Indulge in Flaky Delights: Mastering Claire Saffitz's Irresistible Croissants Recipe for a Taste of Parisian Perfection
- Publisher: Lofty Recipes
- Cuisine: French
- Category: Pastry
- Prep Time: (plus additional chilling and proofing time)
- Cook Time:
- Servings: 8
- Calories: 240 calories
Claire Saffitz Croissants
About this recipe
Claire Saffitz's croissants are a delightful homemade treat that capture the essence of classic French pastry.
These croissants are light, flaky, and buttery, with a golden-brown crust that shatters with every bite. The recipe involves several steps and requires a bit of time and patience, but the end result is truly worth it.
To start, you'll prepare the dough, known as the "détrempe." It's a mixture of flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, and milk.
The dough is kneaded until it becomes smooth and elastic, creating a solid foundation for the layers of butter that will be added later. After an initial rise, the dough is chilled for several hours, allowing the flavors to develop and the gluten to relax.
While the dough is chilling, you'll prepare the butter block. High-quality European-style butter is used for its richness and flavor. The butter is flattened and folded into a neat square, which will be encased within the dough.
This butter layer is what creates the distinct flakiness and layers in the croissants.
Once the dough has chilled and the butter block is ready, the lamination process begins. The dough is rolled out into a large rectangle, and the butter block is placed in the center.
The dough is then folded and rolled several times, creating multiple layers of dough and butter. This process is known as "turns" and helps to create the airy, flaky texture that croissants are known for. The dough is chilled between each turn to ensure the butter remains cold and the layers stay distinct.
After several turns, the dough is rolled out one final time to the desired thickness. It is then cut into triangles and rolled up to form the iconic croissant shape. The shaped croissants are proofed, allowing them to rise and develop flavor. They are then brushed with an egg wash for a beautiful golden color and baked to perfection.
The result is a batch of homemade croissants that rival those found in a bakery. They have a delicate, buttery flavor, and the layers separate beautifully when you break them open. Enjoy them fresh out of the oven for a truly decadent breakfast or brunch experience.
Although making croissants from scratch may seem intimidating, Claire Saffitz's recipe breaks down the process into manageable steps, guiding you through each stage.
I can assure you, with a little time and effort, you'll be rewarded with beautifully crafted croissants that are sure to impress your family and friends. So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the process, and embark on a delicious homemade croissant adventure. Bon appétit!
Claire Saffitz Croissants recipe origin
Claire Saffitz's croissants recipe is not a traditional or original recipe created by Claire herself.
Rather, Claire Saffitz, a former Bon Appétit pastry chef, gained popularity through her appearances on the YouTube series "Gourmet Makes." In this series, she recreated various processed and packaged foods from scratch, putting her own spin on the recipes.
The croissants episode of "Gourmet Makes" became particularly popular, with viewers fascinated by Claire's meticulous approach to replicating the complex pastry. Her attention to detail and dedication to perfecting the recipe resonated with many aspiring home cooks and baking enthusiasts.
While Claire's croissants recipe is not unique to her, her detailed explanation and demonstration of the process, as well as her tips and insights, have made her version highly sought after by those looking to make croissants at home. Her recipe embodies the traditional French techniques and principles of croissant making, which have been passed down for generations.
It's important to note that croissants themselves have a rich history and are believed to have originated in Austria before gaining popularity in France.
The French have since become renowned for their mastery of croissant making, and their techniques and recipes have been shared and adapted worldwide.
Claire Saffitz's contribution to the croissant-making world lies in her ability to break down the complex process into understandable steps and provide guidance for home cooks. Her passion for baking and her talent for teaching have made her version of the croissant recipe highly regarded among baking enthusiasts and fans of "Gourmet Makes."
So, while the origin of Claire Saffitz's croissant recipe can be traced back to the traditional French methods, her approach and presentation have made it accessible and inspiring to a wider audience.
Why make this Claire Saffitz Croissants recipe?
