How to Fold Croissant Dough

Croissant dough needs to be meticulously folded, rolled and rested at specific times for it to turn out how you want it to.

How to make a butter sheet

To create a butter sheet, bring your unsalted butter to room temperature. Typically it’s about 1 1/2 cups of butter to create a butter sheet.

Place a silicone mat on an aluminum baking sheet. Put your room temperature butter on the silicone mat. Have your tape measure ready for your specific measurements your recipes requires. Using a spatula, push the butter to move it onto the silicone mat to spread it out. Try to make the butter sheet the same thickness throughout the rectangle you’re creating. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Use your spatula to push the butter into itself to create corners that you need for your measurements. Place your butter sheet in the fridge for 30 min. Then it’s time to place it into the dough.

How to place butter in croissant dough

Once you’re ready to place your butter into your croissant dough, get your croissant dough and butter layer out of the fridge. Peel your butter layer off of the silicone mat. Arrange your croissant dough on the bottom, and your butter layer at a diagonal to the dough rectangle. Try to place the butter as close as possible that you think each of the sides of dough will comfortably go over your butter layer. Then using your fingers, fold the dough over the butter layer to create an envelope. Seal the envelope by pushing the dough together at the seams.

How to make butter sheet
How to place butter in croissant dough

Now it’s time to fold your croissant dough by laminating the butter.

How to laminate croissant dough

Laminating dough is defined as creating layers of butter in between pastry.

Begin by rolling out your envelope croissant dough = 20” x 10”. Then fold your croissant dough into a letter shape. Fold the bottom to 1/3 of the way up. Then fold the top 1/3 of the way down.

how to fold croissant dough
how to laminate croissant dough

Now you’ve created 3 layers of butter. Roll out your dough again to 20” x 10”. Fold again like a letter. You’ve now made 9 layers of butter laminated croissant dough. Place it in the fridge for 30 min. You’re ready for your final folding of croissant dough. Fold like a letter. You have 81 layers of butter laminated croissant dough. You’ve completed your laminating butter layers. It needs to rest for 4-24 hours in the fridge before shaping your croissants.

Laminated dough example

81 layers of butter for croissant dough

This is an example of 81 layers of butter laminated for croissant dough.

How to Shape Croissants

Roll out your croissant dough until it’s 8”x20”. It should be pretty thick ~ a couple of cm’s thick. Cut your dough into 4”x 5” sections. Cut the rectangle into a triangle by slicing the rectangle from point to point. Stretch the triangle to an 8” long piece of croissant dough. To shape your croissant dough, make a small slit in the bottom of the croissant ~1/2 cm. It should be cut right at the base in the middle. Then roll your croissant up. Place the pointed end down to the pan to hold the croissant closed.

how to cut croissant dough

If you’re looking for chocolate croissants, Cut your 4” x 5” rectangle in half to create 2 – 2” x 5” strips. Stretch the strips until they’re 8” long. Place semi-sweet chocolate/chocolate chips on one end of the strip of dough ~10 chocolate chips. Roll the doll over the chocolate chips. Continue rolling until the end of the dough. Place the end of the dough down onto the aluminum baking pan.

how to shape croissants

How to Proof Croissants

Proof croissants by letting your shaped croissants sit for 1 hour at room temperature, and then 1 hour in the fridge. Place cling wrap over the croissants loosely to prevent them from drying out. Then you can egg wash and bake your croissants.

pain au chocolat proofing
how to proof croissants overnight
croissants with egg wash

How to Proof Croissants Overnight

Proof croissants overnight by having your shaped croissants for 1 hour at room temperature, and then overnight in the fridge. The croissants can be in the fridge for 12 hours before baking. Be sure to put cling wrap over your croissants while they’re proofing to prevent them from drying out.

Where to store freshly baked croissants

Store your freshly baked croissants in an airtight container at room temperature. Let them fully cool before storing them. Your freshly baked croissants will store for up to 2 days at room temperature.

Pain au Chocolat Ingredients List

  • unsalted butter
  • all-purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • active dry or instant yeast
  • whole milk
  • semi-sweet chocolate
  • confectioners sugar (dusting the top)
  • egg (egg wash)
pain au chocolat ingredients list

What is the translation for pain au chocolat?

