Croissant Dough

Croissant dough is essentially just puff pastry dough with some yeast and sugar added to it. It requires about half the number of folds (“turns” as they’re known in the trade), so it’s less time consuming to make. This dough freezes extremely well, for up to about two months, so make extra

For the dough (détrempe):

22 ounces (about 4 1/3 cups) bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
14 ounces (1 3/4 cups) whole milk at room temperature
3 ounces (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) cream at room temperature

For the butter slab:

3 Tbsp flour
16 ounces cold Euro-style (cultured) butter

Combine everything for the détrempe in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat on low for about 1 minute until a dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook and knead on mediums speed for about five minutes until the dough is smooth and only slightly sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, about an hour. Refrigerate it for about 2 hours or overnight.

About half an hour before you’re ready to roll the pastry, take the butter out of the refrigerator. Let it sit on the counter for about twenty minutes to soften slightly (less time will be required if it’s warm in your kitchen). While you’re waiting, make two double-layered pieces of plastic wrap. When the butter has softened slightly, place it on one of the plastic wrap pieces and sprinkle the flour over it. Lay on the other piece of plastic wrap and begin pounding the butter with a rolling pin, beating, folding and mashing as demonstrated in the How to Laminate Dough post under the Techniques menu. You want to end up with a large, flat slab with all the flour incorporated.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and proceed according to the How to Laminate Dough tutorial, making your butter and dough envelope. Give the dough two “turns” — letter-style folds — one after the other. After than, cover the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour. The last turn is a style not shown in the tutorial, but it’s call the “book” turn. It’s not difficult, it simply involves folding each edge of the sheet in toward the middle, then folding the one side over the other, closing the dough mass like a book. The end result is that the dough is folded into four layers.

The folding done, return the dough to the refrigerator and let it chill at least four hours before using.

This entry was posted in Croissant Dough, Pastry Components. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Croissant Dough

  1. Szilvi says:

    Dear Joe

    I like to make youre croissant dough as i am going to bake croissant at this weekend. I actually having a hard time to convert all the ingredients into gramms…, but i will do. One thing i do not understand what is half-and-half? In equal parts, that is OK, but what? The milk with yeast? Pls help me, and explane to this half-and-half thing, cause I can’t go trough the recepie :)

    Thanx,

    Szilvi from Hun

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Szilvi! If fact I have some conversion charts on the web site under the “Baking Basics” link. You want the “Ingredient Weights” post. As for the half-and-half, you don’t really need to use it if it’s not convenient. Milk will work just fine. What we call “half-and-half” is a 50-50 mixture of heavy cream and milk. It’s what you might call “light cream.”

  2. Donna says:

    How many croissants does this recipe make?

  3. Allison says:

    I only have active dry yeast. Any suggestions for a substitute?

    • joepastry says:

      You can use active dry. You’ll just have to “bloom” it in some of the milk (warmed to about 110 degrees) before you add it to the dough. Then proceed as usual!

  4. Audrey says:

    Hello Joe,

    This will seem like a silly question, but in the hopes of getting a flakier product, would it be counter-productive to do more than two turns? Would one end up with a ‘puff-pastry’ croissant (no bad thing perhaps)?

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Audrey! As you clearly understand, the more turns you do, the flakier the exterior of the croissant gets. The interior tends to stay moist and bready no matter, what, though extra turns will give it a finer texture. I like three turns, myself. I think it’s a good mid-point for a croissant dough.

      • Audrey says:

        Flaky croissants success! It could have been the result of following your strictures to batter the butter/dough into submission but I suspect it was the three turns… Thank you!

  5. evon says:

    hi joe

    i would really really want to say Thankkkkkk youuuuu! really, very happy having found your flog and your very useful recipes! I have tried making croissants 6 times and failed miserable each time and just when i was on the verge of giving up (ok, i just exaggerated a bit here, I wasnt about to give up yet ), the thing is, with your recipe, this is the very first time i feel like, yes, i think i have gotten it right!
    Cant say enough how thankful I m for your useful tips and very good recipes! Look forward to reading more of your posts!
    Have a nice day!! :) )

    • joepastry says:

      Thank you, Evon, for the terrific email! i love to hear stories like that. And yes do try other things — and don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can be of any help.

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  6. Amal says:

    Hey!
    I love this site and have tried a lot of things with success. Thank you for that!
    But I am embarrassed to say that I did not really understand this one properly. All those turns and all that.
    I’m 17 and I have been baking for just two years now so I’m very new at this. Could you please add pictures or explain in a bit more detail? It would be very appreciated :)

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Amal!

      Just click the link in the middle of the recipe post…it will take you to a complete photo tutorial for laminating dough. Everything you need to know should be there!

      - Joe

  7. Amal says:

    Thank you!

  8. Duane Nelson says:

    Hi Joe,
    Generally speaking i’ve had great success with your croissant recipe. Thank you! However I have some uncertainty on how the dough should feel. You suggest that one may not use all 4cups of flour but I find I am always using more than 4cups just to keep the dough workable and not sticky. I do not have a mixer with a paddle and dough hook, just a wooden spoon and hand kneading. After the first 1hr rise in the fridge the dough is very light and difficult to roll out flat without becoming too sticky. Any helpful tips? Or is this par for the course? Also, what do you recommend for egg wash and how do you apply it?

    thanks!
    Duane

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Duane!

