How to Make Perfectly Flaky Croissants: Step-by-Step Instructions for Homemade Croissants


If there is one pastry that can make anyone’s mouth water, it is a perfectly flaky croissant. The crispy outer layer with soft and buttery layers inside is a treat that is hard to resist. While it may seem intimidating to make croissants at home, with a little patience and practice, anyone can make these delicious pastries from scratch.

Why Make Croissants at Home?

While it may be easier to pick up a croissant from a local bakery or grocery store, making croissants at home has its advantages. Firstly, you have complete control over the ingredients and can customize the flavor to your liking. Secondly, the satisfaction of making something from scratch and seeing the end result is unmatched. Finally, the aroma of freshly baked croissants filling your home is simply heavenly.

What You Will Need

Making croissants requires a few ingredients and tools that you may not have on hand. Here is a list of what you will need to make perfectly flaky croissants:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Active dry yeast
  • Milk
  • Water
  • Egg wash
  • Bench scraper
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry brush

Now that you know what you need, let’s get started on making perfectly flaky croissants with step-by-step instructions.

Ingredients for Perfectly Flaky Croissants

Making the perfect croissant requires the right ingredients. Here are the essential ingredients you need to make delicious and flaky croissants:


Butter is the most important ingredient in croissants. Use high-quality unsalted butter with at least 82% fat content. It’s best to use European-style butter, which has a higher fat content and less water than American butter.


The type of flour you use determines the texture of your croissants. Use all-purpose flour or bread flour for the best results. Make sure the flour is unbleached and has a high protein content for a chewy texture.


Active dry yeast or instant yeast can be used for croissants. Make sure the yeast is fresh and not expired. Instant yeast does not need to be activated before use, while active dry yeast needs to be activated in warm water.

Sugar and Salt

Sugar adds a touch of sweetness to the croissants, while salt enhances the flavor. Use granulated sugar and sea salt for the best results.

Milk and Water

Milk and water are used to hydrate the dough. Use whole milk for a richer flavor and texture. Water should be cold to prevent the butter from melting.

Ingredients Quantity
Butter 250g
All-purpose flour 500g
Active dry yeast 7g
Granulated sugar 50g
Sea salt 10g
Whole milk 250ml
Cold water 250ml

Step 1: Making the Dough

Making homemade croissants can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. The key to achieving perfectly flaky croissants lies in the dough-making process. Here’s how to make the perfect dough:

Mixing the Ingredients

Start by mixing the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. This includes flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients, which include water and milk. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while stirring with a wooden spoon. Once the ingredients are combined, use your hands to knead the dough.

Kneading the Dough

Kneading the dough is crucial to developing gluten, which is responsible for the dough’s elasticity. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for one hour.

Resting the Dough

Resting the dough allows the gluten to relax and the yeast to work its magic. After an hour, punch down the dough and knead it for a few minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight. This slow and cold fermentation process will give the croissants their signature flaky texture.

Now that the dough is ready, it’s time to move on to the next step: rolling and folding the dough.

Step 2: Preparing the Butter Block

One of the most important steps in making perfectly flaky croissants is preparing the butter block. This step involves choosing the right butter and shaping it into a block that can be easily incorporated into the dough.

Choosing the Right Butter

When it comes to making croissants, not all butter is created equal. It’s important to choose a high-quality European-style butter that has a higher fat content than regular butter. This will help ensure that your croissants turn out flaky and delicious.

Look for butter that has at least 82% fat content, which is typically labeled as “European-style” or “cultured” butter. Avoid using margarine or low-fat spreads, as they contain too much water and will not yield the same results.

Shaping the Butter Block

Once you have chosen the right butter, it’s time to shape it into a block. To do this, place the butter between two sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick.

Use a ruler or a straight edge to trim the edges of the butter so that it forms a neat rectangle. Then, fold the parchment paper over the butter and use your hands to shape it into a block that is about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide.

Place the butter block in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes before using it in the croissant dough. This will help ensure that the butter stays firm and doesn’t melt into the dough, which could result in a less flaky texture.

By choosing the right butter and shaping it into a block, you’ll be well on your way to making perfectly flaky croissants that are sure to impress.

Step 3: Laminating the Dough

Now that you have rolled out the croissant dough and enclosed the butter block, it’s time to start the lamination process. Lamination is the process of folding and rolling the dough with the butter block to create the flaky layers that croissants are known for. Here’s how to do it:

Folding the Dough

  1. Start by placing the dough/butter block on a lightly floured surface.
  2. With the short end of the dough facing you, fold the bottom third of the dough up over the butter block.
  3. Then, fold the top third of the dough down over the butter block, so that the butter is completely enclosed in the dough.
  4. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, so that the folded edge is facing you.
  5. Roll the dough out again to the same size as before, being careful not to let the butter break through the dough.
  6. Repeat this folding and rolling process four more times, for a total of six folds.

Chilling the Dough

After the final fold, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the layers to set and the dough to relax before shaping and baking.

Now that you have successfully laminated the croissant dough, you are ready to shape and bake your croissants!

Step 4: Shaping and Proofing the Croissants

Now that the dough has rested, it is time to shape the croissants. Follow these simple steps:

Cutting the Dough

Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into triangles. The size of the triangles will depend on how big you want your croissants to be. A good rule of thumb is to make them about 5 inches wide at the base and 8-10 inches long.

Shaping the Croissants

Take one triangle of dough and stretch it slightly. Then, using a sharp knife, make a small slit in the center of the base. This will help the croissant to roll up properly. Take the two corners at the base of the triangle and stretch them slightly, then roll the dough up towards the tip of the triangle. Gently curve the ends to form the classic croissant shape.

Proofing the Croissants

Place the shaped croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them proof for about 1-2 hours, or until they have doubled in size. To speed up the proofing process, you can place the baking sheet in a warm, draft-free area.

Once the croissants have proofed, brush them with an egg wash and bake them in a preheated oven at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and flaky.

Now that your croissants are perfectly shaped and proofed, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Serve them warm with butter and jam for a delicious breakfast treat, or use them as the perfect base for a savory sandwich.

Step 5: Baking the Croissants

After proofing the croissants, it’s time to bake them to perfection. Here’s how:

Egg Wash

Before baking, brush the croissants with an egg wash. This will give them a shiny, golden-brown crust. To make the egg wash, beat an egg with a pinch of salt until well combined. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the egg wash over the croissants.


Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving enough space between them to allow for expansion. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the croissants are puffed up and golden brown.

For best results, rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. If you’re baking multiple trays of croissants, be sure to allow the oven to come back up to temperature between batches.

Once the croissants are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving.

Now that you know how to make perfectly flaky croissants, it’s time to get baking! With a little practice and patience, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh, homemade croissants whenever you want.


Learning how to make perfectly flaky croissants may seem daunting, but with the right techniques and a little bit of patience, anyone can do it. Following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you’ll be able to create delicious homemade croissants that rival those from your favorite bakery.

Tips for Success

Remember to keep your dough and butter cold throughout the entire process, and to take breaks in between each step to allow the dough to rest. Use a ruler or measuring tape to ensure that your dough is rolled out to the correct size, and use a sharp knife or pastry cutter to cut your croissants into the perfect shape.

Experiment with Variations

Once you’ve mastered the basic croissant recipe, feel free to experiment with different fillings and flavors. Try adding chocolate, almond paste, or jam to your croissants before rolling them up, or sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar before baking.

Enjoy Your Homemade Croissants

There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked croissants wafting through your kitchen. Serve them warm with butter and jam for a delicious breakfast, or enjoy them as a snack with a cup of coffee or tea. With your newfound croissant-making skills, the possibilities are endless!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top