Homemade Flaky Croissants

This is an easy to follow recipe for how to make Homemade Flaky Croissants and includes tips for successful breakfast pastries with tons of buttery, light, and flaky layers. Serve with your favorite jam or just a cup of coffee for a tasty breakfast treat!

Close up of flaky layers of a homemade croissant

what makes croissants so flaky
Magic. Kidding … Seriously, there is an art to making flaky croissants.

The answer is: it is all about the butter, and rolling and folding the dough.

First, the butter – You are going to put a big slab of butter on top of the dough. It is going to seem like way too much, but it is a necessity for a flaky dough. Butter has water in it. When the butter is heated, the water turns to steam. Then the steam creates pockets within the dough – which translate to flaky layers.
Second, rolling and folding the dough – The folding technique of the croissant dough is important. The rolled dough is folded into a tri-fold, like a letter. We roll and fold the dough 3 times. With each fold, we create more and more layers.
There is a math equation that tells you how many layers of dough you will get depending on how many times you do this. But I don’t do math. Just trust me that we are going to get many layers in these croissants. Because I have not yet mastered action shots while making my recipes, here are some good photos of the tri-fold.
is it hard to make homemade croissants
Absent the large dough sheeter’s that are in professional kitchen’s and bakeries, making flaky butter croissants at home is possible and can be easy.

In my humble opinion – as a self-taught home baker – patience is the key when making croissants. Or really any flaky pastry dough for that matter. I honestly don’t believe, and would not advocate, trying to rush this recipe.

So, if you are looking for a quick breakfast bread treat, you may want to try a different recipe. Perhaps some delicious homemade buttermilk biscuits, or the wonderfully savory Irish cheddar soda bread.

Fresh baked croissants on a serving plate

how to make croissants from scratch
There are not a lot of fancy or hard to come by ingredients in this homemade croissant recipe. In fact, you probably already have everything you need in the pantry and refrigerator. What makes butter croissants so wonderful – and also intimidating – is the care, time, and patience it takes with developing the croissant dough.

Plan Ahead – It can be hard to rush pastry perfection, which is why I can’t stress enough to plan in advance when making homemade croissants. I recommend making the dough the day before you want to serve croissants, because the dough is best when it has time to refrigerate overnight.
Make Space In The Refrigerator – You will find in the instructions there is a lot of refrigerating the dough after it is rolled. And most likely, your baking sheet that you will be using to chill the dough will take up some room.
Use Good Butter – Butter, along with patience, is key when making homemade croissants. And because croissants achieve their beautiful flaky layers from butter, I recommend using a good butter.

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