Pain au chocolat translated means bread of chocolate or chocolate bread.

pain au chocolat ingredients

Can you freeze Pain au Chocolat?

Before baking your pain au chocolat, you can prep them by rolling them out, adding chocolate, and rolling them up. Let them sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Now you can freeze your pain au chocolat. They will freeze well for up to 1 month. You can have your pain au chocolat frozen, and unthaw them when needed. Place your frozen pain au chocolat in the fridge to thaw. Once they are fully thawed, you’re ready to egg wash them and bake in the oven. Alternatively, you can freeze the croissant dough, and then unfreeze your dough and continue making your pain au chocolat.

pain au chocolat frozen

How to make chocolate croissants with Nutella?

Chocolate croissants are made with croissant dough and semi-sweet chocolate for the center filling typically. You can use Nutella as a filling, but don’t be too heavy on the filling. If you overfill them, you’ll have a huge mess to clean on your baking pan.

  1. Use Puff pastry, frozen croissant dough, or fresh croissant dough.
  2. Roll out your dough until it’s about 1/2 cm in thickness.
  3. Cut into pieces that are 2” x 5” rectangles.
  4. Roll your pieces a bit thinner to stretch out the dough a bit more to lengthen it.
  5. Fill one 2” edge of the dough with a heaping spoon of Nutella.
  6. Roll the dough gently and place on a baking sheet with the seam down.
  7. Let your chocolate croissant rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
  8. Let your chocolate croissant rise for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  9. Mix together 1 egg and a couple of tablespoons of milk.
  10. Brush the egg mixture onto your pain au chocolat
  11. Bake in the oven for your required time.
  12. Remove once fully cooked and place them on a wire rack to cool.
  13. Dust lightly with powdered sugar using a sifter.
how to dust powdered sugar onto pain au chocolat

Pain au Chocolat vs Croissant

Pain au Chocolat is the chocolate version of the croissant. Croissant dough uses butter to laminate the dough and have 81 layers of butter in total. Using croissant dough, the dough is rolled out until about 1/2 cm thick. Once it’s all rolled out, it’s cut into rectangular pieces. Then, it’s thinned and stretched a bit. Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate pieces are added to the narrow end of the rectangle. The rectangle is rolled up, given an egg wash, and baked.

What Goes with Croissants for Breakfast

Pain au Chocolat vs Chocolatine

Pain au chocolat is actually the same as a chocolatine. Depending on which area you are in France, they will call the dessert a Pain au chocolat, or a chocolatine.

Things to Do with Leftover Croissants

There are countless things you can do with leftover croissants. Homemade filled croissants are one of the most satisfying meals you can make right in your own kitchen.

You can put just about anything on a croissant that you would when using your regular bread.

You can make breakfast croissants, French toast, sandwiches, and dessert croissants with leftover croissants.

Things to Do with Leftover Croissants

How to fill croissants

  1. Cut the croissant in half using a serrated knife.
  2. Toast or warm your croissants.
  3. Using a knife, spread your condiment of choice on the croissant.
  4. Fill the croissant with meat, cheese, and vegetables or fruit.
  5. Serve immediately.

If you’re wanting to make a meal for breakfast consider filling the croissants as a brunch croissant.

20 Breakfast Croissant Filling Ideas

  • Cream cheese and fruit
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Mayo/hot sauce/butter, cheese, sausage, and scrambled eggs
  • Mayo/hot sauce/butter, cheese, sausage, bacon and scrambled eggs
  • Mayo/hot sauce/butter, cheese, bacon and scrambled eggs
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Bacon and ketchup
  • Sausage and ketchup
  • Omelette and hot sauce
  • Omelette and ketchup
  • Mayo/hot sauce/butter, cheese, ham and scrambled eggs
  • Mayo/hot sauce/butter, cheese, sausage, ham and scrambled eggs
  • Scrambled eggs and cheese
  • Whipped cream and fruit
  • Whipped cream and syrup
  • Jam
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter

How to make French toast with croissants

  1. Heat a frying pan up to medium heat.
  2. Mix together 1 egg and 2 tbsp of milk in a flat bowl you can easily dip your croissants in.
  3. Add a dash of cinnamon to your egg mixture, do not mix.
  4. Cut the croissants in half with a serrated knife.
  5. Dip the cut side of the croissant in the egg mixture.
  6. Place in the frying pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until the eggs are cooked onto the croissant creating a brown-golden color.
  7. Remove croissants from the frying pan.
  8. Serve immediately with whipped cream, syrup, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce or fruit. 

