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Brown Butter Croissants {a step by step .gif tutorial}

August 2, 2015 | 52 comments

Quite frankly, I’ve grown tired of those recipes that European butter is the way to go. In most recipes, they claim that since it has a higher butter percentage, it’s more flavorful (which is probably true…) and in particular for croissants, it’s easier to work with (probably also true). Being a high school student though means that I don’t exactly have the money to buy butter that’s oh so special because it’s imported from Europe (fyi, it’s approximately 100% more, aka you’re paying twice the price compared to American butter which I totally do not get because aren’t U.S. produced stuff supposed to cost more?), nor do I have the time to search as of where to buy it.

Solution? Brown butter. I have a feeling that brown butter makes everything in the world better. Don’t like regular buttercream? Use brown butter and a sprinkle of salt. Blondies too boring? Brown some butter. πŸ˜€

Plus, I can nearly guarantee that they’re 150.999999999% better than regular croissants -and you can trust me on this. I’ve made croissants so many times, a lot of which I actually documented with bad photos (or bad croissants… :/). They’re so so so flavorful because they use brown butter instead of normal butter and dead flaky. πŸ˜‰

Brown Butter Croissants-2

Brown Butter Croissants-5

Brown Butter Croissants-9

Croissants are one of those things that feel complex and finicky, but actually aren’t. They’re time consuming, but not nearly as frustrating as macarons. All you have to do is make sure they have enough time to rest in the fridge or else they melt (kinda like moi during school). As a result, they’re hands off not hands on, which is both a plus and a minus, especially during summer. Work with them for too long and you’ll end up with buttered counter tops instead of buttery bread. BUT you do get to do a lot while they’re resting πŸ˜€

Anyhow, this recipe uses both brown butter and regular butter because part of the reason croissants puff up in the oven is that the water in the butter pushes the dough up and evaporates away, leaving holes in croissants like the one above (scroll up like 1.5 paragraphs :D). The 1:1 ratio of brown butter to not, results in a certain je ne sais quoi quality, but you can certainly brown more butter to intensify the flavor if you wish. I wouldn’t suggest browning all the butter though since browned butter is 100% butter and 0% water and the croissant probably wouldn’t puff as high.

Oh and I made .gifs because a recipe that’s like 10 pgs is kinda hard on the eyes. I’m exaggerrratttiinngggggg… But it is long. But no need to worry. πŸ˜€

Brown Butter Croissants-6

Brown Butter Croissants-8

Brown Butter Croissants-4

These brown butter croissants are so easy (never heard that before hum?) as long as you keep the dough cold. Plus, you can actually get like 1/2 the stuff done on your to do list while making croissants and end up with an enticing, nutty aroma floating and swirling around your house. They’re so flaky on the outside and splinter crumbs everywhere when bitten into (literately, my kitchen was covered with golden shards when I was photographing them -Mom was not happy). But the inside is incredibly soft and feathery light, filled with honeycomb like holes has a light hazelnutty scent in the best of ways. The flavor? Well, nothing short of astonishing -buttery and nutty at the same time.

p.s. Croissants are not actually as hard + time consuming as the notes + recipe make it seem. πŸ˜‰
p.p.s. 1/3 of the dough makes 10 croissants. I have recipes of what to do with the rest of the dough coming up in the following weeks πŸ˜€


// Keep the dough cold -as in very very cold. Freeze your rolling pin if you have to.
// If you want perfect croissants, it’s necessary to trim off the edges that are going to be folded in to avoid trapping the butter. But of course, it’s up to you. It’ll work fine without it, but it’s better if you do πŸ˜‰
// It’s good to follow the measurements given, but again, it’s optional. Don’t spend time trying to perfect the rectangle -chances are, you’ll just squish the precious layers. Oh but measurements aren’t exactly optional when you shape them πŸ˜€
// Brown at least 1/2 of the butter for flavor purposes, but you can brown more. But don’t brown all of it. Instructions to brown butter are in the recipe.
// Letting the dough rest for longer is harmless, but letting the dough rest for less time than specified is harmful. I made these over a few days just because of photography reasons (i.e. I could only actually catch the light that I wanted to for like 4 hours of the day to make .gifs… and the final croissants pictures were taken more or less in darkness), but it’s very possible to make them in one day.
// You can freeze the dough and let it come back to temp in the refrigerator for ~4 hrs if you’re planning on not doing anything with it for a whilllleee (i.e. >1 day).
// You can also freeze shaped croissants and let them rise at room temp. Or you can rise them for ~45 min at room temp and then stick them in the refrigerator overnight and bake them in the morning.
// Did I mention that you should keep the dough colllddd?
// Don’t overproof (you’ll end up with flat croissants) and don’t underproof (you’ll end up with a puddle of butter). A good way to check is lightly poking the croissant. It should come back about 1/2 way but not the whole way and not continue deflating.
// One more thing, don’t proof at a very high temperature (i.e. >85 F) or else you’ll end up with a tray full of butter and croissants without butter.
// Actually two… Since I included grams in this, it’s best if you use a scale and convert it to oz or stay in grams if you so prefer, but cups are actually really inaccurate (I know, I know…). So guess what? Use a scale. Or if you do use cups (against my advice…), just remember, in this dough it’s better for it to be stiffer -it’ll just be really hard to roll if you make it too stiff.
// Croissant tutorial inspired from here. Croissant recipe proportions adapted from here.


