Cheater Croissant Dough

This recipe is inspired by Sarah Kieffer’s Cheater Croissant Dough, and it is definitely a game changer.  It can be used to make other breakfast treats, like danish, cruffins and morning buns (just to mention a few).  I purchased Sarah’s book 100 Morning Treatsand I couldn’t wait to make these gems.

The first time I split the dough and used one half to make cherry cheese danish….OH MY YUM!!!

I think croissant dough is very difficult to make. This dough doesn’t take two days to make, and the end results are very satisfying.

I made some this weekend for Thanksgiving.  I made them to the point of rolling and shaping them, and then I put them them in the freezer on a lined sheet pan.  Once they froze I put them in a ziploc bag.


  • cups (350 grams) warm water (100 to 110°F)
  • 4 teaspoons (16 grams) active dry yeast
  • 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons  (27 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • cups (339 grams) unsalted European butter (preferably 82 percent butterfat), room temperature (65-68℉) and pliable.
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) all-purpose flour


1. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together the water (110℉), yeast and 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar.   Set aside for about five minutes until the yeast has activated.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix together 4 cups (500 grams) of flour, the remaining granulated sugar, and salt.
3. Start the mixer on low speed and add the yeast mixture, followed by the melted butter. Continue to mix until all the ingredients are combined (about 3 minutes).  The dough will be rough and bumpy but should be in one piece. Move the dough to the large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1½ to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
4. Gently press down on the dough, releasing as much gas as possible. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a 10″ by 12″ rectangle. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, place it on a sheet pan, and transfer it to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to overnight).
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the European butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour together until creamy and combined, (2 to 3 minutes).
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it from the plastic, and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 12″ x 20″ rectangle. Spread the entire rectangle evenly with the butter mixture, leaving a ½” border around the rectangle.
7. Make the first turn, (or letter fold).  Starting with a short side facing you, fold one third of the dough onto itself, making sure the edges are lined up with each other. Then fold the remaining one third of dough on top of the side that has already been folded.
8. Rotate the dough so the seam is facing the side (left or right) and one open end is facing you. Gently roll the dough into a 10″ by 18″ rectangle. (Each time you roll, the rectangle will get a little smaller.)
9. Repeat the letter fold. Sprinkle flour on a ¼ sheet pan, place the dough on it, and freeze the dough for 6 minutes.  This helps cool the dough slightly and makes the last turn less messy.

10. Remove the dough from the freezer and repeat the letter fold again, making sure the seam is facing to the right. Roll the dough again into a rectangle, about 8″ by 16″. Repeat the steps for one letter fold. Gently compress the dough with the rolling pin and, depending on the recipe you are using, keep the dough in one piece or cut the dough into two equal portions. If using the dough immediately, place the piece being used in the freezer for 6 minutes to chill, then proceed with the recipe. Otherwise, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, place it in a freezer safe bag, and freeze for up to 2 weeks. The dough can be removed from the freezer the night before using and placed in the refrigerator to thaw.


Rolling, Cutting and Shaping Croissants:

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Place a generous amount of flour on your work surface.  Roll the dough into a 10″ x 15″ rectangle.  Trim the dough so the edges are straight and the long sides measure 14″.

Using a ruler, mark along the bottom of the dough every 3½ inches (do this on both sides of the dough).  Cut long triangles measuring 10″ long and 3½” wide at the end.

Hold the base of the triangle, gently stretch until the triangle is 12″ long.  Roll up the dough from the wide end to the tip.  Put the rolled croissant on the prepared pan with the pointy end tucked under.  If it’s on the top, it can pop up while baking.  Repeat this process with the remaing triangles.

Space the croissants evenly on the sheet pan.  They are going to puffup quite a bit as they rise and bake.

Cover the croissants loosely with plastic wrap.  Let them rise for 2-2½ hours or until they are doubled in size and puffed up.

Position the oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat oven to 375℉.

Remove the plastic wrap and gently brush the croissants with an egg wash.  Bake the croissants until they are a deep gollden brown and the layers don’t look underbaked (around 25-30 minutes).  Transfer the croissants to a wire rack to cool completely.

Croissants are best eaten the same day they are made.  Enjoy!

I hope you make these satisfying croissants, and if you do, tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I’d love to hear from you and see your photos!

Leave a Reply