Cold Croissant Sandwich Recipe Ideas

Croissant sandwiches should be right before serving to keep them as fresh as possible. Cold croissant sandwiches will keep in the fridge for a few hours, but prepare them as close to serving as possible.  

Croissant Fillings for Lunch

Condiments to Fill Croissants with:

  • Chipotle mayo
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Dijon mustard
  • Honey mustard
  • Hot sauce
  • Bbq sauce
  • Pizza sauce
  • Garlic mayonnaise
  • Herbed cream cheese
  • Plain cream cheese
  • Strawberry cream cheese
  • Hummus
  • Italian Dressing

Meat Croissant Fillings:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Roast beef
  • Bacon
  • Smoked salmon
  • Tuna
  • Pepperoni
  • Salami
  • Pulled pork
  • Egg salad
  • Crab
  • Shrimp

Cheese Croissant Fillings:

  • Havarti
  • Cheddar
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Gouda
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Feta

Vegetable Croissant Fillings:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Arugula
  • Green peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Kale
  • Shredded cabbage/Coleslaw
  • Red onions
  • Dill Pickles
  • Sliced Pineapple
  • Sliced Apples

Vegetarian Croissant Fillings

  • Avocado
  • Hummus
  • Pickles
  • Kale
  • Sliced apples
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Arugula
  • Havarti
  • Cheddar
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Gouda
  • Feta
  • Mozzarella
  • Tofu
vegetarian cold croissant sandwich filling ideas

What can you serve with croissant sandwiches

  • Chips
  • Fries
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Green Salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Caesar Salad
  • Cut up vegetables
  • Fruit
What can you serve with croissant sandwiches Caesar salad
Things to Do with Leftover Croissants

How to Make Stuffed Croissants for Dessert

Making stuffed croissants for dessert is a decadent way to finish off a delicious meal. Stuffed croissants need to be made right before serving. You won’t want to pre-make this ahead of time, otherwise the croissants will become soft and and soggy.

You have 2 options on how you can serve your dessert stuffed croissants.

  1. Serve croissants for your guests to fill them.
  2. Serve croissants filled by you.

If you’re having your guests fill their own croissants, you might want to have an array of items for them to choose from. You can make the accompaniments beforehand in small dishes for them to pick and choose.

15 Foods To Stuff Croissants for Dessert with:

  • Whipped cream 
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apricots
  • Caramel sauce
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Strawberry sauce
  • Blueberry sauce
  • Bananas
  • Ice cream
  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Cream cheese & Fruit

If you’re wanting to fill the croissants yourself, choose only 1 or 2 of the above list and fill them right before serving. Try to top the croissants with a tiny bit of sauce as well, if you’re using sauce. This will give the croissants a elegant and divine look to them.

How to Make Stuffed Croissants for Dessert

What Goes with Croissants for Breakfast

Croissants are a delicious breakfast item to serve for brunch. Croissants can be quite filling, therefore you’ll want to have a balance of lighter items to go with croissants for breakfast.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit offers a balance of refreshing, juicy pieces of fruit which goes well with croissants for breakfast. You can stick to a couple of fresh berries, or cut up a variety of fruit for a fruit platter.

  • cantaloupe
  • pineapple
  • apples
  • strawberries
  • blueberries


Yogurt is a light accompaniment to go with croissants. Vanilla yogurt is a favorite flavor that will go over well for breakfast.


Eggs are full of protein. You can make them in a many different ways, and they add a selection to a brunch. Typically for brunch, scrambled eggs are your best choice. Scrambled eggs can be served with hot sauce, or ketchup.

