Croissant Dough

Croissant dough is essentially just puff pastry dough with some yeast and sugar added to it. It requires about half the number of folds (“turns” as they’re known in the trade), so it’s less time consuming to make. This dough freezes extremely well, for up to about two months, so make extra

For the dough (détrempe):

22 ounces (about 4 1/3 cups) bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
14 ounces (1 3/4 cups) whole milk at room temperature
3 ounces (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) cream at room temperature

For the butter slab:

3 Tbsp flour
12 ounces cold Euro-style (cultured) butter

Combine everything for the détrempe in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat on low for about 1 minute until a dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook and knead on mediums speed for about five minutes until the dough is smooth and only slightly sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, about an hour. Refrigerate it for about 2 hours or overnight.

About half an hour before you’re ready to roll the pastry, take the butter out of the refrigerator. Let it sit on the counter for about twenty minutes to soften slightly (less time will be required if it’s warm in your kitchen). While you’re waiting, make two double-layered pieces of plastic wrap. When the butter has softened slightly, place it on one of the plastic wrap pieces and sprinkle the flour over it. Lay on the other piece of plastic wrap and begin pounding the butter with a rolling pin, beating, folding and mashing as demonstrated in the How to Laminate Dough post under the Techniques menu. You want to end up with a large, flat slab with all the flour incorporated.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and proceed according to the How to Laminate Dough tutorial, making your butter and dough envelope. Give the dough two “turns” — letter-style folds — one after the other. After than, cover the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour. The last turn is a style not shown in the tutorial, but it’s call the “book” turn. It’s not difficult, it simply involves folding each edge of the sheet in toward the middle, then folding the one side over the other, closing the dough mass like a book. The end result is that the dough is folded into four layers.

The folding done, return the dough to the refrigerator and let it chill at least four hours before using.

52 thoughts on “Croissant Dough”

  1. Dear Joe

    I like to make youre croissant dough as i am going to bake croissant at this weekend. I actually having a hard time to convert all the ingredients into gramms…, but i will do. One thing i do not understand what is half-and-half? In equal parts, that is OK, but what? The milk with yeast? Pls help me, and explane to this half-and-half thing, cause I can’t go trough the recepie 🙂


    Szilvi from Hun

    1. Hello Szilvi! If fact I have some conversion charts on the web site under the “Baking Basics” link. You want the “Ingredient Weights” post. As for the half-and-half, you don’t really need to use it if it’s not convenient. Milk will work just fine. What we call “half-and-half” is a 50-50 mixture of heavy cream and milk. It’s what you might call “light cream.”

    1. Good question, and I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know. I usually use one batch of dough to make several different sizes of croissants. But let’s see, it makes about 55 ounces of dough which translates to…about 18 3-ounce croissants.

    1. You can use active dry. You’ll just have to “bloom” it in some of the milk (warmed to about 110 degrees) before you add it to the dough. Then proceed as usual!

  2. Hello Joe,

    This will seem like a silly question, but in the hopes of getting a flakier product, would it be counter-productive to do more than two turns? Would one end up with a ‘puff-pastry’ croissant (no bad thing perhaps)?

    1. Hey Audrey! As you clearly understand, the more turns you do, the flakier the exterior of the croissant gets. The interior tends to stay moist and bready no matter, what, though extra turns will give it a finer texture. I like three turns, myself. I think it’s a good mid-point for a croissant dough.

      1. Flaky croissants success! It could have been the result of following your strictures to batter the butter/dough into submission but I suspect it was the three turns… Thank you!

  3. hi joe

    i would really really want to say Thankkkkkk youuuuu! really, very happy having found your flog and your very useful recipes! I have tried making croissants 6 times and failed miserable each time and just when i was on the verge of giving up (ok, i just exaggerated a bit here, I wasnt about to give up yet ), the thing is, with your recipe, this is the very first time i feel like, yes, i think i have gotten it right!
    Cant say enough how thankful I m for your useful tips and very good recipes! Look forward to reading more of your posts!
    Have a nice day!! :))

    1. Thank you, Evon, for the terrific email! i love to hear stories like that. And yes do try other things — and don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can be of any help.


      – Joe

  4. Hey!
    I love this site and have tried a lot of things with success. Thank you for that!
    But I am embarrassed to say that I did not really understand this one properly. All those turns and all that.
    I’m 17 and I have been baking for just two years now so I’m very new at this. Could you please add pictures or explain in a bit more detail? It would be very appreciated 🙂

    1. Hey Amal!

      Just click the link in the middle of the recipe post…it will take you to a complete photo tutorial for laminating dough. Everything you need to know should be there!

      – Joe

  5. Hi Joe,
    Generally speaking i’ve had great success with your croissant recipe. Thank you! However I have some uncertainty on how the dough should feel. You suggest that one may not use all 4cups of flour but I find I am always using more than 4cups just to keep the dough workable and not sticky. I do not have a mixer with a paddle and dough hook, just a wooden spoon and hand kneading. After the first 1hr rise in the fridge the dough is very light and difficult to roll out flat without becoming too sticky. Any helpful tips? Or is this par for the course? Also, what do you recommend for egg wash and how do you apply it?


