Instructables

How to Make Homemade Croissants

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Picture of How to Make Homemade Croissants
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A couple of weeks ago I tried my hand at making croissants! And I have to say, even though it was time-consuming and confusing at first, it was well worth it. Many people never attempt it and I say "You should!" It's actually not quite as confusing as it seems and the final product is amazing. I was surprised I made some that looked exactly like the ones in the supermarkets. I used a recipe for laminated dough which makes this croissant has its many layers. The dough's concept is pretty much to layer butter and dough by folding and re-folding it. The butter melts when baked and created the many layers you see. After hours of rolling out the dough, the croissants are then shaped into its crescent form and ready to be baked. The baking process is also essential to croissants, especially if you have more than one tray going in. I made some pineapple jam to go with it and they tasted amazing. Definitely fluffy and the outside was perfectly crunchy.

I love croissants and I suggest you give it a try. The dough recipe is amazing to work with and even though it was the first time for me trying laminated dough, it worked out great! It was awesome to see the finished product. I never thought I could make my own croissants so I'm sure anyone can do it if I can. I'm so proud of this recipe and I hope you give it a try.

Step 1: Ingredients

Here's what you need to make these delicious croissants:
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter (3 1/2 sticks or 14 oz)
You will also need to make a basic egg wash, which will require:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
You will also need to use the refrigerator and plenty of counter space. A non-stick mat, a ruler, and plenty of plastic wrap will be helpful as well.

Step 2: Activating the Yeast

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In a bowl, mix 1 cup of the all- purpose flour with the water and yeast, just until the flour is mixed evenly and you don't see any clumps. Set the bowl aside and let rise for 1 hour.

Step 3: Making the Dough

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Add the remaining flour, the milk and the melted butter along with the salt. Knead the mixture for a minute. Cover the bowl with a wet paper towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Kneading

Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes. This can also be done in a stand mixer with the dough hook (on low speed) for  20 minutes. The dough should be uniformly mixed, smooth and elastic by the time you finish kneading. Take some plastic wrap and wrap the dough. Refrigerate for half an hour.

Step 5: Making the Butter Square

Place the cold butter between two pieces of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin, pound the butter into an 8-inch square (the measurements will be important).

Take the dough out from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 9 x 17-inch rectangle. Take the square of butter and place it gently on the bottom half of the rectangle. If the butter is too soft, put it back into the refrigerator for a couple of minutes. Align the dough and the sides of the butter square so they are even.

Step 6: Making one "Turn"

Fold the top half of the rectangle of dough down over the bottom half. The square of butter should be completely enclosed in the dough. Press together the edges of the square to seal in the butter. Use your hands to even out the dough into a smooth rectangle.

Roll the square with a rolling pin to stretch the dough and the butter in it.The dough dough should be rolled into a 9 x 18-inch rectangle (remember measurements are important!).

Next, fold the rectangle into thirds like a letter. Start with a narrow end and begin folding the bottom third up towards the middle. After, fold the top third down. This is called a "turn." Remember this because you will have to repeat many turns.

These steps could be a bit tricky so refer to the images below. They are in chronological order in this step except for the first picture which shows the dough after the turn.

Step 7: The Second Turn

Turn the dough so the single fold is on your left. You can picture this if you think of the spine of a book. There should be a fold that could flip open, like the pages of a book.

You are ready to start the second turn. Roll out the dough into the 9 x 18 inch rectangle. Repeat the process in the last step (making the rectangle, folding into the thirds with the top and bottom). After you're done, use your fingers to make two marks on the dough to keep track of the two turns you have made.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Once the dough has been refrigerated, take it out and complete two more "turns" along with the refrigeration in between each turn.  You should have done a total of four turns in total.

Now the dough is ready to be rolled out and shaped. However, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it again for up to 24 hours before you shape it. Proofing the dough in the refrigerator lets it rise slowly which actually enhances the doughs flavor. It's completely up to you though.

