Butter Croissants

View my class videos on FB to watch how to complete the croissants!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c warm milk
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1 packet active yeast (if using instant yeast, you can skip the proofing step with yeast and add the instant yeast directly into the flour)
  • 3 T soften butter
  • 2 and a pinch tsp salt
  • 1 c cold milk
  • 4 c all purpose flour (you may sub in pastry flour but for your first time making croissants please don't sub in any other flours)

Butter layer

  • 3 sticks butter- cool but not hard, remove from fridge 30-60 before using
  • 3 T flour

Egg wash

  • 1 egg beaten with a dash of water

Instructions

Plan ahead: Quick overview of rest times

  1. Each 5 hour rest time can be cut down by an hour if needed- don't go less than 4 hours or flavor and layers wont be as grand.

    Make dough and butter layer- 5 hour rest

    Remove butter layer 15-30 min before dough (dough 5 hours, butter 4hr 30 min)

    Laminate 2 times, rest 1 hour

    Laminate 1 time- rest 5 hours or overnight

    Divide and Roll and shape croissants – freeze shaped croissants or continue

    Rest room temp 60-90 min – dough should bounce back when lightly pressed

    Chill 1 hour in fridge or overnight

    bake 16-20 min

Dough

  1. Warm 1/2c milk and add in sugar and yeast and set aside until yeast looks foamy and bubbly.

  2. While yeast is proofing, in a large bowl or stand mixer, add flour, butter (3T), salt and with dough hook start mixing to incorporate butter. If using instant yeast, you would add that now.

  3. Pour in proofed yeast mixture making sure to scrape in all of the sugar. Incorporate into the flour and then slowly add in the cold milk until dough forms. Knead on medium for 5-7 min until a soft ball forms. If the dough is too sticky then knead for a few more minutes after adding in 2T of flour. Dough should pull away from the bowl in stand mixer or feel soft if kneading by hand. This is a soft dough but you will be rolling it out so it needs to have structure. Once dough is formed, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge while you make butter layer.

  4. Place 3 sticks of butter in a bowl (stand mixer or you can mix by hand) and 3T of flour. With paddle attachment or with spoon, mix butter and flour until combined BUT do not cream and introduce air into the mixer. Once combined, spoon it onto a piece of parchment or silicone baking mat. Spread with a spatula to create an 8x8in square. You need to use a ruler or measuring tape throughout the process. Cover with plastic and place in the fridge.

  5. Take dough out of fridge and roll into a 12x12in square. Place on a piece of parchment paper or baking mat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.

Chill for 5 hours. Remove butter layer anywhere from 30 min to 15 minute early as you want the butter to be cold yet pliable- it needs to be able to rolled out and not crack. If your house is warm then wait until about 15 min before 5 hours is up. You can also just simply pull it out and once it reaches the point of being able to bend without cracking, pull out the dough.

  1. Recheck dough measurements, you want it to be a 12 x12in square with defined corners. You may need to use your hands to form the corners. Place the butter square in the middle of the dough, rotated to look like a diamond. Take corners of the dough and fold up to completely cover the butter. Use your fingers to seal the dough around the butter and manipulate it as needed to make sure it is fully covered. Place flour on the counter and begin the lamination.

    NOTE: you want to brush off excess flour when doing the folds so before use a pastry brush or your hands to sweep off the dough.

  2. Roll dough into a 20x10in rectangle. Make sure rectangle keeps shaped corners. You want the butter to roll out and not crack and not create large gaps in the dough. If your butter is too cold, simple wait a few minutes before rolling. Once you have reached the correct length, brush off excess flour and then fold in thirds. Fold the bottom up halfway, then the top down halfway. Turn the dough so the short end is facing you and so that the dough looks like a book that could be opened up. Roll out dough once more to 20 x 10in length- I sometimes will flip over the dough to help keep everything even/equal. Brush off flour and fold in thirds. Cover in plastic wrap.

Chill for 1 hour in fridge.

  1. Remove dough and repeat the lamination process for just 1 more turn.

Then chill for 5 hours or overnight. If you are making croissants for brunch the next day- this is a good point to stop the day before and chill overnight.

  1. Divide the dough in half, keep one half wrapped in the fridge while you work on the other half.

  2. Take a knife or pizza cutter, and trim off the edges of the dough. This will help expose the layers that are sealed in.

  3. Roll the dough into an 18x12in rectangle, making sure to keep those corners formed.

  4. Cut the dough into 6 rectangles but cutting the dough in thirds vertically (4 in wide sections) and then dough in half. Creating 4 x9in rectangles. Then use a knife or pizza cutter to cut each rectangle into 2 triangles. Then slice a 1 in slit in the short straight end of each triangle.

  5. Take each triangle in your hands and gently stretch it just a little and then roll/shape croissants by taking the two flaps by the slit and angling them towards each other as you roll, making sure the tip of the triangle is tucked underneath the croissant. You can angle the ends towards the middle or keep them straight. You can spread a filling such as chocolate, nutella, jam, cream cheese, frangipane.. on before rolling.

If making filled rectangular croissants, do not form into triagnles but keep as rectangles and fill and roll.

  1. Once all are shaped, Place on lined baking tray and cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 60-90 min on the counter. When you press the dough with your finger, it should bounce back pretty quickly.

If you want to freeze the croissants, do not let them proof but place in freezer until harden and then transfer to a sealed bag. Pull them out the night before baking and let thaw in the fridge and then bake in the morning.

  1. Place in the fridge for 1 hour OR overnight. If serving in the morning, try to complete the steps up to this point the night before.

  2. Brush croissants with egg wash and bake at 375-400 degrees for 16-20 min. Why the range? I did a few tests and this is what happened for me with my ovens which may be different than your oven. at 400, they were done in 16-17min. At 375, it took 18-19min. The higher temp gives you a more flakey croissant and there is less forgiveness for when croissants go from golden brown to a wee bit burnt. The croissants at 375 worked better when slicing in half to make sandwiches. I made 175 croissants in a matter of 4 days, testing every detail variation and so that is a glimpse of my nerding out for ya. If the dough is white around the layers, it needs to bake a bit longer unless you like a bit of doughiness to your croissants. Good luck letting them cool before eating! Croissants the next day are a bit like donuts- you can tell that they were amazing at one poing but just are lacking the 'wow' factor. So get creative and dress them up by using for sandwiches, smothering in butter and jam, warming up with a layer of frangipane on top? (see recipe for how to make that).