Croissant recipe from scratch that is so easy to follow! The steps are broken up over 3 days, so you can start on a Friday and have fresh, homemade croissants on Sunday. Small batch croissant recipe makes 4 croissants.
I just finished reading ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat.’ I know, I’m 6 years behind the times. Please tell me I'm not the only one that read books WAY after they are popular!
I just finished The Hunger Games recently, also way behind the times.
Anyway, I have no idea why I read this book. I’m not looking to shed any weight.
Maybe I was looking for an excuse to drink wine at lunch AND dinner. Maybe I’m going through a Francophile phase? And then I must thank another friend for being such an enabler. She convinced me at brunch this weekend that there are, in fact, pills big enough to make someone like me conquer their fear of flying over the ocean to visit France.
My point being that I read a book about how to manage your weight, and all I came away with was a recipe for croissants from a real French woman.
These are not diet croissants, even though they come from a diet book. They are croissants for the woman who’s been good all week and looks forward to her weekly reward of a croissant on Sunday morning.
I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and say that if you’ve been good all week, you probably can’t be trusted around a dozen croissants. Is that just me?
I just came off another sugar detox, and I went straight to my favorite chocolate shop. I spent so much time in there that my hair smelled like chocolate-dipped sea salt caramels the rest of the day (success!). So, this recipe makes 4 good-sized croissants.
You can absolutely stretch it to 6 croissants, though they will be smaller.
I made a lot of changes to Mireille's recipe, mainly to eliminate any wishy-washy instructions (there were lots). I need clear, concise instructions for baking; a French chef, I am not.
I also changed some things that were blantantly wrong with her recipe: do not put flour in the butter layer. I don't know where she came up with that, but my sweet cousin Stephanie who is a pastry chef said that was absolutely not the way to make croissants. When I put flour in the butter layer, I ended up with crescent rolls, not croissants. Still delicious, but not my goal.
My cousin Stephanie calmed my fears about croissants by boiling it down to this: it's a yeast dough with a butter layer that is folded four times. When you think of it that way, it suddenly becomes more approachable.
Croissant Recipe--a few modifications allowed:
Mireille divided her recipe into the course of 3 days for ease. This way, you can start Friday night and eat croissants Sunday morning.
If you want to alter the recipe and replace all overnight instructions with 4 hours and try to make these in one day, go ahead. I haven't tried that, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. But as always, if you have any questions, just leave me a comment, and I will get back to you. I will post answers to questions on the site so that everyone can see them.
Homemade croissant recipe--modifications not allowed:
-unbleached flour. Please use unbleached flour, as that is what Mireille used, and that is how I developed this recipe.
-kosher salt. I normally use sea salt for baking, but Mireille used kosher. I copied her exactly because I listen to what a French woman says about baking.
Once you've mastered this small batch of croissants, be sure to make my other version: CHOCOLATE CROISSANTS!:
Skip the bakery and make your own croissants at home.
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon 2% milk, divided use
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, divided use
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons high-quality butter (European style)
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- Heat ½ cup of the milk to 115-degrees Fahrenheit, and stir in the yeast until dissolved. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the flour. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, remaining 1 cup + 1 tablespoon of the flour, and salt. Add the foamy yeast to the mixture, and knead until smooth with a wooden spoon, about 3-4 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but it will stick to itself and not the edges of the bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
- Let the butter come to room temperature.
- Remove the dough from the fridge (it should have risen some and seem bubbly). Flour a surface, and roll the dough out into a 6 x 10" rectangle. The 6" side should be closest to you.
- Spread all 6 tablespoons of the butter evenly over the rectangle, but leave about 1cm of a border on all edges.
- Fold the dough like a letter: fold the top one-third to the middle. Fold the bottom third up to the middle also. Roll the dough back into a 6 x 10" rectangle. Cover and refrigerate the rectangle of dough for 2 hours.
- Remove the dough from the fridge after 2 hours, fold it like a letter again, and then roll back out to a 6 x 10" rectangle. Place it back in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Repeat this two more times for a total of 4 folds, refrigerating for 2 hours between each fold and roll. After the last roll out, refrigerate the dough overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll it on a floured surface into a 10 x 10" square.
- Using a knife, cut the rectangle into 4 evenly-sized triangles. Roll the rectangles up, starting at the wide end. Roll towards the skinny tip.
- Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick mat, and brush with the remaining tablespoon of milk.
- Let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. If your kitchen is cold, let them rise for longer--they really need to double in size before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
- Brush the egg yolk generously over the croissants. Be sure to get it in the nooks and crannies of the dough.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until very golden brown. Start checking on the rolls at 10 minutes, and shield them with foil if the edges threaten to burn. You just spent 3 days making rolls, keep an eye on them in the oven so they don't burn!