Step 8: Preparing for Rolling Out the Dough

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After you decided to use the dough (either right away or after some proofing/waiting time), take out the dough. You might want to line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and get a ruler handy as well. Cut the dough in half and put one half aside. Look at all those layers!

Step 9: Rolling Out the Dough

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On a lightly floured surface, roll one half of the dough into a 6 1/2 x 20-inch rectangle.Trim the edges of the dough if they are uneven. The dough should be about 1/8 - 1/4-inch thick (check to make sure it's easily lift-able). Repeat this for the other half of the dough.

Transfer each large rectangle onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until the dough is firm.

Step 10: First Part of Notching

When the first rectangle is ready to work with, take it back to your work surface with one of the long ends facing you.

The next step is to cut the triangles from the dough that will be made into croissants. However, we have to do this in an uniform way, by notching the dough. Follow the steps carefully and I suggest looking carefully at the pictures.

Starting on the left side of the bottom edge of the rectangle, measure 5 inches from the end. Use a rubber spatula or a knifeto make a tiny notch to mark the beginning of the base of the first triangle.

Measure another 5 inches from that notch and to make a second notch to mark the base of the second triangle. Repeat notching the dough again so that you have four sections that are five inches long.

Step 11: Finishing Notching

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Turn the rectangle around so the un-notched side is facing you.

Now we notch this side. Starting on the left side, make a notch 2 1/2 inches from the end. Measure 5 inches from the first notch and make a second notch there. Repeat for the rest of that side, marking five inches from the last notch. The sections at the ends will each be 2 1/2 long and the ones in the middle 5 inches long.

Step 12: Cutting the Triangles

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Yay!! We're getting closer and closer to those yummy croissants! Now the dough is ready to cut the triangles which will form the croissants..

If you look at the closely, you'll see that the notches on the far side (the first notchings) are for the bases of the triangles and the notches on the near side form the tips of the triangles (the second notchings). Use a large knife to cut the triangles by connecting the notches on the near and far sides. Six to seven full triangles (5 by 6 1/2-inches to be exact) should be formed. You'll be left with some leftover dough as well. I used the leftovers to form mini-croissants (which were adorable!).

Repeat the notching and the cutting with the second rectangle (don't forget about that one). You should have double the triangles after you finished cutting now. :)

Step 13: Making the Crescents

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In each triangle, make a small slit in the middle of the base of the triangle. This allows you to roll the triangles into a crescent shape.

Using both hands, roll the triangle into a crescent by rolling from the base up. One hand should be working with the dough on each side of the slit. A tip to get perfect crescents is to point your hands away from each other as you roll. This will make the classic shape that we're all familiar with. They look so cute!

Step 14: The Rest of Them

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The tip of the dough should be underneath and the 2 ends should bend toward each other to form a curved shape. Can see 3 layers the dough makes in the shape of the croissant? Great! Repeat rolling the crescents for the rest of the dough and arrange the croissants on a sheet pan. Cover them with plastic wrap or a wet paper towel to proof.

Step 15: Proofing

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Again with the proofing, you can wait as long as you want. You can proof overnight in the fridge, about 3 hours in a cool place, or about 1 hour in a warm place. The longer the proofing time, the better the flavor. I proofed mine for an hour and a half because I proofed mine overnight earlier.

After waiting, preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Combine 1 egg with a tablespoon of milk to form an egg wash and brush the proofed croissants.

Step 16: Baking and Finish!

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Once the oven is heated, put one tray of croissants on the top rack of the oven and the other on the bottom rack vertically. Bake for 15 minutes and switch the two racks and rotate them so they're horizontal. Bake for another 15 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown. Wait until they are cool and serve.

You're done! Can you believe it? Fresh baked croissants. These instructions might seem long but it's not as bad as you might think. They are certainly worth the effort, especially when they're fresh from the oven. These are perfectly crunchy on the outside but soft and moist on the inside. Perfect with some jam or coffee, or just plain!

