Homemade Croissants (French recipe)

4.9 of 190 votes
Prep time: 2 days
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Zoom on three flaky buttery homemade croissants

I’m not really a baker by nature, and yet, I can now say that with this recipe, I can bake my own croissants. 

In this article, I reveal all my secrets for making delicious buttery croissants and give you some tips to get the best results.

Not only will there is nothing more satisfying than a fresh croissant for breakfast but your house will also smell like a bakery and this is one the reason I love baking them!  

Zoom on an unbaked croissant

I have tell you right now that this recipe takes two days to prepare. I reassure you, not two days of work, but you will have some rest and chill time to respect and it is recommended to let the dough rest overnight or 24 hours before shaping the croissants. Believe me it is worth it!

What are croissants?

Croissants is a classic French pastry made principally of flour, butter and yeast.

Zoom on a flaky buttery homemade croissant

The croissant recipe is one of the most challenging recipe in baking, but once you master it, you can create so many of variations and a whole world opens to you!

More French breakfast recipes

My 3 tips during the whole process

  • PRECISION: Be precise and try to work geometrically with nice rectangle or triangle shapes. Don’t hesitate to cut the dough a little to get your dough back in the right shape.
  • TEMPERATURE: Your dough must be cold each time your work with it, that’s why I always mentions to place it back in the fridge or sometimes in the freezer to save some time. You don’t want the dough to be frozen, just really cold. If you dough is too warm the butter will melt and the dough will start to rise uncontrollably.
  • BE GENTLE: When you will roll your dough, always do it gently. You don’t want to butter to incorporate to the dough (except at the beginning of the process) but you want to create layers that will make beautiful flaky croissants. Always press the dough gently and extend it but don’t push it too hard.

Ingredients list

To make homemade croissants, you don’t need much ingredients, however, it is important to choose them well.  

  • Flour: Ideally, a mix of all-purpose flour and a bread flour, rich un gluten such as T45 flour. If you only have all purpose wheat flour, that will work too! 
  • Dry yeast: I use active dry yeast that comes in a little. You don’t need to activate it before using it. 
  • Sugar: I use white sugar. 
  • Salt: I use fine table salt.
  • Water: You must use cold or room temperature water.
  • Milk: I recommend whole milk (3.5% fat). You must use cold milk. 
  • Butter: This is of course the most important ingredient in this recipe. I recommend a French or at least European unsalted butter, with a minimum fat content of 82%. Your butter must be cold and not soft! This is very important to be able to work the dough better. 
Zoom on a baking tray with 4 unbaked croissants

How to make homemade croissants?

Making homemade croissants consists of four steps:

Day 1

The détrempe

  • 500 g flour
  • 7 g dry yeast
  • 60 g sugar
  • 10 g salt
  • 140 g cold milk
  • 140 g cold water
  • 50 g butter, cold, cut into cubes

The détrempe is the basis of the croissant dough. It is simply a dough made of flour, water and/or milk, sugar and salt and, above all, dry yeast to make the dough rise.

Depending on the recipe, butter can be added to the détrempe but some recipes do not add it. I find that the butter in the détrempe makes the dough even softer and easier to work with. 

To make the détrempe, mix the dry ingredients (flour, dry yeast, salt and sugar) well. Then pour in the water and cold milk. Knead everything well in your kitchen machine using the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes at low speed.

The dough will certainly look a bit dry, it’s normal that it still lacks butter. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes so that the flour absorbs the liquids. 

Then add the butter cubes to the dough and knead again for 5 minutes on low to medium speed.

The butter should be completely incorporated and the dough should be homogeneous and smooth. 

Take the dough out of your bowl, flour your work surface and form a nice ball of dough.

I advise you to make a cross on the dough so that you can roll it out into a rectangle later on more easily. 

Put your dough back in a bowl, cover with a clean cloth and let it rise for at least 1 to 2 hours in a slightly warm place, like near a radiator.

Then, chill for 30 minutes in the fridge so that the dough is cold before adding the butter. 

The tourage

Prepare the beurre de tourage

While your dough rests, you can prepare your beurre de tourage a flat square of butter about 20 cm by 20 cm (8 x 8 inches).

To do this, cut your cold butter block into cubes. Place the cubes on a piece of parchment paper so that they form about a square.

Zoom on butter cut in cubes to prepare a croissant dough

Fold the parchment paper over the butter so that the sides are 20 cm long.

Then tap the cold butter with a rolling pin to soften it slightly and finally spread the butter with the rolling pin so that it spreads well in the parchment paper pocket.

