How To Make Chocolate, Plain & Almond Croissants {Step By Step}

Friday, 21 February 2014

If it were perfectly feasible (for the hips and tum) to eat a buttery pastry every morning, I doubt you’d ever get sick of it. For that, I sincerely hope that you wont get sick of the sight of croissants by the time you reach the bottom of this never ending post!
I’ve read about how difficult it can be to successfully make a batch of these yeasted breakfast beauts, and how it could take a few tries before getting them where you want them, in terms of how many intricate layers each croissant has and achieving a formidable balance of flakiness and crispiness. 

After eight hours in the kitchen, I’ve discovered that all it really takes is some patience, and possibly a freezer. Make that 24 hours if you’re not using the freezer (please put your dough in the freezer). 
Once you’ve mastered the skills required to make croissants i.e. shaping dough so that it looks like a book 3 times and then rolling it into a pretty shape with the glide of one hand, the fillings actually lend themselves as the trickiest component.

Seriously, which percentage chocolate should I fill my croissant with? 

Marzipan or almond paste? 


I do not regret cramming this all into one overly loooooooong blog post, nope. 
My morning breakfast consists of a small skinny cappuccino from the in-house Costa at university. I made all 18 the recipe yields thinking: “I can finally incorporate large amounts of fat into my morning routine and cant wait to show off my new non moody morning self all thanks to my new – week long – breakfast routine!” 

Somehow, three days after croissant baking day, I managed to sneak just one off to uni, what a pile of nonsense. 
Sooo, we’re about to make the best croissants ever with a little (BIG) help from Thomas Keller, and we’re using basic butter and flour, because who says you need optimum quality for optimum croissants? Here’s a hint: bakers with pockets full of money and no sense. 
Are you ready?

Decide that you want freshly baked croissants one day before you desperately want freshly baked croissants, that gives you enough time to make the fresh yeast starter for the dough. 

Bang the butter into a square

Pat the dough into a rectangle
Roll the dough lengthways and fold into thirds, starting with the bottom third. Turn it over so it looks like a book. At this point you'll need cup of strong coffee to cure the back pain, but thats okay, it'll be worth it. 
Freeze, fold, repeat. Lets get laminating! 
Roll the dough into two final rectangles, and cut these into traingles roughly 2" wide from the base.
Give the triangles a good long stretch!
Fold the corners from the base of the triangle and roll away from you, don't forget to press down to stop the croissant from unfolding in the oven.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Now would be a good time to add sea salted chocolate...
Space them apart on a lined baking sheet
Give them two generous egg washes for golden croissant bliss, and another sprinking of chocolate for good measure (almond croissants are made once the plain croissants have been fully baked). 
Proof, and bake!

How To Make Croissants


  • 100g plain flour
  • 2g instant yeast
  • 100g lukewarm water
  • 330g unsalted butter block + 100g
  • 500g plain flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 10g instant yeast
  • 3g malt powder, such as Horlicks
  • 200g lukewarm water
  • 15g (1 tbsp) sea salt
  • 1 egg

Makes 18 croissants 

Note: Once the dough has been shaped, the raw croissants can be frozen for one month. Wrap each croissant individually and tightly, let thaw and bake.

Note II: You will need a large ruler for these, as well as a good amount of patience, but don’t let that put you off – the end result is extremely rewarding.

Almond Croissants 

  • 100g sliced almonds
  • 100g icing sugar
Almond Cream
  • 150g marzipan
  • 50g flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
Almond Syrup
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g water
  • 15g almond paste or marzipan

Chocolate croissants

  • 200g chocolate, grated

Note: Measurements for almond and chocolate croissants are enough to fill all 18 croissants the recipe yields. 

The Recipe
Make the starter. In a large bowl, combine flour and yeast with fingers. Pour in water and mix until combined. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours. 
Make the butter block. Centre the butter on a piece of parchment and top with another piece. Pound the butter from left to right with a rolling pin to flatten. Take off the top piece of parchment, place the block back on the parchment and turn 90 degrees. Pound until you have a 7 x 8 inch rectangle. Cover with the parchment and chill.
Make the dough.  Combine flour, yeast, malt and sugar in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Give it a quick mix to distribute everything. Pour half of the water around the edges of the starter mix to help release it from the bowl then add it to the flour mixture along with the rest of the water  and the remaining 100g of butter. and knead on low speed for two minutes. Scrape down the bowl and sprinkle in salt. If the mixture feels dry, add the reserved water in small amounts as needed. Mix on low speed for 20 minutes. 
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and lightly knead into a ball. Place in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let sit at room temperature for one hour. 
Line a tray with baking parchment. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface; gently pat the dough into a 10 x 7 ½ inch rectangle, popping large air bubbles with a pin as you go. Lift the dough every so often, this is known as ‘fluffing’ and helps keep the dough light. Transfer to the tray, cover with cling film and freeze for 20 minutes. 
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 7 ½ x 16 inch rectangle which is half an inch thick. Flour the rolling pin and roll the dough from the centre outwards. Lay the butter blocks in the centre of the dough, fold over the two long sides so they meet in the centre (do not let them overlap), pinch the sides together to secure. Press down onto the dough with a rolling pin to expand the dough slightly. Turn the dough so the short end faces you; roll the dough away from you until you, fluffing it as you go, until the dough is a 22 x 9 inch rectangle shape. Fold the bottom third into the centre and then fold the top third over the bottom third. Turn the dough 90 degrees, so as to make a book with the opening on the right. Cover and freeze for 20 minutes. Repeat the exact process two more times – roll, fold into thirds to make a book and freeze. 
After the last turn, roll the dough into a 24 x 9 inch rectangle, cut in half lengthways (12 x 9 inch) and place both pieces of dough in the freezer for 20 minutes. Take one piece out and place the other in the fridge. Roll the dough into a 19 x 9 inch rectangle. Use a knife to cut straight edges so that you’re left with a perfect 18 x 8 inch rectangle. Score the dough every 3 ¾ inches. Cut triangles using the markings as a guide – you should have around eight triangles.
Position the triangle so the large side is closest to you. Gently stretch the dough to about 12/14 inches, fold over the two corners and roll away from you using one hand. Repeat with second lot of dough. Space evenly apart on baking sheets, cover and let proof for 2 hours in a warm spot! Brush the croissants with egg wash again and then bake at 170 degrees C for 35 minutes until golden brown.  
Almond Croissants

