Homemade Croissants Recipe

Learn how to make croissants! If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at those delicious, buttery, flaky French pastries, this step-by-step tutorial loaded with tons of pictures and a video, will walk you through exactly how to do it. These classic pastries aren’t difficult, they just take a little advance planning; once you make them at home you’ll never want to get store-bought again!

Croissants on a cutting board with one broken in half.

Welcome to the August BEB Bake-Along! I first made croissants at home nearly 12 years ago and it felt like such a massive accomplishment! I couldn’t believe that I was able to produce amazingly flaky pastries just like those I had enjoyed at the best bakeries.

The original recipe that I made came from the Tartine cookbook; while it was delicious, it also required a preferment and since learning and experimenting with more croissant recipes, I found that it was an unnecessary step. This current iteration takes ratios, steps, and techniques from a combination of that original recipe, a slightly different Tartine recipe published in Saveur, and Weekend Bakery.

I hope you’ll join us this month in baking up these phenomenal croissants!

It’s a kitchen project that will make you feel like an absolute superhero at the end! You will be rewarded with the most amazing, ultra-flaky French croissants that you won’t be able to stop eating (I know from experience).

A pile of homemade croissants on a cutting board.

How croissants are made from scratch

You’ll hear croissants referred to as a labor of love not necessarily because they are difficult, but because you have to do some advance planning and complete it over a few days.

Let’s talk through the steps!

Make the Dough

This is super quick and takes only 10 or 15 minutes from start to finish. You’ll add all of the ingredients to a mixer and knead for a few minutes to get everything worked together so the gluten can start working.

Croissant dough in mixing bowl and then on a plate.

Make the Butter Block

To make our butter block, we gently pound out sticks of butter into a square and then refrigerate it to firm up a bit while we roll out the dough.

I’ve tried doing this step by beating butter and spreading it into a square, but I’ve found using cold sticks of butter and pounding them out a bit to result in a butter block that is more cohesive, easier to chill, and doesn’t melt into the dough.

Step-by-step photos for pounding a butter block.

Finishing making the butter block.

Laminate the Dough

This is the process by which the butter block gets incorporated into the dough and creates all of those magical flaky layers! You will sometimes see these steps referred to as “turns”.

First, the butter block is placed on top of the dough and covered so that it is completely encased in the dough.

Butter block getting encased in croissant dough.

Then it is rolled out into a rectangle and folded in thirds letter-style. That is considered a turn.

This is repeated twice more after resting the dough in the refrigerator after each turn, and after the third, it is finally left to rest in the refrigerator overnight.

Rolling and folding croissant dough.

Finishing one turn for laminating the dough.

Cut and Shape the Croissants

The day has come! The dough gets rolled out into a long rectangle and cut into triangles.

Croissant dough cut into triangles.

Then, they are rolled up and you can do this one of two ways:

  1. You can cut a slit in the base of the triangle and roll it up with the edges curved to create a crescent or moon-shaped croissant.
  2. Do a straight roll, which is the more traditional, French-style croissant.

Rolling up and shaping croissants.

Proof the Croissants

Once the croissants are all rolled up, they are left to rise on baking sheets until wonderfully puffy, which can take a good couple of hours depending on the air temperature and humidity level in your kitchen.

It’s important to not rush this step; if they are baked before fully proofed, they will be denser and not as flaky.

Croissants on baking sheet while proofing.

Bake the Croissants

Hallelujah, the time has come!

It only takes about 20 minutes to get beautifully browned croissants; be sure that they feel light when you pick them up – that is the key indicator that they are baked through on the inside and will be airy and light when you bite into them.

The best butter to use

Using high-quality, high-fat, European-style butter will result in the absolute flakiest, best-tasting croissants you can make at home.

I recommend using one of these brands, which should be easy to find in most grocery stores:

  • Kerrygold (my favorite!)
  • Plugra
  • Presidente

Croissants stacked together on a wooden cutting board.

Croissant-making schedule

Croissants actually require very little hands-on time to complete, but there is a lot of chilling and resting steps to ensure the dough is properly laminating with the butter for all of those beautiful flaky layers!

This is the ideal schedule for getting your croissant baking on:

Day 1: Mix together the dough (15 minutes hands-on time).

Day 2: Prepare the butter block and laminate the dough.

Day 3: Shape, proof, and bake the croissants!

I actually love how it’s easily broken up into these nuggets of time because it allows you to be able to have fresh croissants ready for a brunch or lunch if you shape first thing in the morning on Day 3.

Recipe tips

  • Cold, Cold, Cold! – The key to working with laminated dough is keeping it as cold as possible. If you have a marble slab and/or rolling pin, use those for working with the dough. If the dough seems to get too warm or you have butter squeezing through while you are rolling/folding, transfer the dough to the refrigerator and allow it to chill, then continue.
  • Make-Ahead Instructions – Croissants are perfect for assembling ahead of time, per the schedule listed out above. However, there are a couple of spots where you can stop and freeze the dough. After Day 2, you can wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then proceed with the recipe.
  • Freezing Instructions – To freeze the croissants unbaked, place the shaped croissants on baking sheets and place in the freezer until solid, at least 2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then remove to proofing and baking (step #10). To freeze the croissants baked, allow them to cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on the countertop at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat to your liking.
  • Shelf Life – Croissants are absolutely, positively best eaten the day they are freshly baked. Nothing can come close to the shatteringly crisp, flaky layers. However, they can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Reheating Leftovers – While you can warm up leftover croissants in the microwave, to best recapture that fresh croissant flavor and texture, I recommend reheating in a 350-degree oven or toaster oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Bake more pastries!

