Croissants, Gluten Free


That authentic French croissants are rarely found anywhere but at a Pâtisserie is a clue about how much of a pain in the derrière they are to make at home.  But the fact that there are precious few Gluten-Free croissants available anywhere in the world necessitates a home-made remedy. The task is not hard but it does take time, like say more time than flying to Paris and buying one. These are a labor of love. They take patience, practice and persistence.

This croissant was created as best I could in the image of the croissants and pain au chocolat we had in France when we lived there for a short time. American made croissants are a poor substitute – too big, too fluffy, too bland and not enough flake. A good croissant is slightly chewy and has a great tear when ripped with visible layers. There’s plenty of butter in the layers and no extra slathering of the butter is necessary when eating it. A croissant should be rather small and compact and even feel slightly heavy.

What You’ll Need

To make this croissant* a few ingredients are absolutely essential. If you save these ingredients just for this purpose you’ll get many cost-effective batches out of your stash. And it’s still cheaper than flying to Paris.

  •  Expandex which is tapioca flour that has a little zingy science to it that creates the perfect inside chewy texture. You can get that at Navan and Montana’s Gifts of Nature.
  • xanthan gum and guar gum and pectin.
  • Dry milk powder. Nonfat is fine.
  • Whole milk is required – not low fat or nonfat.
  • Sparkling mineral water is necessary. And San Pellegrino is just what you want. Others were tried and did not work as well.
  • Any good unsalted butter is fine. Don’t bother with the fancy schmancy expensive American-made (pretend) European butters. It’s not necessary and actually doesn’t work all that well with the GF flours for this purpose.
  • Yeast. Instant or Bread Machine Red Star or Saf (Red Star) instant yeast. Other yeasts, including the regular stuff just did not cut it.
  • The flours that worked best were from Authentic Foods – superfine brown rice flour, superfine white rice flour along with tapioca flour. I wish that we could find the stuff locally and that their shipping was slightly less expensive.  You can order all three directly from Authentic Foods.
  • You will need 2 eggs. Can’t do this without them.
  • And get that kitchen scale you’ve been meaning to buy. All these measurements are by weight because it will bring you the best result. A scale like this is inexpensive and perfect.

Pretty Please Remember This

  • Until you are certain you have it nailed, please follow the recipe exactly as directed and that includes using the requisite ingredients.  We spent months* developing this tested GF croissant recipe. We want you to make a really great croissant. Which brings me to this next point:
  • Unless you’ve successfully made croissants in the past, do not be discouraged if it is not perfect the first time or so you make it. But with practice, it will work perfectly. It might take a few times to get used to the feel of the dough and how it all develops as you follow the recipe. Making croissants is a lot like learning to drive or ride a bicycle. It is terrifying at first and nothing makes sense. But then all of sudden it does. But before that happens you may have some mishaps along the way. Expect them. But remember what they say – you never forget how to ride a bicycle once you learn. Croissants. Same.

Press, Roll, Fold and Turn

Become familiar with the terms: turn, press, roll and fold.

Turn: 90 degree turn of the folded dough, clockwise.

Press: Pressing the dough = great croissants. Use the rolling-pin to press the dough, almost walking it down the dough as you move and strike/flatten it all the way to the edges. That is how you keep the laminated dough together in layers– by pressing with the rolling-pin before rolling. Always, always press all the way to the ends of the dough which secures the layers – before rolling. In the beginning when you first insert the butter packet, make sure the dough surrounding the butter is well padded and flaps are sealed/pinched closed.

Roll: Only roll after you’ve flattened the dough by pressing it. Roll gently from the center out to the edges with even pressure to just smooth the dough. Too much rolling screws up the layers. More press, less roll.

Fold: There are two fold techniques for this croissant recipe. The first is the tri-fold which simply means folding the dough like a business letter in thirds. A book fold is the other. Bring the edges of the long side together to meet in the middle and then fold one side over the other. It looks like you’ve brought the pages of a book together and closed it.

 

Critical Links

Zen Can Cook  – I began with his croissant recipe and subsequently adapted it. I have used several other recipes in the past, but his was by far, the best. He adapted it from Pierre Hermé.

