Baker's Croissants

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Hands-on time:
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Yield: 24 croissants

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A Croissant de Boulanger is a baker's croissant, made from puff pastry dough that includes yeast. The dough is laminated (folded around a slab of butter, then rolled out and folded to create hundreds of layers), cut, shaped, and proofed before baking. The result is an amazing pastry that can be filled with sweet (chocolate, almond, cinnamon) or savory (ham and cheese, spinach) flavors. With the addition of some spices (see the tips section), this dough can be used to make Danish as well.

Baker's Croissants

star rating (39) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 24 croissants
Published: 02/07/2011

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 large eggs plus enough warm water to make 2 cups of liquid (16 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk (optional)
  • 1 scant tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional; for sweet pastry)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Butter

  • 1 7/8 cups unsalted butter, cool to the touch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Tips from our bakers

  • Adding flour to the butter inlay helps to stabilize it, so the butter won't flow out the seams of the dough as it's being rolled.
  • Bubbles and leaks: It's not unusual to have air trapped inside your laminated dough. If this happens, simply pop the bubble with a toothpick and press the dough down to lie flat. If there's a bare spot where butter is coming through, dust the leak with flour, pressing down lightly so it sticks, and continue on with the fold. Refrigerate the dough as soon as the fold is done, to firm it up.
  • As you work, keep the dough, work surface, and your rolling pin well dusted with flour. Turn over the dough from time to time. As you roll, you tend to expand the top layers more than the bottom. By flipping the dough over, you'll even that out. Before folding the dough over on itself, use your pastry brush to sweep off excess flour. This will help the dough stick to itself after folding, so the layers don't slide around.
  • Have a little water on hand; don't be afraid to brush the corners of the dough with it, to tack the dough in place.
  • You can make rectangular, filled croissants, too. See our blog for step by step instructions on how to do this. Fill croissants with ham and cheese, spinach, or use our pain au chocolate sticks for a special treat.
  • When rolling the dough, especially for the first time, be sure the dough and butter are at the same consistency; this will make rolling much smoother and the layers will be more even.
  • To make Danish from this dough, add 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves to the dough when mixing. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as shown until the dough is finished.

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

1) For the dough: Make a sponge by cracking the eggs into a 2-cup liquid measure and adding enough warm water to equal 2 cups. Beat until blended, and pour into a large mixing bowl. You can also put the sponge into the bucket of your bread machine, set on the dough cycle. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar, 3 cups of the flour, and the yeast. Mix until well blended. Cover and set aside.

2) For the butter: While the yeast begins its work, set up the butter inlay. Mix the butter and 1/2 cup flour just until the mixture is smooth and well blended (no hard lumps). You can do this with a mixer, a food processor, or with a spoon, by hand. Be careful not to beat the mixture at high speed; you don't want to incorporate any air. Lightly flour a piece of plastic wrap, place the butter mixture on it, and use a dough scraper to pat it into an 8-inch square. Wrap the butter and put it in the refrigerator on a flat surface for at least 30 minutes.

3) Finish the dough: Stir the vanilla, if using, and the melted butter into the sponge. Whisk together the remaining 2 1/2 cups of the remaining flour, the rest of the sugar, the dry milk, and the salt. Add to the sponge and mix until you have a soft but kneadable dough, either by hand, in your mixer, or using the dough cycle of your bread machine. Check the dough after kneading for 4 to 5 minutes, adding more of the measured flour if the dough is still sticky.

4) Once the dough is smooth and elastic, pat it into a square shape, wrap it loosely and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

5) Rolling in: Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and put it on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it into a square about 12 inches across. Unwrap the butter slab and place it in the center of the dough at a 45° angle, so it looks like a diamond in the square.

6) Fold the flaps of the dough over the edges of the butter until they meet in the middle. Pinch and seal the edges of the dough together; moisten your fingers with a little water, if necessary.

7) Dust the top with flour, then turn the dough over and tap it gently with the rolling pin into a rectangular shape. Pick up the dough to make sure it isn't sticking underneath, dusting under with more flour if necessary, then roll from the center out until you have a rectangle 20 inches long by 10 inches wide.

8) When you've reached the proper size, take a dry brush and lightly sweep off any excess flour, then fold the bottom third of the dough up to the center, and the top third over that (like a business letter). Line the edges up on top of each other, and even up the corners so they're directly on top of each other. Take a dab of water if you need to, to tack the corners together. You've now made your first "turn."

9) Turn the dough package 90° to the right, so it looks like a book ready to be opened. If the dough is still cool to the touch and relaxed, do another rolling and turning the same way. Make a note of how many folds you've completed and the time, and wrap the dough. Return it to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Repeat the above folding and turning process one more time, for a total of four turns. Once completed, wrap the dough well and refrigerate it for at least an hour, and preferably overnight before using.

