Homemade butter croissant recipe

Claire Gallam

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Is there anything better than a flaky, fresh from the oven croissant in the morning? Especially one that is so filled with butter it almost melts in your mouth. Next time your buttery croissant craving hits, why not spend an extra few hours making them yourself? It may seem like a lot of work, but after one bite, you'll know the difference. And Pillsbury may lose one more customer.


These croissants take a few hours to make so they are the perfect chilly, rainy (or snowy) Saturday baking task. Even though they take a few hours to prep, they aren't difficult to make, all you need is a little patience! And let us say this again, after one flakey, melt in your mouth bite, you will want to make them almost every weekend.

Homemade flakey butter croissants

Yields about 12 croissants

Recipe adapted from The Tummy Train


For the dough: 

  • 2-3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • Dash of salt

For the butter filling: 

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons bread flour

For the glaze: 

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted


  1. Warm the heavy cream until it reaches about 110 degrees F. Mix in the yeast and let it sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Once foamy, pour into a mixing bowl. Add in the sugar and the 1-cup of cold milk, stir to combine.
  2. Mix the flours together. Add about 2 cups of the flour and salt to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Mix with a wooden spoon, adding just enough of the remaining flour mixture to make a soft, sticky dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead a few times until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a bowl and place on a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife cut an X into the top of the dough. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. While the dough chills, cut the butter into pieces. Place the butter into a chilled mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add the flour and continue beating until the mixture is smooth and soft. Roll the butter mixture onto a floured surface and push out any remaining butter lumps with your hand. Shape the butter into a square and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Flour a hard surface again and flatten and stretch each quarter of the dough (to match up with the edges of the Xs you made) out about two 1/2-inches. You want the dough to look like a four-leafed clover. Keep the center of the dough raised.
  6. Place the butter square into the center of the dough and pull the south-facing flap up to cover the top and sides of the butter square. Then fold each of the sides over the butter square too until you have a dough square that looks a bit like a present. Using a rolling pin, lightly pound the square dough to evenly distribute the butter.
  7. Roll the dough into a 17 x 9-inch rectangle and then fold the dough into thirds. Freeze the dough overnight and then let thaw for at least 8 hours.
  8. To form the croissants, dust the top of the dough with flour and using a large, heavy rolling pin, roll out the dough into two 16 x 12-inch rectangles. Fold each rectangle into thirds and chill for at least 15 minutes in the fridge.
  9. Once chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a pizza wheel starting at the top left hand corner of the dough, make your way down the dough, measuring three 1/2-inches from the top left corner of the strip and mark this point with a notch from the wheel. Using the sharp pizza wheel, cut diagonally down from the notch to meet the bottom left edge of the dough. This will make a triangle with about a 4-inch base. Continue cutting until you have about six triangles. Repeat with the second strip of dough to make 6 more large triangles. This will give you about 12 large triangles.
  10. Once you have the triangles, it's time to form the croissants. Roll up the triangle, starting with the thin top until you have a croissant shape. Gently turn down the edges of the croissants so they face you. Place them about one inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Once you are done, place the croissants on the top shelf of your oven (not on). Place a pan of boiling water underneath them (this will help the dough rise again). Let the dough rise for about 2 hours.
  11. Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the croissants with the egg yolk and butter the mixture. Bake for about 13 minutes, or until golden brown and flakey. Serve immediately!

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Claire Gallam
Claire is an aspiring nutritionist (and soon to be culinary student) with a serious addiction to bacon, wine, goat cheese and online shopping. She is recently married to a social media guru who loves *almost* everything she conjures up. In addition to writing for the Food section of SheKnows, she is a full-time recipe creator (and taste tester), a writer for FabulousFoods.com and a contributing writer for the Home and Gardening section of SheKnows. You can also follow her daily musings and find delicious healthy recipes on her food blog, The Realistic Nutritionist.