Try out my recipe! If the lure of fresh croissants isn't enough, the first person to make this and post some pictures in the comments will get a 3 month pro-membership! The next two people who attempt this recipe will get a patch from yours truly!

Get Baking!
 
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RosvithaP1 month ago

Your croissants really look amazing! I have a slightly different recipe that I tried out. If I may show them @

http://www.ibaketoday.com/2014/08/homemade-french-croissants.html

claireelise1 month ago

Do you think these will be ok if I cook them up, freeze them for a couple days, then put them in the oven again? Will they turn out ok? I can't wait to make them!!

sue.holland.96343 made it!1 month ago

Spent over 24 hours in this process. Cured overnight. Not a bad result for the first attempt. We enjoyed them very much. Thanks for the detailed instructions!

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Toasty22226 months ago
Also, how do you put a pan in the oven vertically or horizontally?
jen7714 (author)  Toasty22221 month ago

I don't believe this matters, so it's up to you!

Toasty22226 months ago
They look a little dark on the bottom, is there any way to avoid this?
jen7714 (author)  Toasty22221 month ago

I would say change up the pans you use to bake the croissants!

MrCafe3 months ago

After Proofing, do you know if it would be wise to freeze them for a later date? Say make then aghead of time for a party you maybe having in a few weeks?

jen7714 (author)  MrCafe1 month ago

If I were to freeze this recipe, I would definitely do it before cutting the laminated dough. Good idea!

LozzaFire3 months ago

For those of you who are wondering, the whole process of baking and preparing the croissants averages about 19 hours and 36 minutes.

Toasty22226 months ago
Sorry, one more comment, it calls for milk, but other than in the egg wash, where is it used?
Jassycola11 months ago
Hi ill be using insant yeast.. What should i do? Thnks
jen7714 (author)  Jassycola9 months ago
Hmmm...I would suggest for the best results to purchase active dry yeast, but I will keep an eye out for an alternative solution.
bllobber1 year ago
finally i made 'em....but instead of eggwash i used thick cream & instead of butter- Ghee....my personal advice....dont use ghee.....but everyone who ate those said wow....so....thumbsup to u :) :) n here are the pics
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jen7714 (author)  bllobber1 year ago
Wow! The croissants turned out great!
tashsquish1 year ago
up to the last proof cant wait to see them & eat them!!!
jen7714 (author)  tashsquish1 year ago
Awesome! How did it turn out?
This was my first Instructable to try and tho it was a bit of work (a day & a night, phew!) it was fairly easy and the results were a deliciously HUGE hit with the lucky few I shared with :) Thanks for posting and I will definitely refer to this instructable again :D Epically yummy.
jen7714 (author)  RemarkableJane1 year ago
So glad you tried it out! Wasn't it so rewarding in the end? Thank you so much for the nice comment!
super deliciously rewarding! :D it's about time I do it again and this time with some awesome preserves or something. soooooo good!
uhmm sounds mmmmm :-) have you tried to make quiche with the dough, should also turn out great. nice instructables i'll definitely give it a try soon.
jen7714 (author)  Rich_Limburger1 year ago
Awesome! Tell me how it goes!
Hi Jen, i haven't gotten around to making the quiche yet, soon as i wil i'll let you know.
jen7714 (author)  Rich_Limburger1 year ago
Great! I actually never tried that, so I'm curious :)
initialised2 years ago
Trying a mix of this and another recipe for Croisants (was going to be breakfast in bed for Mrs ini but it's gone 2PM and they still aren't done!
jen7714 (author)  initialised2 years ago
Nice! Let me know how they come out. Hope she enjoys them.
t.rohner2 years ago
Nice pictures and good explanations.

