There is nothing quite like biting into homemade croissants with their buttery flaky texture. You can’t help but feel impressed with yourself after tackling this recipe. It is okay if you aren’t a professional baker you definitely will feel like one after making these, heck you might feel like opening a bakery after! One of my proudest moments in the kitchen was when I successfully baked croissants. With this step-by-step recipe guide, you are well on your way to making amazing homemade buttery flaky croissants that are to die for. Are you ready? If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking! 🙂
Step 1: Gather the ingredients and tools
To make homemade croissants, you need to gather a few ingredients and tools. You will need the following:
- All-purpose flour or bread flour
- Active dry yeast – although you can use rapid rise or instant yeast
- Sugar – just a hint of sugar to add a slight bit of sweetness
- Milk – ideally you will use whole milk, but you can get away with using a skimmer variety
- Unsalted butter – Butter is the star of this recipe, don’t skimp on the butter!
- Large egg
The following tools will make your croissant baking life easier:
- rolling pin
- basting brush
- pastry brush
- silicone baking mat
- parchment paper
- meat tenderizer
- sheet pan
- kitchen spray
- wooden spoon
- plastic wrap
- pizza cutter
Step 2: Get the yeast started
To start we want to prepare the yeast. Take a small bowl and heat your milk it in the microwave or on the stovetop. The temperature should be around 105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (40 to 44 C.) Next, add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. The sugar will act as food for the yeast. There are probably enough natural sugars in the milk but I always add it in. Using a whisk or fork mix the ingredients together briefly, then let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes until it gets foamy. After 10 minutes if the yeast isn’t foamy then you need to start again. It means the yeast was bad/old or the milk was too hot or too cold to activate it. It is better to start over now instead of running the risk that the dough doesn’t raise later.
Step 3: Flour, salt, and sugar
Next in a separate bowl mix the salt and the flour with a whisk or fork. Then add the yeast mixture to a large bowl. Pour the sugar in with the yeast and combine them. Gradually add the flour to the yeast and sugar mixture about a fourth of it at a time. Make sure to leave around a quarter cup of flour leftover which will be used while kneading the dough.
Step 4: Knead the homemade croissant dough
Add some of the leftover flour to a work surface like a counter or table. Then pour the dough onto the surface. Unless you are using a stand mixer, you can just keep the dough in the stand mixer bowl and use a dough hook. Now knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough gets nice and smooth and bounces back when you poke it. To knead the dough fold it over onto itself and push down and out with your palm gently stretching the dough. Then turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat. Hand kneading is a great work out and oddly therapeutic for me. Can you believe I still don’t use a stand mixer? To this day I still hand knead all of my doughs.
After kneading the dough place it in a large bowl which has been lightly sprayed with kitchen spray. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour. Alternatively, you can place your bowl of dough in a dough proofer, no need to cover it, they create the ideal setting for dough rising. While the dough is rising take the butter out of the fridge and let it soften at room temperature.
Step 5: Wrap and chill
After the dough has risen punch it down and then wrap it with plastic wrap. Place the croissant dough in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
Step 6: Make the butter slab, croissant dough’s best friend
Now for the really fun part, it is time to create the butter slab. Butter slab? Yes, please! I am sorry but there is no getting around the butter, and no you can’t substitute the butter with something else. Besides, why would you want to that is what makes a croissant a croissant. The butter slab is a flat rectangle shape of butter. Take the butter and unwrap it and place it on a large sheet of parchment paper. Next, fold over the parchment paper onto the butter and pound it down with a meat tenderizer or use a rolling pin. Once you pound and shape the butter into a square shape roughly 8 by 8 inches wrap it with the parchment paper and place it in the fridge to chill with the dough.
Step 7: Roll out the dough
After the dough and butter have chilled for 30 minutes its time to roll them out. First, roll out the dough with a rolling pin and make it a square shape that is a few inches bigger than the square slab of butter. Place the butter slab on top of the dough right in the middle. Draw lines around the edges of the slap with your fingers. Next, remove the slab and then roll out each side of the dough starting at the edge that you just drew. You will be left with a higher square of dough in the middle and thinner flaps of dough on the edges. Use a pastry brush and brush off any excess flour on the dough.
Step 8: Folding the flaps of croissant dough
Remove the butter slab from the parchment paper and place it on the elevated middle part of the dough. Now fold the flaps of dough over the butter towards the middle. This creates the perfect marriage between the dough and the best friend butter slab.
Step 9: Rolling, folding, and wrapping the dough
Next, we roll the dough fold side down, starting in the middle and rolling out elongating the square into a rectangle shape. Ideally, you wind up with a rectangle that is roughly 10 inches wide by 18 to 20 inches long.
