Croissants: Just the Recipe

Recipe from the 1961 edition of the New York Times Cookbook. Makes 12-18 croissants.


  • 1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg yolk


  1. Heat milk to lukewarm.
  2. Add milk to bowl of electric mixer.
  3. Add yeast to milk. (let sit to activate yeast if not using instant yeast)
  4. Sift flour and salt.
  5. Add flour and salt to mixer.
  6. Mix with dough hook until dough has formed smooth ball around dough hook. (this shouldn’t take too long, about 2-3 minutes).
  7. Place in greased bowl and let rise about 1 hour, or until it has doubled.
  8. Roll dough into long strip.
  9. Cut butter into small bits (about 1/4 in size). If butter is really stiff, soften it just a bit. You still want it to be pretty hard, but don’t want it to tear dough.
  10. Fold dough into thirds.
  11. Turn so that an open edge faces you.
  12. Roll into long strip and fold into thirds.
  13. Place in waxed paper lightly dusted in flour.
  14. Chill for about 2 hours in the fridge.
  15. Roll chilled dough out into long strip.
  16. Fold ends to center.
  17. Fold dough into thirds.
  18. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  19. Remove from fridge and repeat steps 15-18.
  20. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  21. Remove from fridge and roll into a long strip that is about 1/8 inch thick.
  22. Cut into 12-18 triangles using a pizza cutter.
  23. Wet small end with beaten egg to allow it to stick.
  24. Roll dough from its big end to its small end to make iconic croissant shape.
  25. Place croissants on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  26. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
  27. Preheat oven to 425℉.
  28. Once risen, brush croissants with egg yolk.
  29. Bake 20-25 minutes.
  30. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Note: If you must soften your butter, do so only slightly. To do this, place one smaller heat-safe bowl inside another. Pour hot water into bigger bowl, and place butter in smaller. The heat from the water will allow the butter to soften without melting.

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