Oh yes, my friend. Gluten-free croissants are here, and they are incredible!
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There's just nothing like a buttery croissant that makes you feel like you're enjoying breakfast along the Seine River in Paris. Dreamy, don't you think?
Except for the one teensy, tiny, microscopic problem.
Finding a gluten-free croissant, whether in grocery stores or in a bakery, is challenging!
They seem to be the one pastry that eludes gluten-free people.
And yes, I know Schar makes them, and they are tasty! But I wanted the satisfaction of knowing I could make gluten-free croissants myself.
Making croissants involves the process of lamination, where you seal butter into the dough. This is done multiple times to create layers that when baked, puff up for the light and airy croissants we all enjoy.
So last summer I attempted croissants for the first time. And well, it was mediocre at best.
I started with modifying a traditional croissants recipe. It took 24 hours, lots of lamination of the dough, and they ended up looking like this:
They were very dry, the butter leaked, and they really didn't puff up as I hoped. So I decided to write down what I did, and revisit them again - knowing that with some tweaking, they'd be a success.
Earlier this spring, I came across GF Jules's method for croissants. If you don't know Jules, she's an amazing resource in the gluten-free community, with her own gluten-free flour blend, TONS of recipes, and has been spreading awareness of celiac disease for years. She's awesome!
Thanks to GF Jules and her croissant methodology, I realized that I didn't have to go through the crazy process of making traditional croissants. I just needed to change a few things! So that's exactly what I did this summer using Cup4Cup and a few tricks I've learned since publishing my Gluten-Free Breads Around The World eBook last fall.
And this time, they were amazing. The dough was much more pliant, the croissants puffed up amazingly, and it didn't take 24 hours! Plus, they were soft, buttery, and PERFECT!
Even Dylan tried them and said they tasted like croissants from the regular bakery down the street.
**cue tears of joy**
And I mean, just look at the inside of these! The layers!
Here's what you'll need to make gluten-free croissants:
Gluten-Free Flour: Cup4Cup is my #1 recommendation for gluten-free pastry! I've used this to successfully create empanadas, naan, scones, soda bread, and pierogi. It's my preferred flour for baking but please be aware it contains dairy. You can substitute your own gluten-free flour blend but be mindful you may need to adjust and troubleshoot as you go.
Instant Yeast: I use Red Star yeast packets for instant yeast and keep a jar of active dry in my fridge. Double-check that your yeast is gluten-free as some can be "enriched". Please remember this recipe calls for instant yeast. I have not tried with active yeast!
Other Ingredients You'll Need:
-Egg (to brush the croissants so they get nice and golden brown while they bake!)
Kitchen Tools To Help With Making Gluten-Free Croissants
Rolling Pin & Pizza Cutter: This helps for both rolling out the dough and cutting into triangles when it's time to shape the croissants. Both of mine are from TJ Maxx!
A ruler or tape measure: There's quite a bit of measuring involved in croissants as you laminate the dough. Definitely recommend having a tape measure nearby!
Bench scraper: While I shape the dough with my hands, you can also use a bench scraper, like this one, to help shape your dough and square off your edges.
Pastry brush: You'll use this to brush off flour from the dough as you make the croissants.
Making the Croissants Dairy-Free
Based on my experience using Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour in other yeast-based recipes for my Breads Around The World eBook, I believe it would work well for a dairy-free version.
I'm still in the process of testing these in a dairy-free version. You can check GF Jules recipe for her dairy-free recipe. I'll be sharing an update on here soon with my own dairy-free experiment!
I have not tested freezing croissants, so please refer back to GF Jules for more tips on this!
Tips For Success & Troubleshooting
Croissants are tricky. Pastry can be tough to make, especially gluten-free pastry. Here are my top tips for success in making gluten-free croissants!
Don't make pastry on a hot day.
Warmer temperatures mean your pastry is going to be more difficult to work with. Stick to a cooler day to make croissants, if possible!
Baking by Weight
Is baking by weight the most accurate and precise way to bake gluten-free?
But is it realistic?
In my experience, most people don't have the time or even a kitchen scale to bake this way. If you are looking for the measurements of this recipe in grams, you can check the original from GF Jules, who writes hers in grams.
Be careful how you measure your gluten-free flour.
Along the same lines, and one of my top gluten-free baking tips, if you aren't measuring for weight, then be sure to spoon your flour into your measuring cup, then level off with the back of the knife. This makes sure you get an accurate amount.
Give yourself a good amount of time.
This recipe has many steps and a good amount of time required for resting and proofing the dough. Allow a good 4 hours to make them from start to finish.
Follow. The. Recipe.
This recipe is specifically formulated using Cup4Cup Multipurpose gluten-free flour. If you decide to change anything or substitute other ingredients, they may come out differently than expected and I cannot speak to your results. My experience is in gluten-free and dairy-free baking, but not allergy-free, vegan, or egg-free. You can always email me: [email protected] with any questions and I'm happy to help troubleshoot the best I can.
Refrigerate the dough if it is difficult to work with.
If you notice your butter is leaking through your dough as you are laminating, or that your dough is too soft and starts ripping, it might be too warm. Wrap it in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool. Then remove and try again. Trust me - don't try to force the dough to do what you want when it's too warm. Be patient, refrigerate, and try again. It definitely helps!
Make sure to proof your dough for the required time.