Keep the butter in your fridge until needed.  

Incorporate the butter

Once the détrempe has double in size and cooled again, place it on your lightly floured surface. Roll it out gently to form a rectangle of about 40x 20 cm (16 x 8 inches). 

Place the flat butter in the center of the dough. Fold the edges of the dough inward to completely cover the butter. 

Then roll the dough to flatten it gently. Turn a quarter turn and roll out the dough to form a rectangle again, about 40x 20 cm (16 x 8 inches).

If your dough is too warm, you can let it cool off 15 minutes in the freezer covered with a plastic wrap. This step is optional ans really depends on your dough at this stage.

1st fold

For the first round of tourage is a double fold or book fold. Fold 1/4 of the dough to the middle and fold the other edge, then fold the whole in half. 

Turn the dough a quarter of the way and roll out the dough gently in the length. Place the dough in cling film or a plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes in the freezer (30 minutes in the refrigerator). 

2nd fold 

For the second round of tourage is a single fold or letter fold. Roll out the dough slightly. Fold in 1/3 of the dough and the other third on top. 

Turn the dough a quarter and roll out the dough gently. Form a rectangle of about 40x 20 cm (16 x 8 inches) again to pre-shape your dough for the following day.

Wrap the dough in cling film, place on a baking tray to keep to flat and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for one night to 24 hours

Zoom on a croissant dough in a plastic wrap on a baking tray.

Day 2 

Cutting and shaping

Create warm and humid environment

I saw this tips on YouTube and it worked so well that I had to include it in my recipe! To let your croissants rise before baking them, you need a warm and humid environment.

The best way to do it is to bring about one liter of water to a boil in a skillet. Place the skillet with the hot water in your oven and close the oven until you need it. Your oven should be turned off and let the evaporation of water warm up your oven.

NOTE: Some of my readers had the issue that the butter was leaking from the dough during the rising process. It’s probably because the oven was too hot. The oven temperature should be between 27-30°C (80-86°F). If you oven is too hot, open the door and let some fresh air in.

Zoom on an unbaked croissant  with the layers

Cut and shape

Remove the dough from the fridge. Flour your work surface slightly and gently roll out your dough with a rolling pin. Form the dough into a long rectangle as straight as possible.

To obtain regular croissants, I advise you to adjust them slightly by cutting the excess dough if necessary. 

Zoom on a croissant dough being cut

Then, cut 4 big bands in the direction of the width using a pizza cutter or a dough cutter.

Cut these bands in half on the diagonal to obtain isosceles triangles (triangles with a right angle). Readjust the triangles to make it straighter with your hands.

Zoom on a croissant dogue cut in triangles

Then, roll the dough from the wide end to the point to get a nice crescent shape. The point should be under the croissant so that it stays closed after baking. 

Zoom on a hand shaping a homemade croissant

Freeze your croissants (optional)

If you want to freeze some of the croissants, this is the time to put them in a bag and place them as is in the freezer. Make sure they don’t touch each other. I like to freeze them two by two.

Once you want to bake them, remove them from the freezer the day before and place them in the refrigerator. Then, place your croissants in your warm and humid oven (see above) and resume the recipe at that point. 

Zoom on a unbaked croissants

Bake

Final rise

Place the croissants on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and let them rise for 1.5 to 2 hours in your warm and humid oven (see above). 

Once the croissants have expanded size, take them out of the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F, convection oven).

Zoom on a baking tray with 4 unbaked croissants

Egg wash

For the egg wash, mix an egg yolk with a little milk.

Brush the croissants very delicately with pastry brush to avoid damaging them as they are really fragile at this point. I also advise you to brush only the top part and not the layers directly. 

Zoom on a baking tray with 4 unbaked croissants with the egg wash

Bake

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Zoom on a French flaky croissant

Note

This recipe is made for 8 croissants. Usually, I bake 4 croissants and freeze the remaining 4 croissants for later.

You could also directly prepared two batches (preferably separated in two doughs and not one big dough otherwise, it might be difficult to handle it) and you can have croissants in your freezer each time you need them.

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Print Recipe

Homemade Croissants (French recipe)

Click on the stars to rate!

