Croissants are flaky, puffy, and soft pastries made with yeast and rolled into crescent shapes. “Croissant” in French means “Crescent” and this is the reason why some people refer to croissants as Crescent Rolls but they are not. The process of making Croissants is different from that of Crescent rolls. Croissants are pastries while Crescent rolls are a type of bread. Croissant is of Austrian origin and was first known as Kipferl in Austria but was imported into France by an Austrian artillery officer by the name August Zang; it was after this that the French called it Croissant because of the crescent shape. Croissants are now a common part of breakfast in many European countries.
Croissant recipe can be made plain of with nuts and other fillings such as jam or chocolate. Today, I’m going to show you the various processes involved in making croissants.
Table of Contents
- 1 tsp of active dry yeast
- 150ml of whole milk
- 250g Flour. Though gluten is important for molding the croissants, you can still use some gluten-free flour such as potato starch, cornstarch, or tapioca starch to make croissants at home. Though the texture and taste may be different.
- 1/3 cup of white granulated sugar
- 25g of Melted butter (salted)
- 2 Egg
Steps on How to Make Croissant
Making the Croissant Dough
- First, the yeast is activated by adding it to the milk after the milk has been warmed to a temperature of about 22 degrees Celsius, or check the yeast manufacturer’s recommended temperature for activating your yeast; mostly found on the container.
- Allow the yeast to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes to be activated. It becomes frothy when activated.
- While the yeast is being activated, mix the sugar and flour in a mixing bowl to combine.
- Then stir in the yeast and milk; ensure you stir the yeast first to mix properly with the milk before adding to the flour and sugar mixture.
- Also, add the melted butter and 1 egg into the flour mixture.
- Stir with a spatula until you form a dough. Use your hands to knead the dough in order to have a smooth croissant dough.
- Now cover the dough with a cling film/plastic wrap/food wrap and keep it in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Stacking the dough layers with butter
- After 1 hour, the dough should have risen to double its size. Now deflate it by poking with your hands.
- Remove the dough and place it on a flat surface that has been dusted with flour to prevent sticking to the surface.
- Use your hand and mold it into a long cylindrical shape like that of a rolling pin.
- Cut into equal sizes using a pizza cutter such that each part is a small ball that can be rolled into a disc shape. Since you will be working with one at a time, always cover the remaining cut-out parts with a towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Use a rolling pin and roll the croissant dough into a flat disc-like shape. You can add some flour to the rolling pin and also dust the top of the dough to prevent it from sticking during rolling.
- Now use your hand or a butter knife to coat the upper surface of the flattened dough you just made. Make sure the butter is coated evenly on the surface of the dough.
- Repeat the same process with the remaining parts. For the remaining parts, after rolling into a flattened circular shape, coat the upper surface with butter and stack them over one another. Only the upper surface should be coated. For the last dough, do not coat it but stack it on top.
- Fold the stacked layers of dough in a cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour to 2 hours minimum or for about 8 hours.
- After removing it from the refrigerator, you can now begin laminating the stacked layers of dough and butter.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the sack layers while applying pressure to the dough. The aim is to have a flat dough from stacked layers; this is achieved by applying pressure while rolling until the layers are laminated into one layer measuring about 5 mm in thickness.
- When it is well laminated, fold the dough into a rectangular shape to look like a textbook and roll again until it becomes flat with a thickness of about 5 mm.
- After that, repeat the process of folding back into a rectangular shape but this time, wrap with a cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove after an hour in the fridge and finally roll again into a flat shape of 5 mm thickness.
- Use a pizza cutter and shape it into a rectangular shape from which you can cut out even triangles.
- I usually divide the rectangular dough into 3 equal parts. Each of the parts is then further divided into 2 equal triangles; this is done by cutting each part diagonally into equal halves.
Rolling into Crescent shapes
- Once I have my triangular dough cut out, I make an incision from the base of the triangle to enable easy rolling of the croissant dough.
- Fold the incised end into a cylinder and continue with the folding until you reach the apex of the triangle.
- Press the tip with your finger and place the rolled croissant dough in a tray lined with baking paper (parchment paper).
- Continue rolling the rest of the triangular dough into croissant shapes and arrange them in your tray.
- Place the rolled croissants, covered with a foil paper, in a warm environment for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. ALWAYS keep an eye on them. The essence is for them to increase in size before you start baking. Once they increase in size, remove them immediately; leaving them longer makes the yeast to overstretch and distort their shapes.
- Just before you start baking, refrigerate them again for 1 hour. This prevents the croissants from excessive over-stretching while baking as they become very soft when the yeast makes them rise and increase in size.
- After 1 hour, make an egg wash by breaking 1 egg into a small bowl and adding 1 tbsp of water to it; whisk to combine and use this egg wash to glaze the surface of the rolled croissants before baking.
- Preheat your oven to 204 degrees Celsius and bake the croissants for 10 minutes; after that reduce the oven temp. to about 180 and bake again for 8 minutes.
- I usually rotate the orientation of the baking tray so as to enable even baking of the croissants.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool a bit, and enjoy your easy homemade croissant recipe.
Croissants are usually enjoyed with a cup of coffee as breakfast. You can make croissants with chocolate or almond paste by wrapping the chocolate or almond paste with the croissant dough. When sliced, it can be filled with fillings such as fruit jam or honey. In the United States of America, warm croissants can be filled with ham and cheese, spinach, or feta cheese. There are varieties of fillings for croissants ranging from almonds, Nutella, or fruit raisins, etc.
Croissant Calories and Nutrition
Every 100 grams of Croissants made with butter contains about 406 calories, 27g of fat, 67mg of cholesterol, 8g of protein, and 46g of total carbs. There are some minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. Some minerals in a croissant recipe are iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
These calories and nutrition are for plain croissant recipe; adding more fillings and glazing increases the caloric content.
Dr. Brown is the founder of Jotscroll, he is a Medical Doctor, Entrepreneur, and author. Dr. Razi Brown holds a medical degree from the University of San Diego. He has invested in many startups and is currently working on his fifth book to be published in the upcoming year.