How to make croissants: how to get the perfect layers!

The much-loved croissant is a crumbly, layered pastry that is an iconic piece of French cuisine. Although it originated in Austria, it became famous in France, where the refinement and development of its preparation techniques have made it a regular feature on breakfast tables. The secret of the original croissant’s inimitable layered dough and crispy texture lies in the use of butter.

In France, croissants are often an indispensable part of the morning routine, the ideal accompaniment to coffee or hot chocolate. Some bakeries pay particular attention to quality, using French butter to enhance the flavour and give the pastry its special character. French croissants are made with a high level of skill, particularly in the folding technique. A cold environment is also essential for a perfect result, so that the butter does not melt during the process.

The croissant is now a popular pastry not only in France but almost everywhere in the world, but the basic recipe varies from country to country according to local needs. The traditional recipe for the classic French croissant has many variations today, but the essentials are the indispensable layered pastry and buttery flavour, wherever it is made.

Of course, croissant are also on the Onios brunch menu.

Croissant elkészítése

The history of the croissant

A croissant is a traditional French pastry made of puff pastry. Its history goes back a long time. Let’s take a closer look at it now!

French roots

The croissant originated in France, although it is based on Viennese croissants from Austria, and the French developed the recipe further to create this crumbly, delicious and inimitable buttery layered pastry. It became really popular in the 19th century, especially in Paris.

Croissant vs viennoiserie

Croissants clearly belong to the category of viennoiserie pastries, a group of French pastries that are distinguished from traditional pastries by the butter and yeast used. Let us now look at their characteristics:


  • Pasta with a layered structure and butter content
  • Crescent-shaped
  • Golden yellow colour and crispy exterior


  • for example: pain au chocolat, brioche
  • the use of butter and yeast significantly affects the texture
  • unlike croissant, it is characterised by a variety of shapes and compositions

The viennoiserie, including the croissant, are perfect examples of the special French pastries that have been popular with gourmets around the world for centuries.

Raw materials

The quality and proportion of the ingredients used to make a croissant are crucial to the final result. Following the traditional recipes of French bakeries, the following ingredients will be needed to achieve perfect layering and the right flavour:

Flour: a fine flour with a high protein content is used, which determines the texture of the finished croissant

Water: lukewarm water is needed to activate the yeast and give the dough the right consistency

Yeast: active dry yeast is added to help the dough rise easily

Sugar: refined granulated sugar is used to activate the yeast and give the baked goods a moderately sweet taste

Salt: the salt brings out the sweet taste and helps the yeast to work properly

Milk: milk with a high fat content, which makes the dough soft and tasty

Butter: high-fat, high-quality butter is used, which contributes to the layering and irresistible taste of the dough (it is important to
add it cold)

The process of making a croissant

Making a croissant is a precise and time-consuming process that involves many steps, from preparing and layering the dough to shaping and baking.

Preparing the dough

When making croissant dough, it is important to mix the ingredients thoroughly, including the flour, water, yeast, butter, milk and sugar. The dough should be kneaded until it has a flexible, smooth surface. The dough then needs to be chilled and placed in the refrigerator. In a cold environment, the dough will have a looser structure and will be easy to handle, which is advantageous for further processing.

Laminating techniques

When laminating, the dough is coated with butter, which makes it soft and crumbly. It is best to use high-fat butter, common in Europe, in this step for a perfect result. The laminating process involves the following steps:

  1. Stretching the dough into a rectangle
  2. Brush ⅔ of the dough with butter
  3. Folding the dough in, so that ⅔ of it is on top of the already buttered layer
  4. The dough is then folded several times, during which it is necessary to chill the dough so that the butter stays cold enough and the number of layers increases

Shaping the pastry

Cut out triangles of the same size from the dough rolled out to the right thickness. These triangles are rolled up starting from the wider ends to give the traditional crescent shape of a croissant. To achieve the desired appearance, it is important that the pieces of dough are of the same size and shape.

Caking and baking

After shaping, the croissants are left to rise in a warm place to rest. After a certain time, the size of the croissants doubles. Then place them in a preheated oven and bake at about 200 °C until golden brown. Before baking, brush them with egg white, which gives the finished croissants a slight shine and a pleasing appearance. Turn the cakes several times during baking to ensure even colouring.

Variations of the croissant

Croissants are available in many different varieties, from the traditional flavours to special fillings, so there’s something for everyone.

Chocolate croissant

The chocolate croissant, known in France as “pain au chocolat”, is richly filled with melted chocolate. This version is particularly popular with chocolate lovers and is the perfect accompaniment to a fresh cup of coffee or tea.

  • Main raw materials:
    • Chocolate: dark or milk
    • Pastry: traditional butter croissant dough

Croissant sandwiches

Croissant sandwiches are a favourite among savoury lovers. The most popular are sandwiches with ham, cheese and other toppings. Ham and cheese croissants are an ideal choice for breakfast or lunch.

  • Popular Fillers:
    • Ham and cheese
    • Spinach

Croissant sandwiches

Croissants in other flavours

There are countless ways to flavour croissants. One of the many alternatives is the spinach-filled version, which promises to be a really healthy and special culinary experience.

  • Examples:
    • Stuffed with spinach: fresh spinach, spices
    • Pain au chocolat: a variant of the previous chocolate croissant

Ways to serve croissants

The croissant is also the perfect accompaniment to an elegant brunch. Not only is it delicious, but it also looks good.

The croissant as breakfast

Croissants are an ideal choice for breakfast. Served with boiled eggs, scrambled eggs or boiled yolks, it’s a heavenly feast, as the flavour of the egg goes perfectly with the buttery, flaky texture of the croissant.

  • Eggs: Can be served scrambled or cooked.
  • Egg yolks: cooked until soft

Decorating the croissant

The croissant is beautiful on its own, but its special shape also allows you to try different decorations. If you want to make the outside even more glamorous, use egg glaze.

  • Egg white Glaze: for a glossy coating
  • Egg Yolk Glaze: gives croissants a deeper, golden tone

Other things to know when preparing the bakery product

Precise technique is important when making croissants, as is the baking temperature and the quality of the dough ingredients. These parameters are the most important determinants of the final result.

Baking temperature

Croissants are baked at a uniform temperature, usually between 200°C-220°C (392°F-428°F). Baking time averages 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the pastry. Preheating the oven before baking is essential to ensure even temperatures.

Quality of the flour used

The base for croissant dough is usually BL55 or high gluten pastry flour (BL80), which provides the desired airy, layered texture.

  • Liszt: (BL80)
  • Gluten content: high, for elasticity and layer formation
  • Salt: sea salt should be used to bring out the flavour of the pasta

The right quality of ingredients and preparation technique are critical to achieve the ideal texture and taste of a croissant.