Homemade Croissants

Homemade Croissants Recipe

There is nothing quite as blissful as indulging in a slightly warm, flakey, and super buttery homemade croissant. That characteristic golden brown and crispy exterior is perfectly balanced by the ultra soft and tender interior, a texture craving that only a croissant can satisfy. Croissant dough is considered a laminated dough, meaning that the dough is layered with lots of butter to produce that flakey pastry texture. Croissants are different than puff pastry, another laminated dough, because the dough contains yeast. The process of laminating the dough requires quite a few steps, but they mostly repeat themselves. I’m going to show you step-by-step how you can make croissants at home; it’s not as intimidating as it sounds and can actually be a fun challenge!

Homemade Croissants Recipe

The steps for making croissants are not too difficult individually; they just require patience and a little upper body strength. Croissants are best made in a cool kitchen and they require a large amount of counter-space to roll out the dough. Make sure to save room in your fridge and freezer for the various chilling times required to laminate the dough. Also have a yardstick or measuring tape handy, croissant making requires precision.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Get all your ingredients together, along with a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. I prefer to use a high protein all-purpose flour such as the King Arthur brand, and a European-style butter with a higher butterfat content, such as Kerrygold or Plugra brands. Don’t substitute active dry yeast for the instant yeast which is sometimes called rapid-rise yeast.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the milk. Be sure to use cold whole milk, it will bring the temperature of the melted butter down so it won’t be too hot for the yeast.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Add in the instant yeast, whisking to combine.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Add the butter mixture to the bowl of the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer along with the flour, sugar, and salt. Knead on low speed until the dough forms a cohesive ball, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead for another minute, or until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky to the touch. The KitchenAid® Stand Mixer makes kneading quick and easy, allowing you to save your strength for rolling out the cold croissant dough!

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and shape into a 10 by 7-inch rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

While the dough is chilling, prepare the butter block. The butter needs to be shaped into a square that will be enveloped by the dough to begin laminating it. Cut the sticks of butter into logs and place between two large pieces of parchment paper.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Use a rolling pin to beat the butter until it begins to flatten and becomes more pliable, shaping it into an 8-inch square of even thickness. Trim the edges if necessary to achieve a square, lightly pounding the trimmed pieces back into the square. Wrap the square in the parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 17 by 8-inch rectangle. Remove the butter square from the fridge, making sure it is pliable but cold. If not, chill in the refrigerator for longer.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Let’s begin laminating the dough. Place the butter square in the center of the dough and fold the 2 sides over the butter so they meet in the center.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Seal the edges of the dough together with your fingers to ensure the butter will stay inside the dough.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Rotate the dough 90 degrees so the seam is vertical and perpendicular with the counter. Using the rolling pin, press firmly on the dough to elongate it slightly. Roll the dough out lengthwise until it is 24-inches long and 8-inches wide. Be sure the work surface remains well floured so the dough won’t stick and tear. Use a pastry brush to brush away any excess flour off the dough.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Starting at the bottom, fold the dough into thirds like a business letter, making sure to brush away any excess flour that might prevent the dough folds from adhering to each other. The dough should be an 8-inch square. You just completed your first “turn!” Each turn is what adds those flakey, buttery layers in the finished croissants.

Now we need to complete a second turn. Roll the dough out again into a 24 by 8-inch rectangle and fold into thirds again. Wrap the dough with plastic and freeze for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough once more into a 24 by 8-inch rectangle and fold into thirds. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours. Transfer the dough to the freezer for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into an 18 by 16-inch rectangle with the long side facing you. If the dough springs back, fold it loosely into thirds, wrap in plastic, and return to the freezer for 10 minutes.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Fold the dough in half lengthwise. Mark the dough with a bench scraper at 3-inch intervals along the bottom edge for a total of 5 marks. At the top of the dough, move in 1 1/2 inches from the left then mark out 3-inch intervals for a total of six marks. Use a knife to cut the dough into triangles from mark to mark. Unfold the dough triangles and cut into single triangles.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Cut a 1/2-inch notch into the center of the short side of each triangle. This will help to create the crescent shape.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Gently elongate each triangle, bring careful not to squeeze for compress the dough.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Hold both sides around the notch down and roll the croissant in towards the pointed edge. Once halfway rolled, hold the pointed end down, stretching slightly, and use the palm of your hand to finish rolling. Curve the ends gently towards each other.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

At this point you can fill the dough with about a 1/2 ounce of chocolate or a small mound of grated cheese. I like to use the end scraps from the triangle cut outs that aren’t perfectly shaped to fill with chocolate or cheese.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

Place the croissants on large parchment-lined or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart. Lightly wrap the sheets with plastic. MAKE AHEAD: At this point the wrapped croissants can be frozen until sold, about 2 hours, then transferred to airtight containers to store in the freezer. To bake the frozen croissants, continue with rising, adding an additional hour or two to thaw.