Now you just fold it into thirds kind of like you would do to a piece of paper that was going to go into an envelope. Wrap the dough up again in the plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. At this point, the dough has gotten too soft and too warm, so it is hard to roll it out, so we need to chill it.
Step 10: Repeat the steps again
This process of rolling and folding is what creates the wonderful buttery layers of dough which croissants are known for. We need to continue rolling and folding and chilling 3 or 4 more times. The more we do it the more layers that will develop. Make sure to always brush off any excess flour on the dough. After the final time place the wrapped dough in the fridge overnight. If you would like to eat the rolls in the morning you need to start the homemade croissants the afternoon before.
Step 11: The final croissant dough roll
Alright, the homemade croissants dough is complete. It should have risen nicely in the fridge. Unwrap the dough and again roll it out to another long rectangle shape roughly 8 to 10 inches wide by 20 inches long. You may need to add a bit of flour underneath the dough to prevent it from sticking to the surface.
Next, we take a pizza cutter or knife and cut out the triangle shapes that will make up the croissants. If you would like each the triangles to be the same you can create a cardboard template to use as a guide. I never worry about it.
Then after the triangles are all cut out, cut a slit about an inch long at the wide part of the triangle. Then stretch out the ends of the cut away from each other and roll towards the point of dough creating the classic croissant shape. You can leave it as is or push the ends of the roll inwards to make a crescent shape. You can create whatever shapes that you like, these are your croissants.
Step 12: One final rise
Once all of the homemade croissants have been rolled place them onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cover them with a cloth and let them rise for 1 to 2 hours. After they have risen baste the tops of them with an egg wash made from 1 beaten egg and some milk. The egg wash will give the rolls a nice golden brown color.
Step 13: Baking time, oh yeah super excited
While you are basting the tops of the homemade croissants preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C.) Next, bake the rolls in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until they are nice and golden brown.
Just look at that pulled apart croissant. Isn’t it amazing? It tastes even better then it looks. Serve them as is or as a sandwich for lunch or make bacon and eggs to go in the middle for breakfast or before baking them roll up some chocolate bars with the dough. These are yours make them how you want! 🙂 Enjoy!
Other recipes you may like:
Easy Homemade Croissants
- rolling pin
- Basting brush
- pastry brush
- silicon baking mat
- parchment paper
- meat tenderizer
- sheet pan
- kitchen spray
- Wooden spoon
- Plastic wrap
- pizza cutter
- 2 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour 290 grams
- 1/2 tbsp of salt 8 grams
- 2 1/4 tsp. of active dry yeast instant or rapid rise (7 grams)
- 2 tbsp. of white granulated sugar 25 grams
- 1 cup of milk whole is the best, but you can use 2% or 1% (240 ml)
- 1 cup of unsalted butter 225 grams
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. of milk 10ml
- Heat the milk in a bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop to about 105 to 115 F (40 to 44 C). Then add the yeast with a pinch of sugar. Allow the yeast to get foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Next mix the flour and the salt together. Add the yeast mixture to a large bowl along with the sugar. Whisk to combine the two.
- Gradually add the flour a little at a time until a nice tacky dough forms, leaving a little flour leftover. Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes adding more of the leftover flour as necessary. Hand knead the dough or use a stand mixer. The dough should get smooth and bounce back when you poke it with your finger. Place in a large bowl and cover and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled. After the dough has risen, punch it down and wrap it with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Create a butter slab by adding the butter to the middle of a piece of parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper over the butter and pound it down with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Shape it into a square that is around 8 inches by 8 inches. Wrap the butter in the parchment paper and chill in the fridge with the dough.
- Take the dough and butter slab out of the fridge. Roll out the dough so it is a few inches larger than the butter slab. Then with the butter in the middle draw a line around it with your finger. Remove the butter and roll away from the lines creating dough flaps. Unwrap the butter and place it in the middle. Fold the flaps over the butter.
- Roll the dough out fold side down creating a long rectangle 8 to 10 inches wide by 20 inches long. Wipe off any loose flour. Then fold the dough in thirds like you would with paper for an envelope. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Repeat that process of rolling, folding, and chilling 3 more times. After the last time chill in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours or overnight. Remember to wipe off any loose flour.
- On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out one final time into the large rectangle shape, again 8 to 10 inches wide by 20 inches long. Then cut triangles out of the dough with a pizza cutter or knife.
- Slit the wide in of the triangle and pull the slit out a little bit and roll towards the point of the triangle created the croissant. Leave straight or pull the ends toward each other, creating the class crescent shape. Place the rolls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat and cover and let rise for 1 to 2 hours.
- After to rolls are done rising created an egg wash with one egg and a few teaspoons of milk. Baste the tops of the rolls and then bake in a preheated oven at 400 F (204 C) for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Hallelujah, the homemade croissants are done! Let them cool for a few minutes then, enjoy. Now you are a baking rock star! 🙂
Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.