And along came JoePastry. Joe has a tutorial on laminating dough and making croissants that was like finding a top-secret decoder ring for all things pastry. Read about laminating the dough here and making croissants here.

From Helene at Tartlette I learned that the butter package has to be encased in the dough on top of a cushion. Think padded-top mattress.

Trouble Shooting

The butter breaks through the dough

  • Padded dough section missing (inserting butter package)
  • Did not pinch the edges closed
  • Rolled too aggressively or not enough pressing first

Dough too stiff or breaks

  • Too much flour worked into the dough (no more than 45-50 grams)
  • Rolling with too much force
  • Not enough pressing first (see the laminating link)
  • Did you use all the required ingredients and the amounts?
  • Did you weigh the ingredients? It matters.

Dough won’t rise

  • Yeast is old
  • Wrong yeast
  • Did you heat the milk? (don’t do that)

Croissants puffed up and then fell flat in the oven

  • Usually over-proofing before baking
  • Yeast might be too old or not Red Star/Saf Instant

Butter leaks out while croissants are baking

  • Too much butter in the packet
  • Did you use all the ingredients and follow the recipe?
  • A little butter leaking is normal, a lot is not good
  • Over proofing at the end can also be a cause

Dough sticks to everything when rolling

  • Silpats are your best friend – Parchment is your 2nd best friend
  • Use more flour under the dough and on top
  • A plain counter top is not your friend

Dough breaks when rolling up croissants

  • Did you use all the ingredients indicated in the recipe?
  • Don’t stretch them so enthusiastically
  • Test a  small piece to see if there is stretch – if not don’t try to stretch the dough – just lightly roll it out
  • Sometimes it happens for no good reason, sadly
  • Rolled too thickly (yes, thinner is better than thick)


