All-Butter Croissant Dough


Croissants are made of yeasted laminated dough, yet many other baked goods rely upon the lamination technique for flaky layers (think Kouign-Amann, biscuits, and anything made with puff pastry, like palmier cookies). For bakery-perfect croissants with distinct, crispy layers, the key is in keeping the dough, and the butter block that’s encased within it, nice and cold. When it comes to tools, a bench scraper is crucial. Its wide, flat edge makes it ideal for shaping and moving dough without subjecting it to the heat of your hands.See our full step-by-step guide to making All-Butter Croissant Dough here.

All-Butter Croissant Dough
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 40 mins
1 dough dozen croissants


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (about 17 ounces), plus more as needed

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 2/3 cup warm water (100°F to 110°F)

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (from 2 [1/4-ounce] envelopes)

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons cold unsalted European-style butter (such as Échiré) (13 1/2 ounces), divided

  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  1. Stir together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Stir together 2/3 cup warm water, yeast, and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place 3 tablespoons butter in a microwavable bowl, loosely cover with a paper towel, and microwave on high until melted, about 30 seconds. (Keep remaining butter refrigerated.) Add melted butter and milk to yeast mixture. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to yeast mixture, beating until dry ingredients are incorporated, about 6 minutes. Increase speed to medium-low, and beat until dough is smooth, elastic, and tacky, about 8 minutes. Shape dough into a ball; flatten slightly. Place dough on a lightly floured large plate; wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours or overnight for more flavor.

  2. Place remaining 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.

  3. Unwrap chilled 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. 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. Fold one elongated dough corner up and over butter block, stretching gently into a square to fully cover butter. Repeat with remaining dough corners, creating 4 layers of thinly stretched dough covering butter block.

  4. 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. 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 2 times. Proceed with making Classic Croissants.

Make Ahead

Butter block (step 2) can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 2 weeks. Let stand at room temperature until pliable, about 10 minutes, before starting lamination.

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