Homemade Croissants – buttery, flakey, and delicious croissants you can make at home!
For Thanksgiving we decided to take a trip to Paris. We were looking at going back to Wisconsin to visit family, and then for some we reason priced a few other locations. It was cheaper to fly to France than it was to Wisconsin. So a Parisian Thanksgiving it was!
We knew the weather would be cold and most likely rainy while we were there, so we wanted to come up with some in door activities we could do. After searching all over, one thing I found was a Croissant Baking class. I was beyond excited about the idea of baking our own croissants. Because fresh croissants are the thing I think of when I think of Paris. It is what I remember loving the most when I was 17 and was there.
We had some travel problems getting there with cancelled flights, delayed flights and more; so the class ended up taking place just hours after we arrived in Paris. Considering we hadn’t slept in probably 30 hours at that point, it wasn’t ideal, but we made it work.
We arrived and met the other 3 people who would be in the class with us. Our teacher immediately started with the basics and making sure we were all comfortable. We spent time talking about the different types of flour in the recipe, the different kinds of butter that make the best croissants and the importantance of high quality ingredients in a recipe this simple.
We broke into groups to make 3 batches of croissants. We used scales to measure all of the ingredients accurately. Then we took turns mixing, kneading, and rolling the dough. The most fun part was probably pounding the butter. Yes, you actually take a rolling pin and pound the butter. You need to get it to the right thickness and a rectangle, so you can roll it into the dough.
The layers of butter are what gives the croissants their super flaky texture. The butter needs to stay nice and cold when you are rolling the dough, if it starts to melt into the dough, the croissants won’t be nearly as flaky. I have to say I am pretty excited to try my hand at a batch of homemade croissants on my own!
How to Make Croissants
- Homemade croissants are very involved and have a lot of steps. But there is nothing difficult about them. You can stretch the process over the course of a couple of days by letting the dough rise in the fridge.
- Use European style butter. You want something with a high fat content. It is what gives it the super flaky texture.
- When rolling make sure to roll in an even layer. You don’t want to have thin spots. Make sure you roll into an even rectangle. You fold the dough multiple times, and you want to make sure you have a nice edge.
- Follow the instructions and be patient. Making croissants is a real science, you want to make sure to be very accurate with the measurements, the time you let the dough rise, the size you roll and the size you fold it into. All of it matters. I am not usually one that is super persise, but it is required with good homemade croissants.
We took our class through a company called Le Foodist. They offer all sorts of other classes, and I really wish we would have had more time so we could have taken more. The macaroon baking class took place at the same time as ours (on a different level) and when we walked out their cookies looked so perfect! We took a box of croissants home with us, and they made for great snacking.
If you are looking for a fun thing to do while in Paris, that isn’t the typical tourist thing to do, consider a cooking class. You learn a lot more about the food you are eating and will know how to make it when you get home. It is such a great experience, even my 13 your old son, who doesn’t love to cook thought it was fun.
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- 20g fresh yeast
- 112g water (room temperature),
- 75g all purpose flour
- 375g pastry flour
- 100g all purpose flour
- 175g milk (room temperature)
- 110g butter (cold)
- 50g sugar
- 12g salt
- 350g butter (chilled)
- Egg Wash
- 1 whole egg
- 1 yolk
- pinch of salt.
- Whisk together the yeast, water and 75 grams of all purpose flour in the bottom of an electric mixer bowl.
- Mix together pastry flour and 100 grams of all purpose flour. Place on top of the yeast mixture. Do NOT mix, just gently press down to create a smooth flat surface. Cover for 15-30 minutes until deeps cracks start to form in the flour.
- Add the milk, butter, sugar and salt to the Starter. Using a dough hook mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes until a smooth ball forms. Place dough in a large bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until it doubles in size.
- Cover a wooden board with plastic wrap. Dump risen dough onto floured surface and use your hands to gently press into a 14x10 inches rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Place 350 grams of butter in between layers of parchmen paper. Use a rolling pin to pound into a small square, approximately 6x6 inch square. Place back in the dridge to get cold.
- Flour the surface and gently roll the dough out to make sure it's wide enough to encase the butter.
- Place the butter square at an angle into the centre of the dough and encase the butter completely, making a butter parcel. Press down gently with the rolling pin to knock out any air pockets then roll the dough out evenly to approximately 20 x 8 inch, making sure that the butter is evenly spread out through the dough.
- Turn 1. Fold the dough into thirds (evenly). Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- Turn 2. Placing the chilled dough like a book on your floured surface and roll out again to approximately 20x8 inches. As above, fold into thirds, cover and chill for 1 hour.
- You can leave the dough in the fridge over night at this point and do the 3rd Turn the following day. Turn 3. Placing the chilled dough like a book on your floured surface and roll out again to approximately 20x8 inches. As above, fold into thirds, cover and chill for 30 mins. Once the 3 Turns are complete you can leave the dough in the fridge for a couple of days before using it. You can also freeze the dough at this point.
- Placing the dough like a book onto your floured surface, roll the dough out to approximately 20 x 8 inches. Cut width-wise into three. Place one third onto your floured surface and cover the remaining dough and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to roll out some more.
- Roll out the dough to approximately 20 x 8 inches .Use a knife ot clean up the edges, and then cut triangles approximately 5x8 inches. Make a little 1/2 inch slit in the bottom of the triangle. Give the triangles a little tug, then roll up into the croissant.
- Coat the croissants with some of the egg wash. Leave the croissants to rise 30-50 mins then apply the remaining egg wash.
- Bake the croissants at 350 for approximately 12 mins.
- Let cool completely before eating.
Amount Per ServingCalories 629 Total Fat 45g Saturated Fat 26g Trans Fat 1g Unsaturated Fat 15g Cholesterol 149mg Sodium 874mg Carbohydrates 49g Fiber 2g Sugar 10g Protein 8g