Food

Croissants: A French classic, demystified

Posted on February 13, 2012
Croissants: A French classic (video recipe)

There was a time when I was intimidated by the idea of making my own croissants. Not just intimidated, but downright scared; croissants, with their impressive French pedigree and their multitudes of flakey, buttery layers coiled into neat crescent shapes, were the type of pastry I envisioned master chefs with years of formal training carefully preparing in vast stainless steel kitchens. Then there was me, the girl with no training at all and a minuscule apartment kitchen with less counter space than the average person’s coffee table. And I was going to attempt to bake my own croissants?

Well, yes, actually.

The first attempt was a certifiable disaster, complete with airborne chunks of butter and a mixer sacrificed to the gods of flour and butter. The things that emerged from the oven weren’t so much true pastries as they were logs of dense dough – hardly anything worth eating, let alone attempting to bake again. And yet, I tend to be somewhat stubborn. By my second attempt, the croissants were undeniably edible, and no kitchen equipment was damaged in the process. And on the third attempt, something happened, some kind of magical interaction between butter and flour, and when I opened the oven door after twelve nerve-wracking minutes, there they were: Croissants, true croissants, neatly coiled and deeply golden with the kind of tantalizing aroma that normally belongs inside a French patisserie and a flavour so good it nearly demanded that I reached for a second, and then a third…

As it turned out, croissants weren’t so difficult to master after all. They just required patience, some time, and a little attention to detail. And because I think you might enjoy baking croissants too – after all, the world’s tastiest pastry is all the more enjoyable when it’s just emerged from your own oven – I’ve put together a short video taking you through the croissant-making process.

Croissants


Ingredients

(For the preparation method, see the video – in this case, it’s much easier to show than to tell)

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flower (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 sticks cold unsalted butter
Share this post: Pinterest Facebook Twitter

Comments on this post

Ismael Burciaga 13 February 2012 at 10:57 am

I really love this recipe and the video you created. You totally have inspired me to be a chef. However I will first finish photography then move onto culinary LOL

Christianne 13 February 2012 at 12:54 pm

Well done! Well explained with the video. But still think it’s a lot of work ;) But now I feel more educated about croissants :). Love the picture also!

Marija 13 February 2012 at 1:18 pm

Wow, your croissants look really yummy! I’m saving this video to my favourites and I’m going to try your recipe the first chance I get :D

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious 13 February 2012 at 1:43 pm

Wow, these look fabulous. The video was really helpful – well explained and clear-cut. You make this process look so easy but I’m still intimidated a little bit!

lauren @ the talking kitchen 13 February 2012 at 1:48 pm

I can’t wait to make these! Photos are beautiful and what a fun video to watch!

Alexandra 16 February 2012 at 4:12 pm

OMG! How friggin’ gorgeous was this?!
You. are. just. awesome.
Never mind the croissants (which look just heavenly in that last part) the whole video was adorable! Just perfect!

Sara 17 February 2012 at 1:22 pm

My croissants are in the refrigerator rising right now! Beautiful video. Thanks for the help!

Oscar Party Foods & Cocktails Inspired by the Year’s Best Pictures | Yummly 26 February 2012 at 10:11 am

[…] Demystified French Croissants (from Verbalized) […]

julia 2 March 2012 at 10:20 am

wow they look delicious.
i will definetely try the recipe!

Steve 13 March 2012 at 9:42 am

Awesome. Butter would occasionally push through a layer of dough… Got a touch messy by the third time in and out of the fridge. But they really did turn out fantastic. Thanks!

ami 2 May 2012 at 7:21 pm

Love this video! Really great, beautiful work. Hope you do more! :)

is 18 May 2012 at 7:08 pm

Hi Sara, thank you so much for this wonderful video! I hope it’s not too late to ask you (or anyone who’s tried this method) a question or two about the recipe. When you initially make and knead the dough, how long does it need to chill before you put the butter in? And secondly, how long will the dough stay in the fridge (or freezer?) if you only want to bake off a couple of croissants at a time? Thanks for your help!

amelia 19 May 2012 at 8:12 am

this was great!! And so cute at the end when you baked just the two for yourself.

namrata 26 July 2013 at 6:28 am

Hello Sara, I was on the search for a easy croissant tutorial on Pinterest and your’s is just perfect..! Thank you for this amazingly simple video. And hey, your house is beautiful.

