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Overnight Sourdough Croissants

cross section of sourdough croissants
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How nice would it be to enjoy a freshly home-baked Croissant and imagine you’ve just bought it in a lovely Parisian viennoiserie? Oh yes… This is a recipe that will take you on a journey to France! Flaky and buttery Overnight Sourdough Croissants are made over two days and boast all the lovely features of a traditional Croissant: the crescent shape, the layers created by lamination and the crispy brown exterior! We promise you two things, with a bit of practice, these Overnight Sourdough Croissants will taste even better than the ones you get in a coffee shop and, more importantly, you will feel so very proud of yourself that you may ask your friends and family to call you ‘Chef’ from then on!

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There are no two ways about it, making Croissants can be a long process, and making them with sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast draws out the process a little bit longer still. What you get in return, though, is totally worth it! You will be left with a good amount of flaky buttery pastries that you can do a lot with:

  • Eat them fresh on the same day on their own!
  • Stuff them with sweet or savoury fillings
  • Make a Croissant Bread & Butter Puding if your Overnight Sourdough Croissants have gone a bit stale after a couple of days.
  • On Day 2 after Croissants have been baked, reheat them in the oven for 3-4 minutes to make them crispy and fresh tasting again
  • You can freeze unbaked or baked croissants and enjoy them on-demand (see tips below)!

I made these Sourdough Croissants a handful of times now, and I will have to admit that the first two batches, whilst still delicious, were not perfect! It takes a certain amount of practice to get croissants right, but even if you’re a novice baker, I would not be discouraged! Naturally leavened pastry, laminated with a generous amount of butter simply cannot taste bad! So we encourage you to read all our tips that we collected over our own trials and give this recipe a go! You will be surprised that you don’t really need baking skills to make our Overnight Sourdough Croissants. All you need is time, patience, a little bit of temperature control and A LOT OF BUTTER!

So let’s get into the technical bits!

Sourdough Starter For Croissants

Sourdough Croissants are made without any commercial yeast and only relies on natural yeasts in sourdough starter for the rise of the dough. It is, therefore, very important to have a great sourdough starter. What do I mean by great? Well, first of all, it needs to be low in acid. That means that your starter needs to be frequently refreshed prior to using it to make croissants. Detempre (the dough) for croissants is enriched with butter and sugar and will require extra strength of the yeast to rise the dough. Feed your starter for 2-3 days in a row before using it for Sourdough Croissants. Regular feeds will ensure both low acidity and strong yeast colonies. More on maintaining sourdough starter here.

Active sourdough starer oozing out of the jar
Very active sourdough starter

Another important thing to remember is to use your starter as soon as it reaches its peak (and never once it starts to deflate unless the recipe specifies ‘sourdough discard’). Once you fed your starter one last time before making croissants, leave it in a warm spot for 4-5 hours. It should double (maybe even triple in volume) in that time and you’re fine to use it then. If you leave it for longer, your starter may reach its peak and then start deflating – this means the yeast is ‘hungry’ again and the starter will be too acidic to use. If your starter hasn’t doubled in 4-5 hours at 20-24°C, you may need to keep feeding it for a couple more days before it’s fit for purpose (and the purpose is to make great Sourdough Croissants, right?).

And if you haven’t yet taken to leap away from commercial yeast and into the world of Sourdough, we encourage you to do so! It’s fun! And it’s very rewarding! Here’s our guide on how to make your own sourdough starter from scratch!

How to Freeze Croissants?

We have been freezing croissants at two different stages – before baking and after baking. Which way provides more delicious croissants? Seb and I disagree! But we agree that both reheated croissants and the croissants baked from frozen do not disappoint.

  1. Freeze Unbaked Croissants: Once you’ve done all the hard work and your croissants are shaped, proved and all puffy, place the whole tray with croissants on top in the freezer, taking care not to touch them on the sides or top of the freezer, as they will be rather fragile and will deflate if not handled with care. Let them freeze for 2 hours until completely solid, then transfer into a ziplock bags. When you’re ready to bake them, lay them out on a baking tray and place in a preheated oven (190°C Fan) for approx. 25 minutes. Leave the croissants to cool down for 5-10 minutes before serving. This is my favourite way to freeze Sourodugh Croissants.
  2. Freeze Baked Croissants. Once baked, ensure the croissants are cooled completely. Place them in a single layer in a large ziplock bag (or airtight container) and freeze. When you want to serve them, thaw completely (it takes about an hour at room temperature), then place in a preheated oven (170°C Fan) for 4-5 minutes.

