Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (2024)

Have you ever wanted to try making your own sourdough croissants using sourdough starter? This recipe yields the most delicious, flakey and buttery sourdough croissants. A labor of love, but it is so worth it when your first bite takes you straight to a Parisian café.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (1)

The year that I started my sourdough starter, my husband decided he wanted to make me homemade sourdough croissants for mother’s day. It was SO sweet and he made me feel so loved. I could not believe what a process it was to make the sourdough croissants and how well he did, especially since he is not exactly a baker! He is a great cook, but baking is usually my thing 😉

I tucked that memory away and thought about those delicious sourdough croissants he made many times since, but never had the courage to attempt making them myself. I felt like I needed to get the basics of sourdough bread down before I could attempt such a difficult recipe.

Well, a few months ago, I finally decided I wanted to give sourdough croissants a try, and let’s just say, I was not happy with the results. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty, because it’s sourdough and butter… I mean come on, it can’t be all that bad. But I knew I had room for improvement!

And so I began researching.

And baking. Researching. And baking some more! I learned how French pastry chefs make croissants and tweaked my recipe and process until I felt like I got all the kinks out to make the best sourdough croissants!

One of the main differences between this recipe and others is that I only use sourdough starter as the levain. Many other croissant recipes call for commercial yeast or a combination of yeast and sourdough starter. I prefer using only sourdough starter as the levain because it gives the dough a chance to break down the gluten more making it more easily digestible. The recipe does take longer because of this, but it is so worth it and just takes a little bit of planning ahead. You can complete this recipe over 2 days or spread it out to 3 days (more even if you want to make the dough ahead of time and leave it in the fridge for a few days before shaping).

What butter is best for croissants?

When making croissants, it is important to use butter that is high in fat, such as an organic European grass-fed butter. Kerrygold butter is excellent and can be found in most grocery stores. Or you can make your own butter from the cream of your raw milk if you buy milk locally.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (2)

Tools to Make Sourdough Croissants:

How to make Sourdough Croissants

Feed your Sourdough Starter

For this recipe, you need 150 grams of active, mature sourdough starter. Active starter is sourdough starter that has been fed equal parts flour and water within the past 4-6 hours and has doubled and is bubbly.

If you want to set aside the exact amount of sourdough starter for this recipe, combine 50 grams of sourdough starter, 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water in a glass jar. You will use all of the starter for the recipe, so make sure you have extra reserved.

Make, Knead and Proof the Sourdough Croissants Dough

Once your starter is bubbly and active, whisk the sourdough starter, melted unsalted butter, water and whole milk together in a bowl. Then add in the organic unbleached all-purpose flour, sugar and salt. Using your hands or a dough whisk, mix the ingredients together until the dough is formed. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, flip the dough out onto a clean counter (no flour needed). Knead the dough for about 3-5 minutes until it is no longer sticky but forms a nice smooth dough ball.

Place the dough into a butter greased glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap or beeswax wrap. Allow the dough to bulk rise at room temperature until it has doubled and looks a bit puffy- about 4-6 hours.

Once the dough has doubled, place it in the fridge to continue a slow fermentation for a minimum of 12 hours. You can leave it in the fridge like this for up to 3 days as long as it is covered with the plastic wrap so the dough does not dry out.

Le Beurrage (Butter filling)

On the day you are ready to bake your sourdough croissants, grab some good quality, high fat, room temperature unsalted butter to make the butter filling, or beurrage.

Start by folding parchment paper into an 8×8″ square packet. The first fold will need to extend past the 8 inches and then will be folded over again on itself. I found that prefolding the parchment paper is easier than trying to measure and fold while the butter is already on the paper.

Make sure your butter is at room temperature. Otherwise it will be a little more difficult to manipulate into the parchment paper packet.

Slice the butter to 1/4″ or so thickness and lay the slices down on the parchment paper. Fold it back up, enclosing the butter, and roll the butter into all of the corners and spaces within the packet. This is called le beurrage and is essentially going to give your sourdough croissants those amazing flakey layers when baked.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (3)
Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (4)

Place the beurrage in the refrigerator for 6 minutes until it is a little cool but has not hardened. You want the butter to be pliable and a similar consistency to the cold dough you will be working with.

If the butter gets too hard, it will break while you roll it in the dough and will result in less flakey croissants. If the butter hardens, it really is best to give it time to soften until it is more flexible.

Laminate the dough

Once the beurrage is at the right temperature, pull the sourdough croissant dough out of the fridge. Place it on a floured surface and begin to roll it out into a 8×17″ rectangle. The dough will be just slightly longer than the beurrage so that it can fold over and cover it completely.

Unwrap the beurrage and lay it down on the bottom half of the dough. Fold the top half of the dough down and over the butter so that the edges of the dough meet.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (5)

Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll the dough/butter layers to about 18″ long.

Remember to keep your work surface nicely floured as you work with the dough. You do not want to have the dough stick or break while you are laminating.