4.9 of 190 votes
After having tasted thousands of croissants and tested several homemade croissants recipes, I finally offer you MY homemade croissants recipe, which is (almost) impossible to fail. 
Prep Time 2 days
Total Time 2 days
Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Servings 8
Calories 548 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Détrempe

  • 500 g flour
  • 7 g dry yeast
  • 60 g sugar
  • 10 g salt
  • 140 g water cold
  • 140 g milk cold
  • 50 g butter

Tourage

  • 250 g butter cold

Egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30 ml milk

Instructions
 

DAY 1

    The détrempe

    • Mix the dry ingredients (flour, dry yeast, salt and sugar) well. Then pour in the water and cold milk. Knead everything well in your kitchen machine using the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes at low speed.
    • Let the dough rest for 10 minutes so that the flour absorbs the liquids.
    • Then add the butter cubes to the dough and knead again for 5 minutes on low to medium speed.
    • Take the dough out of your bowl, flour your work surface and form a nice ball of dough.
    • Put your dough back in a bowl, cover with a clean cloth and let it rise for at least 1 to 2 hours in a slightly warm place, like near a radiator.
    • Then, chill for 30 minutes in the fridge so that the dough is cold before adding the butter.

    The tourage

      Prepare the beurre de tourage

      • Cut your cold butter block into cubes. Place the cubes on a piece of parchment paper so that they form about a square.
      • Fold the parchment paper over the butter so that the sides are 20 cm long.
      • Then tap the cold butter with a rolling pin to soften it slightly and finally spread the butter with the rolling pin so that it spreads well in the parchment paper pocket.
      • Keep the butter in your fridge until needed.

      Incorporate the butter

      • Once the détrempe has double in size and cooled again, place it on your lightly floured surface. Roll it out gently to form a rectangle of about 40x 20 cm (16 x 8 inches).
      • Place the flat butter in the center of the dough. Fold the edges of the dough inward to completely cover the butter.
      • Then roll the dough to flatten it gently. Turn a quarter turn and roll out the dough to form a rectangle again, about 40x 20 cm (16 x 8 inches).
      • If your dough is too warm, you can let it cool off 15 minutes in the freezer covered with a plastic wrap. This step is optional ans really depends on your dough at this stage.

      1st fold

      • Fold 1/4 of the dough to the middle and fold the other edge, then fold the whole in half.
      • Turn the dough a quarter of the way and roll out the dough gently in the length. Place the dough in cling film or a plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes in the freezer (30 minutes in the refrigerator).

      2nd fold

      • Roll out the dough slightly. Fold in 1/3 of the dough and the other third on top.
      • Turn the dough a quarter and roll out the dough gently. Form a rectangle of about 40x 20 cm (16 x 8 inches) again to pre-shape your dough for the following day.
      • Wrap the dough in cling film, place on a baking tray to keep to flat and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for one night to 24 hours.

      DAY 2

        Create warm and humid environment

        • To let your croissants rise before baking them, you need a warm and humid environment.
        • The best way to do it is to bring about one liter of water to a boil in a skillet. Place the skillet with the hot water in your oven and close the oven until you need it. Your oven should be turned off and let the evaporation of water warm up your oven.

        Cut and shape

        • Remove the dough from the fridge. Flour your work surface slightly and gently roll out your dough with a rolling pin. Form the dough into a long rectangle as straight as possible.
        • Then, cut 4 big bands in the direction of the width using a pizza cutter or a dough cutter.
        • Cut these bands in half on the diagonal to obtain isosceles triangles (triangles with a right angle). Readjust the triangles to make it straighter with your hands.
        • Then, roll the dough from the wide end to the point to get a nice crescent shape. The point should be under the croissant so that it stays closed after baking.

        Freeze your croissants (optional)

        • If you want to freeze some of the croissants, this is the time to put them in a bag and place them as is in the freezer. Make sure they don’t touch each other. I like to freeze them two by two.
        • Once you want to bake them, remove them from the freezer the day before and place them in the refrigerator. Then, place your croissants in your warm and humid oven (see above) and resume the recipe at that point.

        Final rise

        • Place the croissants on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and let them rise for 1.5 to 2 hours in your warm and humid oven (see above). The oven temperature should be between 27-30°C (80-86°F).
        • Once the croissants have expanded size, take them out of the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F, convection oven).

        Egg wash

        • For the egg wash, mix an egg yolk with a little milk.
        • Brush the croissants very delicately with pastry brush to avoid damaging them as they are really fragile at this point. I also advise you to brush only the top part and not the layers directly.

        Bake

        • Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

        Video

        Notes

        I recommend to read the whole article or/and watch the video as I give you some additional tips.

        Nutrition

        Calories: 548kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 8gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 737mgPotassium: 119mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1004IUVitamin C: 0.003mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 3mg
        Tried this recipe?Tag @la.cuisine.de.geraldine on Instagram and let me know how it was!

