Croissants 101

Croissants cooling on a wire rack | Photo by Zoë François

There are very few things as satisfying as a perfect croissant. Flaky, tender, just the right amount of pull and give, and BUTTERY. Have you ever made one? Probably not, because they’re labor intensive and require a bit of skill to “laminate” the dough. This is an industry term for layering the butter within the dough. It’s not hard, but it requires some patience and a good amount of time to do it right. I’ve had more requests on my instagram account for a video on how to make them than anything else. So, that’s what I’ve done. I learned this technique at the CIA and I’ve changed nothing (well, I cut them differently, so as not to waste a bit of dough). If you haven’t visited my Instagram stories, you’ll find tutorials (set to the music in my head) for everything from macarons to meringue (because I love using my blow torch) and I take requests for things people are having troubles with in their own kitchens.

Here is the recipe for the croissants, but the instructions are basically useless without the visuals, so come to my Instagram account (you’ll find the video on my homepage in the “highlights” archive. Just look for croissants 101.


Equipment you’ll need:

Digital Kitchen Scale

Rolling Pin – a large one will be helpful for rolling out the large piece of dough

Baking Sheet with parchment paper

Pastry Brush – use a natural bristle, not silicone


454 grams whole milk (this requires you to weigh the milk)

1 tablespoon yeast

1 tablespoon kosher salt

43 grams sugar

75 grams unsalted butter, room temperature

794 grams bread flour (you need the extra gluten strength in bread flour for this dough to stretch around all the butter without bursting open)

Butter layer:

37 grams bread flour

454 grams unsalted butter, room temperature

To make the dough:

Combine all ingredients and mix on low speed with a dough hook in a stand mixer for about 10 minutes.

Form a smooth disk, cover with plastic wrap and rest the dough for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

To make the butter layer:

Combine the butter and flour with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer, until smooth.

Spread the butter into an even layer on 2/3 of a piece of parchment paper that is the same size as your baking sheet 11×16 inches.

Refrigerate the butter until set .

To make the croissant dough:

Roll the dough to the size of the baking sheet.

Place the chilled butter on the dough, aligning it with the bottom edge, so it covers 2/3 of the dough. Fold it into a letter. From here on you need to refer to my croissants 101 video on Instagram. You’ll find the dough, shaping and baking instructions there.

Buttery, golden brown croissants | Photo by Zoë François
Croissants | Photo by Zoë François
Croissants and coffee | Photo by Zoë François

Enjoy! Zoë

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10 thoughts to “Croissants 101”

  1. I got to the 3rd lamination when your insta video says to wrap it and let it rest for a couple hours. I did that and went to roll it out but it was too soft and the butter was melted and the dough began to tear. I’m wondering if your note should’ve said to let it rest a couple hours IN THE FRIDGE? because I thought it was supposed to rest on the counter. So…I stopped trying to roll it, just kinda folded it up again and put it back into the refrigerator. Do you think it will be okay after the tearing and melted butter or should I start over. (I really don’t want to start all over….) thanks for your advice

    1. Hi Kate,

      Yes, it is in the refrigerator and I am so sorry for that confusion. Yes, it should still work.

      I will fix it in the recipe here.


    1. Zoë loves Kerrygold and Vermont Creamery, but she’s made it successfully with all kinds of butter.

  2. Hello, I have made these previously and they were amazing! I was going to make again but I can not find the video on instagram. Is there another way to view shaping and baking instructions? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jessie! We moved the video to the front of Zoë’s Instagram highlights and you can find links directly to the video in the post above. Happy baking!

    1. Hi Bren, we moved it to the front of Zoë’s Instagram highlights and you can also find the links directing right to the video in the post above. Happy baking!

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