Classic French Butter Croissants Recipe

Westend61/Getty Images
  • Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 3 hrs
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Makes 20 (serves 20)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
144 Calories
12g Fat
7g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Makes 20 (serves 20)
Amount per serving
Calories 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 275mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Protein 1g
Calcium 32mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A walk to the Boulangerie to pick up the breakfast pastries is the epitome of all that is lovely about living in France. The bag of warm croissants brought home and served fresh with a little jam and steaming hot coffee is simply sublime. 

In order to make some yourself, you will need to plan ahead; there is no way that you can set about making them the morning you want to eat them. You can, however, make them to the end of stage 5 and then freeze them for when you do want them, or cover them and keep them in the refrigerator the night before as they stop rising or rise very slowly in the coldness.


  • 4 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

  1. This recipe is made using a stand mixer with a dough hook, you can, of course, make the croissants by hand by simply hand kneading for at least 5 to 10 minutes. 

  2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water for 5 minutes. Add the bread flour, milk, sugar, melted butter, and salt to the dissolved yeast and water and mix the dough on medium speed for about 2 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of extra flour at a time, until the dough is just firm enough to fold a shape.

  3. Shape dough into a ball and loosely cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a 10-inch by 15-inch rectangle, and then cover it loosely and allow it to rise for 40 minutes.

  4. Brush the rectangle with the softened butter and then fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Roll the long, thin rectangle back into the original 10-inch by 15-inch shape. Fold the dough into thirds, again, and then cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Repeat this process one more time.

  5. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough diagonally to make 20 triangles. Pull the tip of each triangle taut and then roll the croissants up from the base curving the ends slightly to make a crescent shape. (If you are freezing the croissants see the note below). 

  6. Arrange each finished croissant on a lightly greased baking sheet with at least 1 1/2 inches between each pastry. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they are nearly doubled in size.

  7. Preheat the oven to 400F. Whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons milk together to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash across the surface of each pastry. Bake the croissants for 12 to 14 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown.

Frozen Croissants 

If frozen, when you want to eat them, take them from the freezer a couple of hours or the night before and let them gently thaw then simply proceed with the recipe. 

This croissants recipe makes 20 servings.