Croissants are made from finicky dough that requires a cold temperature and lots of time. Get it right and you’ll end up with rich, stretchy layers wrapped in crispy, flaky perfection.
Makes 1 batch | Takes 1 hr + refrigeration
Follow this recipe to learn how to make croissant dough from scratch.
- 250ml lukewarm milk
- 125ml lukewarm water
- 15ml instant dry yeast
- 60ml sugar
- 830ml cake flour
- 5ml salt
- 250g butter, frozen
- Combine milk, water, yeast and sugar and set aside for 5 minutes until foamy.
- Combine flour and salt and make a well in the centre. Stir in the yeast mixture until it comes together.
- Turn out onto a clean surface and knead for 2 minutes until all the flour is just incorporated. (Don’t overwork, you don’t want gluten developing yet.) Place into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Grate the butter and press together into a 12cm x 20cm rectangle on plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a flour dusted surface into a 25cm x 40cm rectangle. Unwrap the cold butter and place into the centre of the dough. Fold the dough into thirds over the butter. Pinch the open dough ends together to seal in the butter.
- Rotate the dough 90 degrees to the right. Press a few times to loosen up the butter. Roll into a 25cm x 35cm rectangle. Fold over each other into thirds again. Brush off excess flour with a pastry brush continuously. Cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Unwrap dough and place on a flour dusted surface (same as before it went into the fridge). Rotate 90 degrees to the right and continue rolling, shaping and refrigerating (same as step 6). Repeat this process twice (4 times in total). This process is called laminating.
- Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
Note: Laminated dough is dough that encases a block of butter and goes through a series of folds to create many layers. Two common types are puff pastry, which uses a simple flour, water and salt dough, and croissant dough, which takes it one step further by adding yeast and milk to the dough for a richer pastry with more rise.
Tip: The dough can be frozen, well wrapped and placed in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Let the dough defrost in the fridge overnight before shaping.
Follow these step-by-step pictures to make croissant dough:
Learn how to shape and bake flaky croissants with this recipe.
- 1 batch croissant dough
- 1 egg, beaten
- Unwrap one piece of chilled dough and roll out on a flour dusted surface into a 15cm x 40cm rectangle. Trim sides straight, but don’t cut off more than 1cm. Cut into 5 triangles with 13cm bases. (Combine the two offcut triangles to make an extra croissant.)
- Cut a 2.5cm slit in the base of the triangle, stretch it slightly outwards and upwards, then roll the dough up towards the tip. Place, tip side down, onto lined baking trays, leaving 5cm spaces in between. Repeat with
the rest. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 2-3 hours until puffy.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush the croissants with egg. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and cooked. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Tip: Freeze the shaped croissants in step 2 (before rising) for up to 3 months, well wrapped in an airtight container. To bake, place on a baking tray, leaving rising space in between. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to defrost and rise overnight until puffy. Bake as normal.
- For large/coffee shop style croissants, cut the laminated croissant dough in ½ (not 4 pieces) and roll each out into 30cm x 50cm rectangles. Cut each into 5 triangles with 15cm bases. Makes 10.
- This dough is also ideal for pies and pastries.
Follow these step-by-step pictures for the croissant shaping:
Combining and folding offcuts
FEATURE: MARGIE ELS-BURGER ASSISTED BY NOMVUSELELO MNCUBE PHOTOS: DYLAN SWART