How To Make Croissants


My wife was making an appetizer for a party that called for a can of pre-made “crescent rolls” from the refrigerator section of the grocery store. I thought, “Surely I can make something at least as good as that.” I overshot by a bit. I accidentally made something so much better than those blue cans that I couldn’t believe it.

Now admittedly, you can’t slice these like a roll and make a breakfast sandwich out of them. The texture is way too flaky for that. But warm with a little butter, alongside some crisp bacon and cool fruit salad … oh man, this is some good stuff.

Check out my previous post for how to make puff pastry. Once you’re at the end of that process, you’re ready to cut and roll the croissants.

When we left the pastry, I had just rolled it out into a square and cut it into quarters.

Three more cuts with the the pizza cutter and we’ve got eight triangles.

Roll each one from the base to the point …

… then place them with the tip on the bottom on a baking sheet.

Bend the ends of the roll in toward each other.

At this point you could leave the rolls somewhere warm for an hour to rise. You could also brush them with an egg wash to get a nice shiny golden surface. But I’m exceptionally lazy on Sunday mornings. They just went straight into the oven at 375° for 15 minutes.

And that’s it.

Tomorrow, finally, I’ll have the appetizer that started this whole pastry experiment. Once you’ve got the pastry, it’s a really simple thing to make. As you can see, I found a way to make it more involved.

UPDATE: Here it is, the dill cheese appetizer.




  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter (first amount)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package dry yeast (2½ teaspoons)
  • ¼ cup warm water (105° - 115°)
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 cup butter (two sticks, second amount)


Combine the milk, first measure of butter, sugar and salt in a pan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add it to milk. Mix flour and the milk mixture together on low speed. Set dough aside in a covered bowl in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume.

Turn out onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle. Soften remaining butter and spread onto dough, leaving one third dry. Fold into thirds, dry side first. Chill until almost frozen. Roll out and fold in thirds again. Repeat at least two more times.

Roll out last time, and cut into squares, then the squares into triangles. Roll the long edge toward the opposite point, and fold the corners inward. Allow to rise until doubled, then bake at 375° for 15 minutes.


  1. oh! These look delicious – I have to agree with you that Croissants have no place in a sandwich, but plain or lightly buttered I think they are just about perfect. Thank you for sharing this, I can’t wait to get into my kitchen!

  2. Oooo a homemade croissant recipe, mmm! Thanks Drew! I just posted a really tasty Herb Cheese Bread on my blog. Yum. Last night I made Old Farmer’s Oatmeal Bread and that was another winner, I’ll probably post that sometime today.

  3. I’ve not looked at it too closely, but there’s a recipe for croissants in the current (Feb/Mar) issue of Fine Cooking magazine.

  4. Now if you just put some chocolate in the middle of those, you’d have the perfect food.

  5. Allison, I didn’t say they had no place in a sandwich, just that this batch wouldn’t work. I’m a total sucker for sausage egg and cheese croissandwiches. I’d love to be able to do those at home, from scratch.

    Amanda, I’ve done an herb bread, but no cheese yet. I’ll have to take a look at that one.

    Wosnes, is Fine Cooking anything like Gourmet? What I mean is that they seem to be more concerned with complexity, obscurity and visual interest than in taste. But then that could just be the few things I saw browsing it in the checkout line.

    Kristin, baked in or put in later? Ooh, wait, these would be great instead of poundcake next time we do fondue.

  6. recipes2share says:

    You could be an honorary Frenchie with these Drew!!

  7. Fiona, does that mean I have to start smoking? :-)

  8. Those look fantastic.

  9. I dunno how they get the chocolate in there. All I know is I could probably eat my weight in chocolate-filled croissants. We went to Montreal for a weekend a couple of years ago, and I ate 10 croissants in two days. Yes, I counted. And no, I didn’t regret it one little bit.

  10. You could just put a square of nice chocolate in the middle when you’re wrapping them up, and then presto – chocolate croissants! God, I really have to get to the gym.

  11. No, Bob. They look just okay. But they taste fantastic. Or should I say “tasted” since it was two weeks ago. Man I need to make some more. Which means I need to go to the store and get some flour. And it’s 7°F out.

    Kristin, ten in two days is nothing. Oh wait, they were probably those huge things, the size of your whole hand with your fingers spread out, weren’t they?

    Melissa, I think I’d have to let them rise after rolling them. The dough would probably seal the chocolate in that way.

  12. onlinepastrychef says:

    It wouldn’t take much to do better than the blue can. Scary stuff comes in blue cans…

    Just to be a wee bit of a stickler, puff pastry isn’t what is normally used to make croissants. Traditional croissants are made from a laminated yeasted dough. I bet your crescents were awesome. If you can handle making puff pastry, you won’t have a problem w/croissant dough. Roll them up w/some ham and cheese inside, and you will be Very Happy, indeed:)

    So glad to see another person advocating the use of real, not scary processed food!

    PS Fine cooking is all about the techniques. I think you’ll really enjoy it:)

  13. Jenni, I didn’t set out to make puff pastry. I was actually following recipes for croissants, and what I ended up with puffed up way more than I expected. Maybe this is what good croissants are supposed to taste like and I’ve just never had any good ones.

  14. Oh!!! They worked, they worked!!! I tried for two days to make these using another recipe (the dough was freakishly involved) and I made these in an hour and a half!!! Thanks Drew:) They saved my mother’s day breakfast.

  15. Kelsey, I almost did these again for today. But Decided to go with something else at the last minute.

  16. I looked with great interest at your “puff pastry” instructions. I want to make Elephant Ears… what is sold for over a dollar each at a bakery! Would this work for that? I want a “messy, flaky crust type” which for some reason my husband just loves. Any ideas on that? Thanks for the help. Kay

  17. Hmm, I did a fried dough recipe that came out quite a bit like elephant ears. But I know traditionally those are a quickbread, meaning they’re made with baking powder instead of yeast.

    Another big difference between this pastry and elephant ears is that elephant ears are deep fried. So there are lots of ways to get a good fried dough treat, but “real” elephant ears should be deep fried.

  18. Drew,

    I just made a batch of these, your directions are excellent by the way, and they are fantastic. We’re bringing the bread to my sister’s house tomorrow for dinner and this is what we chose to make. Rather than bake them here, we decided to bake them at sister’s house. To do a test, I baked two of the rolls and when my wife tried it, she looked at me and said “It is a good thing we aren’t baking those here, they w0uldn’t make it to your sisters!”

    Well done Drew and thanks for sharing.

  19. This is perfect!! My dad bought a big box of puff pastry so that My mom and me can’t make stuff with it. Since we still have a lot leftover now I can’t make croissants.. :’D

  20. Janet Baker says:

    I’m just visiting your website for the first time and am very excited about making these croisssants. My question is that I would like to match a batch and freeze them for later to defrost as needed and then just pop them in the oven. Would I freeze them after I have rolled and shaped them? What do you recommend

    Thanks so much!

  21. Yes, I’d freeze after shaping them, but before the final rise.


  1. […] Here are the home-made croissants, and here is the dill cheese appetizer. Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you […]

  2. […] started out following the recipe here, but we veered a little off course when certain aspects didn’t go as smoothly as advertised. […]

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