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Sourdough Croissants Recipe

Learn how to make the best Sourdough Croissants with this detailed recipe. These sourdough croissants are flaky, buttery, and rewarding to make. You won’t believe you’re able to make homemade sourdough croissants this good.

Duration

  • Prep Time2
  • Cook Time23
  • Total Time2 23

Equipment

  • 1 Baking Scale
  • 1 Stand Mixer, recommended
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 1 Ruler
  • 1 Pastry wheel, can also use a pizza cutter or sharp knife
  • 1 Pastry Brush
  • 2 Half Sheet Pans
  • 1 Brød and Taylor Folding Proofer, optional but helpful

Ingredients

Levain

  • 60 grams Sourdough Starter
  • 60 grams Bread Flour
  • 60 grams Water

Croissant Dough (Détrempe)

  • 540 grams Bread Flour
  • 50 grams Granulated Sugar
  • 12 grams Sea Salt
  • Levain, see above
  • 150 grams Whole Milk, room temperature
  • 150 grams Water, room temperature
  • 43 grams Unsalted Butter, 3 TBS, cubed, room temperature

Butter Block (Beurrage)

  • 340 grams High-fat European-style Unsalted Butter, 3 sticks; Kerrygold and Plugra are popular brands.

Egg Wash

  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 tsp Whole Milk

Instructions

Make Levain:

  • Mix the sourdough starter, bread flour, and water in an empty jar. Cover and set in a warm location for about five hours until doubled in size, ripe, and bubbly.
  • 60 grams Sourdough Starter, 60 grams Bread Flour, 60 grams Water

Make the Détrempe (Croissant Dough):

  • Once the levain is ripe, make the croissant dough. Add the bread flour, granulated sugar, sea salt, all of the levain, whole milk, and water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment.
  • Start mixing on low and gradually increase the speed to medium to bring the dough together into a shaggy mass. Cover with a towel and rest the dough for 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • Continue mixing on medium for about 5 minutes until the dough starts to clear the sides of the bowl. With the mixer running, add the small cubes of butterone at a time until each one is fully incorporated. Continue mixing for 5-7 minutes until the dough is tacky, not sticky.
  • 540 grams Bread Flour, 50 grams Granulated Sugar, 12 grams Sea Salt, Levain, 150 grams Whole Milk, 150 grams Water, 43 grams Unsalted Butter

First Proof:

  • Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover, and place in a warm location to proof for about 5 hours or until the dough doubles in size.

Make the Beurrage (Butter Block):

  • While the dough is proofing, make the butter block. Place the three sticks of butter side-by-side on a large piece of parchment paper. Loosely wrap the butter in the parchment paper on all sides like a present and flip it over. Size the parchment into an 8″ (20cm) square, larger than the sticks of butter.
  • Smash the butter with a rolling pin. Then, flatten it into the corners of the parchment paper. If any parchment tears, replace it to prevent leaking.
  • It’s important that the butter is rolled out evenly and as perfect of an 8″ square as it can be.
  • Transfer the butter block to the refrigerator.
  • 340 grams High-fat European-style Unsalted Butter

Overnight Proof:

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, place the covered dough into the refrigerator to proof overnight, 8-12 hours, and up to two days.

Seal the Butter Block:

  • Remove the cold dough from the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll it into an 11” square (28cm).
  • Unwrap one side of the cold butter block and place it butter-side down onto the dough in a diamond shape. If the dough is not larger than the butter block at the points, roll the dough out more. Carefully peel off the parchment paper.
  • Wrap the butter block with the corners of the dough and pinch the dough together to completely encase the butter block.

First Turn, and Repeat Two More Times:

  • Lightly flour the work surface and the dough. Rotate the dough 45º so it’s a square in front of you. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a long rectangle about twice the width of the dough, or about 22” long (56cm).
  • As you roll, apply even pressure, so the butter is spread uniformly, and dust the top and bottom of the dough with more flour if there’s any sticking. Try to keep the edges and corners straight as you roll out the dough. Trim any rounded edges if necessary.
  • Now, fold the dough like a letter. Imagine the dough is divided into thirds and fold the top third of the dough down two-thirds of the way. Then, fold the bottom third up and over. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • After an hour, let the dough rest at room temperature for five minutes. Unwrap the dough, rotate 90º and repeat this simple fold again. Repeat one more time for a total of three simple turns.
  • After the last turn, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to a day.

Shape:

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a floured surface to rest for five minutes.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, with dimensions of about 17.5″x12″(45x30cm). At this point, the dough will be challenging to roll out and will spring back some. If the dough warms at all, chill for 10 minutes. Trim any rounded edges or corners.
  • Use the pastry cutter to make five equally spaced small marks about 3.5″ (9cm) apart on one long side of the dough. Make another five marks on the other long side of the dough spaced halfway in between the marks on the bottom.
  • Use a ruler or straight edge to connect the marks and cut straight lines to form isosceles triangles. You will get 9 equal-sized triangles and two slightly smaller ones on the end (I shape and bake these to make mini croissants). Separate the triangles.
  • To shape, gently stretch and tug the corners of the wide end out and roll up the croissant snugly.
  • Transfer the shaped croissants to the two baking sheets with the small tips on the bottom of the croissant. Gently tap the tops so the croissants do not topple over while they proof.

Final Proof:

  • Cover the croissants on the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place them in a warm and humid location for the final proof.
  • Proof the croissants in the oven with the light turned on with the baking sheets on the upper and lower third racks. If the air is dry, place a couple of mugs with boiling water on the bottom of the oven to create a humid environment.
  • The ideal temperature range for proofing croissants is 75-80ºF(24-27ºC). If warmer, the butter layers will melt. I keep a digital thermometer on a baking sheet to watch the temperature and switch the racks periodically if they’re close to the lightbulb so they don’t get too warm.
  • At 78ºF, the final proof takes about 12-14 hours. Don’t rush this long process! The croissants are proofed when they’ve doubled in size, look full of air, wobble if you shake the pan, and visible layers are separating. They should look swollen and on the verge of collapse.

Bake:

  • When the croissants are fully proofed, gently remove them from the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF(218ºC) for 30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and two teaspoons of whole milk to make an egg wash. Carefully paint the tops of the croissants with the egg wash, trying not to have it drip on the sides where there are visible layers.
  • When the oven is fully preheated, transfer the two baking sheets to the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 400ºF(204ºC). The croissants benefit from the initial quick burst of heat.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate and switch the pans. Then, bake another 10-15 minutes or until the tops are shiny and dark brown.
  • Remove the baking sheets and cool them on wire racks.
  • Enjoy your incredibly flaky sourdough croissants!
  • 1 Egg Yolk, 2 tsp Whole Milk

Notes

  • I highly recommend viewing my guide above for more detailed instructions, including photos of each recipe step.
  • View the sample schedule to bake croissants on a Sunday morning. It’s easy to adjust timings to fit your own schedule.

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