Sourdough Croissant

LeadDog's picture

Time for me to do something a little bit different so I decided to do Croissants.  I made them twice in one week so I know they are not very hard to do just different.  The second batch has chocolate and almond pieces rolled up in them.  The Croissants got me the best complement that I have ever had for anything that I have baked.  Someone told me that the Croissants were the best thing they had ever eaten in their life.  I had to ask again to make sure I heard it right.  Here is the formula.

The Dough

Ingredient Metric Imperial Baker's Percentage
AP Flour 476 grams 16.8 oz 100.00%
Salt 10 grams 0.35 oz 2.10%
Preferment 100% Hydration 143 grams 5.05 oz 30.04%
Whole Milk 286 grams 10.1 oz 60.08%
Unsalted Butter 57 grams 2.01 oz 11.97%
Sugar 14 grams 0.49 oz 2.94%
One Egg 113 grams 3.99 oz 23.74%
Milk 1 tablespoon 200 grams 7.06 oz 42.02%
Sugar 1 teaspoon 0 grams 0 oz 0.00%
Chocolate Almond Bark 0 grams 0 oz 0.00%
Unsalted Butter 0 grams 0 oz 0.00%
Total Flour Weight:
476 grams

Percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the starter is not counted. This recipe was originally in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures.


The preferment is 100% hydration and is made in two builds.  This is mixed in with the whole milk that is warm but not hot.  The following is added to this to make the dough salt 10 grams, soft butter 57 grams, and sugar 14 grams.  This is all mixed together with the 475 grams of AP flour into a well developed dough.  Then it is placed in a rectangular container and placed into the fridge.

The 200 grams of unsalted butter is let sit on the counter until it is soften up a bit.  What I do with that is form a solid piece of butter that is 5" by 5" by 1/2".  I did this by putting the butter between some wax paper and using a rolling pin to form the piece of butter.  This is placed into the fridge and I let it harden.

To make Croissants you need to get layers and layers of butter between layers and layers of dough, this is the fun part.  Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out to a rectangle that is 6" by 11" or a little more than twice as big as the 5" by 5" by 1/2" piece of butter.  Place the piece of butter on one half of the dough then fold the other half of the dough over the butter.  The butter should be completely covered with the dough.  Now press the edges of the dough together to seal the dough.  Roll the dough/butter out into a thin rectangle and fold it up like a letter and roll it out again and fold it up like a letter.  Place the dough back into the container and back into the fridge.  I do the rolling out , folding and placing back into the fridge 4 times.  The last time I roll it out I cut the edges off to square everything up to make the triangles.  Save the trimmings because you can roll up pieces of trimmings inside the Croissants.  I try to make the dough in strips about 5 inches wide then cut the dough into triangles.  Make the Croissant by rolling the dough up from the wide end and rolling towards the tip.  You can grab the tip and stretch the dough out as you roll the dough.  You can also place the trimmings or Chocolate Almond Bark inside the Croissant .  When the Croissant is rolled up you can curve them into a crescent shape if you like.  YouTube is a great place to see how all of the fun parts of Croissant making are done.

Let the dough rise some then make the egg wash to coat the Croissants before you put them into the oven.  The egg wash is one egg, 1 tablespoon of milk, and one teaspoon of sugar.  Preheat the oven to 400°F and when it is ready coat the dough with the egg wash.  I cooked my for 25 minutes and they seem to be nicely brown.  With or without chocolate these are a wonderful pastry.  Eat them while they are warm.

A small edit to put the flour into the formula.  It is time to make croissants again

507 users have voted.


rossnroller 2010 February 22

 They look magnificent, LeadDog. 

Too much butter for me to contemplate trying, unfortunately, but nothing wrong with fantasising!

Were they light? I was under the impression that croissants could only work well with commercial yeast, but your pics seem to reduce that to myth.


dukegus 2010 February 26

They look very nice Lead!


One question, the sourdough was in full ripe before mixing in the dough right?

Did they rise enough? I mean with the immediate retardation(to make the dough cold...) did you get a good rise in the end? I'm trying to get them right but I'm losing it somewhere!!(well more than one question...) :)


I'm giving a try this recipe, I think I wrote it before...

though it's with yeast I guess I could do the same with sourdough...

handkneading a 50% hydration dough is very difficult, I can only develop strong gluten with fold and relax technique which takes 12+hours. If I put the sourdough from the beginning I'm finished, it will ferment all he can in 12 hours, maybe I'll try adding it after the gluten in developed....

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2010 February 27

 Yes the starter was fully ripe.  Seems to me they rise enough.  I noticed that the dough warms up as you work with it when making the triangles.  You will need to work fast or you end up with a mess if the dough gets to warm.  I let them sit on cookie sheets for a couple of hours before I baked them.  You can poke your finger into the dough and feel that they are puffy.

dukegus 2010 April 10

So the 50% was a failure everytime...What I think is my problem is that while laminating the dough the butter seems to be like broken pieces in the dough(too cold butter??)...Any tips on lamination?

Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2010 April 23

I was inspired by your croissants LeadDog, but haven't had the time to try making them until now.  Since I had time off work this week, I made the recipe out of "Local Breads" by Daniel Leader - which is a hybrid recipe.  Like you said they aren't difficult to make, just different. 

