cinnamon sugar, sliced fresh bananas and cubes of authentic Petit Suisse cheeses, hmmmmm…..delicious. This kind of filling is amazing to enrich that superb recipe of Naan bread KAF posted for us months ago.
    Nice post….as always!

    Thanks Ricardo! Susan

    Reply
  4. erinhibshman

    Wow. That is all I can really say after reading this! I have never thought about tackling croissants before, but now it’s in my head — maybe I will! I know that whenever I do decide to tackle this, I will be close to my computer so that I can follow these wonderful and amazing directions!! Thank you so much Susan! (And everyone else at KAF too – I cannot tell you how much I enjoy and learn from your website and publications!! :)

    You’re most welcome. Even if you never get to the point of making your own, think about how much more you’ll appreciate the next croissant that comes your way! Susan

    Reply
  5. Bigdogjg

    Thanks for your very clear instructions and photos. I was wondering whether I can substitute milk or water for the eggs – for a friend who is allergic to them?

    I think you could substitute some potato flour and water; add 1/4 cup potato flour or potato flakes to the flour mixture, and use 1 3/4 ounces of milk combined with the water for the liquid. The potato flour will add the tenderness and moisture that the eggs provide, and the milk will help the dough color up nicely. Susan

    Reply
  6. Margy

    I’ve never made croissant or puff pastry dough before because I always envisioned myself getting into the middle and saying “Hmmm, now which way did they fold that?” The visual instructions make it it seem so much easier. I always enjoy Ricardo’s comments. Makes me want to go to Brazil and check out his bakery (another entry for the bucket list)…unless one of you KAF gals would go and check it out for us? You could call it a case of bakery research! ;-D

    I’m sure PJ and I would be more than happy to do a recon mission. I’m glad you liked the steps. Whole lotta rolling for a week to get all the pictures I needed! Susan

    Reply
  7. Sandra (Alicante)

    For the person who needed to substitute the eggs, here is my tried, tested ingredient list- I use 8 oz unsalted butter for the butter block.
    ½ pt cool milk (slightly cool to touch, not fridge cold), 2 ¼ tsp table salt (more if coarse) 2 oz light BROWN sugar, 1 ½ oz softened butter, 1lb 2oz plain flour (10% protein) is optimal, not hard bread flour.1 oz block fresh yeast (crumbled).

    So as you can see, it is not a problem to substitute milk for eggs.

    PS. To your test kitchen – I emailed your bakers with a link to my website with a yummy recipe for Easter!

    Hi, Sandra! I have your recipe in hand, and have definite plans to make them. I adore hot cross buns. Susan

    Reply
  8. fussybritches19

    Yay! A blog about croissants! They’re my favorite thing in the world to bake (and, according to my husband, the tastiest). It’s the perfect baking project for a weekend night when you just want to hang out and watch movies (and hustle into the kitchen to do another fold during a quick intermission). Maybe I’m not reading the instructions carefully enough, but I didn’t see a step for final proofing before baking. If I use this recipe, is that not necessary?
    We always proofed the croissants in the bakery, but we had a proofer with high humidity and controlled temps. Depends partly on whether you’re shaping the croissants and chilling them to bake later or shaping and baking right off. If the dough is soft from being formed, you may want to chill them as the recipe recommends to set up the butter a bit, then bring them out to proof while the oven is heating up. Susan

    Reply
  9. Lori

    Ah! This is so fun! I have taught several friends at various times how to make your laminated yeast dough-it’s so fun to see the photos-I’m right on track! I teach them how to make croissants (both crescent and the chocolate and ham/cheese filled variations, too) and the coffee cake that’s in the Baker’s Companion. That is one of my absolute favorites! I also love how versatile the dough is-freezing it at any stage renders wonderful results. Thanks so much for posting. I’ll have to use this post for my out-of-town friends who can’t make it in for a class! : )

    You’re most welcome, Lori. Glad to know there are folks out there doing the lamination tango! Susan

    Reply
  10. Sandra (Alicante)

    Re my previous post – just thought to check something. The butter block that I use is what we Brits refer to as an 8 oz package, which it used to be before this metric stuff. However, in reality it is 250g, which is a bit heavier.