- Let cool 20 minutes, and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142Total Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 508mgCarbohydrates: 29gSugar: 13gProtein: 5g
Hi Christina! I'm going to begin the rolling out for these croissants in a little while, so excited! I just wanted to confirm that the baking temp in the recipe is 400 F? Therefore since I'm in India and work in centigrade, this would be about 200 C for me. Just wanted to make sure so I don't burn the croissants :) Thanks!
Also, the dough isn't bubbly, but definitely has risen and looks fermented. Fingers crossed this is ok!
Also had trouble with the yeast. It would not activate and the dough was very dry. Not sure if I would try again. Followed your recipe exactly. ????
Hi ,I made these croissant tday , followed your instructions, every thing went nice, but when baking the croissant cracked from the top, any suggestions why this happened, thanks
does anyone have a recipe for almond croissants? i've seen various almond filling recipes online, and wasn't sure which one to go with. thanks!
Jean McRae says
I have the book that you speak about, you've done better than me, I haven't read it yet. I love buying and reading cook books, my problem is never getting any of the recipes made LOL...I love BREAD, can't live with it and can't live without it...(slight allergy to wheat), but I'm giving up eating bread...sounds stupid huh? oh well...Bread is the staff of LIFE !!
Hi Christina! I think I have worked up the courage to try these. I just have one questions. Is whole milk an option for this recipe? It's what I regularly have in my house. If not, I will gladly go buy 2%, I just thought I would ask before going to buy a new milk. Thank you!
Where have you been all my life!? After buying a wonderful cookbook with recipes for dinners for two I found your book with recipes for desserts for two and my life is now complete. :D
I have a question about the butter in this recipe. If you spread room temperature butter over the dough and then fold and roll it out, won't the butter get incorporated into the dough? My understanding from reading dozens of croissant recipes is that it is extremely important that this does NOT happen. I can see spreading room temperature butter over the dough and folding it and then putting it into the refrigerator to let the butter chill and then rolling it. I have to say though that the idea of spreading room temperature butter over the dough instead of measuring everything out precisely is really a stroke of genius.
Obviously you've made them this way and it works, but it just raised a flag in my mind about that particular step.
Having said all that, I can't wait to try these. Making homemade croissants has been on my bucket list for a very long time but making a huge batch seemed rather formidable, but I think this small batch recipe will be a great way to induct myself into the art of croissant making.
Christina Lane says
It's so nice to meet you! I'm glad we're in each other's lives :)
You are absolutely correct--most croissants recipes keep that butter layer cold and intact. Then, as it rolls, the flakes go between the layers. The reason I was so drawn to this recipe is because it's from a real French woman and it doesn't require the cold butter! It sounded like a much easier way to me, right? When I tried it, I was blown away by the results. They're a slight cross between croissant and crescent rolls as a result of this different method, but I still think they're delicious.
If you try them, I'd love to hear how it goes :)
I made these croissants this weekend, and it was a great learning experience. Thank you so much for doing the work to reduce the recipe to a small batch. I know for a fact I would have become incredibly frustrated trying to roll out a full batch of croissant dough to 24 inches! What really surprised me was how quickly the butter starts to melt and "bleed through" the dough. Even with this small batch I had to stop halfway through each rollout and put the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes for the butter to harden before I could finish. And that's after putting my rolling pin and pastry mat in the freezer for an hour before using them. Also, I had the same experience with the yeast as other readers - it didn't get foamy and bubbly the way yeast does when I make bread, but when I poured the milk into the dry ingredients I could see large gas bubbles in the mix. Maybe it's the brand of yeast? What brand did you use? Finally, I don't think my croissants doubled in size before I put them in the oven, although they did rise to some degree. But what matters is the finished result and they rose in the oven and tasted sooooo good (husband approved) - a little more "bready" then a true croissant but definitely very crisp on the outside with some good layering on the inside. Definitely worth the effort to make them. I'm doing the chocolate ones next weekend.
Funny story, my husband is from Belgium and the first time I flew to Belgium to meet him we spent a weekend in Paris as that was another item on my bucket list. :) The first thing I saw when we came out of the train station was an American Subway sandwich shop. :D Aside from that, we really had a wonderful time and I hope we have the chance to go back again. Take that pill and hop on a plane, Christina. :)
I made your recipe and the croissants were delicious but weren't as flaky as when I used the cold butter method. While I was rolling the dough in subsequent folds, my butter turned into nuggets/chunks spread throughout and the layers were hard to see. Is there something I could have done to cause this?
Christina Lane says
I think this is just the difference between the two methods. For some reason, I think the cold butter method is more work, you too?
More work and more dishes lol. My kids loved these though! Thanks for the recipe.
These came out so well. I love them. My sister devoured one as is and claimed it delicious. The recipe was easy to follow and everything did what it was supposed to. Yum YUM YUMMY