You should try Claire Saffitz's croissants recipe because it offers several benefits and guarantees a delicious outcome:
- Expert Guidance: Claire Saffitz is a renowned pastry chef known for her expertise and meticulous approach to recipe development. Her croissant recipe is a result of extensive testing and fine-tuning, ensuring that you receive professional guidance throughout the process.
- Detailed Instructions: The recipe provides step-by-step instructions, making it easy to follow along, even if you're a beginner. Claire's explanations and techniques are thorough, ensuring that you understand each stage of the croissant-making process.
- Authentic Croissant Experience: Croissants are a classic French pastry known for their flaky, buttery layers. Claire's recipe aims to replicate the texture and flavor of traditional croissants, allowing you to experience the true essence of this beloved pastry.
- Homemade Satisfaction: Making croissants from scratch can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. With Claire's recipe, you have the opportunity to create these delectable pastries in your own kitchen, impressing yourself and others with your culinary skills.
- Customization Options: While the base recipe is provided, you can also experiment with fillings or variations to personalize your croissants. Whether you prefer plain croissants, chocolate-filled ones, or even savory options, Claire's recipe serves as a solid foundation for your creative ideas.
- Superior Taste and Texture: The croissants produced by this recipe are known for their light, flaky layers and rich, buttery taste. By following Claire's instructions carefully, you can achieve a texture and flavor that rivals those found in high-quality bakeries.
- Learning Experience: Claire Saffitz's recipes often offer educational insights into the science and techniques behind baking. Making croissants with her recipe can expand your knowledge of dough lamination, yeast activation, and other important baking principles.
What does Claire Saffitz Croissants taste like?
Claire Saffitz's croissants are renowned for their exceptional taste and flavor. Here's a description of the taste you can expect:
- Butteriness: Croissants are known for their rich and buttery flavor, and Claire's recipe ensures that this characteristic is pronounced. With each bite, you'll experience a delightful buttery taste that melts in your mouth.
- Light and Flaky: The layers of buttery dough in Claire's croissants create a delicate, flaky texture. When you bite into a freshly baked croissant, you'll be greeted by a satisfying crunch, followed by a soft and airy interior.
- Subtle Sweetness: While croissants are not overly sweet, they have a subtle underlying sweetness that enhances their overall flavor profile. This gentle touch of sweetness adds depth and balance to the buttery notes.
- Toasted Aroma: When baked to perfection, Claire's croissants develop a golden brown color on the outside. This browning process adds a toasted aroma that further enhances the overall sensory experience.
- Versatile Pairings: Claire's croissants are incredibly versatile when it comes to serving options. They can be enjoyed on their own as a breakfast pastry or paired with various spreads, such as butter, jam, or Nutella. Additionally, they can be used as a base for sandwiches or enjoyed alongside a cup of coffee or tea.
Claire Saffitz's croissants offer a harmonious combination of buttery richness, light and flaky texture, subtle sweetness, and a delightful toasted aroma. They provide a sensory experience that is both indulgent and comforting, making them a true delight to savor.
What is in Claire Saffitz Croissants?
- All-Purpose Flour: It serves as the base ingredient for the croissant dough, providing structure and texture to the final product.
- Granulated Sugar: Used in small quantities, sugar helps with browning and adds a hint of sweetness to the croissants.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor of the croissant dough and balances the sweetness.
- Active Dry Yeast: A leavening agent that helps the dough rise and gives the croissants their light and airy texture.
- Unsalted Butter: High-quality unsalted butter is essential for creating the distinct flaky layers in croissants. It should be cold and firm to achieve the desired texture.
- Whole Milk: Provides moisture and adds richness to the dough.
- Water: Helps hydrate the dough and activate the yeast.
- Bread Flour: Used during the rolling and shaping process to prevent sticking and aid in creating layers.
- Egg: Used for an egg wash to give the croissants a golden and glossy finish.
Equipment required for this recipe
- Stand Mixer: A stand mixer with a dough hook attachment is ideal for mixing and kneading the croissant dough. However, if you don't have a stand mixer, you can use a large mixing bowl and knead the dough by hand.
- Rolling Pin: A long rolling pin is necessary for rolling out the croissant dough to the desired thickness. If you don't have a rolling pin, you can use a clean, smooth bottle or any cylindrical object that can effectively roll out the dough.