    Susan – so glad you intend to try my Hot Cross Bun recipe! Feel free to browse my site and see what else takes your fancy!
    If it is not already up there, I’ll post my Easter Biscuit recipe soon, I shall have to bake some to get the pics done.

    Reply
  11. MamaTess

    I was so excited last fall when I found your recipe for pain au chocolat (which received rave reviews), and now this! The photos are fantastic, and I can’t wait to try my hand at these. My husband (and son) adore croissants, as do I, so being able to keep some ready to go in the freezer would be great! Thank you for all your great recipes, tips and ideas!

    Reply
  12. misoranomegami

    FREEZE? You can FREEZE the dough?! *head desk* I have made homemade croissants on one memorable occasion and didn’t get to try any. At 15 and with a couple of loafs of bread under my belt I decided what my mother really needed for Mother’s Day was a wonderful breakfast in bed including homemade croissants. I started at midnight, quickly discovered that we were out of butter and eggs, went to the grocery store where I discovered that you can’t buy eggs after midnight if you’re under 18, got my sister to buy eggs and started around 1:30 am on the actual baking.

    I did no prep, I kept having to wait for things to warm back up or chill back down. I ended up sitting on a stool watching them bake at 7am when my mother woke up and wandered in the kitchen. I handed her the timer with 10 minutes left on it and told her to take them out when it beeped and went and passed out until dinner. And so my mother had to make her own breakfast to go with the coissants and by the time I woke up they were all gone but everyone agreed they were delicious! I still get teased about that.

    Now I’m going to have to try again! And mmm those ham and cheese ones like wonderful….

    Reply
  13. Kate

    Susan – So glad you got this up before the weekend! I have kicked off the KAF Weekend Butterama with The Best Brownies Ever (always a hit) and tomorrow I’m tackling these babies! My question is this: were I to use wheat flour in these, how much of the white would I sub for in order to maintain the mainstays of the croissant? I’m looking forward to making freezer pastries for quick breakfasts. :)
    Hi Kate,
    Susan’s on the road right now, but I let her know about your question. I’m sure she’ll post a reply when she gets back. :)
    ~ MaryJane

    No need to wait! Laptops are wonderful….Kate, if you’re going to add some whole wheat, I strongly recommend using whole wheat pastry flour if you have it. The grind is finer and you’re less likely to shred the dough “envelope” with pastry. If you’re using other whole wheat, you may want to up the moisture a bit so there’s enough in the dough to soak and soften the bran. Have fun! Susan

    Reply
  14. ZenSojourner

    Why specify IDY? If, as I was told on the live chat, there’s no difference between ADY and IDY (which has not been my experience by a long shot), why not just say “any dry yeast”?

    There’s a huge difference even between yeasts labeled the same – I had an ADY that I was using up to a couple weeks ago, which was performing poorly (grocery store label). When I replaced it with Red Star ADY, the Red Star (from Costco in the 2 lb vacuum sealed bag) was noticeably smaller, dissolved more quickly, and performed much better in the 2nd and 3rd rises than the grocery store ADY. There was a very slight difference in the proofing, but both passed a proofing test. Nevertheless they did not perform at all the same – and this was with yeast that is at least nominally “the same” type. Though I’ve not bothered with anything but ADY for about 20 years now, I can’t imagine that IDY performs exactly the same as ADY when I can see such a noticeable difference in different brands of ADY.

    I’m confused – help me out here?

    Here’s something I wrote recently for future publication on our site-

    “What’s the difference between active dry yeast (ADY) and instant yeast?
    “In days gone by there was a significant difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast. Today, the difference is minimal, and the two can be used interchangeably – with slightly different results. Let’s look at ADY first.

    “Active dry yeast: The classic ADY manufacturing process dried live yeast cells quickly, at a high temperature. The result? Only about 30% of the cells survived. Dead cells “cocooned” around the live ones, making it necessary to “proof” the yeast – dissolve it in warm water – before using.