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        60 Comments

        1. 5 stars
          Hello Geraldine, these look gorgeous! The recipe is described really well and I definitely want to give it a try. I just have a question though, I would like to make these for my grandma who is a big Paris fan, she loves Paris and France, but unfortunately she is diabetic. What would happen if I leave out the sugar? What would be the result, maybe you could tell me about the “function” of sugar, apart from sweetening, of course 🙂 ….
          Thanks a lot, I really enjoy your recipes!

          1. Thank you 🙂 I never tried it without sugar. The sugar is there to help the yeast get activate. From what I read online, it should still work to make the croissant dough without sugar. So if you try it, please leave a comment 😉

        2. 5 stars
          Fantasztikus recept! Tökéletes és finom croissant lett a végeredmény. Én a végén csak 1,5 órát pihentettem a hűtőben, mert türelmetlen voltam, de így is szépen sikerültek🥰

        3. you make it seems so easy… but my first try using this recipe did not turn out so well 😔, I had a hard time rolling out the dough, it was not rolling out to 16×8. does the dough have to be very cold while rolling and also the butter inside the broke into pieces. please help thanks 😊

        4. 5 stars
          I thought this recipe was straightforward and easy to follow. This was actually my second attempt ever at making croissants. They came out golden and flakey with the nice layers. Definitely a well thought out and written recipe. The recipe does require a bit of patience and time. I will definitely be making them again!

        5. 5 stars
          good afternoon! so I’ve made your recipe two times the first time I added the butter into the dough, but my family felt like it was too much butter* I didnt* so this time I made it without. and the dough was alot harder to work with and so shaping it made it harder to shape and I think I might have left it out too long before baking it. do you think that could have been the reasoning for my butter to come out while it was baking?

          1. Hi Sarah,
            I’m glad you tried this croissant recipe and liked it. If you want to reduce the butter taste and make the croissants a bit lighter, you can reduce the quantity of butter inside the dough to 20-30 %. The square will be just thiner. But I wouldn’t remove the butter in the dough because as you said, it is harder to work 🙂 Leaking is mostly due to the fact that the final rise was a bit too warm or too long.

        6. 5 stars
          This is my first time making croissants and they turned out so well I’m so happyyy! This recipe helped a lot along with the tik toks this was super fun I’ll definitely do this again!😆

        7. Just tried them, but when rolling them out to the final 40×20 square the dough was still pretty thick and not as thin as yours. The result was that when rolling them to the shape, they were pretty big and after the 1.5 hrs of proofing they grown even more. Now they are ready from the oven and some butter dripped out but in the end they were huge and not very elegant like yours. Any idea why they grew so much or why the dough did not get “thin” like yours?

          1. Hi Marcus,
            I assume the dough was too warm. Did you placed it long enough in the freezer or in the fridge? Was the dough “fluffy” when you worked it? I can image the your dough was rising already and therefore bigger. It would also explain the butter dripping issue. I hope you will try it another time.

        8. Hello Geraldine,
          I’m excited to make your croissant recipe. But I would only like to make half of the recipe since I’m still learning how to make croissants. Can you tell me the measurements for the butter block and the dough for half the recipe? Thank you.

        9. They always taste better than the bought ones (in Melbourne) unless made by a french baker. I always make my own. 🙂

          1. I never tried, but it will certainly work. Instead of letting the dough rest overnight, rest it at least 2 hours, the longer the better. Let me know how it was 🙂

        10. Hi I baked in the oven for 20-30 min and my dough was still undercooked. Any thoughts how I could improved ? My butter also melted a bit during proof. How do you measure your temp in the oven?

          1. Butter leaking from the dough is one of the most common problem with croissants. There are 3 possibilities whe it happened:
            – either during the first part of the recipe (lamination process). The butter might have been incorporated to the dough. Solution: Roll the dough more gently.
            – the oven was too hot. Solution: try to check the temperature with a kitchen thermometer and open the door if necessary.
            – the croissants were underproofed. Solution: Only bake the croissants after they doubled in size and are jiggly.
            I hope it helped and let me know if you try it again 🤗

        11. Hi am I able to use almond milk instead of whole milk for this recipe? Please let me know as soon as you get a chance.

        12. 5 stars
          It’s been my dream to make homemade croissants, after finding your recipe, finally I had the confidence to try it and it turned out amazing. Now I don’t need to buy from cafes. Mine were as good as theirs.

          Merci, Geraldine! <3

        13. 5 stars
          Made these yesterday and today. The directions are super to follow and omg they are delicious will most definitely make again!

