Tips to Make the Best Croissants

Making croissants from home is certainly an advanced baking project. Follow these expert tips for bakery-ready croissants – No matter the croissant recipe. Croissants’ layers come from laminating the dough with real butter. Throughout this step, it’s essential to keep the dough and butter chilled so the layers stay together for a perfect bake. Butter also plays an important role during baking since it melts and gives off steam, which puffs up each thin layer for buttery, flaky croissants.

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Tip 1: Make Dough

Using high-protein flour and yeast that is alive are crucial to getting the dough right. Combine ingredients – flour, yeast, sugar, salt, milk and water – in the bowl of stand mixer using a dough hook attachment. Important: Start this step 24 hours before serving, as the dough will need to ample time to chill and proof.

Tip 2: Make Butter Block

On parchment paper, place 3 sticks of cold butter side-by-side and make a packet by folding the parchment over the butter. Lightly beat and roll over the packet until the butter is an even 1/2-inch-thick layer.

Tip 3: Square Off Butter Block

Try to keep the edges sharp and the block level to make the lamination process easier, and to ensure the croissants have consistent layers.

Tip 4: Keep Dough & Butter Chilled

Throughout this process, you’ll want to keep both the dough and butter chilled. This is important to help prevent yeast from producing gases during lamination. Work quickly while laminating to prevent warming.

Tip 5: Begin Lamination

Roll out dough and place butter block in the center. Fold dough over the block and pinch dough together. Roll out further into a long rectangle and trim excess edges of the dough with pinwheel cutter where the butter doesn’t reach.

Tip 6: Roll, Fold & Chill

Take the farthest short edge of the rectangle from you and fold down to the midline of the dough. Gently press so the dough adheres together. Repeat on the other side, leaving a 1/8-inch-gap. You now have a “book” of dough that’s four layers thick. Tightly wrap in reserved plastic and freeze for 15 minutes, and then refrigerate for 1 hour. Repeat by rolling, folding and chilling for many layers.

Tip 7: Let Dough Rest & Roll Out

Once dough has been laminated and chilled, let rest at room temperature, about 5 minutes. Unwrap and place on lightly floured counter. Beat and roll out dough into long rectangle. Place on baking sheet and wrap, freezing for 20 minutes, then chilling for 8 to 12 hours.

Tip 8: Trim Edges

Remove dough from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature, about 5 minutes. Unwrap, place on lightly floured counter and roll out. Trim irregular edges using pinwheel cutter.

Tip 9: Cut Dough Into Triangles

Using the pinwheel cutter, slice dough into even rectangles. Then slice lines from opposite corners of the rectangles to form triangles.

Tip 10: Form Croissants

Working with one triangle at a time, gently tug to extend points, widen base, lengthen the triangle and thin the dough. Take the base or short end and roll up the dough, making sure it’s not too tight. Keep the point of the triangle centered and don’t stretch the dough.

Tip 11: Proof Croissants

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, evenly spacing formed croissants on sheets and loosely covering with plastic wrap. Proof croissants in an oven with the light turned on until they have doubled in size, about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Do not rush this step.

Tip 12: Bake & Enjoy

Before baking, chill proofed croissants for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a pastry brush, gently brush egg wash on each chilled croissant, avoiding cut sides that may have exposed layers of dough. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate sheets, switch racks and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!