Step-By-Step Recipe With All The Tips And Tricks We Picked Up Along The Way

DAY 1:

First thing in the morning, feed your starter and leave it in a warm spot to at least double in size. This should happen within 4 hours in 20-22 C temperature. If it takes longer than that, you may need to feed your starter again, to ensure it’s active and not too acidic to make great croissants.

Make Detempre:

Place the flour, salt, sugar, water, milk and active sourdough starter in a bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook attachment (we absolutely love our Kenwood). Turn the stand mixer on and knead for 5 minutes at medium speed until the dough comes together into a rough (rather stiff) ball. Leave the dough to relax for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, turn the stand mixer on again on medium speed, and start adding 50g of room temperature butter a little bit at a time. Keep the mixer running for around 8-10 minutes until the butter is fully incorporated and you have a smooth dough. It shouldn’t be sticky.

Shape a ball, slash the dough with a sharp knife (a razor or a dough scorer) in a cross on top of the dough (see photos below, doing this will help you to roll it out into a square later) and place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and leave in a warm spot to bulk prove for approx. 4 hours. Ideally, you need a temperature of 21-23 C. If it is warmer, adjust the timing: your dough should rise x1.5 times. Place the dough in the fridge for another 3-4 hours to finish proving and double in size.

Laminate:

Take the butter out of the fridge in advance to soften slightly. Place it on a large sheet of baking parchment (we highly recommend Bacofoil Baking Parchment – it is strong and lasts forever), place another sheet of parchment on top. Using a rolling pin, gently bash to flatter the butter. Then fold the baking parchment under into a neat 18x18cm (7×7 in) square and roll the butter inside the parchment parcel into all the edges, aiming for the same thickness across (for process photos see below). Enclosing the butter into the baking parchment square will help you get an even butter square with sharp edges. Still wrapped in the baking parchment, place the butter in the fridge to firm up.

Making a butter parcel: butter is rolled out inside a baking parchment envelope

Take the dough out of the fridge and place it onto a floured worktop. Knock the air out with the bottom of your palm and roll it into a square around 28x28cm (11x11in). Try to make it even.

Unwrap the butter (keep the baking parchment). Place the butter in the middle of the dough on the diagonal (see the photos below).

Taking one side at a time, fold the edges of the dough into the middle creating a square envelope. Once you fold all four sides into the middle, pinch the edges together. You should now have a 20x20cm (8x8in) butter parcel. Wrap it in baking parchment and freeze on a flat surface for 10 minutes.

First Fold: Take the parcel out of the freezer, unwrap and roll the parcel out into a rectangle that’s around 50x20cm (20x8in). Make sure your dough isn’t sticking to the worktop as you roll: you want the butter encased and the dough may tear if it sticks. Dust with flour if needed. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut off any untidy short edges that don’t have any butter in them.

Fold the rolled-out dough like a letter: from the short edge, hold 1/3 of the sheet into the middle, then take the opposite short edge and fold it over the first one. Wrap the dough in the baking parchment you kept the butter in, or cling film, and place in the freezer for 15 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for 1 hour.

Second Fold: Take the dough out of the fridge and place it short edge in front of you. Roll the dough out to 50x20cm (20x8in) again. Fold the top third towards the centre and then the bottom third over (just like before). Wrap and place the pastry in the freezer for 15 minutes, then fridge for 1 hour.

Third Fold: Just like before, roll out the dough to 50x20cm (20x8in) rectangle. Fold like a letter, wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours (we leave it in the fridge overnight).

DAY 2:

Shape Croissants:

On a lightly floured worktop, roll the pastry out into a 60x28cm (24x11in) rectangle, gently getting all the air out of the pastry. You don’t want pockets of air to burst abruptly though, exposing the butter.

Trim the sides. Cut 6 rectangles (approx. 10x28cm or 4x11in) using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter. I use a long ruler to make sure the rectangles are even width on both sides. Separate the rectangles. Use the ruler again to connect the opposite corners of the rectangle and cut across. You should now have two triangles per rectangle. Once you cut all your pastry, you should have 12 triangles. Trim the bottoms to create a straight edge.

Make a little cut in the centre of the bottom of each triangle and stretch it out ever so slightly so the base of the triangle is wider. Roll the triangles tightly, from the bottom to the tip. Bend the ends of croissants to make a crescent shape, if you wish.

Boil a kettle of water and pour the water into an ovenproof dish. Place it in a cold oven to create steam and leave it shut for 5-10 minutes. The oven shouldn’t be hot (keep it under 23C – you don’t want the butter to melt) but should be humid (this will prevent skin from forming on your croissants and impeding the proving process).