    “These days, ADY is manufactured using a much gentler process, resulting in many more live cells. Thus, it’s no longer necessary to dissolve ADY in warm water before using – feel free to mix it with the dry ingredients, just as you do instant yeast.

    “ADY, compared to instant yeast, is considered more “moderate.” It gets going more slowly, but eventually catches up to instant – think of the tortoise and the hare. Many bread-bakers appreciate the longer rise times ADY encourages; it’s during fermentation of its dough that bread develops flavor.

    “Instant yeast is manufactured to a smaller granule size than ADY. Thus, with more surface area exposed to the liquid in a recipe, it dissolves more quickly, and gets going faster than ADY. While you can proof it if you like, it’s not necessary; like ADY, simply mixing it into your bread dough along with the rest of the dry ingredients works just fine.

    “One caveat: in dough that’s high in sugar (generally, more than ¼ cup sugar per 3 cups of flour), the sugar evens things out, and instant yeast and ADY will perform the same.”

    All of that said, ADY is often purchased in packets, from the grocery store, where oftentimes it’s been mishandled. Despite its “good” expiration date, it may well have sat in a viciously hot warehouse for weeks, which will deteriorate any yeast quickly. Even if it’s in a jar from the grocery, there’s no telling what it’s been through to get there. On the other hand, our experience is that the vacuum-packed bricks of instant yeast are sold at places where the turnover is faster; they also might not be subjected to the same conditions as supermarkets. For instance, our SAF Instant is shipped direct from the manufacturer, no stops along the way; and it goes immediately into cold storage, until we sell it.

    Bottom line: While they might come close to performing the same, given enough rising time, IDY has a better chance of being fresh than ADY. And that makes a huge difference.

    Hope this helps- PJH

    Reply
  15. ZenSojourner

    “Bottom line: While they might come close to performing the same, given enough rising time, IDY has a better chance of being fresh than ADY. And that makes a huge difference. ”

    Well I think you just kind of proved my point – ADY and IDY can’t really be expected to perform the same. So given someone wants to go ahead and use ADY instead of the IDY, what changes might be suggested for the recipe above? More ADY? Longer intermediate rise times?

    Sorry if I’m being obtuse, it just hasn’t been my experience that the 2 are perfectly interchangeable.

    Thanks for addressing this, I know it’s a lot of work for you.

    No problem – that’s absolutely what we’re here for. I always build in more time for ADY, when/if I use it. The longer rise develops flavor, so it’s not a negative. If you don’t want to add more rising time, then yeah, increase the amount of yeast. Some people automatically do that anyway, as they love the “old fashioned” super-yeasty taste and smell of lots of manufactured yeast. PJH

    Reply
  16. dehdahdoh

    WOW is all I have to say! The flavor is phenomenal, they were crispy and flakey and easy to make. My husband is crazy about them! I have never made any kind of laminated dough let alone croissants. This was quite an adventure, I never thought it was possible that I could make something like this and be successful.
    I did have a little bit of trouble. I baked them as recommended, using the convection setting. Because I was using convection so I lowered the temp to 400 and for 15 min.; I then reduced the heat to 325 and baked for 15 min. The croissants in the first pan I baked were all overdone and some of them were burnt. The second pan I reduced the amount of time while baking at 325 degrees by aporx.7 minutes. These were also overdone and at the cusp of being burnt as well; but in better shape than the first pan. What would you recommend for baking time and or temperature adjustment to avoid them being overdone? Is there an internal temperature that they should reach or is it not possible to temp due to the loftiness of the dough?
    It was stated in the blog that you could freeze the croissants. I assume that they are frozen before they are baked. That was what the pictures indicated, I think. When you take the croissants out to bake, do they go into the hot oven frozen or do you thaw them first? I also assume that the baking would be according to the direction in the recipe. Is this correct?