Brown Butter Croissants //Croissants au beurre noisette


Roll in butter

  • 1 1/2 cup butter


  • 316 g 1 1/3 c warm milk
  • 5 g 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 25 g 2 tbsp sugar
  • 536 g 3 1/4 c flour
  • 22 g 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 8 g 2 1/2 tsp salt

Egg wash

  • 1 egg


To make the butterblock

  1. Place half of the butter (3/4 c) in a saucepan over medium heat and let it boil while swirling the pan. It will splutter. When the spluttering stops or when the mixture takes a brown color, take it off the heat and pour into a bowl. Add in the rest of the butter and combine. Chill in the refrigerator until solid.
  2. Fold a large piece of parchment paper over so that the square in the middle measures around 7.5" by 7.5". Spoon in the cold butter and fold the sides of the paper over. Using a rolling pin, roll the square so that it has an even thickness. Make sure the corners aren't missing butter. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour.

To make the dough

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and add the sugar. Wait for 5-10 minutes. It should become foamy and bubbly. If not, wait a little longer (~5 min) and check again. If it doesn't get bubbly, it means your yeast isn't alive, so use a different packet/jar of yeast and start over.
  2. Work the butter and flour together into a very floury mixture. Add that mixture to the yeast one, along with the salt. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until tacky. Don't work for too long or else it'll be difficult to roll out.
  3. Roll into a rough square. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  4. Very very very lightly flour the work surface and roll the cold dough into a square that measures 9.75 inches. Unwrap the chilled butter block and place it in the center with the corners of the butter block touching the midpoint of each side. Take the corners of the dough and fold it over the butter block and pinch it closed.
  5. Cover in plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
  6. Take the dough out and roll the block into a rectangle, measuring roughly 21 in by 10.5 in.
  7. Cut off the edge that you're going to fold in Fold into thirds and cover in plastic wrap again. Place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.
  8. Repeat this so that you fold it three times (i.e. 2 more to go).
  9. Take the dough out after the third fold and cut into 3 pieces. Each piece will make ~10 croissants.
  10. Roll one piece out and trim the edges so that it measures 7 inch by 13.5 inches. Mark 3 inch pieces on the long edge -you should have 4 3 inch sections and one 1.5 inch section. Starting on the other side, on the other long edge, measure 3 in pieces again -you should have 4 3 inch sections and one 1.5 inch section.
  11. Using a ruler and the markings, cut triangles.
  12. Stretch the triangle and roll into a croissant shape. Place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest until puffy and jiggles when shaken, about 2 hours. When you poke it, it should spring back a little but not all the way. It should not deflate :/
  13. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  14. Beat the egg and brush it on the croissants. Make sure you don't brush egg wash onto the exposed layers. Wait 5 minutes and brush it on again.
  15. Bake at 425 F for 12 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 F and bake for 10-13 more minutes, or until golden.
  16. They're best served freshly out of the oven with jam and honey :D.


read or add your own

  1. Monique on

    August 2, 2015 at 12:18 pm says

    What a wonderful..perfect blog you haveβ™₯

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 7:27 am says

      Awww thanks… πŸ˜‰

  2. Josefine on

    August 2, 2015 at 2:48 pm says

    Wow, these croissants are gorgeous! I can’t believe they are home made πŸ˜€ I’ve only made croissants once before and they turned out horribly, and I think that scared me from ever making them again. But you just gave me the courage to try again πŸ˜‰ My fingers are almost shaking because they want to go right to the kitchen and bake hundreds of brown butter croisssants (not very good when you are supposed to sleep πŸ˜‰ ). Anyhow – I HAVE to make these. Love all of your tips – I will follow every single one of them!
    Also BROWN BUTTER croissants sounds like something made in heaven. Yummy!!!! You are so right – brown butter makes everything better

