Homemade Croissants


  • 4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 5 cups flour, plus more for working
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Optional Fillings

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin mixed with 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • chopped chocolate
  • chopped chocolate and peanut butter
  • cinnamon sugar
  • Nutella


  1. In a small bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and a pinch of the sugar in the warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. To mix the dough by hand, In a large bowl, combine the remaining sugar, the salt, melted butter, milk, the yeast mixture and 1/2 cup of the flour, and mix with a wooden spoon until blended. Gradually add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix just until the dough comes together in a sticky ball.
  3. To mix the dough by stand mixer, In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the remaining sugar, the salt, melted butter, milk and the yeast mixture and mix on medium speed until combined. Gradually add the flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix just until the dough comes together in a stick ball.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to a large baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge until chilled, about 40 minutes.
  5. While the dough is chilling make the butter package. I found it was easiest to place all four sticks of butter together in a gallon size ziplock bag. Then using a rolling pin, beat the butter on a work surface to flatten it. Continue to gently beat the butter with the rolling pin to shape the butter into a 6-by-8-inch rectangle. This part was really kind of hard, but just keep working it. Once the butter is in the shape of a rectangle place it back in the fridge to stiffen up again. Don’t worry if your butter is not in a perfect rectangle. It’s still going to work.
  6. Now it is time to laminate the dough, which just means fold the dough with the butter to create layers. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. With a short side facing you, place the butter in the middle of the dough. Fold the ends up like a letter. Fold over the upper half to cover the butter and press the edges together to seal. Then fold over the remaining lower half and press the edges together to seal. Turn dough again so the short side is facing you, and use the rolling pin to press down equally on the dough to help flatten it. Roll dough into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle. Then fold the dough like a letter again, with a short side facing you, fold the bottom third up, then fold the top third down. Use your hands to pull the dough into a rectangle shape. You should now have a roughly 11 x 6 inch rectangle. This completes the first turn. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 45 minutes.
  7. Return the chilled dough to the lightly floured work surface with a folded side to your left and repeat the process to make 3 more turns, rolling, folding and chilling the dough each time, for a total of 4 turns. After the final turn, refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or overnight (I chilled mine overnight).
  8. To form the croissants, cut the dough in half and place one half in the fridge while working with the other half. Roll out one half of the pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a 9-by-18-inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut the dough in half lengthwise, and then cut the dough into triangles. Cut a small vertical slit right into the middle of the straight end, and using both hands, roll croissant up pushing the sides out to either side. Place on a baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours. The croissants will not double in size like other yeast doughs do. After one hour position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
  9. Lightly brush the tops of the pastries with the egg mixture. Bake the pastries, 1 sheet at a time, until golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool on the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day. Makes 25-32 croissants.
  10. To freeze the croissants before baking, complete the steps through step 8. Once all the croissants have been rolled place them on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Cover the baking sheets and freeze for about 2 hours. Remove the pans and place the croissants in a freezer safe bag and seal. Immediately place back in the freezer and freeze for up to 6 months. To bake, allow the croissants to thaw overnight in the fridge and then bake as directed.
  11. To fill the croissants with the optional fillings, spread 2 teaspoons the pumpkin mixture, 2 teaspoons peanut butter + 1 square of chocolate, 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar or 2 squares of chocolate onto each triangle. Roll each triangle up as directed. Brush each top with egg wash and for the pumpkin and cinnamon sugar croissants sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar. Bake as directed.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Fleischman’s Margarine, cut into chunks
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 cups unsifted flour
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup warm water (105°F – 115°F)
  • 1 package Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast
  • ¼ cup Planters Peanut Oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. Place Fleischmann’s Margarine in a large bowl of ice water. Squeeze margarine through fingers about 20 times. Remove and wipe off excess water. Divide into 3 equal portions. Wrap each in plastic wrap; chill while preparing dough.
  2. Scald milk; add sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Combine flour and cornstarch; set aside. Measure warm water into large warm bowl. Sprinkle in Fleishmann’s Yeast; stir until dissolved. Add luke-warm milk mixture, Planters Peanut Oil and enough flour mixture to make a soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured bowl; knead lightly until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  3. Punch dough down; turn out onto lightly floured board. Roll into a 16-inch-by-12-inch rectangle with long side toward you. Dot center third with one portion chilled margarine. Cover margarine with right-hand third of dough. Fold left-hand third under margarine section. Seal edges. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.
  4. Place chilled dough on a lightly floured board with margarine layer near top, long side toward you. Repeat procedure of rolling, dotting with margarine, folding, sealing and shilling using second portion or margarine. Repeat to use third portion.
  5. Cut chilled dough in half. On a lightly floured board roll and stretch each half to a 16-inch circle. Cut each into 12 pie-shaped wedges. Roll up each wedge, beginning at wide end. Place on greased baking sheets with points underneath. Curve to form crescents. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  6. Combine egg and 1 teaspoon water. Brush mixture gently on rolls. Bake at 425° about 15 minutes or until golden brown remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks. Best when served warm. Rolls may be frozen.

