The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Croissants help

April's picture

Croissants help

Hi everyone,

I am not a newbie in making croissants as I have been trying to make it for countless times. However, I still cannot succeed in them. Here are my problems:

  • The dough tore and the butter seeped out, which make it hard for me to roll the dough
  • The dough surface was kinda rough, how to keep it smooth?
  • I enlongated the rectangles a lot but ended up with only 5 steps instead of 7 steps
  • Does cutting the notch make any differences?
  • How to get the smooth crust surface and flaky crust?
  • The layers are not obvious when I look at the side
  • How to get the big open honeycomb crumb?

I know that there are way too many questions but I just want to make perfect croissants. I followed Weekend bakery recipe:

What is your favourite recipe for croissants?

Here are some photos of my croissant



BaniJP's picture

First of all, your croissants look great! Crispy and fluffy, just amazing for your first try (I assume)!

1./2. (I put them together because they might come from the same issue) That gives me a clue that your dough was not mixed long enough, meaning the gluten was developed too little. Usually this issue would be fixed during a long fermentation, but in enriched doughs it's a bit more difficult because of all the fat (and sugar) slowing or stopping gluten development.
I know the recipe says otherwise, but next time I would recommend mixing a bit longer, adding your sugar and butter a little later. You also get a smoother surface if you mix longer. 3 min. on low to moderate speed is barely enough to incorporate everything.
It's a bit difficult to catch the right moment if you are unexperienced. You definitely want gluten development so the dough can withstand multiple rollings and foldings, but not too much or it will be hard to roll out. If you have a KitchenAid, mix for about 8-10 min. on speed 2. Do the windowpane test to get to improved mix (you might need to look that up). Add your sugar and butter halfway, they both hinder gluten development. Let it sit at room temp. for about 30-45 min. to kickstart fermentation, then refrigerate.

3. 7 steps is just the traditional amount, 5 is also still fine. But you shouldn't get less.

4. Cutting the notch gives you the possibility to stretch out the corners a little further, to end up with those super crispy ears and also 7 steps.

5., 6. and 7. should be solved by following the mixing advice above (tighter dough = more distinct layers) and the rest is simply training and doing it over and over again.

Good luck on your next batch! :)

April's picture

Thank you so much. I don't think that I am doing that good. Also, that was not my first try as I have been trying to make the perfect croissant for years😁😁. However, your advice is really helpful that I am gonna take it to improve my next batch which I am gonna make tomorrow because it is night here. Definitely I gonna knead them for a bit longer

wally's picture

You’re being too hard on yourself. That’s a great crumb. Hand lamination is difficult compared to using a sheeter which makes it easier to get a more consistent crumb structure. So relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

As for butter leaking out, that is a problem. With croissants two things are critical: 1- your butter and dough must be at the same temp when you incorporate your butter block. Both cold, and the butter plasticized so that it stretches rather than breaks when you roll it out in the enclosed dough. 2- You must work quickly between folds in order to stretch the dough out sufficiently to fold, and before the butter begins to melt from overworking the dough or being too slow in rolling it out. Practice makes all this easier.

In any event, you are on the right track!


April's picture

I guess that it is because I have failed for countless times so I am always too hard on myself. However, I think that I can still improve my croissants and make them better with your advice. I am definitely gonna take it into my next batch for the perfect croissants. My perfect bakery-like croissants obsession is blinding me from seeing how far I have improved, I think I should chill down to enjoy my work😁

Bread1965's picture

I'm just scanning today's freshloaf email of recent posts.  And I think I'm having an existential crisis looking at your croissant pictures and thinking of your questions. I think you have perfected croissants - well done !!

What (I think) you're really looking for is a different version or perception of what you deem perfect. Or at least closer to that interpretation of perfect. But from my vantage point, I think you're already there.. at least in the right neighbourhood, on the right block.. probably even walking up the front walkway to the great house of croissant mastery.

I think you should pour some tea, crack open one of those gorgeous croissant and close your eyes while you take a bite and let that buttery goodness melt on your tongue while you chew... pause and reflect. And then applaud yourself, because YOU april415 are a great baker. I think we all get hung up on a final destination and I for one hope you've taken a moment to marvel and the beauty of what you've baked.

Well done indeed!

EDIT: And P.S.  And if you live in Toronto then invite me over so i can marvel in that buttery goodness with you. :)

April's picture

I think that it is because of my bakery-like croissants obsession that is preventing me from seeing how far I have gone. You make me feel better and get more confident. I wish I lived in Toronto so that I could invite you to my house to enjoy some of my work and talk about things. That is gonna be so nice. Unfortunately, I live so so  far away from there. If I have a chance to travel to Toronto, I really want to meet you in person. You're just so nice!

lennyk's picture

Your crumb looks excellent. You could try adjusting for longer proofing and fridge time to get more open crumb.

did your dough shrink back when cut?

if so the gluten may be too well developed and tight.


semolina_man's picture

You have achieved honeycomb crumb. 

Smooth dough is achieved by gluten development.   This is achieved by vigorous kneading. 

Lamination problems can be related to the dough and the butter block not being the same temperature and consistency throughout the laminating process.  

Google Bruno Albouze.  He just posted two excellent croissant videos on YouTube.  He is a professionally trained and born in France pastry chef. 

retired baker's picture
retired baker

that recipe is no good .

dry yeast is 100 % useless and all purpose flour is no good for this.

fresh cake yeast only, no dry yeast.

hi gluten flour, bread flour is too weak and will not flake.