Croissants, Gluten Free
Print
Who would not want a gluten-free croissant that could be mistaken for the real thing? This recipe requires that you turn and fold the dough 6 times. Five are tri-folds and the last is a book-fold. That's a little more than a conventional croissant would need, but it is just enough for our gluten-free croissant. Be sure to read through the post, the links provided, the directions and the recipe more than a couple of times until you are familiar with the information. Before you begin make sure all your ingredients are room temperature. This recipe will make about 10 regular croissants or pain au chocolat.
Ingredients
Dough
  • 220 grams Canteen flour blend (plus 45-50 grams more for rolling etc.) (1⅔ cups plus a heaping ⅓ cup for dusting) (see notes)
  • 35 grams Expandex Tapioca Flour (4 tablespoons)
  • 1.5 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon pectin
  • ¼ teaspoon guar gum
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 85 grams superfine sugar (7 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon powdered milk
  • 85 grams whole milk (not low fat or non fat), room temperature (1/3 cup) (UPDATED)
  • 2 tablespoons yeast (use instant or bread machine Red Star or SAF)
  • 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter, cut into small chunks.
  • 115 grams San Pellegrino, room temperature (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large or x-large egg white, room temperature
Butter Package
  • 195 grams unsalted chilled butter (1 stick plus 5 tablespoons or 13 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon brown or white rice flour
Finishing
  • 1 whole large egg (for brushing croissant dough)
  • optional for pain au chocolat: 25-30 bittersweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour with the Expandex, x-gum, pectin, guar gum, salt, superfine sugar and 2 tablespoons powdered milk. Whisk to combine. Set aside. Whisk the yeast, one teaspoon of powdered milk with the room temperature whole milk in a small glass container. Whisk again to fully incorporate. Set aside.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of very soft butter pieces to the flour and work it in lightly with a fork or your fingers, leaving large pieces. Don't get overzealous with the mixing. Using a fork add the San Pellegrino and stir well. Add the egg white and stir to thoroughly distribute. Add the milk/yeast mixture and work that in with the fork until everything is well mixed. It will be very wet and very sticky - like muffin batter sticky. Take a teaspoon of flour and dust the top of the dough. Switch to a silicone spatula and get all the dough off the sides of the bowl and turn the dough over mixing in the new flour. Add one more teaspoon of flour just to get the dough to turn with the spatula as you fold it. It will still be quite wet and sticky which is perfect. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free place for at least two hours or until it somewhat doubles in size. It won't get that large, but it will rise and needs a lot of time to do that. Don't rush. What the dough looks like: it should look more like batter than dough at this point. The spatula will come away with some sticky residue on it. That is perfect.
  3. Once it has risen or a couple of hours go by, just place the whole bowl into the refrigerator. Leave it in there for about an hour or so. A couple of hours is even better. At the end of that time, grab the dough ball and wrap the plastic around it and place it in the freezer for about 30 to 45 minutes. What the dough looks like: It will have risen slightly and should look shaggy. After the refrigerator it should look only slightly like the dough it will become later - it is still shaggy and sticky.
Butter Package
  1. Before you remove the dough from the freezer, gather your butter and cut each stick in half length-wise. Place it on a piece of plastic wrap that has been dusted with a little flour and form the pieces into a square shape. Add a little more flour on top and cover with more plastic wrap. Using a rolling-pin, hit the butter until it flattens somewhat to about half its depth. Roll and pat into a smooth 6 inch square. Place the butter in the refrigerator to get a little less smooshy. What the butter package looks like: it should be a 6 inch square about ¼ to ⅓ of an inch thick and will be speckled flour.
Working the Croissant Dough
  1. Remove the dough from the freezer. Using two silpats or parchment lined up to create a long rectangle and dusted with the 50 grams of flour, under and on top of the dough. Place the dough and pat into a rectangular shape. Cover with plastic wrap and press with a rolling-pin from the center out to the edges. Pressing is done until the dough is able to be rolled. Roll the dough gently to smooth it into a long rectangle about 3x longer than it is wide. Leave a thick, padded dough square in the center that is a little bigger than the butter package (think padded-top mattress). Using a pastry brush remove the excess flour from the dough. Place the butter on the padded portion and fold the rolled edges over each other and the butter. Pinch the edges closed with your fingers. Press the top with your palm and then the rolling-pin - very gently to seal the butter in there. What the dough looks like: The butter package will be invisible to the eye but you should be able to just feel it. Make sure the dough is thickly padding it on the top and bottom and pinch those sides closed. It should be rather smooth at this point and square.
  2. First sets of tri-folds: Dust with more of the same flour, cover with plastic wrap and press with the rolling-pin to flatten but making sure you don't pop the butter through the dough. That is very important. Once it is pressed and flattened, roll the dough so that it is 3 times longer than wide (wide side is always facing you). Brush off the excess flour with a pastry brush. Fold the dough from the length ends like a business letter - in thirds - a tri fold. Brush off excess flour as you go. Turn the folded dough package 90 degrees, clock wise and repeat that process. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour and more is fine. What the dough looks like: It won't be sticky, but it will look rather rough yet. But it should fold without cracking. See trouble shooting if it cracks.
  3. Repeat the process: press, roll, tri-fold: turn, press, roll, tri-fold: refrigerate
  4. Repeat the process: press, roll, tri-fold: turn, press, roll, book-fold, refrigerate overnight. Book fold description: Brush off excess flour. Take each end (length) and bring those to meet in the center like you are bringing pages of a book to the center. Brush off any excess flour again. Now bring one side over the other just like closing a book. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight. What the dough looks like: smooth, smooth, smooth. You might see some butter but it will be under the layers of dough. You should not see much butter. Butter might poke out of the edges - pay no attention. If you've been pressing rather than rolling you will have great layers within the dough but you should not be able to see any visible layers. The dough should fold easily with no cracking at all.
  5. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment.
  6. Rolling the croissants: Press the dough and roll exactly as before. This time you are rolling the dough into a rectangle about 25 inches long by 9 inches wide (the 9 inch wide side is facing you). It should be about ⅛ inch thick - take care to roll the evenly so it is the same thickness throughout.
  7. Trim the edges using a pizza cutter so that you have a nice, clean edged rectangle.
  8. Using the pizza cutter, mark off every 5 inches and slice vertically through the width. You should end up with 5 pieces about 5 inches wide by 9 inches tall. For regular croissants, use the pizza cutter to cut each of those pieces in two from opposite corner to opposite corner creating triangles. You should get two triangles out of each piece. They aren't perfect triangles - but don't worry about that.
  9. For Pain au Chocolat, leave the pieces 5x9 inches. Cut each of those in two so that they now measure 5 by 4.5 inches.
  10. For regular croissants take each triangle and brush off the excess flour. Pick it up from the bottom of the triangle and try to gently work it into a straighter bottom. If it feels like it will break, don't work it. Make a small vertical slice in the bottom of the triangle and begin rolling up by fanning out those flaps keeping the dough rolling evenly. The tip should be on the bottom when you are done, like a little tail. See JoePastry link in the post (croissants) for a photo of what that looks like.
  11. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet and repeat. Leave a couple of inches between each croissant.
  12. For Pain au chocolat: Place about 6 bittersweet chocolate chips or disks at one end of each of the square pieces of croissant dough. Roll up. Place seam side down about 2 inches apart on the prepared parchment lined baking sheet.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rise (proof) about an hour to 1.5 hours only. Over proofing will make them deflate in the oven and leak butter.
  14. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and brush the croissants with the egg wash 3x. Begin at one end of the pan and repeat twice more. Bake at 400 for 2 to 3 minutes and then turn oven to 350 and bake about 18-20 minutes more or just until they are dark golden brown, have risen and their internal temperature is 200 degrees. Don't over bake them. Let them cool about 30 minutes for best flavor - if you can wait that long. Try - it is worth it.
Notes
Canteen flour blend is 2 parts superfine brown rice flour plus 1 part each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour by weight. 2:1:1. See home page, resources tab, click on flour for more information.


