I’ve always been very curious about baking and the art of pastry. That’s mainly why I started this blog– to pursue my passion, take risks, experiment with different recipes, and write about the most successful ones. It’s not just about sharing recipes, but also building a portfolio and documenting my progress over time.
Homemade croissants have been on my to do list for a very long time and I finally had some free time– and by free time I mean a whole weekend!– to prepare them. I was kind of nervous and worried that they won’t be successful on my first trial because I don’t have a professional pastry background or anyone to guide me through the whole process. But after reading several blog posts and watching a few videos about making croissant, I felt like I was ready to give it a shot. I fell across Top with Cinnamon’s homemade croissant recipe, and I after seeing her gorgeous pictures and step by step gifs, I had to try it out.
The process of making the layered yeast-leavened dough is time-consuming. It basically involves layering the dough with ALOT of butter through a “rolling and folding” technique. If done right, the croissants will have a crispy flaky exterior and a tender layered interior when baked. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing and eating the result of your hard work!
Note: I posted my detailed hourly schedule for preparing croissants at the bottom of the page.
Preparing the dough
Ingredients: Adapted from Top with Cinnamon
1 cup (250 ml) cold milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
3 ¾ cup (500 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (9 oz/ 250 g) butter, frozen, then left at room temp. for 20-30 minutes
2. Pour the milk and boiling water into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast and sugar, leave for 5 minutes until frothy.
3. Add in the flour and salt to the milk, incorporate it with your hands into a shaggy ball.
5. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, and leave in the fridge to rest for 1 hour.
6. When your dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, take your frozen butter (which has been left at room temperature for 20 min), and grate onto a piece of cling film
7. Disperse the butter, and flatten into a 8″ x 5″ (20 x 13 cm) rectangle. Fold up in the cling film and pat together well (make sure it’s nicely compacted). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
8. Once the butter has been chilling for 25 minutes, tip the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 16″ x 10″ (40 x 25 cm) rectangle.
9. Unwrap the chilled butter block and place into the center of the dough. Fold the dough into thirds over the butter. Seal all the edges by pinching the dough together.
10. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, use the rolling pin to make regular indentations in the dough. Roll into a 16″ x 10″ (40 x 25 cm) rectangle. (I used toothpicks as a reference for the measurements).
11. Fold into thirds like a business letter. Wrap the dough in cling film, and refrigerate for 1 hour. (steps 10+11 make “one turn” of the dough).
10. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and complete 1 turn (repeat steps 10+ 11, roll out dough then fold again). Re-wrap in the cling film, refrigerate for 1 hour.
11. Fold two more times, so you have done a total of 4 turns.
12. Cut the dough into quarters. Wrap the quarters tightly in cling film and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or freeze for up to 3 months (if you freeze it, let the dough defrost in the fridge overnight before shaping).
Shaping the dough
1. Remove one quarter of dough from the fridge, unwrap it, and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 16″ x 6″ rectangle.
2. Cut into thirds, forming 3 smaller rectangles. Cut each of these rectangles in half diagonally forming 6 triangles.
3. Take one triangle of dough (putting the others in the fridge to prevent the butter from melting).
4. Pull on the corners of the shortest edge, to even up the base of the triangle. Then gently stretch the dough a little
5. Cut a small slit in the base of the triangle, stretch it, then roll the dough up.
7. Place it, tip side down, onto a lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the triangles, placing them 2″ (5 cm) apart.
8. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise in a cool place for around 2-3 hours ( if you’re making these the night before, you can actually shape them and leave them to rise in the fridge overnight instead).
You can also freeze the shaped croissants on the baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a plastic bag and leave in the freezer for up to 3 months, then defrost in the fridge overnight and proceed as below.
Baking the croissants:
1. Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450°F (220°C).
2. Brush the croissants with a beaten egg using a pastry brush and put into the oven.
3. Immediately lower the temperature to 400°F (200°C), and bake for 10 minutes.
4. Reduce the temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until well browned and puffy.
5. Let cool on a wire rack.
• Day 1
Place butter in the freezer.
8:00 AM → 8:10 AM
Combine cold milk, boiling water, yeast, and sugar together.
8:15 AM → 8:20 AM
Mix in the flour and salt, then mix to form a ball. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, and refrigerate for an hour.
Take out the butter from the freezer.
8:50 AM → 8:55 AM
Grate the butter, shape into a rectangle, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
9:30 AM → 9:35 AM
Roll out the dough on a floured surface, add the block of butter, complete turn 1, and refrigerate.
Turn 4 – Cut the dough into quarters and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate the dough for at least 8-12 hours. You can continue baking at 9 PM, or wait until the next day to complete the rest of the steps.
• Day 2
8:00 AM → 8:20 AM
Roll out a quarter of a dough, cut into triangles, and shape into croissants.
8:20 AM → 10:20 AM
Leave the croissants to rise.
Preheat the oven to 450°F (22o°C).
10:20 AM → 10:25 AM
Brush croissants with beaten egg
Bake in the oven, following the instructions above.
Croissants are done!