Butter Croissants

Do as the French do—start the day with coffee and a croissant.

Roll out and cut dough:

  1. Cut dough in half and chill 1 half, wrapped in plastic wrap. Roll out other half on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as necessary and stretching corners to maintain shape, into a 16-inch-by-12-inch rectangle. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush and trim edges with a pizza wheel or sharp knife.
  2. Arrange dough with a short side nearest you. Cut in half horizontally and chill 1 half. Cut remaining half vertically into thirds, forming 3 rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally in half to make 2 triangles, for a total of 6 triangles.

Shape croissants:

  1. Holding short side (side opposite tip) of 1 triangle in one hand, stretch dough, tugging and sliding with other hand toward tip to elongate by about 50 percent.
  2. Return to work surface with short side of triangle nearest you. Beginning with short side, roll up triangle toward tip. (Croissant should overlap 3 times, with tip sticking out from underneath; you may need to stretch dough while rolling.)
  3. Put croissant, tip side down, on a parchment-lined large baking sheet. (Curve ends inward to make a crescent shape if desired.)
  4. Make more croissants with remaining 5 triangles, then with remaining rolled-out dough, arranging them 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Repeat rolling, cutting, and shaping procedures with chilled piece of dough.

Let croissants rise:

  1. Slide each baking sheet into a garbage bag, propping up top of bag with inverted glasses to keep it from touching croissants, and tuck open end under baking sheet.
  2. Let croissants rise until slightly puffy and spongy to the touch, 2 to 2 hours.

Bake croissants:

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 425ºF.
  2. Remove baking sheets from bags. Spritz inside oven generously with spray bottle and close door. Put croissants in oven, then spritz again before closing door. Reduce temperature to 400ºF and bake 10 minutes without opening door.
  3. Switch position of sheets in oven and rotate sheets 180º, then reduce temperature to 375ºF and bake until croissants are deep golden, about 10 minutes more.

Makes 24 pastries

Cooks’ note: Baked and cooled croissants keep 1 month: First freeze them, uncovered, on baking sheets until firm, then wrap them snugly in foil before returning to freezer. When ready to serve, remove foil and bake (not thawed) on a baking sheet in a 325ºF oven 5 to 10 minutes.

Croissant Dough

It’s important not to try to halve this recipe. When you need only a half recipe of dough, as for the pains au chocolat, use the rest of the dough for a batch of Parma braids or a princess ring. Or make a double recipe of those irresistible chocolate croissants and share them with friends. One batch of this dough is enough for 24 plain croissants, 32 chocolate croissants, 16 Parma braids, or 2 princess rings.

  • 1½ cups whole milk, heated to warm (105°F–110°F)
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast (from two ¼-oz packages)
  • 3¾ to 4½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 sticks (1½ cups) cold unsalted butter

Make dough:

  1. Stir together warm milk, brown sugar, and yeast in bowl of standing mixer and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t foam, discard and start over.)
  2. Add 3¾ cups flour and salt and mix with dough hook at low speed until dough is smooth and very soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer dough to a work surface and knead by hand 2 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, a little at a time, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Form dough into a roughly 1½-inch-thick rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until cold, about 1 hour.