Rushing through the steps can lead to croissants cracking while baking or butter leaking out the bottom. Allow the allotted time for the dough to rest and rise - it's worth it in the end!
Watch a video to understand how lamination works.
Originally, I watched this video from Sally's Baking Addiction to understand lamination and how croissants are made. While OBVIOUSLY these are NOT gluten-free, I'm linking her video here to SHOW YOU this process so you can better understand it! And sometimes (if you are visual learner, especially!) watching someone do something first can really help.
Reheat in the microwave the next day.
Like most gluten-free baked goods, these will harden over time. To return them to their flaky, soft, buttery delicious selves, reheat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds!
Here's how to make gluten-free croissants!
If you love this recipe, please leave a review! Thank you so much!
- 3 cups Cup4Cup Multipurpose Gluten-Free Flour
- 2 packets of Instant or Quick Rise Yeast
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons psyllium husk powder
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 4 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 ½ sticks (12 Tablespoons) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water
First, prepare the butter. Allow the 1 ½ sticks of butter to soften to room temperature. Place it between two sheets of parchment paper or wax paper, and using a rolling pin, crush it and roll it out, until it is approximately 8''x6''. This is where you can use a knife or a bench scraper to square off the edges evenly.
Next, prepare the dough. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or you can just use a large bowl), whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. While the mixer is running with the paddle attachment on low (or just mix with a large spoon if you don't have a stand mixer), slowly add the melted butter followed by the buttermilk. Mix for 1-2 minutes as the dough begins to form, then increase speed to medium and mix for an additional minute until the dough is evenly mixed throughout.
Pour the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and lightly flour your hands as you knead it a few times. If it feels too sticky, sprinkle more gluten-free flour and knead a few more times. If it feels too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of buttermilk if necessary.
1st Roll Out: Add Butter
Make sure you have lightly floured a large surface area of your clean countertop. Roll out the dough to a rectangle shape of 14”x10” rectangle. Continue dusting additional gluten-free flour both on top of and underneath the dough so it doesn't stick. Use your bench scraper or hands to shape the dough, then brush off any excess flour on the top of the dough using your pastry brush.
Place the block of butter on the bottom half of the dough, but be sure to leave space on the sides and bottom. Fold the top half of the dough over the butter block and using your fingers, seal it together. Give the dough a quarter turn.
2nd Roll-Out & Book Folds
Once again, roll out the dough after sealing butter. Continue flouring above and beneath the dough as needed so it doesn't stick as you roll out the dough this time to 16”x10” rectangle. Use your bench scraper or hands to shape the dough, then brush off any excess flour on the top of the dough using your pastry brush.
If butter or dough gets too soft at any point, wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
Fold the top of the dough down towards the center of the dough, and then fold the bottom half up towards the center as well - just like a book. Brush off excess flour again and rotate the dough a quarter turn. Once again, fold the top portion of the dough down to the center, and the bottom portion up to the center, like a book.
3rd Roll-Out & Book Folds
Repeat these book fold steps one more time - rolling out the dough to 16''x10'' rectangle, flouring above & below as needed, folding dough like a book from top and bottom into the center, give a quarter turn, and fold like a book again. If necessary, wrap the dough and refrigerate it between folding in order to keep the butter from melting.
After completing the second set of book folds, wrap the dough in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place it in the fridge for 1 hour.
Cutting & Shaping Croissants
Make sure your countertop is lightly floured on a large surface - this is the largest rollout!
Roll out dough to 10”x 24” rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, mark the dough along the 25'' side at every 3” or for larger croissants at every 5” (this will not yield as many croissants, just FYI). At each mark, cut across the dough into long rectangles. This should give you 8 rectangles. With each rectangle, cut diagonally in half into long triangles. This should give you 16 triangles.
Brush off any excess flour from the dough before shaping, which helps the dough stick better.
With an individual triangle piece of dough, lay it out in front of you with the point facing away from you. Cut a small slit in the middle of the bottom of the strip. Spread the pieces apart and roll up the croissant tightly. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a silicone mat, seam side down. Repeat with all remaining triangles. Cover with plastic wrap or a large towel. Allow them to rise in a warm place for 1 hour (I place mine next to my oven as it is preheating).
Bake The Croissants
While croissants are rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
After rising, brush croissants with 1 egg whisked with 1 Tablespoon of water thoroughly over the top of each croissant so they get nice and golden brown. Bake until evenly browned, about 20-25 minutes. You can also brush the tops with buttermilk for an egg-free option, but they may not brown as much.
Allow to cool completely on a baking rack.
Eat Fresh: Croissants will taste best fresh, as gluten-free baked goods tend to harden over time. You can pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften as needed. Best to eat within 2-3 days.
Warm Dough: If at any point the croissant dough is breaking, or butter is melting through the dough, wrap in plastic wrap or parchment and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Chocolate Croissants: You can make these into pain au chocolat. Rather than cutting the rectangle strips into triangles, leave them as rectangles and place a piece of chocolate on one end. Roll them up and place seam side down onto the baking sheet. Follow the rest of recipe as written.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 323Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 46mgSodium 749mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 2gSugar 15gProtein 8g
The nutrition information on each recipe card is provided as a courtesy and for your convenience. The data is calculated by Nutritionix. You are encouraged to make your own calculations based on your ingredients and preferred nutritional facts calculator. While I try to make sure they are accurate, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of these calculations.
When was the last time you had a croissant?
Let me know in the comments below!