    1. Hi Duane!

      Hand-mixed doughs generally use more flour, so don’t worry about that, so long as the end product is something you’re happy with. As for the egg wash, I use two egg yolks mixed with about a tablespoon of water.


      – Joe

  6. Hi Joe! Just wanted to thank you for the recipe, and also the “how to laminate the dough” tutorial, never had much luck with croissant or puff pastry dough before, but I just made some amazing apple-almond crossovers using this technique….good stuff! Thanks again!

  7. Hello Joe,
    I have tried a lot of recipes from your website and they all turned out GREAT! I have made danish, puff pastry, pate a choux and the latest is croissants. The tutorial on how to laminate the butter into the dough is very informative and very helpful. My next attempt would be the dreadful macaron. I know macarons are extremely extremly hard to make. Could you give us a step by step tutorial on how to make macaron, just like you did on how to laminate the butter into the dough?

    1. Hello Khan!

      A complete tutorial on macarons already exists. Look for it under “Miscellaneous Desserts and Cookies”!

      – Joe

  8. love the website by the way

    maybe an obvious question but it says, “The last turn is a style not shown in the tutorial, but it’s call the “book” turn. It’s not difficult, it simply involves folding each edge of the sheet in toward the middle, then folding the one side over the other, closing the dough mass like a book. The end result is that the dough is folded into four layers.”

    so I understand the type of fold but when I do that fold do I roll the dough into itself like usual or just put it in the fridge with 4 obvious layers and just unfold it when I want to shape the dough.


  9. Hi Joe!

    I love your blog!! This is kind of embarrassing, but what do you mean whit half-and-half ? Milk? :-S

    1. Not embarrassing at all, Val! A lot of people ask that question. It’s half cream, half milk.


      – Joe

  10. Hello Joe,

    I recently made croissants for the first time and although they turned out pretty good for a 1st attempt they weren’t quite as they should have been.

    The dough was very sticky and tricky to work with. I was afraid to add more flour as I’d heard it can toughen the end product. Because of the stickiness it was hard to roll out.

    So my first question is: Is it ok to add more flour?

    My second issue was with the butter. I think it was too cold as it seemed to break into chunks rather than become a thin layer.
    Does adding the flour help with this? Or is it more of a question of beating it and letting it warm a little.

    This is the recipe I used:

    Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome.

    I just found your site today and already I know it’s going to be a great resource 🙂


    1. Hi Emma!

      Well done on the croissants! Few people have the courage to make their own. Hats off to you for diving in to the world of laminated doughs!

      To answer your questions, the dough should not be sticky, so don’t be afraid to add more flour to make it more workable. It won’t toughen the dough, no worries there. Also the butter should be quite pliable before you start rolling it in. It should be putty-like and yes, the beaten-in flour does help…it insulates the butter and keeps it from melting too quickly. Follow the link to the “How to Laminate Dough” post, which I really need to re-do with bigger photos. But don’t hesitate to get back in touch should you have any more questions. Keep up the good work!

      – Joe

      1. Thanks for your advice. It’s super helpful 🙂 I also noticed further up this thread that you say hand mixed doughs use more flour. That probably explains my issue and it’s good to know there is a difference. Knowing the whys make the hows easier, so thanks again for your help.

          1. Only for as long as it took to realize that there was no money in it! 😉

            Thanks Emma!

            – Joe

  11. Hi Joe,

    I came across your website this morning while doing laundry!! (thank heavens 😉 ) I have been looking for a descent croissant recipe for quite some time now – and with great pleasure, came across this one!!

    One question though: as soon as all the folds and book shapes are made, do I roll out the dough again after the resting process in the fridge, or do I just unfold and work from there?

    Thanks so much for all the useful info and tips, can’t wait to try out more of your recipes!

    Kind regards,

    1. Hey Carla!

      Thanks very much! And the answer is” you want to roll the whole mass flat and then start cutting your shapes.

      Have fun!

      – Joe

  12. I recently discovered your site via Pinterest, and I’m so happy I did. We lived in Europe for 11 years, and finding decent breads and pastries since we moved back to the US (especially some without all the junk in them). Even our 11 and 2 year olds aren’t happy with the US stuff! They have sophisticated pallets. 🙂 I’ve attempted a few of your easier recipes (which have all turned out wonderfully) and am now feeling confident enough to make croissants. I do have a question though. Should I use salted or unsalted butter? Does it matter, as long as it’s cultured? Thanks so much, and I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    1. Hey MIHH!

      Unsalted butter is definitely preferred for all laminated dough. Gives the pastries a lighter and fresher taste.

      And please do let me know how they turn out — I’ll be interested!


      – Joe

  13. Hi Joe,

    Is it possible to use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour? if so, do I have to make any adjustments in the liquid or butter proportions?

    thank you very much!

    1. You may do that, Bee, with no other adjustments. It won’t rise quite as high, but it should still be great!

      Have fun!