      Hand-mixed doughs generally use more flour, so don’t worry about that, so long as the end product is something you’re happy with. As for the egg wash, I use two egg yolks mixed with about a tablespoon of water.

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  9. Jax says:

    Hi Joe! Just wanted to thank you for the recipe, and also the “how to laminate the dough” tutorial, never had much luck with croissant or puff pastry dough before, but I just made some amazing apple-almond crossovers using this technique….good stuff! Thanks again!

  10. Khan says:

    Hello Joe,
    I have tried a lot of recipes from your website and they all turned out GREAT! I have made danish, puff pastry, pate a choux and the latest is croissants. The tutorial on how to laminate the butter into the dough is very informative and very helpful. My next attempt would be the dreadful macaron. I know macarons are extremely extremly hard to make. Could you give us a step by step tutorial on how to make macaron, just like you did on how to laminate the butter into the dough?
    Thanks!

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Khan!

      A complete tutorial on macarons already exists. Look for it under “Miscellaneous Desserts and Cookies”!

      - Joe

  11. calum says:

    love the website by the way

    maybe an obvious question but it says, “The last turn is a style not shown in the tutorial, but it’s call the “book” turn. It’s not difficult, it simply involves folding each edge of the sheet in toward the middle, then folding the one side over the other, closing the dough mass like a book. The end result is that the dough is folded into four layers.”

    so I understand the type of fold but when I do that fold do I roll the dough into itself like usual or just put it in the fridge with 4 obvious layers and just unfold it when I want to shape the dough.

    thanks

  12. Val says:

    Hi Joe!

    I love your blog!! This is kind of embarrassing, but what do you mean whit half-and-half ? Milk? :-S

    • joepastry says:

      Not embarrassing at all, Val! A lot of people ask that question. It’s half cream, half milk.

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  13. Emma says:

    Hello Joe,

    I recently made croissants for the first time and although they turned out pretty good for a 1st attempt they weren’t quite as they should have been.

    The dough was very sticky and tricky to work with. I was afraid to add more flour as I’d heard it can toughen the end product. Because of the stickiness it was hard to roll out.

    So my first question is: Is it ok to add more flour?

    My second issue was with the butter. I think it was too cold as it seemed to break into chunks rather than become a thin layer.
    Does adding the flour help with this? Or is it more of a question of beating it and letting it warm a little.

    This is the recipe I used:

    http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2012/12/how-to-make-croissants.html

    Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome.

    I just found your site today and already I know it’s going to be a great resource :)

    Emma

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Emma!

      Well done on the croissants! Few people have the courage to make their own. Hats off to you for diving in to the world of laminated doughs!

      To answer your questions, the dough should not be sticky, so don’t be afraid to add more flour to make it more workable. It won’t toughen the dough, no worries there. Also the butter should be quite pliable before you start rolling it in. It should be putty-like and yes, the beaten-in flour does help…it insulates the butter and keeps it from melting too quickly. Follow the link to the “How to Laminate Dough” post, which I really need to re-do with bigger photos. But don’t hesitate to get back in touch should you have any more questions. Keep up the good work!

      - Joe

      • Emma says:

        Thanks for your advice. It’s super helpful :) I also noticed further up this thread that you say hand mixed doughs use more flour. That probably explains my issue and it’s good to know there is a difference. Knowing the whys make the hows easier, so thanks again for your help.

  14. Carla says:

    Hi Joe,

    I came across your website this morning while doing laundry!! (thank heavens ;) ) I have been looking for a descent croissant recipe for quite some time now – and with great pleasure, came across this one!!

    One question though: as soon as all the folds and book shapes are made, do I roll out the dough again after the resting process in the fridge, or do I just unfold and work from there?

    Thanks so much for all the useful info and tips, can’t wait to try out more of your recipes!

    Kind regards,
    Carla

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Carla!

      Thanks very much! And the answer is” you want to roll the whole mass flat and then start cutting your shapes.

      Have fun!

      - Joe

  15. Mom in High Heels says:

    I recently discovered your site via Pinterest, and I’m so happy I did. We lived in Europe for 11 years, and finding decent breads and pastries since we moved back to the US (especially some without all the junk in them). Even our 11 and 2 year olds aren’t happy with the US stuff! They have sophisticated pallets. :) I’ve attempted a few of your easier recipes (which have all turned out wonderfully) and am now feeling confident enough to make croissants. I do have a question though. Should I use salted or unsalted butter? Does it matter, as long as it’s cultured? Thanks so much, and I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    • joepastry says:

      Hey MIHH!

      Unsalted butter is definitely preferred for all laminated dough. Gives the pastries a lighter and fresher taste.

      And please do let me know how they turn out — I’ll be interested!

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  16. Bee says:

    Hi Joe,

    Is it possible to use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour? if so, do I have to make any adjustments in the liquid or butter proportions?

    thank you very much!
    Bee

    • joepastry says:

      You may do that, Bee, with no other adjustments. It won’t rise quite as high, but it should still be great!

      Have fun!

      - Joe

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