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 7:29 am says

      Thank you!!! Do tell how they come out πŸ˜€

  3. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four on

    August 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm says

    Your croissants look beautiful! I made a video tutorial of homemade croissants too so I can totally appreciate the effort you put here to share the recipe and gifs. That’s so awesome and nice of you. I love the idea of using brown butter..lots of flavor! And honestly, I’ve had homemade croissants made with American butter and I’ve had croissants from all over Paris, and there isn’t really much of a difference. Any decent U.S. butter will work just as well, the flavor really comes from the time you allow the dough to rest, which you pointed out in your post. Lovely job, Anne! <3

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 7:32 am says

      Hahhaaaa thanks for the info Beeta πŸ˜€

  4. Hannah | The Swirling Spoon on

    August 2, 2015 at 6:58 pm says

    Wowowowowow… your croissants are absolutely stunning. Wowowowow. Okay that’s probably getting annoying.
    You totally make me want to make croissants. I’ve never attempted them before because they just sound so awfully technical and involved. But I guess they really aren’t that bad, it’s just about the execution. These gifs are so helpful! X

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 7:34 am says

      Thank you Hannah! They’re not really ‘involved’ but you just have to have a lot of patience. I remember when I was younger and had absolutely none, I would do all 3 folds without putting them in the refrigerator… And then I wondered why my croissants tasted like brioche :/

  5. Katalina@ Peas and Peonies on

    August 3, 2015 at 9:28 am says

    OMG love this post and the .gif tutorial is amazing, and its not enough that you went thru the hard work to make croissants, you made Brown Butter Croissants , fabulous!

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 7:35 am says

      Thank you! .gifs make everything easier πŸ˜€

  6. Sabrina on

    August 3, 2015 at 11:01 am says

    Amazing! Loooove this idea!

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 7:35 am says


  7. Oana on

    August 3, 2015 at 4:05 pm says

    This is so well explained, well done! Thank you for sharing.
    Also, brown butter – beurre noisette – is amazing! I can only imagine how good these croissants taste (they look absolutely perfect btw).

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 7:36 am says

      Hahaaa thanks Oana! They taste x100 times better than they look πŸ˜€

  8. Yuen Shan on

    August 4, 2015 at 11:06 am says

    Thanks for the brown butter idea! I lived in Paris for 4 months last year (I miss the city so much), and I agree with you that French butter’s flavour is a lot stronger and fragrant. My friend (who works at a Michelin star restaurant), said it’s because French butter is 90%+ fat, compared to only 50% in North America. When I came home, it seemed like everything had no taste! Brown butter may be the solution! Thanks!!

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm says

      Is it? I really need to go to France and buy some butter… I think that’s one of my biggest incentives to go πŸ˜€
      The proportions according to a few sources I read was actually was slightly less drastic, but your proportions would explain why my butter lost half its weight after I browned it (although, that could be because of my initial carelessness since my kitchen ended up covered in butter…) but anyyyyyyhow, food there seems wonderful and I really hope I get to visit someday πŸ˜€

  9. Adina on

    August 4, 2015 at 12:52 pm says

    Wow, this is a great post, I love the videos, it makes everything look so easy. I will have to try this. I suppose I could make it with normal butter as well, as I live in Europe, European butter is all we have. πŸ™‚ I didn’t even know that US butter is different.

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 10:57 pm says

      Thank you Adina!!!! Hahahaa the U.S. has butter with a lower fat content + more water = flavor is lower I guess… I dunno, never actually tried European butter because it’s so freaking expensive :/ But yeah .gifs are awesome πŸ˜€

  10. Annie @ The Garlic Diaries on

    August 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm says

    Oh my gosh! You have totally inspired me. This looks like so much fun! Totally trying it :).

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 11:02 pm says

      Yaasss it is so so much fun πŸ˜€ Ohhh report back and tell me how it goes!!! πŸ˜€

  11. Ben Maclain | Havocinthekitchen on

    August 4, 2015 at 5:04 pm says

    Brown butter? Never heard of this approach in making croissants! But that definitely worked out. Look at these handsome flacky bad guys?!;) Perfect job indeed!

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 11:03 pm says

      Hahahaa yes it did!!!! Thank you!