- Plastic Wrap: Used for wrapping and chilling the dough during various stages of the recipe. If you don't have plastic wrap, you can use airtight containers or reusable silicone food wraps as alternatives.
- Baking Sheets: Large baking sheets are needed to place and bake the croissants. Make sure they have a non-stick surface or line them with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Pastry Brush: A pastry brush is used for applying the egg wash to the croissants before baking. If you don't have a pastry brush, you can use a clean, soft-bristled brush or even your fingers to lightly brush the croissants with the egg wash.
- Bench Scraper or Knife: A bench scraper or a sharp knife is handy for cutting the croissant dough into triangles or rectangles during the shaping process. If you don't have a bench scraper, you can use a knife or a pizza cutter as a substitute.
- Cooling Rack: A cooling rack is used to cool the baked croissants and prevent them from becoming soggy on the bottom. If you don't have a cooling rack, you can place the croissants on a clean, dry surface to cool.
How to make Claire Saffitz Croissants
Elevate your baking skills with Claire Saffitz's croissants recipe. Learn the secrets to creating buttery, flaky pastries that rival Parisian classics.
For the dough:
- 4⅔ cups/605 grams all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for dusting
- ⅓ cup/66 grams granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon/12 grams kosher salt
- 2¼ teaspoons/7 grams active dry yeast
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons/214 grams water, at room temperature
- ½ cup/120 grams whole milk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup/57 grams unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces, chilled
For the Butter Block:
- 1½ cups/340 grams unsalted European or European-style butter (3 sticks), chilled
For Egg Wash:
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
For Almond Filling (Optional):
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Sliced almonds, for topping
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the water and milk.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until a shaggy dough forms.
- Increase the speed to medium-low and continue kneading for about 5 minutes, until the dough becomes smoother.
- Add the chilled butter pieces to the dough and continue kneading for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape it into a rectangle.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Meanwhile, prepare the butter block. Place the chilled butter sticks side by side on a sheet of plastic wrap.
- Fold the plastic wrap over the butter and use a rolling pin to pound and roll the butter into a 6x8-inch rectangle.
- Refrigerate the butter block until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Once both the dough and butter block are chilled, remove them from the refrigerator.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle approximately 10x16 inches.
- Place the chilled butter block on one side of the dough rectangle, leaving a small border.
- Fold the other half of the dough over the butter block, enclosing it completely.
- Lightly press the edges to seal the butter block inside the dough.
- Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll it out into a rectangle again.
- Perform a tri-fold: Fold the bottom third of the dough up, then fold the top third of the dough down, as if folding a letter.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Repeat the rolling and folding process two more times, chilling the dough for 1 hour between each fold.
- After the final fold, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- On the next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 9x18 inches and ¼-inch thick.
- Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim the edges of the dough to create straight edges.
- Cut the dough into 8 triangles. Starting from the wide end, roll each triangle towards the tip, gently stretching the dough as you roll. Place the rolled croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure to leave space between them.
- Cover the rolled croissants loosely with plastic wrap and let them proof at room temperature for about 2 to 3 hours, until they have doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and heavy cream to make the egg wash.
- Gently brush the tops of the proofed croissants with the egg wash.
- Place the baking sheet with the croissants in the preheated oven.
- Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the croissants are golden brown and flaky.
- Remove the croissants from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool slightly.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy the freshly baked croissants!
Optional Flavor Variation - Almond Croissants:
Optional Flavor Variation - Almond Croissants:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a bowl, combine almond flour, powdered sugar, softened butter, and almond extract. Mix well until it forms a smooth paste.
- Cut each cooled croissant horizontally, but not all the way through, leaving one side intact.
- Spread a generous amount of almond filling on the bottom half of each croissant, then close the croissant gently.
- Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of each croissant.
- Place the almond-filled croissants on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the almond filling is golden brown and the croissants are heated through.
