How to Make Laminated Dough for Croissants, Step by Step
A rolling pin, a refrigerator, and time are all you need to make incredible yeasted pastry for croissants, danish, and more.
This yeasted All-Butter Croissant Dough can be used as a foundation for all kinds of pastries, from the traditional, like Classic Croissants and Pain au Chocolat, to more unique, like a Braided Croissant Loaf or Miso-Caramel Apple Danishes. No matter the pastry, the key to distinct, crispy layers is keeping the dough, and the butter block encased within it, cold. A bench scraper is a helpful tool here—its wide, flat edge makes it ideal for shaping and moving the butter block without subjecting it to the heat of your hands.
Here, we’ll show you step by step how to make your own laminated dough. For exact ingredient amounts, please check out the recipe itself.
Step 1: Make the Base Dough
Start out by making the yeasted dough that forms the foundation for this laminated dough (click here for exact ingredient amounts). You’ll stir together the dry ingredients—flour, sugar, and salt—and then proof yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and melt a bit of butter. Stir milk and the melted butter into the yeast mixture, and then use the mixer to incorporate the dry ingredients into a smooth, elastic dough. Refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to overnight for more flavor). Shape dough into a flat ball; place on a lightly floured large plate. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Step 2: Shape the Butter
Place 1 1/2 cups cold butter between 2 sheets of parchment paper; let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Using a rolling pin, pound butter to flatten and soften slightly. Removing and replacing parchment as needed, use a bench scraper and a rolling pin to shape butter into a 7 1/2-inch square block of even thickness. Refrigerate between sheets of parchment paper 15 minutes.
Step 3: Place Butter Block on Dough
Unwrap chilled All-Butter Croissant Dough, and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour top of dough. Roll into a 12-inch square; brush off excess flour. Remove and discard top sheet of parchment paper from butter block. Using bottom sheet of parchment paper as handles and turning butter block 45 degrees, flip butter onto middle of dough square. (Butter will be in a diamond shape, leaving corners of dough square exposed.) Remove and discard parchment paper.
Step 4: Roll Out Dough Corners
Using a rolling pin and starting at edge of butter block, roll each dough corner away from the center until it is 8 inches long (about 1/16 inch thick), flouring as needed. Brush off excess flour.
Step 5: Cover Butter Block with a Corner of Dough
Fold one elongated dough corner up and over butter block, stretching gently into a square to fully cover butter.
Step 6: Finish Covering Butter Block with Corners of Dough
Repeat with remaining dough corners, creating 4 layers of thinly stretched dough covering butter block.
Step 7: Use Rolling Pin to Help Disperse Butter
Lightly flour work surface if needed. Press rolling pin across dough to create trenches, evenly dispersing butter. Roll dough into a smooth 24- x 12-inch rectangle.
Step 8: Fold, Roll, and Repeat
Starting with one short side, fold dough into thirds, like a letter. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Repeat rolling, folding, and chilling process two times. Proceed with making Classic Croissants—or go for Pain au Chocolat, Braided Croissant Loaf, or Miso-Caramel Apple Danishes.