Fold again x2

Once it is rolled out, fold the top part of the dough down to about 3/4ths of the way down. Bring the bottom part of the dough up to meet the edge of the folded dough. This should create somewhat of a square. Keeping the dough in the same position, fold it in half.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (6)
Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (7)

Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll the dough lengthwise to about 20″ long. When rolling it, focus on elongating the dough rather than making it more wide.

Last fold!

Fold the top part of the dough 2/3rds of the way down. Then bring the bottom portion all the way up and over the dough you just folded down – like a pamphlet.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (8)
Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (9)
Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (10)

*I felt like I needed to chill my dough for about 10 minutes at this point. If your dough/butter is still cool, feel free to skip the chilling and roll it out to the final rectangle before cutting and shaping the croissants. This will depend on the temperature of your house, how quickly you work with the dough, surface temperature, etc. The main thing you want to avoid is the butter getting too warm and melting. If you need to chill it, cover the dough in plastic wrap and place it on a flat surface in the fridge till it is cool again.

Once the dough is folded pamphlet style, turn it 90 degrees and roll it out to create your final rectangle. Make this one approximately 8×24″.

This all may sound super complicated, but it really is just a bunch of folding and then rolling it out and folding it and rolling it out! 🙂 If you don’t follow my instructions exactly with the folding, don’t worry. As long as you are getting several layers of the dough/butter, your croissants will still have those beautiful, flakey layers.

Shape Sourdough Croissants

With a knife or pastry cutter, trim the edges to make straight lines. On the long side of the rectangle, make a small mark with your knife every 3 1/2 inches. On the opposite side, make a mark in the middle of each of the marks you already made.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (11)

Make clean slices across the dough connecting the marks in the zig-zag pattern to make triangles.

Take one triangle and roll it on the counter into a croissant, starting with the wider end and rolling it with the palm of your hand towards the point. Place the croissant on a parchment paper lined baking sheet with the point of the croissant touching the pan. This ensures that the croissant will not unroll when it is baked.

Repeat this for the remaining croissants. Depending on the size of your final rectangle and size of the triangles, this recipe will make around 10-12 croissants.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (12)
Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (13)

Proof Sourdough Croissants

Whisk an egg and apply egg wash onto the croissants with a basting brush. This will keep them from drying while they proof. Cover the whisked egg bowl and basting brush and store in the fridge. You will use it one more time before baking.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (14)

Leave the croissants to proof and double in size for 2-4 hours in a spot that does not have a draft. A cool oven is a good place for this, just don’t forget about them and accidentally turn the oven on!

If you would like, you can cover them with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight if you are wanting fresh baked croissants in the morning.

These croissants can also be frozen, just place them in the freezer after they have proofed. Bake from frozen by adding just an extra 2-3 minutes.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (15)

Bake!

Once the croissants have doubled, set the oven to 380℉ and apply the egg wash once more. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until they are a dark golden color.

Bring them out of the oven and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes undisturbed. They are still baking and this is an important time to leave them alone. If any butter has leaked out, usually it will reabsorb into the croissants if they are left alone.

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (16)

Once they have rested, enjoy the amazingly delicious reward of your work! There is nothing quite like the feeling of biting into a freshly baked flakey homemade sourdough croissant! Bon appétit!

Pin it for Later or Share with a friend!

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (17)

If you try this recipe and love it, I would love to know! Come back and leave a review! Tag me on Instagram@oursimplegraces

Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (18)

Sourdough Croissants made with Sourdough Starter

Yield: 10-12 croissants

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Resting Time: 1 day

Total Time: 1 day 1 hour 25 minutes

Flakey and buttery sourdough croissants. A labor of love, but it is so worth it when your first bite takes you straight to a Parisian café.

Ingredients

  • 150 grams active sourdough starter
  • 113 grams filtered water
  • 113 grams whole milk
  • 50 grams butter, melted
  • 450 grams organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 45 grams granulated sugar
  • 9 grams sea salt
  • 250 grams unsalted butter, room temperature for butter filling

Instructions

    Feed your Sourdough Starter

For this recipe, you need 150 grams of active, mature sourdough starter. Active starter is sourdough starter that has been fed equal parts flour and water within the past 4-6 hours and has doubled and is bubbly.

If you want to set aside the exact amount of sourdough starter for this recipe, combine 50 grams of sourdough starter, 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water in a glass jar. You will use all of the starter for the recipe, so make sure you have extra reserved.

Make, Knead and Proof the Sourdough Croissants Dough

Once your starter is bubbly and active, whisk the sourdough starter, melted unsalted butter, water and whole milk together in a bowl. Then add in the organic unbleached all-purpose flour, sugar and salt. Using your hands or a dough whisk, mix the ingredients together until the dough is formed. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, flip the dough out onto a clean counter (no flour needed). Knead the dough for about 3-5 minutes until it is no longer sticky but forms a nice smooth dough ball.

Place the dough into a butter greased glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap or beeswax wrap. Allow the dough to bulk rise at room temperature until it has doubled and looks a bit puffy- about 4-6 hours.

