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Croissants on a white tray with one broken open to expose the interior

How to Make Croissants

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I’ve always been intrigued about How to Make Croissants, the buttery, flaky, laminated French pastry that’s beloved around the world. This is a tried and true Croissant Recipe that tastes like what you’d find in a Parisian patisserie and it comes from Julia Child!

Croissants on a white tray with one perched on a corner

How to Make Croissants

The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Homemade Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

Croissants lined up on a white tray
5 homemade croissants on a rectangular tray

Steps for How to Make Croissants 

I’ve made puff pastry before, which is quite similar except for the absence of yeast. I had the dreaded leak of butter through the dough with all the rolling, folding and turning with the puff pastry.  The following method seemed to work much better.  It’s quite simple to do but you need to allot the time…I made the dough on a Friday evening, let it rise the first time, then parked it in the fridge to finish on Saturday.  Buttery, tender and flaky…these were perfect.  Thanks, Sarah, for this delicious challenge to make Julia Child’s Croissants Recipe. Today my 18-year-old said that I should make 100 next time instead of 12. These Homemade Croissants were gone in a flash.

Croissants, adapted from Julia Child

Servings: 12 croissants

Ingredients to Make Classic Croissants

¼ oz (7 gm) of fresh yeast, or 1¼ teaspoon (6¼ ml/4 gm) of dry active yeast (about ½ sachet)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) warm water (less than 100°F/38°C)
1 teaspoon (5 ml/4½ gm) sugar
1 3/4 cups (225 gm/½ lb) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
1½ teaspoon (7½ ml/9 gm) salt
½ cup (120 ml/¼ pint) milk (I am not sure if the fat content matters. I used 2%)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
½ cup (120 ml/1 stick/115 gm/¼ lb) chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg, for egg wash

Steps to Make Homemade Croissants

1. Mix the yeast, warm water, and first teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little.
2. Measure out the other ingredients
3. Heat the milk until tepid (either in the microwave or a saucepan), and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar
4. Place the flour in a large bowl.
5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour
6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated
7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl
8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only. It’s a little difficult to explain but essentially involves smacking the dough on the counter (lots of fun if you are mad at someone) and removing it from the counter using the pastry scraper.
9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag
10. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.
11. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips.
12. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or countertop, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches (20cm by 30cm).
13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up)
14. Place the dough letter back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag.
15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge
16. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge while you prepare the butter.
17. Once the dough has doubled, it’s time to incorporate the butter
18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board.
19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little until it is quite flat.
20. Use the heel of your hand to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. You want the butter to stay cool but spread easily.
21. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two.
22. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm). I used a rolling pin.
23. Remove the butter from the board, and place it on the top half of the dough rectangle
24. Spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle, but keep it ¼ inch (6 mm) across from all the edges.
25. Fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third of the dough up.
26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right (like a book).
27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
28. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.
29. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
30. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter.
31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little
32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes
33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
34. Fold in three, as before.
35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising)
37. It’s now time to cut the dough and shape the croissants
38. First, lightly butter your baking sheet so that it is ready
39. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter
40. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5-inch rectangle (51 cm by 12½ cm).
41. Cut the dough into two rectangles (each 10 by 5 inches (25½ cm by 12½ cm))
42. Place one of the rectangles in the fridge, to keep the butter cold
43. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches (38 cm by 12½ cm).
44. Cut the rectangle into three squares (each 5 by 5 inches (12½ cm by 12½ cm))
45. Place two of the squares in the fridge
46. The remaining square may have shrunk up a little bit in the meantime. Roll it out again till it is nearly square
47. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles.
48. Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles.
49. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.
50. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet
51. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total.
52. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour
53. Preheat the oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
54. Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water
55. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants.
56. Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely
57. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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71 comments on “How to Make Croissants”

  1. Wow, I am so impressed! These turned out beautiful! If you happen to make 100 the next time and you find yourself not able to eat them all, feel free to send some my way 🙂

  2. Gorgeous croissants! I’m not surprised they were snapped up. 🙂

  3. I have been wanting to make croissants for ages! I think I have found the perfect recipe! Yours look soooooo flaky and buttery and… PERFECT Lizzy! What a great job! 🙂

  4. Lizzy, Oh. My. Goodness!! 57 steps??!!
    You forgot step 58 – take some well deserved rest and enjoy the croissants of your labor!
    These look incredibly delicious and I’ve been wanting to make some, but now I’m not so sure! Haha
    Great job!

  5. I absolutely love them tried them once, too much work for me. But when I retire they will be a regular time taker as they are well worth it… you did a fabulous job great instructions as well!

  6. FABULOUS! These are stunning and this is an item on my lifetime list of things to make. I’ve read articles, recipes, watched videos… they are intimidating, but SO amazing!

  7. You always blow me away with your food. So amazing. Thanks for your kind words my dear. I am doing a bit better. Should be running errands by thursday. Woot woot.

  8. Wow Liz! These were definitely a challenge for me. But seriously….you need to open a bakery…cuz I’d stand in line a mile long for a chance to sample one of these beauties!

  9. Your croissants are beautiful! I’m always not brave enough to make these.

  10. Wow, I love your croissants. They look like they’re baked by a pro. Beautiful! 🙂

  11. I saw this over on Chef in Disguise and yours look just as good! Great job.

  12. This is exactly why I don’t make croissants, but you have the touch for it!

  13. Lizzy, What a great job you did on these…I have put a hold on some of my baking because my hubby is on South Beach! I’m really sorry I missed this one! Absolutely beautiful!

  14. delicious looking croissants looks wonderful

  15. 57steps to making these amazing croissants?…thank you, but no thanks you!
    …and you actually made these, Lizzy?…are you Julia Child…re-incarnated?
    No possible explanations for these amazing croissants…except a “fairy godmother” visit!

  16. OMG!! I have been craving croissants for awhile now and these are perfect! I read another blog that said this task was so time-consuming and difficult. But it looks so worth it! I had croissants on my 30 by 30 list of things I wanna make, but now I am too scared to make them! Can you just make some for me and ship them to my house? 🙂 Beautiful croissants!

  17. Lizzy these croissants look amazing!! they’re truly tough to make, I think the only reason mine came out correctly the one and only time I made them was because I was in culinary school! Great recipe!

  18. So impressive! They came out so beautiful and golden.

  19. Oh yes, it was a long process but definitely worth the effort 🙂 I made 20 croissants and they disappeared within a few minures 😀 Yours look so tasty! I love the deep color!

  20. Lizzy I’m so impressed! Croissants are a lot of work and a lot of time, 57 steps!! They look beautiful 🙂

  21. Really, you had to wait 10 whole minutes to let them cool? That must have been the most difficult step of all. 😉

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