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Croissant made with butter and pain au chocolat

Video recipe - Some of the most difficult types of bread to bake are those made of laminated dough. Also called a viennese dough here in Denmark. Amusingly it is called "Danish pastry" in most of the rest of the world. The ultimate challenge is the croissant. It is very honest and has no filling, no remonce, no glaze or other things that can hide one's flaws. There are many ways of doing it, with different amounts of "rolling-butter", number of butter layers etc. This recipe is the one I think is the best version for beginners and experienced bakers alike.

Croissant made with butter and pain au chocolat

Croissants and pain au chocolat


makes 16 pcs (26 oz (730 g) dough)

  • 7 fl. oz (2 dl) of cold milk
  • 1 0z (25 g) fresh yeast, ½ oz dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 13 oz (375 g) flour
  • 2 oz (50 g) soft butter

rolling butter

  • 9 oz (250 g) cold butter (30% of the dough weight)

egg wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cream, milk or water
  • for pain au chocolat
  • 6 oz (160 g) dark chocolate (1/3 oz (10 g) per piece)


To make the dough

Dissolve the yeast in the milk.

Add sugar, salt and egg.

Add the flour.

When the flour is almost kneaded into the liquid, then add the soft butter.

Collect it into a ball, cover, and let it rise until doubled in size for approx. ½ -1 hour.

If you have the time you should then cover it with something airtight and put it into the refrigerator for at least an hour. But overnight is even better. It will make the dough more pliable when rolling the layers.

Make the rolling layers (the English method)

A letter fold makes 3 layers
A letter fold makes 3 layers

In the video on this recipe I use the danish method as it gives a better result. The english method is easier for beginners though. For an example of the english method you should watch this part of my danish pastry video on youtube.

When you feel ready you are free to shift to the danish method as in this video :-)


Roll out the dough into a rectangle that is about. 20 cm x 60 cm. (1 width x 3 length in size)

Grate the butter over the dough rectangle.

Fold #1

Fold a letter-fold for 3 layers and a neat square.

Let dough rest 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Roll out to a new rectangle that has a 1 x 3 size again.

Fold #2

Fold a letter-fold for 3 layers and a neat square.

Let dough rest 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Roll out the rectangle that has a 1 x 3 size again.

Fold #3

Fold a letter-fold for 3 layers and a neat square.

Let dough rest 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator.

The dough has now 3x3x3 layer. That is 27 layers of butter evenly distributed.


Roll out the dough to 16" x 24" (40 cm x 60 cm).

Trim the edges so they're equal and straight.

Cut it in the middle length-ways so you have two equal halves that are 8" x 24" (20 cm x 60 cm).

Cut each half into four equal squares of 8" x 6" (20 cm x 15 cm).

For croissant

Cut each square into two triangles by cutting from corner to corner.

Gently pull the triangles slightly long and roll them from the wide end against the tip. you should end with 3 layers.

For pain au chocolat

Cut each rectangle in the middle so you end up with pieces of 4" x 6" (10 cm x 15 cm).

Place two strips of chocolate in the middle of the narrow part, then place two more in the middle of that and the end. With approx. 1½" (4 cm) intervals.

Roll the dough together around the chocolate..

Croiossant and Pain Au Chocolat - cut through.
Croiossant and Pain Au Chocolat - cut through.

Final rise

Put 8 of them at a time on a baking pan+baking sheet. They must rest on the rolled up tip.

Let them rise until doubled in size from ½ to 1 ½ hours. They may not withdraw where there is so hot that the butter to melt. Then in the summer it may be necessary to take them in and out of the fridge.

When they are raised then brush them with beaten egg and what fluid you are now using.


Hot air: bake approx. 20 minutes at 180 degrees

Normal oven: bake approx. 20 minutes at 200 degrees

Let them cool for at least 20 minutes before consuming.


If you want to understand the process better, then read my article on the principles behind a laminated dough. It has tons of pictures There you can also see different variations of the method that you can experiment with to make "your own style" croissants.

The music for the video I have made myself using only cooking sounds from the soundtrack of the video. You can hear it here without narration:

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Posted by Anonymous User at Jan 04, 2014 11:03 PM
Hi Max,

Thank you for making such a great video! I just made my first batch and I think I got a decent result (even though some things I did not do perfectly either by mistake or necessity).

I have a question about butter. Do you use salted or unsalted? Also, what is the fat content of it in Denmark? I have a feeling that the butter here in the US has more water as it's certainly harder when cold than the European butters I've seen. I splurged on some nice butter since it is such an important component of a croissant, but was wondering if you have any experience regarding various types. Thanks!


Posted by Anonymous User at Jan 06, 2014 10:39 AM
It usually does take a few tries to get it right :-) It did for me too.

I use salted butter with 80% fat.

Also the cream that is used to make danish butter is fermented. (Hence buttermilk). I Understand that US butter often is unfermented.

- Max


Posted by Anonymous User at Jan 08, 2014 08:55 PM
Oh, that's right, most of the butter here is "sweet cream" butter. Not bad, just nothing interesting flavor-wise.
One more question: I had a fair amount of butter oozing out while I was baking them. Is that normal? I think your baking sheet looks fairly dry... What am I doing wrong?
Thanks again!


PS: I recall in one of your videos you are commenting on these pastries not being very healthy due to the large amount of butter. Well, butter is making a comeback and is not considered bad for you anymore - it was just unfairly put in the same category as hydrogenated fats. Just google "BMJ Malhotra" :-)


Posted by Anonymous User at Jan 09, 2014 10:38 AM
I had that happen to me too in the beginning. As you get more practice folding them, less butter will ooze.

I agree about the health of butter. Saturated fat is not unhealthy. It is how our own body stores extra energy after all. Would be odd if our body stored poison for later ...

But in the combination with sugar and starch like in this recipe ... I stand by my words :-)

- max

Stand Mixer

Posted by Anonymous User at Jan 31, 2014 05:55 PM
First of all, thank you for taking the time to make these videos. Could you tell me the name, brand of the stand mixer you are using? I've got a Cuisinart, and Kitchen Aid now, however yours looks intriguing. Like to see if I can get one in the States.
Thanks again,

Stand Mixer

Posted by Anonymous User at Feb 01, 2014 10:04 PM
Thanks! It is called an assistent. It is probably called an assistant in english speaking countries. It has had several different manufacturers through the years. - max

Wonderful croissants

Posted by Anonymous User at Apr 18, 2015 05:02 PM
I don't consider myself the elite of home bakers, I'm just a regular guy. But following this excellent recipe and videos I made wonderful croissants with fine layers. They are among the best croissants I've ever tasted. (I used norwegian butter "Tine Meierismør" which is made from cultured cream with 1,5% salt.)
Thank you for this. I just can't praise kvalifood / enough!

Lars Hartvigsen

Wonderful croissants

Posted by Anonymous User at Apr 20, 2015 12:17 PM
Great that it worked :-) Croissants are hard to get right. Thanks. - max

First time and they came out great!

Posted by Anonymous User at May 22, 2015 02:33 AM
Fantastic recipe, thank you! But, could you clarify one thing in your text -- the baking temperature is in Celsius not Fahrenheit, which is about 400. I hadn't looked at other croissant recipes so I didn't immediately know that 200F was too low. The recipe itself has a mixture of English and metric measurements, so while I had no problems with that part (I tend to use them interchangeably as well) it didn't occur to me to question the temperature scale. I cranked up the oven and was able save my croissants - they were flaky and delicious.
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