  • scrambled
  • over easy
  • sunny side up

Orange Juice or Apple Juice

Fresh, chilled fruit juice is the perfect choice for a morning breakfast with croissants. Juice is a refreshing beverage in the morning that will be the perfect drink to wash down your filling croissants.

What Goes with Croissants for Breakfast

21 foods you can stuff Croissants with:

  • Whipped cream 
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cheese and tomatoes
  • Apricots
  • Caramel sauce
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Strawberry sauce
  • Blueberry sauce
  • Bananas
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cheese
  • Ham
  • Bacon
  • Ice cream
  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Fried egg and smoked salmon
  • Cream cheese
What Goes with Croissants for Breakfast

What to Do When Butter is Breaking Through your Croissant Dough

You could have 2 different problems when your butter is breaking through your croissant dough.

  1. Butter is too warm
  2. Butter is too cold
croissant dough

When making your croissants, bring the butter you want for laminating completely to room temperature. I usually just leave it on the counter while I’m waiting for the first long rest of my dough (4 hours). 

Once your butter is at room temperature, you’ll want to get out your stand mixer. Mix your butter for a couple of minutes until fluffy and light. This adds air into the butter which will make it much easier to work with in your croissant dough. Add a couple of tablespoons of flour to your fluffy butter. Mix them together for another 30 seconds. 

When your dough is coming up on it’s long rest, place the butter in the fridge 30 min before you need to laminate it.

To get the butter perfectly to your required measurements, transfer the butter to a silicone mat. Use a spatula to gently move the butter into its shape for your specific measurements you need for your dough. 

Place the butter/silicone mat on a baking sheet and put it in the fridge for 30 min.

Placing the butter in the fridge for only 30 min will let it be still malleable, but not too hard or too soft.

Remove your dough from the fridge after your long rest (4 hours) and your butter layer that has been chilling for 30 min.

Place the butter on the dough and fold it like an envelope. I usually put the butter at a diagonal to the dough, and then enclose it by gently pressing the dough seams. Now you’re ready to roll your dough into a rectangle, and begin folding it like a letter. This begins the lamination process. Learn why using a marble rolling pin is ideal for rolling out croissant dough. 

pain au chocolat proofing

If your butter is too hard, it will poke through the dough. You’ll be able to feel it easily if it’s too hard. Leave your dough out for 5 min, and try again. See if your dough and butter are more pliable and able to be rolled out.

If your butter is too soft it will ooze out of the dough and be covering your pastry edges. If your butter is too soft in your dough, place it in the fridge for 30 min until your next turn. Then your dough will be chilled enough to turn and roll again. 

How many layers for croissant dough are there?

There are a total of 81 layers. 

How are there 81 layers in croissant dough?

The first letter fold you create 3 distinct layers of butter.

In the next turn you roll out those layers, and then double the layers by folding it. 3×3 = 9

The next turn you double the layers again, 9×9 =81 layers of butter.  

81 layers of butter for croissant dough

What butter is best for croissants?

  • Unsalted butter
  • >80% fat content, ideally 84%

How to Eat a Croissant Without Making a Mess

Eating croissants usually involve making a mess. Croissants are a flaky food to eat, so there will always be some sort of mess to clean up. However, there are a couple of things you can do to avoid the mess they make.

  1. Wrap the croissant: Wrap your croissant in a napkin, or plastic wrap and eat it from the end first. Lower the napkin as needed to expose more of the croissant. The napkin will gather all of the flaked pieces that fall from it. This will also avoid getting your fingers greasy. Since croissants are made with butter laminated throughout the pastry, they tend to make your fingers greasy if you touch them.
  2. Tear the croissant into bite sized pieces: Use your fingers to pull apart pieces of the croissant. All of the mess from the flaked bits of croissant will gather on your plate.
  3. Use a fork and knife: Use a sharp knife to cut through the layers of the croissant and cut them into bite sized pieces. This is still an elegant way to eat a croissant without the mess.

Types of Stuffed Croissants for Dessert

Dessert croissants can be made by using vanilla custard, chocolate, almond paste, and cream cheese with jam to create a sweet stuffed croissant.