Prepare and shape butter:

  1. After dough has chilled, arrange sticks of butter horizontally, their sides touching, on a work surface. Pound butter with a rolling pin to soften slightly (butter should be malleable but still cold).
  2. Scrape butter into a block and put on a kitchen towel, then cover with other towel. Pound and roll out on both sides until butter forms a uniform 8-inch-by 5-inch rectangle. Chill, wrapped in towels, while rolling out dough.

Roll out dough:

  1. Unwrap dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as necessary and lifting and stretching dough (especially in corners), into a 16- by-10-inch rectangle. Arrange dough with a short side nearest you.
  2. Put butter in center of dough so that long sides of butter are parallel to short sides of dough. Fold as you would a letter: bottom third of dough over butter, then top third down over dough. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush.

Make first “fold”:

  1. Turn dough so a short side is nearest you, then flatten dough slightly by pressing down horizontally with rolling pin across dough at regular intervals, making uniform impressions. Roll out dough into a 15-inch-by-10-inch rectangle, rolling just to but not over ends.
  2. Brush off any excess flour. Fold in thirds like a letter, as above, stretching corners to square off dough, forming a 10-inch-by-5-inch rectangle. (You have completed the first “fold.”) Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, 1 hour.

Make remaining “folds”:

  1. Make 3 more folds in same manner, chilling dough 1 hour after each fold, for a total of 4 folds. (If any butter oozes out while rolling, sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking.)
  2. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours but no more than 18 (after 18 hours, dough may not rise sufficiently when baked).

Makes about 2¾ pounds

Croissants Step-by-Step

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 (¼-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ½ cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 4 to 4½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Press butter into a 10-inch-by-8-inch rectangle on wax paper; chill.
  2. Combine yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, and water in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Heat milk to 105° to 115°. Combine yeast mixture, warm milk, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 cups flour, and next 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat mixture at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  5. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  6. Punch dough down. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill dough 1 hour.
  7. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 24-inch-by-10-inch rectangle. Place chilled butter rectangle in center of dough rectangle, and carefully fold dough over butter. Pinch edges to seal.
  8. Roll dough into an 18-inch-by-10-inch rectangle; fold into thirds, beginning with short side. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  9. Repeat rolling and folding procedure twice, chilling dough 30 minutes each time. Wrap dough in aluminum foil, and chill 8 hours.
  10. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll 1 portion into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface, and cut into 6 wedges (keep remaining dough chilled). Roll up each wedge tightly, beginning at wide end. Place, point side down, on greased baking sheets, gently curving rolls into crescent shapes. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  11. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool croissants slightly on baking sheets, and transfer to wire racks to cool. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portions.

Yield: 2 dozen

Chocolate-Filled Croissants: Place 2 or 3 tiny rectangles of a milk chocolate candy bar on the wide end of each croissant dough wedge, and roll up each wedge. Proceed as directed in recipe.

Strawberry or Apricot Croissants: Spread 1 teaspoon strawberry or apricot preserves evenly over each dough wedge, leaving a ¼-inch border; roll up, and proceed as directed in recipe.

Cinnamon-Sugar Croissants: Sprinkle dough wedges evenly with a mixture of ground cinnamon and sugar; roll up, and proceed as directed in recipe. Combine sifted powdered sugar and milk, stirring until mixture reaches drizzlying consistency. Spoon over croissants.

Classic Croissants

  • 3 to 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 envelope Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup butter or margarine (very cold)

Egg Glaze

  • 1 egg, beaten with
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. Combine 1 cup flour, corn starch, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt in a large mixer bowl with beater attachment in place. Heat milk and butter until very warm (120°F to 130°F). Add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of an electric mixture, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg and 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Switch to dough hook attachment. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Continue mixing on low speed for 6 to 8 minutes or hand knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  2. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 16-inch-by-12-inch rectangle. Using a cheese grater shred one-third (5 Tbsp) of cold butter on center third of dough; fold ends over butter pressing edges to seal butter in. Turn dough one quarter turn. Repeat rolling, arranging butter, folding and turning procedure twice more. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 2 hours. (Dough may be held in refrigerator overnight or frozen.)
  3. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll each half to a 16-inch circle. Cut each into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Roll up each wedge, beginning at wide end. Place, points down, on 2 lightly greased baking sheets. Curve ends to form crescents. Brush with Egg Glaze.
  4. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Bake at 425° F for 12 to 15 minutes or until deep golden brown on top. Remove from sheets with a spatula; serve warm.