        14. I made this today and I was blown away! They are delicious, flaky, and gorgeous. I will definitely make them again! I had lots of butter pool as they baked, but it didn’t seem to affect them too much — the bottoms were just crispy and extra buttery. Fabulous!

        15. Hey!

          I have a question, I don’t have a stand mixer, can I knead the dough by hand, and if so how long should I knead it for?

          Thank you

        16. Thanks for this recipe! How big was the rectangle you rolled out right before you cut the dough into triangles?

          1. Hi Aileen, I haven’t tried it with a sourdough starter so I can’t give you any foolproof tips. In general, the sourdough starter should be 20% of the flour amount.

            1. Hi there, when I incorporated the cold butter it didn’t really incorporate. The mixer just basically threw the dough around the bowl and the butter was all on the outside of the dough. Then when I went to rise the ball of dough for 1-2 hrs, it didn’t double inside. What did I do wrong?

        17. Wondering what went wrong… My dough did not really initially rise even though I followed the instructions to a T. Thoughts?

          1. Hi Jacqueline,
            It’s probably because of the yeast. It can happen that the yeast is already “dead” because it’s too old or any other reason. For next time, I would suggest to activate the yeast, to make sure it’s active. Mix it with 1/4 of the milk (lukewarm in this case), 1 tbsp of flour from the total amount and the sugar. Let activate for 15 minutes. The mixture should create bubbles. Then, continue the recipe as indicated.

          2. 5 stars
            I started these yesterday and finished today. The recipe and measurements worked perfectly. I used a scale to measure precisely since in US, I’m not used to grams. I kneaded everything by hand, as I do not prefer a stand mixer and don’t have a dough hook on my hand mixer. I will shorten the time for the final rise (I did 1 1/2hrs and they were a bit too fluffy and misshapen, but the end product was so delicious). Your instructions are fantastic and I highly encourage anyone to watch the quick video for any clarification. Thank you- I felt so satisfied and accomplished when I pulled these from the oven.

        18. Hi. I’ve tried it twice and it doesn’t really rise like other breads that have a warm liquid added. Is there something I’m doing wrong ? Thank you

        19. hi , so i believe i did everything right but when I put it to bake the butter just melted straight out of the dough and it was like a pool of butter in the baking sheet. i am trying to think about what i could of had done wrong .

        20. Did anyone else have the butter seep from their croissants during the final (steaming) proof? I checked on them an hr in & was so devastated to see them sitting in a pool of butter. can someone tell me what I did wrong?
          they’re baking now, I hope the still turn out okay.

          1. Hi to all!
            usually for croissants i use a bit more of yeast and preferably fresh yeast, for sweet doughs. During the proofing, you have to be vigilant to the temperature of the enviornment, it shouldn’t be higher than 28ºC, because it risks the butter to melt. when butter melts right away during baking, it can be something wrong in lamination but also the proofing time was too short..
            croissant takes practice! dont give up.. 😉

        21. These look amazing! Thank you for sharing 🥰 are there any alternatives to the egg yolks? We have an allergy in our home and cannot use eggs

            1. 5 stars
              Thank you for this recipe. I appreciate how detailed you are with the description of the process. Just one question before I give this a try. When rolling the dough into a rectangle before cutting into the 4 bands what should the size of the rectangle be?

        22. 5 stars
          I just made these croissants! It was my first time ever trying to make croissants. I have to admit they didn’t turn out perfect. I think at some point during the folding process the butter was probably a tiny bit too warm and soft. And maybe the oven was a bit too warm during the final rise, because the croissants became absolutely massive during this process (woops) and they were in a little puddle of melted butter…. However, they did turn out to be delicious so I don’t regret spending the time. The structure was more like a silky soft brioche, with the crunchy/flaky and slightly caramelized crust and taste of a croissant. <3
          Next time I will put the dough back in the fridge after each fold, just to be sure. I will definitely give it another try. Thanks for inspiring me to make these, and for the recipe of course!

        23. I have found the liquid needs to increase to about 320ml for 500g of flour otherwise the dough becomes unworkable. perhaps it is because I’m in a dry climate or the king Arthur’s flour I’m using.

          1. I had the same problem and wondered if it should have been mL instead of grams(??). I used the King Arthur flour as well but live in a very humid climate so I don’t know if the climate is a factor.

        24. 5 stars
          Made these croissants and I didn’t regret it. Worth the hype! It was my first time making them and I was sooo grateful that you wrote all the details on how to make them. Thank you<3