Making homemade croissants doesn't have to be complicated. You can bite into a perfectly golden, flaky and buttery croissant with a beautiful light and airy honeycomb-like texture inside, in just a few hours. Unlike the classic way of making these French pastries, which takes days to craft, quick and easy butter croissants can be made in just a few hours using a special technique.
Quick Way to Make Croissants
Baking a classic French croissant is a multi-day task fit for an experienced baker. There are a lot of steps and a lot of folding. It is also the kind of recipe that takes 3 or 4 tries to get it right. But what if I told you there was a way that anyone, even beginners, could make flaky buttery croissants just as good in only a few hours and on the first attempt? Well, pull up a chair and let me tell you about it.
The reason that classic French butter croissants take such a long time is because the dough has to be laminated, which means that the dough gets folder over multiple times with cold butter in between. There is a lot of waiting, and a lot of rolling. Here, we replicate this concept of layering the dough with butter but in a much faster and easier way.
To save time, instead of creating buttery folds by folding the dough over and over, we cut the dough into 12 pieces, roll them out into rectangles, and stack them up with butter in between each layer. Then, you cool the dough, roll it out, cut and roll into crescents. The result is light, airy, golden, flaky and buttery croissants that look and taste like it took days to make.
Ingredients in Flaky Butter Croissants
- all purpose white flour
- active dry yeast + water - adds rise.
- granulated sugar
- salt - brings out the buttery flavour.
- butter - gives croissants their buttery flavour and flaky texture.
- egg - for egg wash on top to give the croissants a glossy, golden brown colour.
How to Make Quick and Easy Butter Croissants
- Prepare the dough. Dissolve yeast in water and stir to mix together, then let it sit for 2 minutes. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar and salt. Pour in yeast mixture and whisk until fully combined. Add in some butter and incorporate it into the dough.
- Allow first rising of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the dough doubles in size.
- Laminate the dough. Place dough on a lightly-floured surface and press gently to squeeze out the air. Roll into a log, and then cut into 12 equal pieces. Take one piece of dough and roll it into a rectangle approximately 6 x 10-inches. Apply a generous amount of butter on the dough and spread evenly. Take another piece of dough and roll it out into the same size and stack it on top of the first piece. Spread a layer of butter on top, and repeat to produce a multi-layered dough with alternating layers of dough and butter, ending with a layer of dough.
- Cool down the dough. Wrap the stacked dough with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight to cool down completely.
- Shape the dough. Take out the stacked dough and roll it out into a larger rectangle, approximately 10 x 18-inches. Make 3 even horizontal cuts to form 4 smaller rectangles. Cut each of these rectangles in half diagonally to form 8 triangles. Take each triangle and tightly roll it up from the base into a crescent shape. Tuck the tip underneath and place the croissant down onto a parchment-lined baking pan. Repeat with the rest of the dough, placing them 2-inches apart.
- Allow second rising of the dough. Let the croissants rise at room temperature for 1.5 hours, or in a cooler place for 2-3 hours. Once ready, the croissants will almost double in size.
- Bake the croissants. Preheat oven to 425 F. Apply egg wash on each croissant. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 375 F and continue to bake for another 12 minutes until golden brown.
Tips for Baking the Perfect Croissants
- Be patient. Making croissants takes time. There is a lot of waiting around time, cooling time, and rolling. The traditional way of making croissants is a multi-day task. Using the beginner's technique of stacking pieces of dough, you can make beautiful flaky croissants in just a few hours.
- Keep the dough cold. When you are rolling out the stacked and cooled dough, make sure that the dough stays cold to prevent the laminating butter from melting and getting pressed into the dough. If you find that the butter is starting to get soft from the rolling, and is being squeezed out from the edges, then place the dough back into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to cool down.
- How to store croissants. Croissants are best and flakiest when served fresh on the day that they are baked. You can store them for up to 3 days in an airtight container or ziploc bag at room temperature, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To get them crispy and flaky again, just reheat for a few minutes in the air fryer or in the oven at 350 F. You can reheat them straight from the freezer.
More Baked Goods Recipes
- Easy Homemade Biscuits
- Glazed Lemon Blueberry Scones
- Easy Homemade Apple Hand Pies
- Small Batch No Knead Artisan Bread
- Cranberry Sauce Oat Bars
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