Few things are as indulgent as a warm, buttery croissant. And they’re so versatile! Chocolate, raspberry jam, ham and swiss, plain, basically what we’re getting at is that croissants are always a good idea. Now, we know we always nab one on our morning Starbucks run, but we have a hankering for one fresh outta the oven. Here is a little guide that will help you turn your home into your own personal Parisian boulangerie.
When it comes to making croissants, the process is pretty simple, though it does take three days. You’ll start off by preparing your dough, choosing and/or preparing your filling, filling and rolling your croissant, and lastly baking them.
One more thing before we get started, you can absolutely make flavored croissants by adding your favorite flavors to the dough, but today we’ll just be making your basic, buttery croissants.
To create those flaky layers we all love so much, this involves laminating the dough, which is the process of folding butter into your dough a number of times to create alternating layers of butter and dough. While your dough is baking, the butter melts and creates steam, the steam lifts the layers apart, and we’re left with layers upon layers of buttery, flaky goodness.
What you’ll need:
- Dough made from flour, brown sugar, salt, yeast, milk, water, and butter. (Yes, we’re serious, that’s the ingredient list for your dough!)
- Butter for laminating your dough.
- Egg and lemon to create an eggwash.
- Fillings which can be whatever you want!
Mix your dry ingredients, then rub in the butter with your hands, followed by the wet ingredients. You’ll want to mix these until you have a sticky dough. Leave the dough in a bowl, covered, and stick it in the fridge for 10 – 12 hours. You’ll notice it will rise slightly.
Lamination day! To do this your butter needs to be at room temperature, and from here you’ll take a rolling pin and shape your butter into a 20 cm x 20 cm square. Pro-tip: do this between parchment paper to save you some headache. Go ahead and place the butter in the fridge at this point, you’ll want it cold but pliable to work with.
Next, you’ll (basically) repeat this process with the dough by rolling it into a 20 cm x 20 cm square. Keep working your dough until it’s a slightly bigger square than the butter, roughly 28 cm x 28 cm. With your dough laying flat in the shape of a diamond, place your butter square in the middle of the dough so you can fold the dough corners down to create a perfect dough square around the butter. (Like closing an envelope around the butter!)
Flour your surface and roll your dough into a long rectangle about 60 cm long, and 20 cm wide. Next, fold it into itself three times creating yet another square of about 20 cm. And to add a touch of drama, you’ll need to do this fast so your butter doesn’t begin to melt and become absorbed by your dough.
Cover your dough and refrigerate for one hour.
Then you’ll repeat the following steps two more times:
- Roll the dough into a large rectangle
- Fold over into 3
- Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes
After your third time, your lamination process is complete and you can make your croissants anytime, though we recommend letting them chill in the fridge for another good 10 – 12 hours.
Roll your dough into a large 60 cm x 20 cm rectangle. Next, cut your rectangle into six pieces, then cut diagonally to create triangles.
To roll them, start at the large base and roll toward the thin end. Make sure your croissant is tight but that you aren’t squeezing your dough. (You want to create those layers, remember!)
If you have filling, don’t forget to add that before you roll them!
Next, place your croissants on your baking sheet(s) lined with parchment paper and it’s time to prepare the egg wash by mixing freshly squeezed lemon juice, egg, and water. Whisk, whisk, whisk, apply the wash, then let your croissants proof for another 35 – 45 minutes. By this time they should have doubled in size, go ahead and apply the wash again, then bake for 18 – 20 minutes at 350 degrees.