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The Delicious French Croissant Recipe by Cédric Grolet

The Delicious French Croissant Recipe by Cédric Grolet

best french croissant recipe

Here is the best French croissant recipe by the French master pâtissier Cédric Grolet. In his French patisserie cookbook Opéra, Cédric Grolet, who was named the world’s best pastry chef in 2018, shares his accessible recipe of the French croissant. It’s the perfect croissant recipe for amateur home chefs or more experienced pâtissiers. For more recipes by French pastry chefs, see my article on the best French pastry books of all time.

The croissant, this golden crescent filled with paper-thin layers of pastry is deeply associated with French culture. But did you know that this French viennoiserie is actually from Austria (Vienna)? Indeed, the croissant began as the Austrian kipfel and became French the moment people started to make it with puffed pastry (“pâte feuilletée” in French) —which is a French innovation. If you order a kipfel in Austria or Germany today, you’ll likely be handed a crescent-shaped pastry.

How To Make Proper French Croissants

Croissants are named for their historical crescent shape and, like other French viennoiseries, are made of layered yeast-leavened dough. The dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a thin sheet, in a technique called laminating (“tourage” in French). The process results in a puff pastry. Here are a few tips below to make proper French croissants.

Opt for quality ingredients

As always, choosing quality ingredients is the key to making delicious croissants at home. And in this recipe, it’s the butter the key ingredient, that makes French croissants taste so good. So make sure to choose a good quality French unsalted butter.

The beurre de tourage or “dry butter”

Beurre de tourage, also known as dry butter or “beurre pâtissier”, is a dry, unsalted butter that has 84% butterfat, which is higher than regular unsalted butter with 82% butterfat. It’s a special butter, presented in thin sheets and used in France by pastry chefs when making a dough that requires turning or folding it with butter to create layers.

How to make beurre de tourage

If you cannot find beurre de tourage, you can make it at home. In this recipe, you’ll need 400g of butter that has 84% of butterfat —in France, there is the beurre Charentes-Poitou AOP, or beurre d’Isigny de Ste Mère— and form the butter into a butter block. Take a large piece of parchment paper, place the butter into the center and fold the parchment around it to create a square. Flip this over, and use a rolling pin to pound it flat (about 1 cm thick) and into the shape of the square.

best french croissant recipe

The French Croissant Recipe by Cédric Grolet

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 25 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Servings 15 croissants

Ingredients
  

For the dough:

  • 1 kg flour (T45 in France)
  • 420 g water
  • 50 g eggs
  • 45 g fresh yeast
  • 18 g salt
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 20 g honey
  • 70 g butter
  • 400 g beurre de tourage or dry butter (see notes above)

For the egg wash:

  • 300 g egg yolks
  • 30 g heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

Make the dough:

  • In a mixing bowl with a dough hook, add in the flour, water, eggs, fresh yeast, salt, sugar, and honey.
  • Set your mixer to a medium-slow speed and mix the ingredients until you have a homogeneous paste. Then, set your mixer on a higher speed and mix until the paste pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the "beurre pommade" (see notes) and knead until the dough comes together. Cover with a damp cloth, then let it rise at room temperature (24 to 25°C/75°to 77°F) for 1 hour.
  • Flatten the dough to knock out the air, then roll it out into a large rectangle according to the width of the beurre de tourage and double its length. Place it in the freezer for 5 minutes, then in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Place the beurre de tourage in the middle of the dough, fold the dough from each side up and over to cover the butter.
  • Turn the edge of the visible butter to face you. Using a rolling pin, make a double fold: roll from bottom to top until you obtain a thickness of about 7 mm. Draw a small mark in the middle of the dough, fold the top and bottom into the middle, then fold the dough in half again like a wallet. Cover in plastic wrap and place the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Finally, make a single fold: roll the dough to 1 cm thick, rolling from bottom to top to form a long rectangle. Fold the top over a third of the dough and then fold the bottom over the top. Immediately roll out the dough to a thickness of 3.5 mm to start cutting and forming the croissants.

Make the egg wash:

  • In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and cream together.

Forming the croissants:

  • Cut triangles of 7 cm wide by 35 cm high. Roll the triangles on themselves starting from the base to form the croissants. Let rise for 2 hours at 26°C/77°F.

