Croissant dough needs to be meticulously folded, rolled and rested at specific times for it to turn out how you want it to.
How to make a butter sheet
To create a butter sheet, bring your unsalted butter to room temperature. Typically it’s about 1 1/2 cups of butter to create a butter sheet.
Place a silicone mat on an aluminum baking sheet. Put your room temperature butter on the silicone mat. Have your tape measure ready for your specific measurements your recipes requires. Using a spatula, push the butter to move it onto the silicone mat to spread it out. Try to make the butter sheet the same thickness throughout the rectangle you’re creating. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Use your spatula to push the butter into itself to create corners that you need for your measurements. Place your butter sheet in the fridge for 30 min. Then it’s time to place it into the dough.
How to place butter in croissant dough
Once you’re ready to place your butter into your croissant dough, get your croissant dough and butter layer out of the fridge. Peel your butter layer off of the silicone mat. Arrange your croissant dough on the bottom, and your butter layer at a diagonal to the dough rectangle. Try to place the butter as close as possible that you think each of the sides of dough will comfortably go over your butter layer. Then using your fingers, fold the dough over the butter layer to create an envelope. Seal the envelope by pushing the dough together at the seams.
Now it’s time to fold your croissant dough by laminating the butter.
How to laminate croissant dough
Laminating dough is defined as creating layers of butter in between pastry.
Begin by rolling out your envelope croissant dough = 20” x 10”. Then fold your croissant dough into a letter shape. Fold the bottom to 1/3 of the way up. Then fold the top 1/3 of the way down.
Now you’ve created 3 layers of butter. Roll out your dough again to 20” x 10”. Fold again like a letter. You’ve now made 9 layers of butter laminated croissant dough. Place it in the fridge for 30 min. You’re ready for your final folding of croissant dough. Fold like a letter. You have 81 layers of butter laminated croissant dough. You’ve completed your laminating butter layers. It needs to rest for 4-24 hours in the fridge before shaping your croissants.
Laminated dough example
This is an example of 81 layers of butter laminated for croissant dough.
How to Shape Croissants
Roll out your croissant dough until it’s 8”x20”. It should be pretty thick ~ a couple of cm’s thick. Cut your dough into 4”x 5” sections. Cut the rectangle into a triangle by slicing the rectangle from point to point. Stretch the triangle to an 8” long piece of croissant dough. To shape your croissant dough, make a small slit in the bottom of the croissant ~1/2 cm. It should be cut right at the base in the middle. Then roll your croissant up. Place the pointed end down to the pan to hold the croissant closed.
If you’re looking for chocolate croissants, Cut your 4” x 5” rectangle in half to create 2 – 2” x 5” strips. Stretch the strips until they’re 8” long. Place semi-sweet chocolate/chocolate chips on one end of the strip of dough ~10 chocolate chips. Roll the doll over the chocolate chips. Continue rolling until the end of the dough. Place the end of the dough down onto the aluminum baking pan.
How to Proof Croissants
Proof croissants by letting your shaped croissants sit for 1 hour at room temperature, and then 1 hour in the fridge. Place cling wrap over the croissants loosely to prevent them from drying out. Then you can egg wash and bake your croissants.
How to Proof Croissants Overnight
Proof croissants overnight by having your shaped croissants for 1 hour at room temperature, and then overnight in the fridge. The croissants can be in the fridge for 12 hours before baking. Be sure to put cling wrap over your croissants while they’re proofing to prevent them from drying out.
Where to store freshly baked croissants
Store your freshly baked croissants in an airtight container at room temperature. Let them fully cool before storing them. Your freshly baked croissants will store for up to 2 days at room temperature.