Homemade Croissants

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Learn to make buttery, flaky homemade croissants with this easy to follow recipe and tutorial. You can have this classic bakery-style pastry in your very own kitchen!

Front view of three croissants on a marble slab

Meet the pastry of your dreams… Homemade Croissants. 

You thought I was going to say cinnamon rolls, didn’t you? 

Croissants are made by layering yeast-leavened dough with butter. The process is called laminating. It starts with rolling the dough into a rectangle then encasing the dough around a thin sheet of butter. The dough gets rolled and folded multiple times to create dozens of layers.

All you need are a few staple ingredients that are most likely already in your pantry, and a few hours of your time. It takes a total of 2 days to make croissants from start to finish so plan accordingly. 

But once you’ve made them, you can keep them in the freezer so you will always have them on hand. They reheat well and taste just as good as if they were baked fresh.

Let’s break down the process! Or you can scroll right to the bottom for the full, printable recipe!

Close up of the inside of a croissant

Croissant Recipe Ingredients:

To make these homemade croissants, you will need:

  • Water: The water should be barely warm, about 100°F. 
  • Yeast: You need only 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast. You’ll be dissolving it in the warm water first but if it doesn’t foam up, you need to start again with new yeast.
  • Sugar: Just a little to feed the yeast.
  • Milk & cream: I prefer to use both for extra rich and tender croissants.
  • Egg & yolks: An egg yolk goes into the dough while an egg and egg yolk are used as an egg wash.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour works best.
  • Butter: Lots and lots of butter are needed!

These are the supplies you need to get started:

  • Stand mixer: A stand mixer will make the process easier but you can knead the dough by hand.
  • Rolling pin: I like to use this silicone rolling pin because it doesn’t stick to the dough as much.
  • Pizza cutter: It’s just easier to cut the dough with one of these.
  • Baking sheets: You need 2 baking sheets to fit 12 croissants.
  • Pastry brush: Needed to apply the egg wash.

How to make croissants:

I’ll walk you through exactly how to make these flaky pastries. Let’s go! Remember, you can keep scrolling for the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

Homemade croissant dough on a dough hook of a stand mixer

  1. Proof the yeast. Mix the yeast with warm water and a pinch of sugar. Set it aside while you work on the next steps.
  2. Whisk the milk, cream, egg yolk, and salt together. Add them to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the flour and yeast. Add the flour to the bowl then turn the mixer to low speed and pour in the yeast mixture. Continue beating until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Cover and refrigerate. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

How to laminate croissant dough:

Laminating the dough is the process of folding and rolling the dough multiple times to create dozens of layers.

Step by step how to laminate croissant dough

  1. Pound out the butter. While the dough is chilling, pound the butter between two pieces of parchment paper into an 8-inch square. Place the butter in the refrigerator while you work on the next step.
  2. Roll out the dough. Roll the chilled dough out into a 9×18 rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
  3. Wrap the dough around the square of butter. Place the butter on top of the dough and fold the edges of the dough up over the butter. Press the dough to seal in the butter.
  4. Roll and fold. Roll the dough into another rectangle the same size as before. Fold the rectangle like a letter so you have 3 layers. Refrigerate and repeat for 4 turns. After the 4th turn, tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. 

How to shape croissants:

Croissants are shaped like crescents and it’s super easy to do.

Step by step how to shape croissants

  1. Divide the dough. Cut the dough in half and roll each half into a 6×12-inch rectangle. Place each rectangle on its own baking sheet lined with parchment paper and trim the edges so they are even. Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.
  2. Cut into triangles. Cut each slab of dough into 6 triangles and make a cut in the center of the base of each one.
  3. Roll the croissants. Begin rolling the croissant by curling the two sides of the triangle, on each side of the cut, away from each other. Continue to roll with both hands until the tip is underneath. Bend the two ends toward each other in the shape of a crescent and arrange 6 on each baking sheet.
  4. Let rise. Let the croissants rise until they’ve doubled in size.
  5. Bake. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake for 30-35 minutes, until they’ve puffed up and are golden brown.

Overhead view of three croissants on a marble slab

Do you eat croissants hot or cold?

Baked croissants are best enjoyed hot. You can reheat leftover croissants in a toaster oven or conventional oven.

What do you eat with a croissant?

Croissants are great served with your choice of jam or butter. You can also dip them in chocolate to add flavor as you eat them. Some American shops serve breakfast sandwiches on croissants.

How to store croissants?

Croissants should be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

More yeast bread and roll recipes:

These are a few of my favorite yeast-leavened bread recipes.

Homemade Croissants Recipe Image

Homemade Croissants

Learn to make buttery, flaky homemade croissants with this easy to follow recipe and tutorial. You can have this classic bakery-style pastry in your very own kitchen!
5 from 1 vote
Print Save Recipe Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American, French
Prep Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Chill Time: 14 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 16 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 12 croissants
Calories: 425
Author: Jen Sobjack

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup barely warm water, 100°F
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg , for egg wash
  • 1 egg yolk , for egg wash

Instructions

  • Stir the water, yeast, and a pinch of the sugar together in a small bowl; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk the milk, cream, egg yolk, salt, and remaining sugar together. 
  • Add the flour then turn the mixer on low speed and gradually pour the yeast mixture into the flour. 
  • Continue to beat on low until the flour is incorporated, stop and scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Continue beating until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pound the butter between 2 pieces of parchment paper into an 8-inch square. Make sure the butter is in an even layer. Place the butter into the refrigerator to firm up.
  • Generously flour your work surface and turn the dough out. Roll the dough out into a 9x18 rectangle.
  • Place the chilled square of butter on one half of the dough and fold the other half of the dough up over the butter so you end up with a square.
  • Gently roll the dough with the butter inside into another rectangle. Fold the rectangle like a letter so you have 3 layers, starting with the narrow end. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This is the first turn.
  • Turn the dough so the long sides are on your left and right. Roll the dough into another rectangle about the same size then fold it the same way as the previous step. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Repeat this process until you have made 4 turns.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 12-24 hours. The dough must be shaped and proofed within 24 hours.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough in half and roll each half into a 6x12 inch rectangle.
  • Transfer each rectangle to its own prepared baking sheet. Trim the edges so they are even and refrigerate for 20 minutes. The dough should be firm but not brittle.
  • Use a large knife to cut each rectangle into 6 triangles. Make a small cut at the center of the base on each triangle.
  • Begin rolling up the croissants, curling the two side fo the triangle on each side of the cut away from each other. Continue to roll with both hands until the tip is underneath. Bend the 2 ends toward each other in the shape of a crescent.
  • Arrange the croissants on the baking sheets, cover them with plastic wrap and set them in a warm place to rise until they've doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Beat the egg and egg yolk together until well broken up and brush the egg wash over the tops of each croissant.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature before serving.

Make ahead tip

  • Store croissants in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature. Or up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
  • Croissant can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as desired.

Notes

Don't let the dough wait too long between turns or the yeast will over ferment and the croissants won't rise properly.
Keep the dough cold! This will also help slow the yeast down.
After the 4th turn, the dough must be shaped and proofed within 24 hours.
Adapted by Baking: James Peterson.

Nutrition

Serving: 1croissant | Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 20.2% | Calcium: 4.1% | Iron: 10.2%

Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used as a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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