      – Joe

  14. Hello Joe!
    I’m t h i s c l o s e to beginning some croissants, but I can’t for the life of me find European style butter 🙁
    ..can I use regular butter without it ruining the croissants, or should I make a trip to my nearest town to get some?
    -thanks in advance! -Karina

    1. Hey Karina! Euro-style butter is not mandatory. Just use the highest quality butter you can get your hands on and all will be well!

      – Joe

  15. Hi Joe,

    Attempted your croissant dough.
    Just finished forming the croissant & waiting for the last proofing before baking.
    Not sure if they will turn good or not.

    A few observation on my dough & would like to seek your opinion.
    1. Butter slab, I wasn’t able to incorporate all 3 tbsp of flour into the butter, do I need to fold the butter & beat after the first round of beating so that it will get a slab.

    I’m located in Malaysia where temp is ard 29 C at nite (that my working environment).
    I’m using Emborg butter & it softens pretty fast.

    2. The croissant dough is also another question, I chill the dough after the first proof yet, it continue to proof even after I put it in the fridge (chill only).
    After I sealed the butter slab into the dough, I managed to fold it once & have to chill it again as the dough became soft. The dough itself is quite soft & airy when I started it. After chilling for 30 mins, the dough continue to puff up in the fridge. So during the time, there are a lot of air pockets & I burst a few & butter started to oozed out.
    I did a quick roll & shoved it into my freezer for 20 mins.
    The next few roll & folds were better.

    My question; it is normal for the dough to continue to puff?

    During my last roll, the dough feels very soft & it doesn’t look anyway near the looks of your dough pictorial in the croissant page.

    Just hope my batch will turn out edible, lol.
    Will definitely try to attempt it again.

    Love to hear from you.


    1. Hi Jacob!

      Sorry for the late reply! How did they turn out?

      The answer to your question is that yes, it is normal for yeast doughs to puff some in the refrigerator, especially if they’ve gotten quite warm. Just deflate it and continue rolling.

      That said, it sounds like you need to make more use of the refrigerator and/or the freezer to keep the temperatures down. Longer wait times between turns for sure, and maybe more refrigeration of the butter slab too. I’m sure with some experimenting you’ll find a method that works for you. Regarding the butter and the flour, have a look at my dough laminating post which I just re-wrote a few days ago. I added more pictures. I think it might help:

      Get back to me with any more questions — and best of luck with the project!


      – Joe

      1. Hi Joe,

        Thanks for taking times to reply to my questions.

        The croissant turns out to be not so pretty but tastes good (I bet because of the amount of butter used).

        Will definitely try again.

        I even went to a class but was pretty disappointed coz to suit the temperature here in Malaysia, we are given margarine. The tutor admitted that it’s pretty difficult to make croissant or Danish due to our climate unless one have to invest in a cool room etc etc. Even, it’s quite a disappointment, there are some good takeaways.

        Will definetly give your recipe a try to perfect my skill.

        Thanks again.


  16. Joe, I just made croissants per this and your how to laminate dough tutorial. They are a roaring success. I wish I could upload a picture! Thanks for the detailed instructions! I will be sure to let everyone at my Christmas brunch know the croissants are homemade from scratch, in order to gain as much recognition for my baking genius as possible. And tell all my guests about your site, of course. 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Woohoo!

      Way to go, Amanda! Thanks so much for the report. I do love a success story. And by all means send me a picture via email!


      – Joe

  17. Hi Joe,

    I’m sorry to say that I have attempted my first croissants using a different recipe, which is now chilling in the fridge. I think something is very wrong though…do you know why the dough would stay very wet and soft and not form a “solid mass?” How soft or solid is croissant dough supposed to be after being mixed? Mine was almost like a batter. Thank you,


    1. Hey Vanessa!

      If it didn’t firm in the refrigerator it means it’s got too much water or milk in it. There’s not much you can do about that I’mm sorry to say. A lot of people have had good luck with this recipe. If you try it let me know how it turns out!


      – Joe

  18. Hi there Joe,

    Great site and amazing recipes you have, thank you for that.

    Wanted to ask you about the yeasts in this recipe: can you tell in

    grams how many fresh yeasts to use?

    Thank you and have a great day 🙂

  19. Love your site, Joe! Have made many wonderful things from the recipes here, to the delight of friends & co-workers. I’m about to take my maiden run at croissants, but really don’t have the time to do the entire journey in one day. Is there a good place to stop about mid-way through the process, to split the effort over two days? And should the dough spend that time in the ‘frig or the freezer?

  20. Hi Joe!
    I’m about to attempt my first time at making croissants. I just came back from living in the South of France for the past 7 months. Is it possible to freeze the dough to use later? Or keep it in the fridge over night(s) until you’re ready to make your pastry?

    Thank you! I’m really excited to use your recipe.

    1. Good for you, Ana!

      And yes you certainly can do both. It’ll freeze for about two months before the yeast start to die. And you can refrigerate it for about three days. Please met me know how it goes! I’ll be curious.


      – Joe

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