I never knew how amazing homemade croissants are until I made a batch for myself! Fresh out of the oven, their crusts are crispy and their insides are tender. You can make the dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook, or by hand.
- The dough is best if refrigerated overnight, so you should prepare it one day (about 2 hours) and shape and bake the croissants the next day (another 2-3 hours). King Arthur Flour says the total time should be 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours 40 minutes, so maybe I’m just slow.
- The original recipe makes 12 large croissants, but I prefer making 18 mini ones because they’re crispier.
- The croissants taste best within a few hours after baking. If you plan to eat them after that, toast them briefly.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yield: 12 large croissants OR 18 mini croissants (plus 2 Danishes)
- 1/2 recipe of croissant dough, made with a dough hook or by hand
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- a handful of chocolate chips OR a couple teaspoons of cinnamon sugar OR a spoonful of jam
- Dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour.
- Roll dough into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Pick it up and dust the work surface with flour underneath the dough as you’re doing this; the dough should move freely over your work surface as you roll. (Don’t worry if you can’t get it to the perfect size; it will still be okay.)
- Trim the very outside edge of the dough with a knife, or if you’re being very particular, with a straight edge and pizza cutter. This takes off the sealed edges of the dough that could inhibit its “poof.” (Save the scraps for later and tuck them under some plastic for now.)
- For 12 large croissants, cut the dough in thirds lengthwise and in half across the middle. For 18 mini croissants, cut the dough in thirds in both directions.
- Cut each of these rectangles diagonally in half and arrange them so the points of the triangles are facing away from you.
- Roll out the triangles to elongate them.
- Cut a 1/2″ notch in the center of each triangle’s short side. This will help the croissants curve properly when they’re shaped.
- Roll up the dough, starting with the notched edge and working toward the point. Make sure the point is tucked under the bottom of the croissant. If you have to stretch the dough a little to make that happen, it’s okay. You can also use a drop of water on the tip to help it stay in place.
- Form the crescent by bending the ends toward the center where the tip is tucked underneath.
- Take the scraps from earlier and lay them out straight. You can put some cinnamon sugar or lay down a line of chocolate chips on one strip, and put a second strip on top. Twist them together into a spiral to make a Danish. If you want, you can put a spoonful of preserves in the center. You can make 2 Danishes from the scraps.
- Place the pastries on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. You can freeze the unbaked pastries at this point (such as in a rigid plastic container with a lid) for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before egg-washing and baking.
- Beat together an egg and 1 tablespoon water to form an egg wash.
- Take croissants out of the refrigerator, and preheat the oven to 425°F. While the oven is heating, brush the tops of the croissants with an egg well-beaten with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Let croissants sit on the counter for about 15 minutes.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven’s temperature to 350°F. For large croissants, bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. For mini croissants, bake for about 10 minutes. The croissants should be a deep golden brown, even where the dough overlaps; you don’t want any raw dough in the center.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.