  1. Boil water, sugar and almond paste on high heat for two minutes. Leave to cool. 
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line baking sheet with baking parchment.
  3. Place all of the ingredients for the almond cream in the bowl and whisk until smooth. 
  4. Slice baked croissants horizontally using a serrated knife and spread a dollop of almond cream in the middle. 
  5. Dip and brush croissants in cooled syrup and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and bake for 20 minutes. Dust with icing sugar as soon as they’re out of the oven. 

Chocolate Croissants

  1. Sprinkle chocolate in the middle of raw dough before rolling to form croissants. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle the tops with chocolate and prove as necessary before baking.
Love Em xx


  1. Em, these are probably the most beautiful croissants that I've ever seen in my life! Your step by step photos are gorgeous and I'm going to be consumed by longing until I can stuff one of these beauties in my face!

    1. Thank you Kathryn. I couldnt believe just how little fiddling there is, and just how much waiting around. I wish I could have just popped them all in the freezer mind you, the woes of having a food blog!! I saw you wrote about Keller in your recent post, will you be gracing us with some TKO'S any time soon?!

  2. Jesus. Can I please have 50 of these, delivered to me, in bed? And then I'll need to be left alone...

    1. Im hoping to have around that number of them in my freezer! I'll send them to you in a little picnic bag!! ;)

  3. These look be-ooootiful! I love a homemade croissant but have to admit I'm quite lazy when it comes to getting round to making them - I can count on one hand the number of times I've made them in my life!

    1. Thank you! They are a labour of love I'm not gonna lie. Not a touch on your doughnuts though ;) theres a recipe in Joanne Chang's book for doughnuts that I'm dying to try and your post has basically prompted me x

  4. Oh my goodness, Emine! Such perfect croissants!! I'm in awe. And like Kathryn, I adore the step photos. I've yet to attempt these, so I'll take any and all process photos I can get. (Love how cute they look all rolled up and ready to bake, too. ha.) These are fantastic -- thank you so much for posting!

    1. They really are the cutest yeasted bits of dough I've ever come across! Beats a hunky chunk of sourdough any day!! Can't wait to see when you give it a go :)

  5. What beauties! Almond is my favorite croissant, but after viewing your enchanting photos I am coveting a chocolate filled bit of scrumptiousness!

    1. Thank you! After making all three, I still think that almond is my fave :)

  6. Holy moly. I think I've just been convinced to try these. They are gorgeous, and you somehow have made me think I'm superbaker and could actually pull it off. Pinned for weekend baking!

  7. I love croissants! This is such a great step-by-step. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  8. Wow how impressive! So did you actually have fun making them? It seems like so much work, but I'm sure the result is worth every second!

    1. Thank you! Yes, yesss I really did! I know, I can hardly believe it, the worst part was having to bend over to roll the dough so long, but making all of the layers felt satisfying!!

  9. I've wanted to have a go at making croissants for ages, so thanks for the step-by-step! They look especially yummy with the salted chocolate added!

  10. No Problem Danielle & Helen ! :)

  11. Oh good lord. You've done it again, Em, and I am stunned by how gorgeous and professional these came out! They seem like a lot of work, but totally worth it. Maybe I'll gather up the patience to make them some day soon, but for now I'm just going to sit here and feel sorry for myself because I don't have one. Waahhh.

  12. I tried to make croissants in the past and failed miserably. this looks like a really great explanation. Definintely want to give this a go!! x

    1. Oh no, how so? I can vouch for this recipe working so I hope you do give it a go because they are such a satisfying bake!

  13. I'm in school for pastry arts right now, and I can't wait to work on croissants! We've already done puffed pastry, so once we actually make croissants, I think it will be amazing! I'd definitely add Nutella!! :)

  14. This is such a fantastic recipe and one which I've bookmarked so that I can make them one day soon, thanks for sharing! xo

    Hannah | Glitter and Sparkle

  15. Hannah, Cannot wait to try these. Quick question: for the almond croissants, why didn't you put the almond paste into the dough before you baked the first time instead of waiting to slice a baked croissant.

    1. Hi Maria,
      I read that traditionally almond c's are made with leftover stale croissants, so they're soaked in syrup to preserve them and then sliced to add the filling. Also, I think that filling the uncooked dough can be a little messy, theres a high risk that it could all ooze out! Hope that helps, Em

  16. If you want my expert opinion, from a chocaholic point of view, you should fill it with 100% chocolate:)

  17. These look amazing, seriously now I want a million of these pain au chocolat delivered right to my door. They rival some of the best patisseries in France! Yum xx

  18. I appreciate this superlative post created by you. Thanks for sharing


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