I have made croissants a couple of times with very good success.
I interviewed a couple of pro bakers regarding the process and was able to enhance my results.
The most important points is: the consistency of the "stretching butter" and the dough should be the same. This is reached by refrigerating the whole dough after turns, but kneading some flour into the stretching butter also helps tremendously.
I also have learned a better way to wrap the butter into the dough.
And i do double turns/folds in addition to the single turns described here.
As another commenter also pointed out, you have to work as square (geometrically precise), as possible.
Only this way and with the right number of turns you get the desired "flakyness". (i miss it a little bit in your last picture)

The process is hard to describe in words only. I think i will do another instructable on this topic.
I was also thinking about making sourdough croissants. I have a very mild french culture here.

It takes some time until you finish this dough, but most of it is waiting time anyway. So the dough can be made after work, while you read or watch tv or browse the net.
It can easily be finished by the time you go to bed. Then on sunday morning, you form and bake the beauties. Invite some friends for brunch and you will be the hero... making them with store bought dough is for sissies.
jen7714 (author)  t.rohner2 years ago
Thank you for your input! I'm definitely open to trying out different ways to make the same product.
If you are interested in the way, i've learned, look here:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Hardcore-Croissants-made-easy

keep on baking...
rjain33 years ago
hi, your whole recipe is excellent.just one hitch.we dont eat eggs or non veg.so is there any substitute available for the final touch.i would love to try this recipe but just without eggs
thanks
I use milk to brush, it work 100%, give it a try!
jen7714 (author)  rjain33 years ago
You can actually just leave the egg wash out of the recipe. Spritzing some water would make the outside a bit harder. Some melted butter would work well, too.
After many hours of work, I finally completed this recipe. I ran into trouble when it got to the butter though; it spilled out and made a mess of everything but in the end, it was just too sticky to easily work with. I finally got the triangles cut and the dough rolled, I stuck it in the oven, and they turned out better then I thought! I am impressed at how much they are like store-bought crescent rolls. Nice job!
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Well done! Croissants aren't easy, especially on the first try.

If you try this again, I would recommend not cutting the dough in half before it's rolled out. Any time the butter peaks out during rolling should be repaired immediately. Otherwise, the "leaves" or layers wont form properly near the tear. You're relying on the moisture in the butter (yes, butter actually is ~10% liquid!) turning to steam to puff up the spaces between the flour "leaves" while it's baking. If the leaves are torn accidentally (or cut) before you finish rolling out the dough, you'll smash some of the layers together near the tear, get butter on your rolling pin, and risk getting tears in other places as a result.

Secondly, I would recommend "squaring up" the corners of the dough each time a fold is made. The goal is to get the same number of layers at all places - even the corners! If not, there will be a patchwork of hi-rise/many-layered and low-rise/fewer-layered areas, resulting in lop-sided looking croissants. You may need to play around a bit with the rolling technique using your pin (try it sometime when you're making something more forgiving for practice). Rolling in an X pattern (to the corners, rather than the edges) and then beginning at the middle of each edge and rolling toward a corner may help. When you fold, make sure it's squared up - gently tug at the corner until it's lined up, and use the rolling pin as a square to help pat in slight bulges.

So cool to see people taking on a traditionally-challenging recipe and enjoying it!

Don't give up - croissants are delicious, and impressive when home-made well. :)
jen7714 (author)  tinstructable3 years ago
Wow great job! And wasn't it worth it in the end? The butter problem could be that the butter was too soft. Stick it into the fridge for a little while until it firms up before you roll it.

I'm honored that you took the time to make my recipe! And posted pictures! Thank you soo much!
aruno3 years ago
My first try at making Croissants, as per your instruction.
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They look delicious, just like ones I had in Canada.
jen7714 (author)  hannahbannah3 years ago
Great! Try out the recipe sometime. :)
mousewrites3 years ago
Man, nobody's taken you up on your free time yet?

I want to try these so bad. Perhaps this weekend...
jen7714 (author)  mousewrites3 years ago
Hahaha :)

And you should! Definitely worth it! (Let me know if your do! :)
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