You can stuff croissants right before baking, or after you’ve baked the croissants.

Types of Stuffed Croissants for Dessert

There is no need to make your own croissant dough until you’re ready to take on that task. Purchase croissant dough in the freezer aisle and thaw it out until it’s ready to be worked with.

Vanilla Bean Custard Stuffed Croissants

Vanilla custard stuffed croissants are filled with a sweet, creamy vanilla bean custard.

It’s best to use freshly baked croissants that are flakey, buttery, and melt in your mouth.

Making croissants is quite the process! It’s about 3 days to make the croissant dough, but it’s worth all of the effort! You can also use store bought croissant dough if you want to.

The vanilla custard needs to be chilled prior to using, therefore it’s ideal to make the custard the day before you need to fill the croissants.

Once the croissants have been baked and cooled to room temperature, you’re ready to fill them with your custard using a piping bag fitted with a medium sized round tip.

Each side of the croissant needs to be filled with custard, so you can see 2 entry points to fill the croissants.

Press the piping tip as far into the croissant as possible, and begin piping the custard. The croissant will fill up, and then remove the piping tip from the croissant.

Repeat on the other side of the croissant.

Store vanilla custard stuffed croissants in the fridge, until you’re ready to serve them for dessert.

Types of Stuffed Croissants for Dessert ideas

Chocolate Croissants

Chocolate croissants are made with rectangular cut croissant dough.

You can use semi-sweet chocolate for a more sweet flavor, or bittersweet chocolate if you don’t want a ton of sweetness for your stuffed chocolate dessert croissant.

Do not overfill the croissant with chocolate, or it will end up melted all over your pan.

You can use chocolate chips, or a bar of chocolate. The chocolate should be about 1 cm in diameter, and then should run the length of the croissant dough.

Cut the croissant dough into 2″ x 5″ sections to make chocolate croissants. Stretch the dough with your hands, and then arrange the chocolate on the short end of the croissant dough.

Begin rolling the dough, and end with the seam edge down.

Make an egg wash with 1 egg + 1 tsp water. Whisk together, and then brush the egg onto the croissants.

Let the dough proof on the counter for 2 hours.

Bake the croissants at 410 degrees for 7 min, then bake at 375 for 13 min. Or, follow the directions on the package if you’re making croissants with store bought dough.

Types of Stuffed Croissants for Dessert

Almond Stuffed Croissants

Almond stuffed croissants are made by using day old croissants. The croissants are cut in half, and then they are dipped in a sugar syrup on each side.

The croissants are stuffed with an almond paste made of almond flour, butter, sugar, salt, and eggs.

On the top of the croissant, the almond paste is spread with a knife, and then sliced almonds are sprinkled on top.

Almond croissants are baked in the oven, and can be served for dessert warm, right out of the oven.

Stuffed Croissants for Dessert ideas

Cream Cheese Stuffed Croissants with Strawberry Jam

Roll out your croissant dough, and cut it into triangles.

It should be about 1/4″ in thickness, and about 12.5 cm on the wide end of the triangle, and about 20 cm in length.

Stretch the dough until it’s about 25 cm.

Add a spoonful of softened cream cheese on the wide end of the croissant dough.

Add 1 tbsp of strawberry jam on top of the cream cheese.

Roll the croissants by rolling from the wide end to the pointed end. End with the seam edge down.

Egg wash the croissants by mixing together 1 egg and 1 tsp of water. Whisk together and brush the egg wash all over the croissants.

Bake the stuffed dessert croissants at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

croissant dough

When you’re ready to serve your stuffed dessert croissant, dust the croissants with icing sugar.

stuffed dessert croissant ideas

What can you fill dessert croissants with after baking

Slice the croissant in half, then fill with:

  • whip cream and strawberries
  • whip cream and blueberries
  • lemon custard and whip cream
  • hazelnut spread and chopped up walnuts
  • hazelnut spread and bananas
  • butter and cinnamon and sugar
  • vanilla custard and raspberries

It’s a ton of fun for your family to stuff croissants for dessert.

They will love creating their own mixtures and combinations!

Try it out for your next family get together!

See video here.