This homemade classic croissant recipe is an easy-to-follow recipe that results in soft, fluffy, delicious croissants that can be enjoyed plain or filled with your favorite spreads!
Waking up to a warm pastry and a hot cup of coffee or tea is one of life's simple pleasures. There's nothing like it. Except maybe when it's filled with chocolate! Breaking apart freshly made croissants, watching the steam escape is just something you won't get from anything store-bought! Ok maybe at a fancy bakery or local cafe, but if you're ready to learn all the tips and tricks in your own kitchen, stick with me!
It's a bit of a process, yes, but this recipe will guide you every step of the way. And of course be sure to take your time and don't rush. Even if they don't turn out the first time as you would like, they will still taste delicious.
This croissant recipe uses Danish pastry, which is traditional. This means there is some rise time to account for, but in the end, you'll be enjoying a soft, buttery, fluffy croissant for breakfast or as a snack. And if you choose to share, so will everyone else in your house 😉
What is the difference between Danish pastry and puff pastry?
Danish pastry and puff pastry are closely linked. At first glance they may appear very similar. The difference is there, however. Puff pastry is a lighter and flakier pastry, whereas Danish pastry is denser and more fluffy.
Puff pastry is made with flour, water, butter, and maybe a bit of salt. And that's it. There is no sugar or yeast, therefore to obtain the lovely flaky layers it uses steam. And because there is no sugar, the pastry has a very mild flavor which makes it a great choice for both sweet and savory recipes.
Danish pastry, on the other hand, does use sugar and yeast and acts more closely to bread. Almost like a brioche. It is a variant of puff pastry, but because it does have a subtle sweetness, it's best paired with sweet fillings.
Use this dough to make a classic croissant, a pain au chocolat, or simple twists. Have fun with this pastry!
How to Make It
In the bowl of the stand mixer, whisk together flour, yeast and sugar, then add water and milk. Using the hook attachment, knead the dough for 5 minutes. It will be sticky.
Cover and let sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. If your butter is in the fridge take it out and let it soften up.
On a lightly floured surface, punch the dough down and form into a ball. Place in a clean bowl, cover and refrigerate for another hour.
Remove from the fridge and roll into a rectangle. Spread softened butter over ⅔ of the dough leaving a ¼" border. Fold the unbuttered third over to meet the middle. Fold the buttered side on top to meet the outer side of the first fold.
Rotate the dough and roll again into the same size rectangle and repeat the fold.
Place in the fridge for 30 minutes before folding again in the same way and refrigerating one last time for one last 30 minutes.
Roll it into a rectangle, trim the edges to make it even. If you are making pain au chocolat, place a stick of chocolate on the edge of the rectangle and roll it up.
For traditional croissants, cut the rectangle into triangles. Stretch it a bit and taking the wider end of the dough, roll it from the bottom to the tip.
Place either pain or chocolat or croissants onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a clean towel, and let rise for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven and sprinkle the dough with a bit of granulated sugar if desired. Bake and allow to cool on the baking sheet before moving them to a cooling rack.
Where did they originate?
Back in the 1600s the croissant began as the Austrian kipfel. In the 1830s, an Austrian opened a Viennese bakery in Paris, it of course became very popular and inspired the French version of the croissant, which is made with a flaky buttery puff pastry.
How to serve croissants
You can also sprinkle the dough with some slivered almonds, nuts or even chocolate chips before baking.
Definitely. For an added sheen or to get a deeper golden brown colour, feel free to add an egg wash on top of the pastry dough just before baking.
Croissants will keep at room temperature for up to 1 day when kept in an airtight container to keep the moisture in. Otherwise, you can keep them in the fridge for 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
You may notice that pastry dough that is kept in the fridge before rolling is a little harder to work with. It's important that the dough is kept cold, so unfortunately there is no way around it other than mustering up a little extra strength!
More delicious baked goods
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Let me know what you think once you've become a master pastry chef 🙂 Enjoy!
Homemade Classic Croissant Recipe
- 1⅔ cups bread flour (220 grams)
- 1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (4 grams)
- 1¼ tablespoons granulated sugar (16 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt*
- ½ cup + 2 ½ - 3 ½ tablespoons water (lukewarm)** (150-160 grams)
- ¼ cup + ¾ tablespoon milk (whole) (70 grams)
- ⅓ cup + 1 ¾ tablespoons butter (softened) (100 grams)
*If using salted butter reduce salt to ½ teaspoon.
**Start with ½ cup + 2 ½ tablespoons (150 g) if needed add the extra.
- In the bowl of the stand up mixer whisk together the flour, yeast and sugar, then add the water and milk, knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes, the dough will be sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for approximately 40-60 minutes.
- On a lightly floured flat surface punch the dough down and form in to a ball, place in a clean bowl, cover and refrigerate for one hour.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll into a 9x15 inches (23x40cm) rectangle. Spread the softened butter over ⅔ of the dough (leave a ¼ inch border around the rectangle). Fold the unbuttered third over meeting in the centre, fold the remaining ⅓ on top (see photos). Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll again into the same size rectangle and repeat the fold. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then repeat fold and refrigerate and one last time fold and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll into a rectangle 10 ½ x 7 ½ inches (27x19cm), trim the edges to make everything even. Cut into triangles, I made 3 croissant, 3 pain au chocolat and a couple of twists with the trimmed edges.
- To form the croissant, cut a slit at the bottom of the triangle, gently stretch the triangle lengthwise and widthwise, roll tightly from the bottom up to the tip, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. For the pain au chocolate, place a stick of chocolate on the edge of the rectangle and roll, place on cookie sheet, the extra dough can be twisted and also placed on the cookie sheet. Cover with a clean towel and let rise 45-60 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 400F (200C).
- Before baking you can sprinkle the dough with a little granulated sugar if you wish. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool 8-10 minutes on the cookie sheet then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!