I made most of them plain croissant and about 1/2 doz with chocolate filling - I wasn't that brilliant at keeping the chocolate inside the dough, but will try again with a different shape.  I think the worst thing about making this dough was getting past folding in all that butter! Half a pound of butter is a reasonable amount especially when you have it lying on top of the dough to start with!  After tasting a couple (or maybe more than a couple!) once baked, I took the rest into work for my staff to eat - they were pretty pleased with me!

The recipe said to have the lump of butter rolled out about half the size of the dough, but I found this too hard to fold so I rolled it out roughly the same size as the dough, put it back in the fridge for a spell then started the folding and rolling.  Worked much better.

butter ready to magic into the dough! dough ready to shape


I much preferred making this to making brioche.  The "frissaging" of the butter into the dough with brioche made the experience unpleasant, and I didn't love the finished product as much as I loved these!

So, thanks LD, next time I'll give your straight SD recipe a whirl.


Happiness is making bread :o)



LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2010 April 24

 They look great.  I love the reaction I get from people when they eat them.  Sometimes it is hard to believe that we can make something that people love to eat so much.

Lisa 2010 September 7

Seriously? These look incredible! I can almost taste and smell them from just looking at the photos:).


I'm afraid I've never been brave enough to try croissants. I'm not sure what preferment 100%hyrdation means. Once I come to grips with these terms - I'm definitely ON this recipe!! Thanks for sharing it with us:)!

punksocks 2011 April 9

 oh my goodness, this is the first thing i've seen on this forum. i wonder if it could get better? thanks for sharing.

CayoKath 2011 April 9

Thanks for sharing the photos, recipe and method.  My mouth just waters looking at the pics and thinking of fresh, hot sourdough croissants and a cup of good strong coffee. 

Josho 2012 June 2

Hi LeadDog,

I made up a half-size dough, using a cup of soy milk, an ounce of butter and salt, barley malt, about 50g brown sugar, and a couple of cups of plain white flour.  I put in the fridge to rise a bit, meanwhile I rolled out about 2 ounces of butter between baking paper, then put in fridge, like your recipe says.  I rolled out dough into a rectangle, placed the butter over roughly half of the pastry, folded it over, then rolled into rectangle, folded in thirds, then fridged for a spell.  I repeated this four times, and then cut into four triangles.  I rolled into a large triangle, then cut zig zag to make four long triangles.

I creamed together crushed almonds, a little butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and almond essence.  I spread the filling on the broad end of the triangle then rolled it up and pulled then into crescent shape.  It was about 8pm when I covered with a tea towel and let rise overnight. 

The next morning they had enlarged quite a bit.  I brused soy milk over them and put in a preheated hot oven (200C) and baked for about 15 - 20 minutes.

Josho 2012 August 10

I baked another batch of croissants according to your recipe.  I remember the first batch I made, which were very large croissants, I only rolled and folded once, every time I removed from the fridge. The second batch I made, I rolled and folded twice.  They were so much more flaky.

shasta's picture
shasta 2012 July 2

I had to try these out myself and was really glad I did. They came out very light and flaky! You can really see the layers after baking. Nice recipe LeadDog, thanks for sharing! One thing I did have to change for my oven was the cooking temprature. At 400° the bottoms were getting too to dark by the time the tops were getting the color I wanted, even on a higher shelf.


My results:

dave 2013 January 22

I make my croissants from straight white sourdough bread dough, flour water leaven salt. One letter fold, one book fold, into fridge, for roughly an hour. Then roll out, letter fold, roll out, letter fold, roll out, letter fold, back into fridge, for roughly an hour. Roll out, make triangles, shape. I agree that too many folds make less flaky.

The original pieces of dough are fridged after first proof.

Jacktheknife's picture
Jacktheknife 2013 June 19

I have made this recipe three times with wonderful results each time. I added an addition 5g salt and made some small changes to the process to fit my style and couldn't be happier with the results.

natebenjamin46 2013 June 22

The crescent rolls turned out great!! I have never thought to make these type of crescent rolls before, must try this recipe.

NoviceBaker 2013 December 1

What an amazing discussion place this is. 

My wife has been pestering me to make some croissants ever since I got the baking bug 3 or so weeks ago, so I am looking forward to trying this next weekend. 

could you please explain how to make the preferment in two builds - eg do you do half the volume over two successive nights or the full volume and throw half of it out and replenish? (A lot to learn!!!!)

farinam's picture
farinam 2013 December 1

Hello Novicebaker,

I would start with 35g from your stock and feed that to double the mass (50:50 flour and water).  Then when it is good and active (volume nearing peak) double it again to the mass required.  Leave until it reaches the peak and press on with making your dough.

Don't forget to put in the flour to make the dough as it doesn't get mentioned in the main text.

Good luck with your projects.


NoviceBaker 2013 December 7

This morning I baked the croissants after leaving them in the fridge tonight and they were a grand success (at least for a first batch). The highly variable shapes and sizes didn't matter at all but added to the authenticity :-)

one area that needs improvement is that the centers are too moist and doughy particularly on the larger croissants. I presume that the fix for this would be to have a slightly lower cooking temperature and bake for longer. Or could this be related to my preparation / rolling and folding technique

thanks for all your help :-)

farinam's picture
farinam 2013 December 7

Hello NoviceBaker,

I would think of just extending the time or perhaps leave them out of the fridge longer if you put them into the oven cold.  They don't look overly brown so your oven probably isn't too hot.

The other thing is, as you get practice in making them, it is likely that they will improve as you get to know how the dough works and so forth.

Looking good.


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