French Croissants

This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever made, not in terms of being physically or technically difficult, but that every step is so specific and purposeful that there are a lot of places to make a mistake. Some batches have been better than others, usually depending on how long I mix the dough and the temperature in the house when proofing, but all have tasted great.

French Croissants

Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 2 days
Servings 2 dozen



  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 55 g sugar
  • 11 g instant yeast
  • 12 g kosher salt
  • 40 g soft unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 140 g water
  • 100 g whole milk
  • 40 g plain greek yogurt optional substitute for 40 more grams of whole milk

Other Ingredients

  • 280 g cold unsalted high fat butter for laminating (Plugrá, Kerrigold)
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tsp of water for egg wash


Day 1: Dough

  • In a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, combine all the dough ingredients and mix at low to medium speed until the dough comes together. Try not to work the dough too much, keeping the gluten development to a minimum. Roll into a thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 10-12 hours, but ideally overnight.
  • Preparing the Butter
  • Cut the cold butter (directly from the fridge) lengthwise into 1-inch thick slabs. Arrange the pieces of butter on a piece of waxed paper to form a square of about 15 cm x 15 cm. Cover the butter with another sheet of wax paper and with a rolling pin pound the butter until it reaches roughly a 19 cm x 19 cm square. Trim the edges down to 15 cm again, adding them to the middle of the square. Then continue to pound the butter until you have a final square of 17 cm x 17 cm. Wrap the butter in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Day 2: Laminating the dough

  • Lightly flour work surface and dough. Roll out dough disk into 26 cm x 26 cm square. Roll towards the four corners of the dough, starting the middle and moving outward. It is important to have an even thickness through the square.
  • Place the dough so that one of the flat sides of the square is closest to you. Place the butter sheet into the square at a 45 degree angle to the dough. It should look like a diamond sitting the middle of the square.
  • Grab one corner of the dough and lightly pull, stretching it out a little bit. Fold it over the top of the butter so the corner of the dough reaches the center of the butter. Repeat for each corner. The edges of the dough should overlap to fully enclose the butter. Press with your palm to seal the seams of the dough around the butter.
  • With a lightly floured rolling pin start rolling out, on a lightly floured surface, the dough into a 20 x 60 cm rectangle. Start rolling gently at first then adding more pressure as it gets thinner. Roll from the center of the dough towards the edges. This makes it easier to maintain the same thickness throughout the rectangle. Try to keep it as narrow as you can, focusing on lengthening it. You can push the long edges together to keep it narrow if it gets spread too wide.
  • When it has reached roughly 60 cm long, fold the dough letter style (right third over, then the left third over that). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • After the refrigeration, repeat the rolling and folding process. Refrigerate again, and repeat rolling and folding. The open “end” of the dough should be getting rolled out every time. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Day 3: Dividing the dough

  • Roll the dough into a long narrow strip of 20 x 110 cm. Try to keep it as narrow as possible because this will affect the size and height of the croissants. Gently lift both ends of the dough to allow it to naturally shrink down.
  • Using a pizza cutter and a ruler cut the dough into 2 inch wide strips.
  • Very lightly roll the dough out with the rolling pin, lengthening it rather than flattening it.
  • Roll the rectangle of dough from top to bottom.
  • To make pain au chocolat place a bar of chocolate at the bottom end of the dough and roll around it.


  • Arrange the croissants on a baking sheet, making sure there’s plenty of space between them.
  • In a custard cup, beat the egg yolk and add the teaspoon of water. Give the croissants a thin layer of egg wash.
  • Place the croissants in a draft-free environment (an open oven).
  • Let proof for roughly two hours. You should be able to tell if they are ready by lightly shaking the baking pan the croissants should wiggle.


  • Preheat the oven to 390 degrees. The rack should be in the middle or just above the middle position.
  • As the oven preheats, give the croissants their second coat of egg wash.
  • Bake the croissants at 390 degrees for 6-7 minutes. They should be bubbly and slightly golden brown on the top.
  • Turn the heat down to 380 degrees for 10-13 minutes until they are golden-dark brown.
  • After removed from the oven, leave on the baking sheet for roughly 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.


*use of scale is necessary, conversion to imperial measurements affects the quality of the recipe
*Rolling tips(