Once the dough has doubled, place it in the fridge to continue a slow fermentation for a minimum of 12 hours. You can leave it in the fridge like this for up to 3 days as long as it is covered with the plastic wrap so the dough does not dry out.

Le Beurrage (Butter filling)

On the day you are ready to bake your sourdough croissants, grab some good quality, high fat, room temperature unsalted butter to make the butter filling, or beurrage.

Start by folding parchment paper into an 8x8" square packet. The first fold will need to extend past the 8 inches and then will be folded over again on itself. I found that prefolding the parchment paper is easier than trying to measure and fold while the butter is already on the paper.

Make sure your butter is at room temperature. Otherwise it will be a little more difficult to manipulate into the parchment paper packet.

Slice the butter to 1/4" or so thickness and lay the slices down on the parchment paper. Fold it back up, enclosing the butter, and roll the butter into all of the corners and spaces within the packet. This is called le beurrage and is essentially going to give your sourdough croissants those amazing flakey layers when baked.

Place the beurrage in the refrigerator for 6 minutes until it is a little cool but has not hardened. You want the butter to be pliable and a similar consistency to the cold dough you will be working with.

If the butter gets too hard, it will break while you roll it in the dough and will result in less flakey croissants. If the butter hardens, it really is best to give it time to soften until it is more flexible.

Laminate the dough

Once the beurrage is at the right temperature, pull the sourdough croissant dough out of the fridge. Place it on a floured surface and begin to roll it out into a 8x17" rectangle. The dough will be just slightly longer than the beurrage so that it can fold over and cover it completely.

Unwrap the beurrage and lay it down on the bottom half of the dough. Fold the top half of the dough down and over the butter so that the edges of the dough meet.

Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll the dough/butter layers to about 18" long.

Remember to keep your work surface nicely floured as you work with the dough. You do not want to have the dough stick or break while you are laminating.

Fold again x2

Once it is rolled out, fold the top part of the dough down to about 3/4ths of the way down. Bring the bottom part of the dough up to meet the edge of the folded dough. This should create somewhat of a square. Keeping the dough in the same position, fold it in half.

Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll the dough lengthwise to about 20" long. When rolling it, focus on elongating the dough rather than making it more wide.

Last fold!

Fold the top part of the dough 2/3rds of the way down. Then bring the bottom portion all the way up and over the dough you just folded down - like a pamphlet.

*I felt like I needed to chill my dough for about 10 minutes at this point. If your dough/butter is still cool, feel free to skip the chilling and roll it out to the final rectangle before cutting and shaping the croissants. This will depend on the temperature of your house, how quickly you work with the dough, surface temperature, etc. The main thing you want to avoid is the butter getting too warm and melting. If you need to chill it, cover the dough in plastic wrap and place it on a flat surface in the fridge till it is cool again.

Once the dough is folded pamphlet style, turn it 90 degrees and roll it out to create your final rectangle. Make this one approximately 8x24".

Shape Sourdough Croissants

With a knife or pastry cutter, trim the edges to make straight lines. On the long side of the rectangle, make a small mark with your knife every 3 1/2 inches. On the opposite side, make a mark in the middle of each of the marks you already made.

Make clean slices across the dough connecting the marks in the zig-zag pattern to make triangles.

Take one triangle and roll it on the counter into a croissant, starting with the wider end and rolling it with the palm of your hand towards the point. Place the croissant on a parchment paper lined baking sheet with the point of the croissant touching the pan. This ensures that the croissant will not unroll when it is baked.

Repeat this for the remaining croissants. Depending on the size of your final rectangle and size of the triangles, this recipe will make around 10-12 croissants.

Proof Sourdough Croissants

Whisk an egg and apply egg wash onto the croissants with a basting brush. This will keep them from drying while they proof. Cover the whisked egg bowl and basting brush and store in the fridge. You will use it one more time before baking.

Leave the croissants to proof and double in size for 2-4 hours in a spot that does not have a draft. A cool oven is a good place for this, just don't forget about them and accidentally turn the oven on!

Bake!

Once the croissants have doubled, set the oven to 380℉ and apply the egg wash once more. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until they are a dark golden color.

Bring them out of the oven and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes undisturbed. They are still baking and this is an important time to leave them alone. If any butter has leaked out, usually it will reabsorb into the croissants if they are left alone.

Once they have rested, enjoy the amazingly delicious reward of your work! There is nothing quite like the feeling of biting into a freshly baked flakey homemade sourdough croissant! Bon appétit!

Notes

If you would like, you can cover them with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight if you are wanting fresh baked croissants in the morning.

These croissants can also be frozen, just place them in the freezer after they have proofed. Bake from frozen by adding just an extra 2-3 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 12Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 367Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 333mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g

You may also enjoy these other sourdough recipes!

  • Sourdough Orange Cinnamon Rolls
  • Artisan Rustic Sourdough Bread
  • Sourdough Sandwich Bread
  • Pumpkin Spice Sourdough Bagels
  • Pumpkin Sourdough Pancakes
Sourdough Croissants Recipe - made with sourdough starter (2024)

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