Cliff Notes: A Croissant Making Snapshot

  1. Mix dough ingredients and cover bowl
  2. Dough Rises 1-2 hours
  3. Refrigerate dough 1-2 hours
  4. Freeze dough 30 minutes
  5. Prepare butter package
  6. Roll dough-Insert butter package into dough-pinch closed
  7. Press- Roll-Fold (tri fold)
  8. Turn –Press-Roll-Fold (tri fold)
  9. Refrigerate dough one hour minimum
  10. Press- Roll-Fold (tri fold)
  11. Turn –Press-Roll-Fold (tri fold)
  12. Refrigerate dough one hour minimum
  13. Press- Roll-Fold (tri fold)
  14. Turn –Press-Roll-Fold (book- fold)
  15. Refrigerate dough overnight
  16. Press-Roll-Cut dough into croissants
  17. Rise about one to 1.5  hours, no more
  18. Brush with egg wash 3x
  19. Bake about 20 minutes

*We worked through more than 16 croissant-wrecks and half-dozen successes to develop this recipe. We purchased all the ingredients, just like you. If you use other ingredients or change the recipe in any way, it matters. The croissant you yield will be different. 

Comments

  1. OMG Lisa, you are amazing!! These look absolutely perfect. There is puff, shape, flakiness, serious congratulations are in order!!

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to test, try and share this intricate recipe. I’ve had to cut all gluten for 2nd time in my life, and this is the first time i’ve happed upon your blog. Love it. Great attention to detail! Alexx :-)

  3. Absolutely gorgeous! I’ve been working on puff pastry this week and having a terrible time. The links will be helpful. And I’m with Jen, you deserve serious congratulations.

  4. Wow, this is amazing. I’ve always wondered if GF croissants were possible! I’m a little nervous trying, especially the first time. So you think a couple of goes will be in order to “perfect” it?
    I’d like to get this recipe down before my parents visit me from overseas. So only absolutely get the rice flour/tapioca flour from the brand you used? We live in Alaska and the shipping can be crazy, but I did want to double check if an alternative was possible?
    Thank u for sharing this!! Good job on persevering!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Mae. Thank you. GF croissants are very possible. If you’ve worked with pastry dough before it will feel familiar – the same only different. If not it will probably take a few tries to become comfortable with what the dough should feel and look like at each stage. And yes, this recipe was developed using those ingredients. The good news is that if you save the ingredients for this purpose you can make many batches out of one order. Have fun.

