Croissants aren’t bread rolls; they’re more than half butter. Croissants, with their 70+ rich and flaky layers, are a must-try item in any French bakery. Regardless, few bakeries can beat a homemade croissant. Even if cutting your croissant doesn’t reveal a cross section with a perfect honeycomb of layers, the buttery treat is sure to impress even the pickiest of eaters.
EDIT (April 1st, 2013): I originally wrote this croissant tutorial on August 13, 2012 and wasn’t completely satisfied with the results. The croissants were delicious, sure, but they weren’t perfect. The pictures were pretty embarrassing as well since the batch came out flat due to improper lamination. I also recently realized that the croissant history I shared was not accurate. My post on French croissants was actually about German croissants. Sigh. I’ve spent a while working on this recipe to significantly improve it, and that’s what this updated post now contains.
If you want to kick your croissants up a notch, you can also check out my Ispahan croissant post with instructions for raspberry, rose, and lychee croissants. You can find it here.
Croissants are made with a yeast-leavened dough that is folded with butter in a process called “lamination”. While baking, the layers of butter give off steam and cause the layers of dough to separate, leaving large gaps. The quality of a croissant can be determined by studying the size of the gaps, since large gaps are a result of proper lamination.