For some reason a lot of people seem to think that homemade croissants are impossible, or at the very least a trip to Hogwarts to learn magic is a prerequisite to making them. I’m here to tell you that this isn’t the case. Making your own croissants isn’t only possible, but it’s actually pretty simple! I will admit that this recipe can be time consuming, but something taking a while doesn’t make it hard, and the time investment makes the final product something to be even more proud of!
If I haven’t fully convinced you to continue with this recipe yet then just take a look at this photo:
Now before we get started I just wanted to point out that this recipe can be made in a day, but I do find that stretching it out over two or even three days will give the best results. Plus this way the total effort required per day is very minimal.
So lets get to it. Well, straight after we all enjoy one more croissant photo:
Mmmmm they’re definitely worth the effort.
Larissa’s Croissant Recipe
10g dried or instant yeast
140g warm water
140g warm milk
500g bread flour + extra for rolling
30g soft butter
300g cold butter
1 Tbsp Milk
Making the dough:
- Add yeast and sugar to the warm water and milk and leave to sit for 10 minutes to activate yeast (and check it is still active)
- Add the rest of the dough ingredients and knead for a few minutes either by hand or in a stand mixer.
- Shape the dough into a flat rectangle, plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Cut the 300g of butter into 1 cm thick slices and lay side by side on a piece of baking paper to make a roughly square shape. Cover with another piece of paper and bash/roll with a rolling pin. Trim the edges to form a neat and pliable square roughly of 16 x 16 cm and roll the trimming back onto the top of this square. Refrigerate while completing step two.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out into a 35 x 35 cm square of even thickness.
- Place the butter onto the dough and fold the dough around the butter, as shown below:
4. Seal the seams tightly so that the butter is fully enclosed in the dough, ensuring no air bubbles are trapped inside. If you do notice air bubbles, prick them with a toothpick or skewer to release the air.
5. Roll the dough out into a long rectangle of roughly 20 by 60 cm, ensuring the dough remains an even thickness.
6. Letter fold the dough by folding one of the short sides in on itself covering 1/3 of the dough and then lifting the other short side over top of this fold to the new edge you’ve created. Resulting in three layers of dough. Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes and then repeat this step two more times turning the dough 90 degrees before rolling each time.
You’ve now created 3 x 3 x 3 = 27 layers of butter in the dough in just 3 sets of rolling and folding!
- Roll the dough out to about 20 by 100cm trying to keep the edges as neat and square as possible. Carefully trim a minimal amount of dough from the edges to neaten them up if necessary
- Mark one long edge of the dough with 6 evenly spread marks. Then on the other long end mark the dough at the points half way between those on the opposite side of the dough.
- Neatly cut between these marks with a sharp knife or wheel cutter. Take care to cut cleanly and not stretch/tear the dough as this will negatively affect those layers you’ve carefully created. (Steps 2 and 3 are shown below)
- Using the two edge pieces first (they won’t be shaped as nicely so are good to practise on) shape the croissants by first lightly re-rolling over the triangle to increase it’s length by a few cm
- Then cut a 2cm long notch in the centre of the short side of the triangle and lightly tug the two short side corners apart.
- Starting from the short side, roll the croissant up towards the narrow point of the triangle.
- Finally, slightly curve the croissant if you desire the classic crescent shape.
- Repeat with all of the dough triangles.
Final Proof and Bake:
- Arrange the croissants on two trays lined with baking paper. Allow them room to double in size.
- Proof for around 2 hrs, ideally at a temperature in the low to mid 20s (degrees Celsius). Too hot and the butter will soften and melt which will ruin all of those beautiful layers, too cold and the croissants will proof very slowly.
- After a couple of hours the croissants should have expanded in size and look noticeably puffier. When very lightly pressed the dough should feel soft and the indent should slowly fill back in, not bounce back immediately
- Combine the egg wash ingredients and lightly wash all of the croissants.
- Place the croissants in an oven preheated to 200 C fan bake and turn the temperature down to 180 C as soon as they are in. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, turning the heat down to 160 C if they start browning too quickly.
Eat while warm. Yum.
Some important tips and suggestions:
- If your butter is a lot colder/firmer than your dough during the laminating stage it can ‘crack‘ in the dough instead of rolling out nicely into a sheet. If this is starting to occur you can leave the dough/butter out at room temp to allow the butter to become more soft / pliable and therefore more rollable. To stop this from occurring in the first place don’t let your butter get too hard before you add it to the dough, in some cases it may even be better to leave your butter square out of the fridge while you roll out the bread dough (before starting lamination).
- If your house is really warm it may be necessary to return the dough to the fridge half way through a lamination. If at any stage the laminated dough starts to feel very soft put it in the fridge straight away and leave it for at least 20 minutes. If the butter melts all of the layers will be ruined so it’s worth staying cautious.
- If you are struggling to roll out the dough at any point, don’t force it. Instead wrap it up, and return it to the fridge to relax for 10 minutes and then continue.
- I usually make the dough two nights before I want the croissants. I then leave it in the fridge overnight and do all the laminating the next day (leaving the laminated dough in the fridge overnight again). Finally I cut, shape, proof, and bake the next morning. This way there is never too much to do on any given day. Alternatively you could make the dough the night before and do all of the laminating the next morning, and the baking that same afternoon/evening. It is also possible to make them entirely in one day and only refrigerate the initial dough for a couple of hours, but this method can result in your entire day revolving around croissants. (Is that such a bad thing though? haha)
Thanks for reading, please let me know if you have any questions!