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How To Make Classic Croissants At Home

There is really nothing better than a freshly baked croissant. The art of laminating dough takes practice and patience, but once you perfect it, the reward is insanely sweet. This recipe is truly a labor of love that makes perfectly flaky and pillowy pastries every time.

Tasty Team
89% would make again
Total Time

6 hr 10 min

6 hr 10 min

Prep Time

5 hr 20 min

5 hr 20 min

Cook Time

30 minutes

30 min

How To Make Classic Croissants At Home
Total Time

6 hr 10 min

6 hr 10 min

Prep Time

5 hr 20 min

5 hr 20 min

Cook Time

30 minutes

30 min

Ingredients

for 10 croissants

Dough

  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk (292 g), about 80°F (27°C)
  • 1 cup water (195 g), about 80°F (27°C)
  • 5 ¾ cups bread flour (886 g), plus more as needed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (92 g)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (17 g), plus 1½ teaspoons
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast (11 g)
  • ¼ teaspoon diastatic malt (1 g)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter (23 g), cubed and softened
  • boiling water, for proofing and baking
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Butter Block

  • 2 cups unsalted european-style butter (453 g)

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 639
  • Fat 40g
  • Carbs 60g
  • Fiber 16g
  • Sugar 8g
  • Protein 10g

Estimated values based on one serving size.

Preparation

  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the milk and water. Add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, malt and butter and use your hands to combine until the dough resembles a shaggy mass, then bring together into a rough ball (we do not want to develop gluten here, we just want to hydrate the flour and create a unified dough). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises to 1½ times its original size and has a slightly puffy texture, about 1 hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  2. Punch down the dough, then turn the dough from the bowl onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Gently press the dough into a rough 8-inch square. Wrap the dough tightly with the plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Make the butter block: Place a 12 x 15-inch (30 x 38 cm) sheet of parchment paper on a work surface with a long side nearest to you. Slice the butter lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick (6 mm) pieces, then arrange the slices in a single layer like tiles in the center of the parchment. Fold the edges of the parchment over to encase the butter, then flip the packet over so the seam is facing down. Let the butter packet rest at room temperature until it is pliable, but not greasy, about 30 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  4. Roll a rolling pin over the packet to distribute the butter in an even layer all the way to the edges and corners with no spaces between tiles. Place the butter packet in the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
  5. Laminate the dough: Remove the butter block from the refrigerator and let it soften at room temperature until bendy, but still cool, 10–20 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen (the butter and dough should be about the same temperature and have the same texture when you hold them in your hands).
  6. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and place the refrigerated dough on top. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour, then roll the dough out to a rectangle about 20 inches (50 cm) by 6 inches (15 cm), roughly 1 inch (2.54 cm) wider and twice the length of the butter block. Orient the dough so a short side is nearest to you.
  7. Open the butter packet and flip the parchment over to place the butter at the bottom of the dough rectangle, with about ½ inch (1.24 cm) of dough exposed around the sides and bottom of the butter block. Gently peel back the parchment paper from the butter and discard.
  8. Fold the top half of dough over the butter, stretching gently so that the edge of the dough reaches the exposed edges beneath the butter. Use the palm of your hand to gently press the side and bottom edges of the dough together to seal the packet closed and lock in the butter. Turn the dough 90°; it should look like a closed book with the left edge the “spine” side and the right edge the “page” side. Use the rolling pin to firmly (but not aggressively) press the dough, creating indents to help spread the butter between the layers. Use a serrated knife to cut down the middle of the spine to expose the butter and release the tension from folding the dough. Turn the dough 90° again so the split spine is nearest to you. Gently begin to roll the dough away from you, stretching the dough vertically and moving the dough frequently to prevent sticking, until it is about 12 inches (30 cm) long, then continue until the dough is about ¼ inch (6 mm) thick; the dimensions of the dough should be about 24 inches (60 cm) x 12 inches (30 cm).
  9. Fold the bottom third of the dough up and the top third down, similar to folding a letter. Make sure that all of the corners of the dough meet to make a uniform block. (If the dough feels like it has become too elastic and bounces back when you try to roll it, or if the dough and butter feel like they are too warm and the butter might begin to melt and seep out from the block, cover the packet with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough has had time to relax and the butter has chilled slightly, 10–20 minutes.) Making sure the opening of the “letter” is nearest to you, roll the dough out again to about ¼ inch thick, 24 inches (60 cm) long, and 12 inches (30 cm) wide. Use the serrated knife or pastry wheel as needed to trim about ½ inch (1.24 cm) from the edges of the dough to create an even rectangle.
  10. Rotate the dough 90° so a long edge is nearest to you. Fold the left two-thirds of dough over to just past the center of the dough. Then, fold the right third of the dough over towards the left so the edges meet. Gently press the two ends together to make a seam that resembles an offset book spine. Fold the left side of the dough over to meet the right edge of the dough (this is called a four-fold). Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate to let the gluten relax and butter chill, 30–40 minutes.
  11. Shape the croissants: Line 2 18 x 13-inch (45 x 33 cm) baking sheets with parchment paper.
  12. Place the rested dough on a very lightly floured surface with a long edge nearest to you. Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch (6 mm) thick, 24 inches (60 cm) long, and 12 inches wide (30 cm). Use the serrated knife or pastry wheel to trim about ¼ inch (6 mm) of the dough on all sides to make a clean and straight-edged rectangle.
  13. Use a ruler to measure 3 inches (7 cm) to the right from the top left corner. Use a pastry wheel to cut from this point to the bottom left corner to create a triangle. Measure 3 inches (7 cm) to the right from the bottom left corner and cut straight up to create another triangle. Continue cutting the rest of the dough; you should have 10-12 dough triangles total.
  14. Use the pastry wheel or a paring knife to cut a ½-inch (1.24 cm) slit at the center of the base of each triangle, then tightly roll the dough up from the base to the tip, without applying too much pressure. Place the croissants on a prepared baking sheet with the tips tucked underneath, spacing evenly on the pans, 5–6 per sheet.
  15. Pour boiling water into 2 small ramekins or bowls. Place a ramekin on each sheet pan, then lightly cover the pans completely with plastic wrap (this will create a humid environment for the croissants to proof). Let the croissants proof until the dough is soft and puffed and slightly wobbles when you shake the pans, 2–3 hours.
  16. Position the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place a pan of boiling water at the bottom of the oven; this will help create steam as the croissants bake.
  17. Brush the croissants with the beaten egg, then place in the oven. Bake, swapping the pans from the top to bottom rack and rotating 180° halfway through, until the tops are a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  18. Transfer the croissants to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving, about 20 minutes.
  19. Enjoy!
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How To Make Classic Croissants At Home