I am slightly new to the puff pastry process and have gotten the layers and and folding. I use a three fold, and the temperature remains at a cool degree so the butter does not melt or seep out of the dough during the process.

I just can't seem to get them bigger and flakier. I am using 7in / 18cm triangles and I stretch them out and roll them into the classic croissant shape. Then I egg wash them, sprinkle a little sea salt on top, let rise for 40 minutes, bake at 400F/200C for 10 minutes, and then at 350F / 180C until golden brown on top.

Any suggestion or any way to get the results?

  • I know I would need to make the triangles bigger for a larger croissant. I think what I am wanting is the to puff up bigger. Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 9:30
  • Are you using any special kind of flour for the dough?
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 9:52
  • I am using a pastry flour. Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 19:15
  • I guess pastry flour is weak (low W value / "low proteins") flour. Check the answer I wrote. Fats weaken the gluten. Long fermentation time, too. So you need strong flours for doughs with both of them.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 19:26
  • 3
    Croissants are not puff pastry. Puff pastry is steam-leavened, while croissants are yeast+steam-leavened. I am not sure whether you are using a correct (yeast-containing) recipe but the wrong term, or trying to use a yeastless recipe. If the second, then you can't expect your croissants to have the texture of bakery-bought croissants.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 22:12

5 Answers 5


Croissant purists state 32 is the "perfect" number of layers a croissant should have.

In this link seeking the croissant perfection, you can find:

NOTE11, I had the misconception that the more folds, the more layers, the flakier it will be. Wrong. With too many folds, butter layers would be thinner and thinner, and it will be more likely for the butter to melt and leak. Even with perfect rolling, too may layers would mean smaller honeycomb "holes" in the crumb. With no sheeter and TX weather, I find 3 folds sufficient, any more it's risky.

You can get up to 27 layers if you make 3 3-folds. Doing one more folding would make 3^4=81, too many layers.

It's not compulsory, but you can get those 32 layers doing 1 normal-folding and 2 book-foldings: fook 4 folding

(image source)

Another reason your flakes are not large enough is the flour used.

  • Croissant dough usually has butter in it, and long fermentation time; so a strong flour (high W value) should be used.
  • In order the dough doesn't stretch back, and the layers of dough won't beak (letting butter from 2 layers get toghether), a value of p/l≈0.5.

That's something in common with pizza dough, as I wrote in this answer, so if you don't find flour specific for croissant, you can try with pizza one.

  • Note that you don't have to get those 32 layers, just approximate the number. And, what is most important: doing 1 more folding (or 1 less) would get you too far from that number. Having too many layers would make them too thin and easier to break and leak the butte.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 11:25
  • By pizza flour are you talking about 00 grade, or a high-gluten (ie strong) bread flour?
    – GdD
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 11:28
  • 1
    @GdD I'm meaning those in the answer I linked. Those 00 in Italian (or Argentinan) flours just mean how fine is the grinding: it doesn't have to be linked with the strenth/weakness of the flour.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 11:33
  • Thank you for improving the reading of the note, @BaffledCook. I just copied & pasted it and had an odd printing.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 18:05
  • No worries, mate :-) Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 17:32

If you are only proofing your shaped croissants for 40mins, that could be your problem. Proofing croissants takes a lot longer than proofing bread.

you should be proofing the shaped croissants at 78degreesF/25~26degreesC for 2-2.5hours at HIGH humidity. If you don't have a high humid environment, then put one coat of egg wash on right away before you proof (this keeps the butter from running). The shaped croissants (after proper proofing) should be puffed up like "jabba the hut" and have a "jiggle" to them when you tap the baking sheet.


If you want to have the beautiful holes in the inside and the flaky layer in the outside here I'll give you some advice:

  1. Use high gluten flour.
  2. if you don't have the specific enviroment to grow the croissant you can put the croissants in a baking sheet and cover it loosely with plastic, so the croissant can grow freely. With the plastic we are making sure that the outside of the dough doesn't get dry. If a rising bread get dry in the outside it would not grow.
  3. Make the croissants in the night (7-8 pm) and the next day bake them.
  4. Remember puff pastry and croissant pastry are not the same, puff pastry dosen't have yeast and in many recipes doesn't have sugar either (27 layers, no more no less).
  5. When you are rolling the triangles make at least 4 rolls.

Try and let me know!


Yeast brand is important too. Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts and retains water (hence your sugar canister will often have lumps in the humid summer months) and fat encapsulates and traps water (see how much water is in a block of butter when you melt it down). Hence regular yeast will be sluggish as it fights with the sugar and fat to gain access to whatever water is left. For croissants and Danish dough, you need to use Osmotolerant Yeast, developed by the French to thrive in low hydration. That yeast is sold in the US under the SAF Gold label. I buy mine from Amazon but KA Flour stocks it as well.


Proof for at least 1,hour, use wax parchment 2 knead doe to a medium gluten consistency, use hands. 3 use two different brands of yeasts, and let sugar, milk yeast mixture stand before adding to flour

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