  12. Abby on

    August 4, 2015 at 7:41 pm says

    OHMYGOSSSSH these croissants are gorgeous, girrrrl! Loving the photos and GIFS. <3

    • Anne on

      August 4, 2015 at 11:04 pm says

      Thank you Abby!!! Croissants have always been gorgeous… πŸ˜€

  13. Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen on

    August 5, 2015 at 6:08 am says

    These brown butter croissants look amazing! And I also loved the adorable GIF’s. Lovely share! πŸ™‚

    • Anne on

      August 6, 2015 at 3:12 pm says


  14. Sam @ SugarSpunRun on

    August 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm says

    Love your use of gifs, great post! I’ve been wanting to make croissants for a long long time, but yes I’ve always been intimidated by them! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Anne on

      August 6, 2015 at 3:19 pm says

      Thank you! They make the recipe so much easier to comprehend… πŸ˜€

  15. Jessica | A Happy Food Dance on

    August 6, 2015 at 11:26 am says

    AMEN to brown butter!!! It makes everything better – my favorite cookies are made with brown butter. I’ve always shied away from croissants because I always thought they would be so difficult, but I’ve made macarons, so if I can do that, I can certainly make these (especially with your awesome gifs!)

    • Anne on

      August 6, 2015 at 3:22 pm says

      Yes yes yes you definitely can make these if you’ve made macarons… I’ve gotten these on my first try before while macarons took me like 10 so do this! πŸ˜€

  16. Audrey @ Unconventional Baker on

    August 6, 2015 at 9:46 pm says

    Wow, these look insanely good! Croissants can be tricky to make too — love, love, love, the tutorial β™₯

    • Anne on

      August 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm says

      Thank you!!! πŸ˜€

  17. Dasha @ Amazingly Tasty on

    August 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm says

    They look like they are made in some fancy Parisian bakery! Your photos and gifs are awesome! I’ve never heard of brown butter. I’m for Europe and I had no idea that the butter in the US is different. Do you think that browning would work with full fat European butter?

    • Anne on

      August 7, 2015 at 4:44 pm says

      Yep definitely!!! I think it’s mostly the milk solids in the butter browning that causes that brown butter flavor and makes it work πŸ˜€ Water is just something that kinda gets evaporated in the process. πŸ˜‰
      Thanks Dahsa!!!

  18. Ambar on

    August 7, 2015 at 1:54 pm says

    Love your blog!!! & this recipe is everything!

    • Anne on

      August 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm says

      Thanks! πŸ˜€

  19. Kalli on

    August 10, 2015 at 8:19 pm says

    Ever since our trip to Paris last year, I’ve been dreaming about making croissants like these. Thanks for the awesome post that makes me so much more likely to actually attempt them!!

    • Anne on

      August 11, 2015 at 2:07 pm says

      You’re welcome! If you do attempt them (which you should definitely do πŸ˜€ ), report back to how they turned out!! πŸ˜€

  20. Linda @ Today She Loves on

    August 14, 2015 at 9:05 am says

    I’ve always heard croissants are so hard to make because of the individual layers it has when you break it open. However, after taking a look at yours, I may just have to attempt it!

    • Anne on

      August 15, 2015 at 7:45 pm says

      Yes you totally should!!! They’re not that hard because it pratically just makes itself. In other breads, you may have to knead foreeeverrr but in this one, it just rests in the refrigerator for 90% of the time πŸ˜€

    • Anne on

      August 30, 2015 at 3:37 pm says

      Thank you Lisa!!! πŸ˜€

  21. Aria | Purrfectly Inspired on

    January 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm says

    I just wanted to let you know, we use a European butter called KarriGold butter. It’s Irish, and we love it! It might work well if you need butter with a higher fat content. I’m not sure. but you should try it!

    • Anne on

      January 17, 2016 at 9:32 pm says

      Yeahhh I’ve actually seen that one. I think my local walmart just started carrying it like 2 months ago for twice the price of normal butter. Sigh… Thanks anyways πŸ˜›

  22. Kektklik on

    February 16, 2016 at 6:46 pm says

    recipe say “8 g (2 1/2 tbsp) salt”. I think you mean 2 1/2 tsp of salt.

    I made these last night and it was a tad salty. Thankfully I only put in 1 1/2 tbsp of salt because I felt that the listed amount “felt wrong”.

    Used 2 of the sections to make pain au chocolat instead.

    • Anne on

      February 16, 2016 at 6:50 pm says

      omg I’m so sorry! I don’t know know how I didn’t catch that. You’re so right, it is 2 1/2 tsp of salt. Thank you for telling me! I hope they still came out okay though πŸ˜‰

  23. Kin on

    September 14, 2017 at 11:22 am says

    Hi Anne, in the 1st step Ζ°hen you say to combine 2 types of butter, do you mean to melt the unbrowned one with the browned one?

    • Anne on

      September 14, 2017 at 2:42 pm says




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