Place your shaped croissants on two baking-parchment lined trays spaced out significantly, leaving plenty of space for them to rise. Cover lightly with cling film and place in the humid oven for 4-5 hours. They should really puff up and the lamination should be clearly visible between layers. Once proved, take the trays and the water dish out of the oven. For freezing, stop here, and see the tips in the text above.

Carefully remove the clingfilm. Place the croissants on the baking trays in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

The Croissants are puffed up and ready to egg wash and bake

Egg Wash & Bake:

Preheat the oven to 190°C Fan.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and milk. Using a pastry brush, very gently wash the chilled croissants with the mixture.

Bake the croissants for around 20-25 minutes. Leave the croissants to cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in. They are best served within 2 hours from baking!

Baked Croissants

If you keep a sourdough starter and are looking for other pastry ideas, have a look at our favourite treats to make below:

The cross section of Sourdough Croissants

Overnight Sourdough Croissants

How nice would it be to enjoy a freshly home-baked Croissant and imagine you've just bought it in a lovely Parisian viennoiserie? Oh yes… This is a recipe that will take you on a journey to France! Flaky and buttery Overnight Sourdough Croissants are made over two days and boast all the lovely features of a traditional Croissant: the crescent shape, the layers created by lamination and the crispy brown exterior! We promise you two things, with a bit of practice, these Overnight Sourdough Croissants will taste even better than the ones you get in a coffee shop and, more importantly, you will feel so very proud of yourself that you may ask your friends and family to call you 'Chef' from then on!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
Fermenting, Proving and Chilling: 1 d
Total Time 1 d 3 hrs 20 mins
Course Breakfast, Pastry
Cuisine French, Sourdough
Servings 12 croissants
Calories 343 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

For Detempre:

  • 450 g strong white flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 130 ml water
  • 90 ml milk
  • 150 g active sourdough starter 100% hydration
  • 50 g unsalted butter room temperature

For Lamination:

  • 250 g unsalted butter room temperature

For Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon milk (or double cream)

Instructions
 

DAY 1:

  • First thing in the morning, feed your starter and leave it a warm spot to at least double in size. This should happen within 4 hours in 20-22°C temperature. If it takes longer than that, you may need to feed your starter again, to ensure it's active and not too acidic to make great croissants.

Make Detempre:

  • Place the flour, salt, sugar, water, milk and active sourdough starter in a bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook attachment. Turn the stand mixer on and knead for 5 minutes on medium speed until the dough comes together into a rough (rather stiff) ball. leave the dough to relax for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, turn the stand mixer on again on medium speed, and start adding 50g of room temperature butter a little bit at a time. Keep the mixer running for around 8-10 minutes until the butter is fully incorporated and you have a smooth dough. It shouldn't be sticky.
  • Shape a ball, slash the dough with a sharp knife in a cross on top of the dough (see photos in the text above, doing this will help you to roll it out into a square later) and place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and leave in a warm spot to bulk prove for approx. 4 hours. Ideally, you need a temperature of 21-23°C. If it is warmer, adjust the timing: your dough should rise 1.5 times. Place the dough in the fridge for another 3-4 hours to finish proving and double in size.

Laminate:

  • Take the butter out of the fridge in advance to soften slightly. Place it on a large sheet of baking parchment, place another sheet of parchment on top. Using a rolling pin, gently bash to flatter the butter. Then fold the baking parchment under into a neat 18x18cm (7×7 in) square and roll the butter inside the parchment parcel into all the edged, aiming for the same thickness across (for detailed process photos, see text above). Enclosing the butter into the baking parchement square will help you get an even butter square with sharp edges. Still wrapped in the baking parchment, place the butter in the fridge to firm up.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and place it onto a floured worktop. Knock the air out with the bottom of your palm and roll it into a square around 28x28cm (11x11in). Try to make it even.
  • Unwrap the butter (keep the baking parchment). Place the butter in the middle of the dough on the diagonal (see the photo above).
  • Taking one side at a time, fold the edges of the dough into the middle creating a square envelope (see photos). Once you fold all four sides into the middle, pinch the edges together. You should now have a 20x20cm (8x8in) butter parcel. Wrap it in baking parchment and freeze on a flat surface for 10 minutes.
  • First Fold: Take the parcel out of the freezer, unwrap and roll the parcel out into a rectangle that's around 50x20cm (20x8in). Make sure your dough isn't sticking to the worktop as you roll: you want the butter encased and the dough may tear if it sticks. Dust with flour if needed. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut off any untidy short edges that don't have any butter in.
  • Fold the rolled-out dough like a letter: from the short edge, hold 1/3 of the sheet into the middle, then take the opposite short edge and fold it over the first one. Wrap the dough in the baking parchment you kept the butter in, or cling film, and place in the freezer for 15 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Second Fold: Take the dough out of the fridge and place it short edge in front of you. Roll the dough out to 50x20cm (20x8in) again. Fold the top third towards the centre and then bottom third over (just like before). Wrap and place the pastry in the freexer for 15 minutes, then fridge for 1 hour.
  • Third Fold: Just like before, roll out the dough to 50x20cm (20x8in) rectangle. Fold like a letter, wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours (we leave it in the fridge overnight).

