Let’s Make Croissants! Classic French Croissants & Pain au Chocolat
Saturday November 11, 2023

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Oh my goodness! Are you ready to welcome the taste of France into your kitchen and everyday weekly routine? I say, why not give it a go.

Since 2019 I have been making my own croissants every two months and enjoying one (sometimes two) each Sunday morning, one of my favorite weekly rituals. Hot out of the oven each week, and only having to make them every couple of months, it is a simple recipe that will leave you feeling as though you have savored a taste of France even if you aren’t on its terra firma.

Now you may be asking yourself, didn’t you already share this episode about how to make croissants in a previous season, and you would be correct – season 2, episode 6 to be precise, but since then, I have made this recipe nearly 40 times and have found ways to shorten the amount of time it takes to make it while keeping the quintessential butteriness and flakiness, and want to share with you today.


Making both the classic French croissant as well as the chocolate croissant, better known as le pain au chocolat, this truly is a fail-safe and super simple recipe, adapted from a French baker who joined Julia Child on her PBS cooking series, Baking with Julia in the 1990s. I will talk all about that and more in today’s episode.

Let’s get to the episode, shall we!


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Links shared during the episode:

My Favorite Sunday Rituals (hint, hint, they include croissants!)

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French Croissants & Pain au Chocolat

Simply LuxuriousSimply Luxurious
Inspired by Esther McManus’ appearance on Julia Child’s “Baking with Julia”.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Waiting Time 12 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 13 hours 5 minutes
Servings 24 croissants


Pastry Dough Ball

  • 3 3/4 cups flour Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread is my choice
  • 1 packet dry, active yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk you will need 1 cup most definitely and perhaps more depending upon the consistency of the dough

Butter Ball

  • 1 pound unsalted butter the best quality you can afford/find – my favorite is Isigny Ste. Mère Beurre
  • 2 tablespoons flour


  • 3 ounces dark chocolate the best quality you can find – I use Belgium or Scharffen Berger (from San Fran)
  • 1 egg for egg washing the croissants


Pastry Dough

  • In a mixer with dough attachment, mix at a low speed 3 3/4 cups flour, the yeast, salt, sugar and 1 cup whole milk (reserve 1/2 if needed – if dough is too dry). Mix until the bowl looks clean and all of the flour is incorporated. If the dough is too dry, you may add a little of milk at a time.
  • Once the pastry dough is in a ball, remove from the mixer, wrap in plastic wrap. First, set it aside on the counter to rest for 30 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. I have left it in for 12-14 hours and that is just fine. This part of the recipe should be done at least a day before you want the croissants.

Combining the pastry dough and the butter.

  • Day of baking (after dough has been in the fridge for at least 8 hours): Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface to approximately 18 inches in length and 10 inches in width. Using a box grater, grate the butter into large shreds (butter should be chilled). This will make it easier to roll out and preserve the dough. Sprinkle all of the butter down the middle of the dough, from the very end to the very top (but only in the middle third). Then, fold length-wise, the dough over the butter. You will have two layers of dough on top of the butter – a tri-fold.
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  • Roll the dough a bit more to make sure the butter reaches near the end of the dough edges.
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  • Place the dough (with the butter now incorporated) onto parchment paper on a sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • The layering process continues! Remove from the refrigerator and roll out the dough to a large rectangle – approximately 24 inches by 18 inches. Then fold into thirds – one third on top of the other – similar to a letter folded so that it can fit in a business envelope. Place back onto the parchment which is on the sheet pan, wrap with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
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  • After 15 minutes, roll out the dough again (floured surface), fold the tri-fold again. Wrap again as before, and set aside again in the refrigerator for 15 minutes
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  • After the hour has passed, roll out the dough again and this time make a double fold: four layers. Find the center like and fold both edges to that center line and then fold one side on top of the other. Place the dough on the parchment, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
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  • Now to make the croissants! Cut the dough into half (you don’t have to, but it makes it easier to roll out).
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  • On a floured, preferrably cool surface, roll out the dough – 24 x 20 inches approximately. Fold in half length-wise. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut triangles. Open up the fold and separate the necessary triangles that are attached.
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  • Take each triangle, one at a time, and holding with all fingers the top of the triangle with a firm grip, slide your fingers from the middle to the end to stretch the dough. Be gentle, but firm. The triangle should double in length.
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  • Place the triangle on the flat surface, place a small ball of extra dough at the top of the triangle to add bulk, then begin to roll the triangle to create the crescent. Finish rolling and create an arch with the narrowest point facing you and rolled down inside the crescent. Complete this for each of the traditional croissants. (If you would like to add any preferred filling, instead of the extra dough mentioned above, you can place the almond filling, etc. there.)
  • For Pain au Chocolat, take the second half of the dough and instead of triangles, make rectangles. Place the doculate – about 2 ounces on the end where you will begin rolling. Roll up to the end and keep the end underneath, to rest on the bottom of the croissant.
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  • Note: If you will be freezing some or all of the croissants, now is when you would place them into a freezer bag or storage container: After roll ping the croissants, before proofing them, I place them in a freezer storage container, separating each layer of rows (so they don’t stick together) with parchment.
  • For the croissants you will be baking: If you have a proofing oven, you will use this now. If you do not have a proofing oven (I do not), while you are rolling the croissants, heat up the oven as you would to bake (350 degrees). As soon as it reaches the temperature, turn off the stove (or simply set your stove to 80 degrees or the lowest it will go – 90 or 100). Place the croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment, wash each croissant with egg wash (this is optional – so long as you do so when you bake them, this second wash isn't necessary. Place in the oven (the oven is off, but warm) for 2-3 hours. They are proofed when they have expanded but have not begun to deflate.
  • Remove from the oven, wash again with egg wash. Preheat the oven to 350 and then bake for 20 minutes.
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  • Eating them warm out of the oven is a true luxury. Bon appétit!
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~Explore more recipes and episodes from The Simply Luxurious Kitchen cooking show and follow @tsllcookingshow on Instagram.