Let the croissants stand at room temperature until almost doubled in size, at least 2 hours. If time and refrigerator space permits, refrigerate the croissants overnight to retard the rising for best flavor development. Remove the trays from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon cold water and a pinch of salt. Gently brush the croissants with the egg wash. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and bake for 11 to 12 minutes, or until just starting to brown slightly. Rotate the sheets and continue baking until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the croissants to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

I hope these step-by-step photos will inspire you to take on the challenge of making homemade croissants. There is really nothing better than the sheer joy of biting into something impressively delicious that you created with your own two hands! Have you ever made croissants? What’s your favorite dough to make with your KitchenAid® Stand Mixer? I’d love to hear from you!

Homemade Croissants Recipe

 

Croissants

Makes 22 croissants

INGREDIENTS

For the dough

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 3/4 cup cold whole milk

4 teaspoons instant yeast

4 1/4 cups (21 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably King Arthur brand

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

For the butter block

3 sticks (16 ounces) cold unsalted European-style butter, such as Kerrygold

For the egg wash

1 large egg

DIRECTIONS

For the dough

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Turn off the heat and stir in the cold milk. Whisk in the yeast. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a KitchenAid stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Knead on low speed until the dough forms a cohesive ball. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead for another minute, or until the dough is smooth?. Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and shape into a 10-inch by 7-inch rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Make the butter block

Meanwhile, cut the sticks of butter lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick logs. Place the logs between two large pieces of parchment paper. With a rolling pin, beat the butter until it begins to flatten slightly, becomes more pliable, and adheres to the parchment paper. Using more force, continue pounding the butter, shaping it into an 8-inch square. Trim the edges if necessary then lightly pound them back into the square. Refrigerate butter square for at least 45 minutes.

Laminate the dough

Place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 17-inch by 8-inch rectangle. Place the butter square in the center of the dough. Fold 2 sides of the dough over the butter square so they meet in the center. Press the seam together with your fingertips to seal then rotate 90 degrees. Using a rolling pin, press firmly on the dough to elongate it slightly. Roll the dough out lengthwise until it is 24 inches long and 8 inches wide. Use a pastry brush to brush away any excess flour on the dough. Starting at the bottom, fold the dough into thirds like a business letter. The dough should be an 8-inch square. Roll the dough out again into a 24-inch by 8-inch rectangle and fold into thirds again. Wrap the dough with plastic and freeze for 30 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll out once more into a 24 by 8-inch rectangle and fold into thirds. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Transfer the dough to the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll into an 18 by 16-inch rectangle with the long side facing you. If dough springs back, fold it loosely in thirds, wrap with plastic, and return to the freezer for 10 minutes. Fold the dough in half lengthwise. Use a ruler to mark the dough at 3-inch intervals along the bottom edge for a total of five marks. At the top of the dough, move in 1 1/2 inches from the left then mark out 3-inch intervals for a total of six marks. Use a pastry wheel or knife to cut the dough into triangles from mark to mark. Cut a 1/2 inch notch into the center of the short side of each triangle.

Gently elongate each triangle, being careful not to squeeze or compress. At this point you can fill the dough with a 1/2 ounce or 1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality chopped chocolate or a small mound of grated cheese. Hold both sides around the notch down and roll the croissant in towards the pointed end. Once halfway rolled, hold the pointed end down, stretching out gently, and use the palm of your hand to finish rolling into a tight crescent shape. Curve the ends gently towards one another until touching. Divide the croissants among 3 large parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving at least 2 1/2-inches between croissants. Lightly wrap the sheets with plastic. At this point the wrapped croissants frozen until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer the frozen croissants to an airtight container and freezer for up to 2 months. Continue with rising, adding on an additional hour or two to thaw.

Let stand until almost doubled in size at least 2 hours. If time permits and room permits, refrigerate the croissants overnight for best flavor development. Remove the trays from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a small bowl beat the egg and 1 teaspoon cold water with a pinch of salt. Gently brush the croissants with the egg wash. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate sheets and continue baking until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the croissants to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. Croissants can stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 7 to 10 minutes until hot.

Homemade Croissants Recipe

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*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*

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  • Pierre Moatti

    Arguably the most comprehensive recipe I ever tried. We nailed them. Lots of work but so worth the effort. Thank you.

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