  5. Thanks for posting such carefully laid out direction! I’ve been longing (and dreaming) about croissants, and as I just realized that Wed will be my 4th anniversary of my celiac diagnosis… I’m clearing my day, putting a Zen/Inspirational playlist on my Iphone, and tackling these at last on my anniversary. Things have been a wee bit tough on the allergy front lately, and these look like JUST the kick in the butt I need to remind myself that GF can be darn tasty! Thanks so much for these. (And all the other amazing things you post)

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Thank you, Jenna. I really appreciate your comment. And yep. GF can be perfectly tasty. Have fun and enjoy them.

  6. These look absolutely amazing! Well done!

  7. Thank you so much for this recipe. Your croissants are gorgeous! I can’t get over the shots of the insides–the texture looks perfect. Can’t wait to try these.

  8. happywombelle says:

    These look absolutely fantastic. My other half is a fantastic baker, he must make these for me!!!

  9. Wow! these look amazing! Will make some for my GF daughter. I’m sure it wall make her day!

  10. this post deserves a hallelujah chorus soundtrack. they are beautiful and perfect! gold star for recipe and persistence… you’ve done us all a tremendous service. the idea of a pain au chocolat may just outweigh my nerves about taking this one on. you are brilliant.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Right back at you Ms. Gretchen. And thank you! I ate my share of pain au chocolat during the trials. More than my share…

  11. Patti Evans says:

    Have you tried making them with milk substitutes? My son is not only gluten free, but casein free. He’s 13 and been GFCF for about two years now. He has a great attitude towards it… most of the time. :-) One thing he misses is a variety of breads. Looking forward to your response & suggestions!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Patti. I have not used milk substitutes. Milk provides important proteins and flavor for this recipe and in fact, for croissant dough in general. But I bet if you do a Google search for casein free gluten free croissants you might find something that is sort of the same – maybe crescent rolls?

  12. Very intersting post…I would love to try these..Though going to have to look for tapioca flour and the Guar gum in the local stores out here…Thanks for sharing a lovely recipe.
    http://www.cookingwithshy.wordpress.com

  13. GlutenFreeCanteen says:

    Clarification: make sure your baking pan has a rim. If the butter leaks it is always good to catch it in the pan.

  14. I’m on the first state of rising!
    I acknowledge, though, that I wasn’t able to get the superfine white or brown rice flour in time for my instant gratification baking kick. So I took what I had and put it in the blender for a super fine mix. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll know, but I bet I’ll have a decently tasty pastry “thing”!

    • I loved every moment of making these! With one exception – I didn’t think to cool my house to less than 80ish degrees. After I’d get about 2 croissants rolled, they’d turn into a sweaty, doughy ball. I still rolled ‘em up, and they were messy as all get out, but they were overall delicious. Too grainy as I didn’t use the superfine flour, but amazing nonetheless. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’ve ordered the superfine flours and cannot wait to set aside the time to make another batch (or lots of batches, because YUM).

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        Fantastic, Jen! I know what you mean – I have to cool the house off while making them if it is too hot outside or the dough does get sweaty. I think you’ll be surprised what a difference the superfine flours make. Glad they were delicious. And thanks for letting me know.

  15. Thank you for developing and sharing this recipe. I used to bake glutinous croissants for my family for years, before celiac entered the picture.

    However, my first attempt with your dough was a disaster. It remained a gooey batter throughout, oozing and dripping, never attaining the consistency necessary for the folding process. Even after several hours of rising, refrigeration, then freezing.
    Any suggestions, as I stand over the wreckage of a day’s work?

  16. PS: I was forced to make two substitutions, which might be the culprits.
    1) Well water for Pellegrino.
    2) Almond milk for dairy.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Bryan. For certain, almond milk will not work. The dairy is important for the protein factor in the recipe. And the Pellegrino really is important to the rise. How about the flour? Were you using the superfine flours plus the Expandex modified tapioca starch? And were you weighing or using volume for measures? If you can give me more info, I could probably help, but yes, those two changes alone would be a problem.

      If the dough or batter did rise, you could refrigerate it overnight and use it in well greased muffin tins to make a sweet roll. Make a bit of streusel and add that to the top and let it rise and bake. Just a thought.

