Did you know that according to the authentic French croissant recipe, it takes 3 days to make croissants?
Sounds very long, doesn’t it?
But don’t worry, during those 3 days, you will put in only 3-4 hours of actual work.
This year’s autumn, I have practiced those AMAZING Croissants. I made them three times with the same French croissant recipe to achieve my goals.
Okay… I know it’s not a lot of times, but come on… who can eat that many Croissants?!
The thing is, I succeeded and want to share it with YOU. I’m not an expert now, but believe me, they were damn good.
They were delicious, buttery, rich in flavor, airy, and you could see all those layers, and the smell… divine!
First, I want to give you a bit of background about the French croissant recipe.
Long story short. In the 19th century, the Austrians had a Viennese bakery in Paris. They served kipfel, which is a traditional crescent-shaped yeast bread in Austria, and other Viennese specialties.
This pastry and its shape inspired the French. They created their own version, which soon spread throughout the world. So we should be grateful to both France and Austria for this gorgeous pastry.
What kind of pastry is it? What is our aim?
It is called a croissant pastry, which is similar to puff pastry. The difference is that croissants’ dough contains yeast.
But the most significant point still is to create gorgeous BUTTER LAYERS. And that requires a little bit of practice and knowledge.
- 130g water
- 4.5g instant yeast
- 250g bread flour
- 30g granulated sugar
- 5g salt
- 25g melted unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 138g unsalted butter
- 1 egg and splash of milk
Before getting to the steps and precise method, you must know that you must give the dough time if you want the best result.
After each step, let it rest, don’t rush and be gentle, imagine, and understand what is actually happening and what you want to achieve with that step. In a nutshell, be mindful.
There is no fast method when we talk about this French croissant recipe. So be patient and keep reading. 🙂
I make croissants in three days, one step at a day. There is a max of 3-4 hours of actual work through all those days, so don’t be scared.
Step 1 | Make the dough
We will call to action all ingredients.
1. In a cup, mix water at 35°C with yeast until you can’t see yeast grains, only one mass.
If you mix it with water at 40°C or more, the yeast will die.
2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt.
3. Over low heat, in a pot, gently melt the butter. Don’t need to heat it up; just melt it. That’s enough. If it is hot, you have to wait for it to cool down.
4. Pour water with yeast, melted butter, and egg yolk into flour, salt, and sugar mixture. Mix everything and go to the PROCESS.
Yes, it’s gonna be sticky, don’t expect smoothness straight away. To gain that, we will use slap & fold and stretch & fold techniques.
Slap & fold
Take the dough with your palms from the sides, lift it so it stretches a little bit, slap the bottom of that stretch, and fold it with the top of the dough. As you do that, the dough becomes smoother and smoother.
But remember, each time you take the dough with your palm, don’t take it from the right and left sides. Take it from the top and bottom.
Stretch & fold
Leave the dough in a bowl, take a little bit of the dough from one side, stretch it up, and then fold over itself. Do that from all sides.
- Do step 4, I mean, mix it together.
- Slap & fold for like 4 minutes and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Do the FIRST TURN. It means stretch & fold. Then turn the dough over. Leave to rest for another 10 minutes.
- SECOND TURN. Stretch & fold and turn over. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Now it should be pretty smooth and non-sticky. It means we’ve developed gluten.
Take 138g of butter out of the fridge, please.
I will now explain what you need to do with both the French croissant recipe dough and the butter (just do them separately, of course).
Take a large piece of parchment paper, place and flatten the dough, fold it with the parchment paper’s sides, and roll the dough till you get 18*18 cm (7*7 inches) square. Don’t use flour!
Then cling film the dough (with parchment paper) and leave it in the fridge for 12h or more. I leave it till the next day.
Do the same with the butter; only make 10*10 cm (4*4 inches) square.
Step 2 | Layering croissants
So now it’s day two. And it’s time for lamination.
Take the dough and butter from yesterday out of the fridge and leave them at room temperature for 10 minutes. If your home is cold, make it 20 minutes.
I bet your dough puffed a little so flatten it with a rolling pin. Place the butter onto the dough as it shows in the picture. After that, fold all the sides, make sure butter is hidden and leave it for 2-3 minutes.
Turn that massive square over and start rolling.
This is a crucial part!
Do not rush; gently press with a rolling pin each part of the dough before rolling, and always roll in the same direction.
Most importantly, if you feel that butter is falling apart, it is too hard, and you have to let it rest more.
I do not promise that you will succeed in this part from the first time, but it always worth trying. The results are magnificent!
Roll it till you reach approximately 46cm (18 inches) in length.
Then do the first fold.
Imagine four parts on the dough. The first two are smaller and the second two are bigger. Fold small with the small and big with the big. (Look at the picture)
Cling film it and leave it for an hour in the fridge.
After 1 hour…
Do the second fold.
Now repeat it all over again, only this time you will imagine three equal parts and fold the dough like a square envelope.
Cling film it and place in the fridge till the next day (for best results) or at least an hour.
Step 3 | Shaping and baking croissants
So today is the day when we finally bake these beauties.
Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. We need butter to warm up a little.
Now it’s time to start rolling. You need to make it 25 cm (10 inches) and about 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Only when you reach the correct width start concentrate on the length to make the right thickness.
If the dough still resists (you will notice that it comes back when rolling), let it rest for additional 30 minutes in the fridge).
When you have a beautiful rectangle, mark with your knife every 10 cm on both sides and cut to make triangles (picture).
Now, very lightly and without pressure, roll those triangles from the bottom to the top. Make sure you don’t press them.
When you place them on a tray (with parchment paper), the pointed edge should be at the bottom, under the croissant, so it won’t roll out when baking.
Whisk one egg, add a splash of milk, and brush the croissants. Leave them to proof for 2h.
I leave croissants in an oven because cling film on top would ruin them.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (400F or 200°C was way too much). Take croissants out when you preheat the oven!
Brush croissants with egg mixture one more time and bake till golden brown, about 15 minutes.
That’s it, guys! You have the most perfect, delicious, and buttery croissants!
I hope you will succeed and show me your masterpiece. If something goes wrong or you have questions, I’m always here to help.
Let me help you answer the questions WHY & HOW!
Have a lovely day!
P.S. I have a favor to ask. Could you please tell me one thing you struggle with in the kitchen? You can do that in the comments or write to me directly via contact me.
I’m here to solve your kitchen problems!