    If this is the first time you’ve made this recipe in your home oven, then you’ve seen first hand the adjustments you need to make to get your own picture perfect results. You were so smart to do a test bake and adjust – this recipe needs even more temperature adjustment for your oven. Turning down the heat even more should work, but be sure to do another test bake. You might even consider checking your oven temperature to see if it is running hot for all baking.
    Sure, you can freeze the shaped dough! Freeze up to 2 weeks and thaw overnight before the bake. Bake as directed in the recipe or blog post. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  17. neesha

    I recently made croissants combining your recipe from this (http://willowbirdbaking.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/secret-garden-recipe-homemade-buttery-croissants-and-pains-au-chocolat/) recipe from Willow Bird Baking. Basically, I was using whichever recipe accommodated what I had on hand and what I had time for. The final results were PERFECT. We made plain, pain au chocolate, ham & swiss, and almond paste-filled. None survived the week.

    My question, though, is if you have any experience with butter alternatives for making croissants? My uncle is allergic to casein, which is a protein in all milk, regardless of whether it’s cow or goat. I’ve recently stumbled upon vegan butter in cubes that I’m tempted to try. I was also wondering if the butter flavored Crisco or a combination of the Crisco and a vegan buttery spread would work. Thoughts?

    A non butter fat may be used. However it must be of the same consistency, it must be plastic. Spreads will not perform. I would start this experiment with Crisco. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  18. "Mike Nolan"

    Great article, Susan, but I was hoping you’d include some of what happened when you came to Kansas City to show us how to make laminated doughs.

    Even though just about every thing went wrong that could have gone wrong, those croissants were still mighty good, weren’t they?

    Reply
  19. JJ

    Great recipe! So easy and simple! The results, fantastic! I thank you, but I can’t say the same for my waistline! Sigh!

    Reply
  20. cherieI

    Just wanted to say “thank you” for this great post! I followed this right along with my ipad in the kitchen, and it turned out exactly! I put a little Nuttella in the croissants and they were AMAZING same as the ham and cheese, I put a tiny bit of dijon mustard inside with the ham and cheese-super yummy!
    I really appreciate how you break down recipes, I have learned so much from KAF experts!!

    We aim to please, Cherie – and Susan certainly made croissants accessible, didn’t she? PJH

    Reply
  21. jessieloo

    I have a question, even though I’m only in the middle of making my Croissants today…
    I put the butter inlay in, did my first two turns, but have noticed that my dough feels VERY different this time, it’s very soft and easy to roll, while the other times it’s been very hard to roll out, springing back with me having to pull and tug to get it to the correct measurements. It’s also sticky after the 30 minutes in the fridge, so I added more flour to the table while rolling it out, so I’m guessing I added less flour this time while mixing.

    My questions about the difference between the doughs. For the hard to roll out dough – Could I have added too much flour? Maybe kneaded it too long? Maybe left it in the fridge too long for the first rise? I’m thinking I kneaded it 10-15 minutes before.

    I used the blog directions today and they are a little different than the recipe directions…in the beginning with adding all the ingredients in the mixer right away, while in the recipe you let the sponge sit while you do the butter, then finish the sponge. Could this have made a difference? I did as the Blog said and added all the ingredients in the beginning. I’m also wondering if maybe my water wasn’t warm enough?

    I have a feeling the Croissants will be great either way, but am very curious as to why the dough is so soft and easy to roll out today and would love your opinion…Thanks!
    Hi there,
    From what you are describing, it does sound like you’ve had too much flour in the dough with previous batches. Too much flour makes for drier dough and that is always harder to work with. Sounds like you hit it right on the money this time, so I’d stick with the method and amounts you used for this particular batch. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  22. cookie&co

    Hi,
    I need help with the rolling technique.
    1. I did apply a few light even strokes on the dough to make sure the butter adheres a bit to the dough before rolling. After I roll, the dough seems to be stretched to the top and the bottom, leaving the thin layer of the dough or sometimes the dough was all around like borders. The consistency of the butter was ok. The butter was well sheeted and spread nicely but the dough itself tended to be pushed to the top/ bottom n sometimes on the sides.
    2. After I folded the dough, when it came to the next rolling, it was not sheeted well. Instead of making a nice sharp rim, the bottom layers tended to stretch out more and create an uneven rim.
    Could u please explain the rolling technique to make sure that all the layers are rolled out evenly?
    I watched this Video, without any understanding.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=JpIx0th5tgg
    Thank you so much
    Cookie
    I think your dough may be too warm when you are laminating and rolling and your rolling pin may be a bit too heavy. I think having the dough at a better temperature will help you achieve that even rim. ~Amy