Finishing and baking:

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. 
  • Place the croissants on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and use a brush to apply a thin layer of egg wash to each croissant. Bake for 15 min.
  • When nicely golden, remove the croissants and let them cool on a rack.

Notes

Beurre pommade is butter that has been let come to room temperature (20 to 30°C / in the 60s F range) so that it is quite soft, like a face cream. Think of it as butter that has softened to the point that it is spreadable.
Keyword viennoiseries

Et voilà! I hope you enjoyed this French croissant recipe. If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. Merci beaucoup and bon appétit!

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View Comments (20)
  • Am I missing something? I thought you were going to show us How to make beurre de tourage. By that I thought you meant you were going to show us how to convert the 82% butter that we can get here and 84% butter. Was it just the pounding that you were talking about?

    • Bonjour Frank! Yes, to make beurre de tourage at home, the easiest way is to find a butter that has 84% of butterfat (like the beurre Charentes-Poitou AOP, or beurre d’Isigny de Ste Mère) and form the butter into a butter block as mentioned in the post. I don’t think it’s possible to convert the 82% butter to 84% at home, but let me know if you find a way to do it 🙂

  • I’ve made several croissant recipes recently and was curious about this one. Unfortunately my perfect looking croissants have expanded in the oven and now look quite sad and melted, Any suggestions why? Thanks!

    • Bonjour Lauren! Thank you very much for your comment! If your croissants look melted in the oven, it’s probably because the dough is overproofed. When the dough is overproofed, gluten strands become weak, and too much gas is released causing it to collapse. The pâte feuilletée should not be more than double in size before baking. And these resting times should be adapted according to the weather and the room temperature. I hope that’ll help you! xo Leonce

  • What are the recommended dimensions of the butter block ? It’s hard to go off of the size of the dough, because I create the block before I roll out the dough – which seems logical to keep everything the right temp. Most other recipes I’ve followed have given dimensions for the butter block which would make things much easier, because this makes quite a bit of dough due to the 1 kg of flour!

    • Bonjour Jena, thank you very much for your comment! The size of your dough should be the same width as the size of the butter block and double the size of the butter block in length. Once you have rolled out the dough adjust the size of the butter block accordingly. Or remove a little bit of dough to make sure your butter block is large enough for the size of the dough. I hope this will help you 🙂

    • Bonjour Alice, thank you very much for your comment! If the dough is too hard, you can add a tiny bit more water. Make sure you set your mixer to a slow speed or alternatively, knead the dough by hand until smooth. I hope that’ll help! xo

  • Hi Leonce, just want to ask if the instant dry yeast can be used as a replacement, and what would be the measurement for it? Thank you

      • Hello Carla and Leonce! I only have access to instant dry yeast, and successfully made these with approx. 14.85g of it. I generally convert the measurement of fresh yeast in a recipe by multiplying the weight of fresh yeast by 0.33, which has always been successful. The only thing to note is that if your home is cooler than 72 degrees fahrenheit (22 degrees celsius), you will have to wait an extra 15-30 minutes for the rising times. At least that has been my experience 🙂

  • Bonjour Leonce, thank you for posting this authentic recipe! If I want to work with a smaller portion, can I just take half of all amounts? Thank you

  • I tried this recipe (1/4) and it was brilliant using dry yeast and they rose perfectly during baking however once I took them out of the oven and put them on the rack they flattened. What do you think caused that? They tasted brilliant nevertheless

    • Bonjour Walter! Thank you very much for your comment. If your croissants flattened once you take them out of the oven, it’s probably because the dough is overproofed. When the dough is overproofed, gluten strands become weak, and too much gas is released causing it to collapse. The pâte feuilletée should not be more than double in size before baking. And these resting times should be adapted according to the weather and the room temperature.

  • Hello. So this is not a three day process Croissant? These can all be done in one day? I see a chocolate croissant pictured above is there a recipe for that? I don’t have fresh yeast just dry yeast. That an issue?

    • Bonjour Marta! Yes, with this recipe you can do these croissants in one day. There is no recipe for the chocolate croissant pictured above, however, I have a recipe for the pain au chocolat here. Yes, you can make this recipe by using instant dry yeast instead of fresh yeast. I would recommend checking Fianna’s previous comment, she successfully made these with approx. 14.85g of instant dry yeast.

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