DAY 2:

    Shape Croissants:

    • On a lightly floured worktop, roll the pastry out into a 60x28cm (24x11in) rectangle, gently getting all the air out of the pastry. You don't want pockets of air to burst abruptly though, exposing the butter.
    • Trim the sides. Cut 6 rectangles (approx. 10x28cm or 4x11in) using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter. I use a long ruler to make sure the rectangles are even width on both sides. Separate the rectangles. Use the ruler again to connect the opposite corners of the rectangle and cut across so you are left with two triangles. Once you've all your pastry, you should be left with 12 triangles. Trim the bottoms to create a straight edge.
    • Make a little cut in the centre of the bottom of each triangle and stretch it out ever so slightly so the base of the triangle is wider. Roll the triangles tightly, from the bottom to the tip. Bend the ends of croissants to make a crescent shape, if you wish.
    • Boil a kettle of water and pour the water into an ovenproof dish. Place it in a cold oven to create steam and leave it shut for 5-10 minutes. The oven shouldn't be hot (keep it under 23°C – you don't want the butter to melt) but should be humid (this will prevent skin from forming on your croissants and impeding the proving process).
    • Place your shaped croissants on two baking-parchment lined trays spaced out significantly, leaving plenty of space for them to rise. Cover lightly with cling film and place in the humid oven for 4-5 hours. They should really puff up and the lamination should be clearly visible between layers. Once proved, take the trays and the water dish out of the oven. For freezing, stop here, and see the tips in the text above.
    • Carefully take the cling film off. Place the croissants on the baking trays in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

    Egg Wash & Bake:

    • Preheat the oven to 190°C Fan.
    • In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and milk. Using a pastry brush, very gently wash the chilled croissants with the mixture.
    • Bake the croissants for around 20-25 minutes. Leave the croissants to cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in. They are best served within 2 hours from baking!

    Nutrition

    Calories: 343kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 5gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 153mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 633IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
    Keyword Homemade Croissants, Homemade Sourdough Croissants, How to Make Sourdough Croissants, Overnight Sourdough Croissants, Sourdough Croissant Recipe, Sourdough Croissants
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Pinterest Pin showing baked Sourodugh Croissants on a wire rack

    14 Replies to “Overnight Sourdough Croissants”

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve not made croissants yet but I’ll definitely be using this recipe. So many great hints and tips! Thanks.

    2. 5 stars
      The best croissants We ever tried, really! I highly recommend making a double batch of this!

      1. Thanks so much! 🙂

    3. 5 stars
      I always shy away from baking croissants; however, your step-by-step tutorial made this recipe easy to follow! I see myself baking this with the kids sooner than later! And by the way, your croissants look phenomenal!👏🏾

      1. Thanks, Kechi! Wow, kids making croissants! They must have learnt a lot from you with all the amazing cooking and baking you do yourself! 🙂

    4. 5 stars
      I love anything homemade! This croissant recipe is a keeper! Yum!

      1. Yes! I find that out of everything homemade, pastries are really head and shoulders above the shop-bought ones! 🙂

    5. 5 stars
      These look amazing and your recipe looks quite ‘do-able’! Thanks for all the great tips and advice.

      1. Definitely do-able! All that’s needed is a bit of patience and a bit of temperature control!:D

    6. 5 stars
      I have never had sourdough croissants before. These look amazing.

      1. Dannii, they are definitely worth a try! Whilst it is a longer process, sourdough pastry is definitely easier to work with. 🙂

    7. 5 stars
      This looks and sounds fabulous! Love this recipe. It’s a perfect dish for my family.

      1. Yes!!! Everybody loves a good croissant, right? 🙂

    8. 5 stars
      These sourdough croissants look absolutely scrumptious!

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