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

Travel

Venice: The allure of Italy’s most unique city

If you ask me, a good portion of Venice’s appeal lies in that fact that it seems so unbelievable. Here is a city that regularly floods, seawater gushing out of canals and covering sidewalks, creeping under doorways to invade homes and businesses. Here is a city of islands knit together by over four hundred small bridges, a city where water replaces streets, where boats replace cars, trucks, scooters and bikes. Here is a city that seems hostile towards the very old, the very young, the disabled, the distracted, and anyone who has to pull a wheeled suitcase for any distance...

Life

The trauma of underwear shopping in Italy

The scene played out something like this: I was in Intimissimi, enclosed in one of those woefully undersized changing compartments harshly lit by hot and unforgiving halogen bulbs and closed off from the rest of the store by a single strip of beige canvas that left a two-inch gap on either side no matter how firmly I tugged on the fabric. I was also in the middle of trying on a new bra, which is always a traumatic experience in and of itself. So I was standing there in that tiny cubicle, undressed, wincing at the effect of the world’s...

Food

A bright cranberry cake for those cold winter days

In most places, the holidays are officially over. By now, decorations are making their way back into boxes, people are back at work, and schools are back in session – a return to the usual, now that the new year has kicked off and gotten underway. In Italy, though, things aren’t finished quite yet. While the bulk of the festivities are over, there’s still January 6th – the holiday of Epiphany – to get through before real life really gets going again. Decorations stay up, trees stay lit, and streets stay draped with lights until at least the 6th –...

Life

Momentum

About a year ago, as 2017 started winding down, I found myself thinking that my life was feeling just a little bit stagnant in a few ways. The last couple of years had been pretty uneventful and consistent, which always seems like a really good thing until it goes on that way for just a bit too long and starts to feel more like being stuck in a rut than moving smoothly along. So I told myself that 2018 would be a year of change – by which I mostly meant growth and learning, where and when I wanted it...

Travel

Favignana: The challenging paradise

The first thing you need to know about Favignana is that this island might not be for you. It’s not for you if you like your vacations to be mindlessly relaxing, full of kilometres of uninterrupted golden sand and no-effort beach days that’ll take you from your room to the water in a few easy steps. It’s not for you if you’re looking for lush green landscapes dotted with impressive villas or sleek five-star hotels with sea-view infinity pools, or if you’re after the dramatic cliffside luxury of Capri or the postcard-perfect multi-layered colours of Procida. As far as islands go, Favignana...

Life

New year, new goals

I’ve never really liked New Year’s Eve. It’s too glitzy, too close on the heels of Christmas to have any real anticipation built up around it, and too full of pressure to round up friends, make plans and stay out late. Do you know what I always really want to be doing on New Years Eve at midnight? I want to be at home, in my pajamas, holding a mug of tea as I lean out the window to watch a few distant fireworks (if I lean far enough out the window, almost to the point where toppling down onto the...

View more posts
Show me posts about...