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18 thoughts on “Let’s Make Croissants! Classic French Croissants & Pain au Chocolat

  1. These look delicious! Thankfully, I live down the street from a sweet patisserie with a baker who is from France. His chocolate croissants are incredible.
    My Sundays ritual is to go to church and then come home and have a coffee and catch up on your weekend content. Such a treat!

  2. Shannon, these look absolutely scrumptious! Thank you for sharing all the tips & tricks you’ve learned through your 40+(!!) bakes in this updated recipe! YUM!🥐☕😋

  3. Thank you so much, Shannon, for updating us with your new techniques.

    Grating the butter…brilliant! Also, using the convection oven during proofing. I will definitely give it a try as the croissants seem to bake instead of proof in my gas oven, which only allows me a temp of 100F, and no lower.
    One question, are you also using the convection when baking or were you just using your extractor fan?
    Looking forward to giving it another go.

    Enjoy your croissant tomorrow!


  4. Oh my Shannon….. those look so scrumptious!
    I took a weekend croissant cooking class at Sur La Table with a girlfriend a few years back -so fun! Afterwards, I made my own croissants and it was a labor of love that has not been repeated, ha! I love how you have simplified the process – especially grating the cold butter- brilliant!!!

    We also enjoy weekly Sunday croissants – it just wouldn’t be Sunday in my home without warm croissants right out of the oven- our favorites are the almond croissants, and I may have to try your recipe soon.

    Have you ever considered setting out your frozen croissants on the countertop overnight to thaw/proof in one step?
    I do this weekly with frozen croissants (from Trader Joe’s), and then bake for 20 min- they come out perfect every time! Just curious if they would work with your recipe too? Seems like it would, so If I try it, I will let you know!

    Bon appetit!


    1. Karen,

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing how you enjoy your croissants. 🙂 You know I haven’t left them out on the counter at night before, but I will have to try that and see how it goes! As you said, it would save time in the morning. 🙂

  5. Hello there. I watched your video last night before bed. Big mistake, made me so hungry! I remembered your original video for making croissants and while I had good intentions, I never got around to trying them. This process seems much easier. Your comfort in making them is obvious, of course after 40 makes, you could likely do this in your sleep! I like the pictures too. I have a plan for next week, I sure hope I can do it.
    I also watched the Julia Child series. In fact, I bought my first bread machine after watching one of the shows and still use that recipe today. I have made it about 140 times. My kids used to come home from college to pick up their bread for the week! I don’t have the book, now I am on the search. Thanks for this, as always, you are a joy to watch.

    1. Thank you for watching Lucy! 🙂 And you absolutely can do it! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Isn’t true that when we find a recipe that works, making it is a joy and each time it becomes easier and easier to do well. Your bread sounds delicious!

  6. Thank you for the updated croissant recipe Shannon, I look forward to trying it.
    Also looking forward to the holiday episode next week 😊

    1. Sarah,

      I do hope you find the simplified steps helpful. Thank you for stopping by and, as I know you have made croissants many times, if you have found ways that work well for you, I am all ears. Always fine tuning.

  7. Hi shannon!!
    First attempt at making these and it is a labor of love! I did really well until the final and the cutting and shaping of the rolls. My dough became sticky and difficult to manage. A little flour and not trying to double the dough and they came out ok. A few in the oven proofing now. wish me luck (not exactly pretty)
    Will try again 🤗

    1. Penny,

      For your first go-round, it sounds like you did very well! And yep, add the flour as needed and you will be fine! Enjoy your creation. You will no doubt have learned and know what works and what is needed next time and will become easier and easier each time. Enjoy the taste and the journey! Bon appétit!
      And thank you So où je for circling back and sharing. ☺️🥐🇫🇷❤️

  8. I’m gonna try these this winter. I must admit that seeing them in season 2, I was too intimidated. However they look too delicious not to give it a try. Thanks for inspiring my home to always be full of tasty opportunities.

  9. I finally managed to arrive at the Croissants episode – oh dear – but it is always a good time for croissants, is it not?… 😉

    You are now a croissant pro, Shannon. Grating the butter, what a good idea! I will certainly try it next time. I usually roll the butter between two layers of parchment paper, until approx.. the size needed for the first pass. Then I take it to the fridge to obtain a nice flat firm plate of butter that is easy to simply lay on top of the dough and the fold, etc.. Grating does away with all of this which is brilliant. Easy peasy. 🙂

    Thank you, XO

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