These light and flaky Classic Butter Croissants are so soft and airy. There is so much texture in every bite! While this will take a minimum of 12 hours to make these croissants, every minute is worth it when you finally take them out of the oven!
- 3–1/2 cups (525 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (250 ml) water, warm – about 105 degrees
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk, room temperature
- 5 tablespoons (62 grams) sugar
- 1 package (2-1/4 teaspoon/8 grams) instant or active dry yeast
- 1–1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1–1/4 cup (285 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- Egg wash – whisk together:
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
Making the dough
- If you are using dry active yeast, combine it with the warm water to activate the yeast. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. When you see small bubbles, you will know it is ready to use. If you are using instant yeast you can just add it to the mixer with the water- there is no need to wait for it to activate.
- In your stand mixer, using the dough hook, combine the flour, activated yeast, milk, and sugar on low speed. The dough should come together quickly and doesn’t stick to the bowl.
- Add the salt and bump the speed up one notch and mix for about 2 minutes. Add the butter continue to mix for an additional two minutes. If the dough rides up the dough hook or tries to climb out of the bowl you will want to stop the mixer and push the dough back into the bottom of the bowl.
- At this time, the dough should spring back when gently touched, and have a soft and smooth consistency like play-doh (see image A).
- Shape the dough into a rectangle (see image B) and place it on a lightly floured baking sheet. Allow the dough to sit in a draft-free area in the warmest part of your kitchen to proof for 90 minutes.
- Throughout this recipe, whenever the dough is resting, in the refrigerator or at room temperature, make sure to cover the dough with a tea towel, and loosely lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top to prevent the dough from drying out (see image C). I won’t call it out again, so don’t forget to do this!
- After 90 minutes your dough should be puffy and doubled in size (see image D). Place the covered pan directly in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or up to 8 hours.
- About half an hour before you take the dough out of the refrigerator place plastic wrap in the bottom of an 8×8 pan. Press the softened butter into an even layer on the bottom of the pan, and place it in the refrigerator to chill (see image E).
- Take out the butter just before the dough. You may need to let the butter soften a bit to get the butter the same consistency as the dough. Once the butter is ready, pull out the dough, lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough into a 14-inch square.
- Place the butter in the center of the dough, but at a diagonal (see image F). Wrapping around the butter, like a package, wrap the side dough corners to the center, then the top and bottom corners can be wrapped to the center (see image G & H).
Laminating the dough
- Using the rolling pin, roll the dough into a 20-inch rectangle (see image I). The dough will try to maintain a round shape. Using your fingers, try to keep the edges straight and keep the corners formed if possible. Doing this makes later steps easier, and allows you to avoid wasting dough that needs to be trimmed off before forming the croissants.
- Tri-fold the short ends of the dough into the center, overlapping each other as if you were folding a piece of paper to go inside an envelope (see image J & K).
- Pick up the tri-folded dough and place back on the baking sheet and return to the refrigerator, for at least an hour, or up to 4 hours.
- Repeat the steps under the Laminating the Dough section two more times, making sure to rotate the dough so that the short side is always facing you when you roll it out away from you (see image L). Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to 4 hours between the second and third roll-out.
- After the third roll out, fold it back into the tri-fold and allow it to rest in the refrigerator, for a minimum of 4 hours, and up to 12 hours. Don’t forget to cover it with the tea towel and loosely laid plastic wrap!
Forming your Classic Butter Croissants
- With the dough still folded, cut the dough in half using a sharp knife (see image M). Place one of the halves back in the refrigerator. Roll out the remaining half into a 12×16 inch rectangle.
- Split the rectangle in half so that you have a (2) 6×16 inch strip (see image N). Taking one of the strips, cut 6 triangles. Cut a 1-inch slit at the base of triangles (also image N). This will allow the center of the dough to bake easier, and it will help form the curved shape when you roll it up.
- Starting at the base, slightly separate the edges of the slit and roll toward the tip, (see image O) about halfway slightly stretch the dough from the tip so that it gets a little bit longer as you roll it up. Twist the sides of the rolled croissant away from the rolled tip and curve it inwards. You can slightly pinch the edges together to prevent it from straightening back out (see image P).
- Place these on a baking sheet lined with parchment and allow it to proof for 2 hours at room temperature. Try to find a warm place that is free of drafts.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the croissants with an egg wash and bake for 15 minutes, or until they are a rich golden brown. You will want to rotate the pan halfway through. (I was so excited to finally get the croissants in the oven that I forgot the egg wash, so they don’t look as golden brown as they should look. Such a bummer, but they taste fantastic!)
Preparing Croissants Ahead of Time
- Croissants are freshest the day they are made. But, if you would like to make them ahead of time, you can follow all the steps including the final shaping. But, do not do the final proofing or egg wash on them.
- Be sure to read the recipe in full before starting.
- Check out the blog post for additional tips to make these Classic Butter Croissants: https://whiskingupyum.com/classic-butter-croissants/
- Want to turn these into Chocolate Croissants? Follow this recipe until you get to “Forming your Classic Butter Croissants” Instead, you will follow the the Chocolate Croissants – Pain au Chocolat recipe at this point. https://whiskingupyum.com/chocolate-croissants-pain-au-chocolat/
- Category: Pastry
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: Classic Butter Croissants