How to serve Claire Saffitz Croissants
- Freshly Baked: Croissants are best enjoyed when they are freshly baked and still warm. Aim to serve them as soon as they come out of the oven to preserve their flakiness and maintain their delightful texture.
- Pairings: Croissants can be served on their own, but they also pair well with various accompaniments. Here are a few ideas:
- Butter and Jam: Serve the croissants with a pat of butter and your favorite jam or preserves. Spread the butter on the croissant and add a dollop of jam for a classic and delicious combination.
- Nutella or Chocolate Spread: If you're a fan of chocolate, try spreading Nutella or your favorite chocolate spread on the croissant. The combination of the buttery croissant and the creamy chocolate is simply heavenly.
- Sandwiches: Croissants can be sliced in half and used as a base for sandwiches. Fill them with your preferred fillings such as ham and cheese, turkey and avocado, or even scrambled eggs and bacon for a satisfying meal.
- Coffee or Tea: Croissants are a perfect complement to a hot cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy them alongside your favorite beverage to start your day or as a delightful afternoon treat.
- Plating: When serving croissants, you can place them on a decorative serving platter or a breadbasket lined with a linen napkin. If you're feeling creative, you can dust them with powdered sugar for an elegant touch.
- Garnishes: To add a touch of visual appeal, you can garnish the serving platter with fresh fruits like berries or a sprig of mint. These garnishes can enhance the overall presentation and make your croissants look even more enticing.
The joy of serving Claire Saffitz's croissants lies in their simplicity and versatility. Whether enjoyed on their own or paired with delightful accompaniments, these croissants are sure to impress and satisfy your taste buds.
Rated: 4.9 of 5.0 from 586 reviews.
Recipe Tags: Claire Saffitz Croissants, Claire Saffitz Croissants Recipe, Recipe, Top rated
What to serve Claire Saffitz Croissants with
- Butter and Jam: Classic and simple, serving croissants with butter and your favorite jam or preserves is always a delightful choice. The creamy butter and sweet jam complement the buttery, flaky croissant perfectly.
- Cheese: Croissants pair well with a variety of cheeses. You can serve them with slices of mild cheese like Gouda, Brie, or Swiss. The combination of the rich, buttery croissant and the creamy, savory cheese creates a delectable balance of flavors.
- Cold Cuts: Create a savory croissant sandwich by adding slices of ham, turkey, or roast beef. You can also include some fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomato, or cucumber for added crunch and freshness.
- Smoked Salmon: For an elegant and luxurious option, serve your croissants with thinly sliced smoked salmon. Add a dollop of cream cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some fresh dill for a delightful flavor combination.
- Scrambled Eggs: Croissants can be a perfect base for a breakfast sandwich. Fill them with scrambled eggs, crispy bacon or sausage, and a slice of cheese for a satisfying morning meal.
- Fresh Fruit: Croissants can be enjoyed alongside fresh fruits like berries, sliced melon, or grapes. The fruity sweetness provides a refreshing contrast to the rich croissant.
- Salads: If you're serving croissants as part of a brunch or light lunch, consider pairing them with a fresh salad. A simple green salad with vinaigrette or a Mediterranean salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese can be a delicious combination.
- Hot Beverages: Croissants are often enjoyed with hot beverages like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The warmth of the drink enhances the buttery flavor and flaky texture of the croissant.
Meanwhile, the choice of accompaniments ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the occasion. Whether you prefer sweet or savory pairings, there are plenty of options to complement Claire Saffitz's croissants and create a delightful meal or snack.
My recommendations and tips
- Read the Recipe: Before you start, carefully read through the entire recipe to familiarize yourself with the steps and ingredients. This will help you understand the process better and ensure you have all the necessary ingredients and equipment.
- Patience is Key: Making croissants from scratch is a labor of love and requires time and patience. The dough needs time to rest and rise properly, so avoid rushing the process. Follow the recipe instructions closely and give each step the attention it deserves.
- Use Quality Ingredients: The quality of your ingredients will greatly impact the flavor and texture of the croissants. Use fresh and high-quality butter, flour, and yeast for the best results. Avoid using margarine or low-fat substitutes, as they may affect the texture and taste of the croissants.