Yield: 16 Rolls



  • 1/3 cup warm water, (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
  • 1 package dry-active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk, (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
  • 1 pound (about 3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 sticks (14 ounces) chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Make the dough: In a liquid measuring cup, combine water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir to combine. Let stand 5 minutes to allow yeast to proof. In a second measuring cup, dissolve the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, and the salt in the milk.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour. Add the yeast mixture, milk mixture, and oil. Blend everything together by cutting and pressing with a rubber spatula, being sure all the flour is incorporated. The dough will be very wet.
  3. Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface. Let stand for 3 minutes to allow the dough to absorb some of the liquid. Start kneading by lifting near edges, with a bench scraper, and flipping it over onto the other side. Rapidly repeat the movement from one side to the other, and end over end, until the dough feels smooth and begins to draw back into shape when pushed out, 8 to 10 times. Do not over-knead.
  4. Transfer dough to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours. Punch down the dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using lightly floured hands, pat and push the dough out into a rectangle about 12-inches-by-10-inches. Fold the dough in three, like a business letter. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet or plate; cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. This second rise can be done in the refrigerator, overnight.
  5. Punch down dough. Cover the dough again with plastic wrap, and transfer to refrigerator for 20 minutes; this will allow the gluten to relax, and make rolling out the dough easier.
  6. Roll in the butter: Place butter on a lightly floured work surface and beat with a rolling pin to soften. Then smear it out with the heel of your hand until it is of spreading consistency, but still cold; it must not become soft and oily, refrigerate if necessary.
  7. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface, roll it out to a 18-inch-by-10-inch rectangle. Spread butter as evenly as possible over the upper two-thirds of the dough, leaving a ¼-inch border. Fold the bottom (unbuttered) third of the dough up to the middle. Fold the top third down to cover it.
  8. Lightly flour the top of the dough, and work surface. Turn the dough so the edge of the top flap is to your right. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 18-by-8-inches. Roll rapidly, starting an inch from the near end, and going to within an inch of the far end. Fold again in three, as above. Wrap in plastic wrap, and transfer to refrigerator for 1 hour.
  9. Remove dough from refrigerator. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and deflate the dough by tapping lightly with rolling pin. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 8 minutes to relax gluten, if necessary. Repeat rolling and folding process twice more, as above. If the butter has hardened and congealed into flakes, beat the dough with light firm taps going from one side to the other until butter has softened. It must be able to extend the length and width of the rectangle inside the dough as you roll it out until it has softened. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. If refrigerating overnight, cover with a board and a 5- pound weight. Resting overnight will facilitate shaping.
  10. Shape the croissants: When shaping the croissant, keep the dough that you are not working with refrigerated. Place chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface. Deflate dough. Roll the dough out to a 25-inch-by-12-inch rectangle. (If at any time the dough becomes too elastic to work with, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and let rest 10 minutes, to relax gluten.) Cut in half lengthwise. Working with one piece of dough at a time, using a pastry wheel or a croissant cutter, cut into triangles with a 5-inch base.
  11. Roll the triangles out to enlarge slightly. Roll towards the tip, creating tension by using your other hand to stretch the top of the triangle away from you. The dough should overlap 3 times with the tip sticking out from underneath.
  12. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet leaving 2 inches between croissants. Curve the ends of the croissant inward, forming a crescent shape. Repeat with second piece of dough. Cover lightly with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until very spongy and doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  13. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and heavy cream, and lightly brush over tops of croissants. Open the oven door, spritz the oven heavily with water from a spray bottle, and quickly close the door. Place croissants in oven, and spray bottom of oven with water once more. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, rotate pan to ensure even baking. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake until cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

About 16 croissants.