Minh 4 December 2013 at 9:34 am

Hi Sara,

Love this adorable video! I’ve always been too intimidated to try making homemade croissants until now. Thank you for the easy tutorial.

We enjoyed these for breakfast this morning straight from the oven. Delicious :-)

Custom Fitness 19 December 2015 at 6:18 am

You ought to take part in a contest for one of the most useful sites on the net.
I am going to recommend this website!

Career Counseling Northern Virginia 1 February 2016 at 11:53 am

If some one wishes to be updated with latest
technologies afterward he must be pay a quick visit this site and be up to date everyday.

Leave a comment

Recently Written

Life

Oh, Rome

Last week I picked up my renewed permesso di soggiorno, the little rectangle of plastic that is quite possibly one of the most valuable things in my possession given that it allows me to legally stay in Italy. I sat in a sparse, dingy police station waiting room where announcements from 1998 were thumbtacked to peeling blue walls and a crooked, gilded crucifix hung above the door, and then I sat in front of an unsmiling officer in a cramped office while she dug my new permesso out of a shoebox full of envelopes, sliced my old one into a...

Food  |  Travel

Ovindoli: The great outdoors (and cool temperatures) at Rome’s doorstep

We had come to Ovindoli to escape. It was the beginning of August, and as is tradition, Rome was beginning to empty itself steadily, disgorging its residents in the annual exodus towards other, more appealing holiday destinations while sweaty tourists flowed in to take their place. A heatwave named Lucifer (Italians like to name their heatwaves) was also set to descend on the country, pushing temperatures up beyond the 40ºC mark and well beyond the possibility of tolerance. We headed for the mountains – not the taller, more famous peaks up North with the spectacular skiing in the winter and lush green...

Food  |  Travel

Sun, sea, and extremely spicy sausage: Venturing into Calabria

I had never heard of San Nicola Arcella when I agreed to spend nine days there. Neither, apparently, had anyone else. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I saw a lot of blank faces whenever I mentioned where I would be travelling. Friends, the barista preparing my morning cappuccino, even a guy who grew up in the same region – nobody seemed to know about this place. I quickly came to the conclusion that it would turn out to be either one of Italy’s best-kept secrets… or one of its secret shames. San Nicola Arcella is in Calabria, which at...

Life

Rome’s coast: Beach, or outdoor living room?

This is what you probably don’t associate with a relaxing day at the beach: Forty-five minutes in the car, windows down, hot air streaming in. Traffic; a long, slow snarl that snakes towards the coast, tangling up hopelessly at every on-ramp and poorly-placed stoplight. And a painful hunt for an acceptable parking space; a space where you might have a chance of actually extracting the car at the end of the day. It feels like a mass-exodus from Rome, and in a way, it is. It’s the weekend; the city is relocating to the sea. The Roman coastline, or the litorale romano as...

Food  |  Life

An abundance of time and apricots

It’s late June, and summer has long since arrived and settled in for the long haul here in Rome. When I initially sat down to write this post, just over a week ago, I started to write that we were at the point in the season where everything still felt exceedingly new and pleasant: The sun on my back as I walked down the street, Saturdays at the beach, seeing the stonefruit and the first few watermelons showing up on the market tables. But, a week later, I’m ready to revise that statement slightly. While we haven’t exactly gotten to the...

Travel

The particular beauty of Naples, an incomplete list

I crave Naples the way I occasionally crave a very specific type of food: Intensely, completely, and then – in exactly the same way as when I allow myself to indulge in inadvisably large quantities of something like sushi or Indian food – not at all for a relatively significant length of time, until one day I wake up again and think: You know what I need? I need a pizza, eaten in the city where it was invented, and I need a dose of that in-your-face, brazen chaos that only Naples can properly deliver. I’d been to Naples a good number of times before,...

View more posts
Show me posts about...