This recipe can look intimidating but I assure you that you do not have to be a French pastry chef to make croissants. You do need some patience and a wood rolling pin, other than that you should have all the gifts needed to master this recipe. The best part is that you can use the same recipe for sweet, savory or plain croissants and I make all in a batch.
It takes about 2 days from start to finish so I like to start the dough on the Thursday or Friday evening so I bake the croissants for breakfast during the weekend.
Ingredients (for about 12-14 croissants):
Croissant dough ingredients
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/4 cups cold whole milk
- 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 TBSP yeast
- a pinch of salt
- Butter Layer – 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
- Egg wash – 1 egg and 2 TBSP milk
- Optional – 2 slices of ham, a cup of shredded cheese and some dry herbs for the savory croissants, nutella for the sweet croissants or you can have the plain croissants they are equally good if not even better.
- With an electric mixer – combine all croissant dough ingredients except for the butter layer, shape in a ball, cover with plastic foil and leave in the fridge overnight
- For the butter layer – place the two sticks of butter at room temperature between parchment paper and roll or press with your hands so you give it a rectangular shape, about 8×10 inch in size. place the parchment paper in the fridge and leave overnight
- The following day roll the dough about twice the size of the butter layer
- Remove the butter from the parchment paper and wrap it in the dough. Everything should be covered in dough.
- Roll the dough length wise about 2.5 times the initial size and fold the ends on top of each other.
- Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and repeat the rolling/folding process 2 more times. Always roll lengthwise.
- Leave the dough in the fridge for a couple hours once you are done with all the folding stages and you are now ready to bake the croissants. I usually prefer to make croissants for breakfast so I leave the dough ready in the fridge overnight and do the last roll – cut and bake in the morning.
- Roll the dough length wise and cut triangles as in the image. Cut a small slit at the wide end of the triangle and tightly roll the croissant. If you want to add anything inside you can do cheese and ham or mushrooms for the savory ones before rolling. Or Nutella, jam for the sweet ones. Make sure when you roll the croissants that the tip is underneath.
- Cover the rolled croissants and allow to rest for about 30 minutes while the oven is warming up at the cozy temperature of 400 degrees F
- Beat the egg and milk and brush the croissants. If I have savory croissants I pus some dry herbs (basil, oregano) on top of the egg wash so I know which croissants are savory and which are sweet or plain.
- Bake the croissants for about 20 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway and if you notice they get too brown you can reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F.
- Remove from oven and serve warm!