- Maintain Proper Temperature: Temperature control is crucial when working with croissant dough. Keep the dough and butter chilled as instructed in the recipe. If the dough becomes too warm, it may become sticky and difficult to work with, affecting the final result.
- Take Time to Layer: The flaky layers in croissants are achieved through a process called lamination, where butter is folded into the dough. Take care to roll and fold the dough properly to create distinct layers. This will contribute to the desired texture and appearance of the croissants.
- Shape with Care: When shaping the croissants, make sure to roll them tightly but gently. This will help them maintain their shape and prevent them from unraveling during baking. Follow the recipe's instructions for shaping, and don't be afraid to practice a few times to get the hang of it.
- Egg Wash for a Beautiful Finish: Before baking, apply an egg wash to the croissants. This will give them a glossy and golden brown exterior. Take care not to brush too much egg wash, as it can make the croissants heavy. Use a light touch and a pastry brush for even application.
- Experiment and Have Fun: Once you've mastered the basic croissant recipe, don't be afraid to get creative. You can add fillings such as chocolate, almond paste, or flavored creams to create variations. Just ensure the fillings are not too wet, as they can affect the texture of the croissants.
- Share and Enjoy: Croissants are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. Share them with family and friends, and savor the delightful aroma and taste. If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or freeze them for future enjoyment.
Remember, making croissants may require some practice, so don't be discouraged if your first batch doesn't turn out perfect. Enjoy the process, learn from each attempt, and soon you'll be able to create delicious, homemade croissants that will impress everyone around you.
Potential ingredients substitutes
- Butter: Traditional croissants use unsalted butter with a high fat content. If you prefer a non-dairy option, you can try using a high-quality margarine or a plant-based butter substitute that is suitable for baking. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture of the croissants may be slightly different.
- Flour: The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, which provides a good balance of protein and gluten for the dough. If you prefer a healthier option, you can substitute some or all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. However, note that this may result in a denser texture.
- Yeast: The recipe uses active dry yeast, but you can substitute it with instant yeast in the same quantity. Instant yeast doesn't require proofing and can be added directly to the dough. However, if you only have fresh yeast, you'll need to use 1.5 times the amount of active dry yeast called for in the recipe.
- Milk: The recipe calls for whole milk, but you can substitute it with other types of milk, such as low-fat or plant-based alternatives like almond milk or soy milk. Just make sure the milk you choose has a similar fat content to maintain the richness of the dough.
- Sugar: If you prefer a lower-sugar option, you can reduce the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. However, keep in mind that sugar not only adds sweetness but also contributes to the flavor, texture, and browning of the croissants. Adjusting the sugar may affect the final result.
- Time and Patience: Making croissants from scratch is a time-consuming process that requires patience. The dough needs time to rest, chill, and undergo several rounds of folding and rolling. Be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time to the process, as it usually spans over a day or two.
- Precision and Technique: Croissants require precise measurements and specific techniques to achieve the desired flaky texture and layers. Follow the recipe instructions carefully and pay attention to details such as dough thickness, folding techniques, and baking temperature.
- Temperature Control: Temperature plays a crucial role in croissant-making. Ensure your ingredients, especially butter and dough, are kept at the recommended temperature throughout the process. If the butter gets too warm, it may melt and compromise the flakiness of the final product.
- Flour for Rolling: When rolling out the croissant dough, use minimal flour to prevent the dough from becoming tough or dry. Excessive flour can affect the texture and make the dough harder to work with. Use a light dusting of flour only when necessary to prevent sticking.
- Baking Time and Observation: Baking time may vary depending on your oven, so keep a close eye on the croissants while they're in the oven. They should turn golden brown and have a flaky, crispy exterior. Adjust the baking time if needed to achieve the desired level of browning and doneness.
- Storage and Freshness: Croissants are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are baked. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. Reheating them in the oven for a few minutes can help restore some of their freshness and crispiness.
Unlock the art of croissant-making with Claire Saffitz's expert recipe. Delight in the buttery layers and heavenly taste of homemade croissants. Bon appétit!