    Reply
  23. rodsterrod23

    I just made the ham and cheese croissant version and they turned out very good. I love spinach and would love to try the spinach filling. Susan, will you please share the spinach filling recipe you used?
    Hi! I’m so glad you had success with the recipe. Here’s the spinach filling formula:
    Spinach Croissant Filling
    1 (10 ounce) package frozzen chopped spinache, thawed and squeezed dry
    1/4 cup (2 ounces) garlic herb cheese, such as boursin
    1/2 cup (2 ounces) Swiss cheese, grated
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped garlic (optional)
    Combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. Use 2 1/2 tablespoons of filling for each pastry. Can be stored, covered int he refrigerator, for up to a week, or frozen for up to 2 months. Yield: 1 generous cup, enough to fill 6 croissants or turnovers.

    Susan

    Reply
  24. mavigilmore

    I am about to make my fourth turn and am wondering how to adjust for the danish scenario. My husband is addicted to Zaro’s danish with loads of walnuts and raisins and I am trying to recreate it here.
    I am looking for cooking time for a classic angel food cake pan.
    Also can I fill and refrigerate or is it best to let the dough rest overnight and then fill and bake. I am a novice but very excited about this recipe.
    Thanks for being here!
    Mavi

    The Danish Adjustment, is purely spices for a more flavorful dough. Typically Angel Food Cakes bake at 325 degrees, for about 40-45 minutes. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  25. sohn

    Wow. Mine are baking the oven. They smell and look amazing. I’ve tried so many different recipes to make croissants and they never justified the time put in to make them vs what came out of the oven. I started your recipe last night and my family will have fresh croissants this (weekday) morning! Thanks!!!

    Great! So glad you finally took the leap into croissants – I know you’ll be pleased with the results. PJH

    Reply
  26. sweetthang1972

    So you didn’t proof the croissants before baking? I was surprised to see that you shaped them, refrigerated them and then baked immediately. Am I understanding this correctly?

    You are understanding this correctly, the recipe as written does not need an extended rising period for the croissants themselves!-Jon

    Reply
  27. gobluem82

    Just wanted to say that I made these with my 16-year-old son over the holiday break. His girlfriend was quite impressed! It was a fun project to do together and was easier than I expected. The good news is that half of the dough is still in the freezer to enjoy some other time! Thanks, as usual, for taking the mystery out of the process with your photos and instructions.
    I’m so glad to hear you had fun together. Can’t wait to hear what you make with the rest of the dough. Ham and cheese maybe? ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  28. suki maman

    I love this post and can relate to it:
    I’m out here in Siberia, developing recipes, including croissants, often at night.
    I know what you mean about the ‘Twilight Zone’ and the ‘Witching Hour’.
    sometimes I work alone in a production facility that looks like that place out of the film ‘SAW’ and it is SCARY as hell – can’t wait to get out of there.
    Other nights I am way to busy to think about zombies outside…
    The first few days of croissant trials gave me brioche-like textures, tasted great, but not what I needed. Gradually, I am getting things flakier and more developed – the biggest change for me was the butter.
    Thanks for the post!

    Glad we could help, Suki – stay warm! PJH

    Reply
  29. Chris I.

    Buttery, flakey, mmmmm! The description of the heavenly scent inspired me to try this recipe and I smiled at the results. Moist, buttery interior, good rise and form. The tips edited into the article for turning the dough 90 degrees, etc. helped get good crescent form.

    Reply
  30. Eileen E

    Is there a limit to how long I can refrigerate the croissants after I shape them. I would like to shape them at night and then bake them in the morning?

    Reply

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