JOIN THE BEB BAKE-ALONG!

To tackle croissants and bake along with me this month, simply do the following:

  • Make the croissants!
  • Snap a picture and either share it on social media (#BEBbakealong on Instagram or Twitter), upload it to the BEB Facebook group, or email it to me.
  • Check-in on Instagram and Facebook throughout the month to see everyone’s croissants and cheer each other on!
  • You can view all past bake-along recipes here.

Two halves of a croissant stacked on top of each other.

If you make these croissants and love them, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating below. Thank you so much! ❤️️

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Servings 10 croissants
Prep 1 hour
Cook 20 minutes
Resting time 10 hours
Total 11 hours 20 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine: French
Author: Michelle

If you've always wanted to learn how to make croissants, this step-by-step tutorial loaded with tons of pictures and a video, will walk you through exactly how to do it.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • cups
    all-purpose flour
  • cup
    water
  • cup
    whole milk
  • cup
    sugar
  • 3
    tablespoons
    unsalted butter
    (at room temperature)
  • 4
    teaspoons
    instant yeast
  • teaspoons
    salt
    ( )

Butter Block

  • 11
    ounces
    unsalted butter
    (cold)

Egg wash:

  • 1
    egg
  • 2
    teaspoons
    heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Make the Dough: Place all of the ingredients for the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix and knead on low for 3 minutes, until the dough has just come together. Shape the dough into a disc and plate on a plate or small baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

  2. Make the Butter Block: Cut the butter lengthwise and arrange in a rough 6-inch square on a piece of parchment paper. Cover with an additional piece of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to pound the butter into an 8-inch square. Trim and straighten the edges, and put the trimmings on the top of the square. Pound lightly into a 7-inch square. Wrap in the parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.

  3. Laminate the Dough: Roll the dough into a 10-inch square. Arrange the square so that a straight side is facing you. Place the butter block on top of the dough at a 45-degree angle so it looks like a diamond, with a point of the butter block facing you. Fold a flap of dough over the butter so the point of the dough reaches the center. Repeat with the other three flaps to fully enclose the butter. You may need to stretch the dough a bit to cover all of the butter; lightly press the edges to seal the seams together.

  4. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough out into an 8x14-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds letter-style, place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  5. Repeat gently rolling the dough out into an 8x14-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds letter-style, place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  6. Again, roll the dough out into an 8x14-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds letter-style, place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

  7. Shape the Croissants: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

  8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a 12x40-inch rectangle. Using a pizza wheel or chef’s knife, cut the dough into long triangles that measures 10 to 12 inches along the side and 4 inches along the base.

  9. Working with one at a time, gently stretch the triangles to elongate them by about an inch. Cut a small slit at the wide end of the triangle then, starting at the base, roll each tightly, yet gently, all the way up, making sure to tuck the tip underneath the bottom of the croissant.

  10. Proof the Croissants: Transfer the croissants, evenly spaced, on the prepared baking sheets (5 to a sheet) and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place in a warm and humid spot until they have doubled in size, look puffy, and jiggle slightly if you carefully shake the baking sheet, about 2 hours.

  11. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  12. Make the Egg Wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and heavy cream.

  13. Once the oven is preheated, gently brush the croissants with the egg wash and let sit for 10 minutes.

  14. Bake the Croissants: Bake the croissants, one pan at a time, for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until evenly deep golden brown.

  15. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes:

  • Butter - I recommend a high-fat, European-style butter such as Kerrygold, Plugra, or Presidente.
  • Cold, Cold, Cold! - The key to working with laminated dough is keeping it as cold as possible. If you have a marble slab and/or rolling pin, use those for working with the dough. If the dough seems to get too warm or you have butter squeezing through while you are rolling/folding, transfer the dough to the refrigerator and allow it to chill, then continue.
  • Make-Ahead Instructions - Croissants are perfect for assembling ahead of time, per the schedule listed out above. However, there are a couple of spots where you can stop and freeze the dough. After Day 2, you can wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then proceed with the recipe.
  • Freezing Instructions - To freeze the croissants unbaked, place the shaped croissants on baking sheets and place in the freezer until solid, at least 2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then remove to proofing and baking (step #10). To freeze the croissants baked, allow them to cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on the countertop at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat to your liking.
  • Shelf Life - Croissants are absolutely, positively best eaten the day they are freshly baked. Nothing can come close to the shatteringly crisp, flaky layers. However, they can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Reheating Leftovers - While you can warm up leftover croissants in the microwave, to best recapture that fresh croissant flavor and texture, I recommend reheating in a 350-degree oven or toaster oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Nutrition:

Calories: 531kcal
Fat: 31g
Saturated fat: 19g
Cholesterol: 95mg
Sodium: 603mg
Potassium: 144mg
Carbohydrates: 55g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar: 8g
Protein: 9g
Vitamin A: 949%
Calcium: 40%
Iron: 3%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

[Photography by Dee of One Sarcastic Baker]