10) Shaping the croissants: Using half the dough at a time, roll it to a 12" x 18" rectangle. Trim the edges of the dough on every edge using a ruler and pizza wheel. This cuts off the folded edges that would inhibit the "puff." Cut the dough in thirds lengthwise and in half through the middle. This will give you six 4" x 9" pieces. Cut each piece in half diagonally, and arrange them so the points of the triangles are facing away from you. It's okay to stretch them out gently to elongate them when you do this. Cut a 1/2" notch in the short edge of the triangle.

11) If you want to, this is the time to place a teaspoon of filling at the base of the triangle. Roll up the dough, starting with the notched edge and working toward the point. Make sure the point is tucked under the bottom of the croissant. If you have to stretch the dough a little to make that happen, it's okay. You can also use a drop of water on the tip to help it stay in place. Form the crescent by bending the ends toward the center where the tip is tucked underneath. Place the croissants on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. You could also freeze the unbaked pastries at this point.

12) To bake the croissants: Take the croissants out of the refrigerator, and preheat the oven to 425°F. While the oven is heating, brush the tops of the croissants with an egg well-beaten with 1 tablespoon of water.

13) When the oven is hot, bake the croissants for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven's temperature to 350°F and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. The croissants should be a deep golden brown, even where the dough overlaps; you don't want any raw dough in the center. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 croissant, 65g Servings Per Batch: 24 croissants Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228 Calories from Fat: 125 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 51mg Sodium: 254mg Total Carbohydrate: 22g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 2g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Reviews

1 234  All  
  • star rating 04/14/2015
  • Sophie from Sherbrooke
  • Quite a bit of work but totally worth it. My husband said they tasted exactly like french croissants: buttery and flaky. I wouldn't change a single thing to this recipe (even if they do take a long time to make). I don't often rate a recipe but those croissants were simply just too good to not say anything about them.
  • star rating 04/04/2015
  • 1321lolo from KAF Community
  • Great recipe- they came out beautiful. For the second batch I cooked 5 min less at 350 because they were so brown and crunchy on the exterior at 15 minutes. I made half plain croissants and the other half ham and swiss cheese "sandwiches". Dough was difficult to roll out after refrigeration overnight. The scraps were delicious- added butter, cinnamon, and sugar to the pieces and braided them then spiral into a circle
  • star rating 01/17/2015
  • Lyn_F from KAF Community
  • This was not difficult at all. I made up half the dough to see how they came out. A bit small - I'll make them bigger when I use the second half of the dough. But, they were delicious and flaky! I used some of the leftover bits to make a cinnamon filled pastry - yum!
  • star rating 12/18/2014
  • Smriti from WA
  • This was the very first time I tried to make croissants and I used this recipe (because lately I've found that KAF recipes are spot on). The croissants turned out fabulous!! They looked and tasted so professional! We loved them! Since it's just the two of us, I halved the recipe and made more of a mini croissant. I got almost 30 mini croissants out of the batch! There's no denying that it requires a lot of effort but it's worth it!
  • star rating 12/06/2014
  • ruthpielady from KAF Community
  • No comparison to those packaged croissants you get at the grocery store. Quite a bit of work, especially the final roll out and getting the measurements correct to cut them out just right. So, so flaky and buttery. I made half with ham and cheese and half with raspberry jam and chocolate. For the scraps, I made them into spiral type rolls, brushed with egg, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. All of these were fantastic. Recipe was easy to follow and easy ingredients you usually have in your home. Thanks for the recipe.
  • star rating 08/18/2014
  • mncicchetti from KAF Community
  • Excellent recipe. It takes some time, but the directions are easy to follow and well worth the time. Mine were not all the same size, I did have a little bit of a hard time rolling the dough out to the expected dimensions. It all worked out, there were big ones for my husband, and smaller ones for me, of course, watching my figure ;)
    Kudos to you for taking the time and effort to make Baker's Croissant. The time and effort and not for the faint of heart, but the results make those investments so worthwhile! Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/27/2013
  • hgreenberg from KAF Community
  • I took the "Lofty Layers" course at King Arthur (highly recommended. Just happened upon this recipe, and I appreciate some of the additional tips, such as the final roll, adding flour to the butter, eliminating excess flour before folding and others. I will incorporate these into what I have already been doing.
  • star rating 12/03/2013
  • Kelly from Texas
  • I agree with the other reviewers in that there needs to be additional salt. If you were making sweet croissants, I wouldn't add any extra salt. Thanks for putting in the instructions to wipe away excess flour. Seems like such a simple and common sense thing to do. But I have neglected to do this when using other recipes and after rolling and baking the croissants wouldn't stay together in the rolled parts. (Basically I wanted to slice in half to make a sandwich and it would fall apart before) Now I just need to master making them look prettier :)
  • star rating 11/28/2013
  • missy from pittsburgh, pa
  • First timer with this type of dough! really good I agree with another reviewer could use salt even though I used salted butter - Also i didn't brush tops w/ butter but i will next time mine were a little to flakey Note:I only used half the dough - I just used the other half and made apple strudel with it for day after Thansgiving quick breakfast OMG! It worked awesome as strudel dough! So good! give it a try!
  • star rating 08/19/2013
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