  17. These sound and look delicious -How many calories are in each croissant?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Daniela – lots and lots. I have no idea – we don’t do calories on the blog. But whatever might be in a regular croissant would be similar to these. Lots of butter.

  18. Could the dough be made in advance and frozen to be baked later? Thanks!

  19. Any chance of a video tutorial? What size silpats? Thank you for posting, I’ve about to celebrate my 12th year GF and plan to make these for it.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Heather – not at this time, no video. For rolling out the dough, a full sheet size is handy, but you can use parchment. I like to bake them on parchment, not a silpat for best results. And half-sheet size.

  20. Oh my goodness, I just found your blog! my mouth is watering!!! I am not a baker and don’t think I every will be :( my question to you is do you sell your baked goods? if you had a restaurant I would be there allot! well depending on if it were close to me in Austin.

  21. I would love to make these. I made them once before i was gluten free. I have an allergy to rice flour and egg whites, but not egg yolks.

    I’m glad you posted this for readers.

    Any ideas for me, except to watch for other recipes.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Beverly – As you probably guessed, I don’t have any suggestions for croissants that would not use rice flour or egg white. That is a tough one. You’d have to find something to replace the protein properties in the whites which is a really important part of the rise. The rice flour is not as big a deal though I don’t have any suggestions but I am sure there are other flour combinations that might work. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  22. i can’t wait to give this a try!

  23. I must be doing something wrong :) I’ve made a lot of croissants over the years so am familiar with the process. But the dough remains too sticky to work the butter in. Going to try a third time but probably won’t pursue passed that. Makes for expensive trials :(

  24. John Nanci says:

    I too have quite a bit of croissant experience, and I’ve tried this twice – to the letter. All the exact ingredient, weighted out to the gram. And both times it has done the same thing. With VERY VERY gentle treatment, I can get a half way decent raw croissant, but once it goes into the oven, it just collapses.

    Also, on the 2nd round, (ok, so I was troubleshooting, so I guess it was not to the letter on try two) I did not refrigerate for 1 hour between turns as the butter was rock hard. The smallest pressure squished the dough, but the butter pack remained a pack. There was no middle road. And just to get it to work I had to add a LOT of ‘dusting’ flour. Was the dough supposed to harden up to the consistency of the butter so they could roll out together?

    Any input would be appreciated. I SO wanted this to work, but it’s not.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi John – Happy to go over it with you.

      First, ingredients. Expandex? Superfine flours from Authentic? No milk subs? Regular butter? Red Star yeast? Pelligrino? Next – how was the temperature of the kitchen when you were making them? Our place is mostly chilly and others have found that making them on a warm day doesn’t seem to work.

      The dough should be very thick under the butter packet – he dough chilly and the butter chilly – about the same temp. Once the flaps are closed, I’ve found that hitting the dough packet with the rolling pin (truly smacking it) from the center out – usually works better than rolling. Think of it as an assertive “press”. The butter breaks through when rolling. It’s also fine to pick up the packet and flip it upside down to “hit” it using the thicker dough side. Also, it’s worth a visit to JoePastry (the link is in the post) to see how he laminates the dough. I learned a lot from him. Be sure to never hit or roll the dough on the edges while it is chilly so the butter packet doesn’t break through.

      When you say that the smallest pressure squished the dough, sounds like the dough might have been too wet or the flours did not absorb the moisture? The dough will be very sticky when first mixed but as it is worked, it will not be sticky wet anymore. In fact, you don’t have to be that gentle with the dough so that leads me to thing something went awry back at the mixing stage?

      I use plenty of dusting flour, too – but only a portion gets worked into the dough. I usually have a ton left over by the time I’m finished folding.

      Here’s an overview – The initial mixed up dough will be rather wet. Once it sits in the refrigerator and then freezer, it should be stiff and chilly. The butter packet will also be chilly when it is worked in. Both should be cold, cold when first worked together. The dough gets more flexible later on. Don’t roll it – hit it to get the butter packet worked into the dough like a laminate. It might break out if the dough packet is not thick enough or it gets smacked on the dough edges, but just patch it and continue.

      Keep the dough cold. You will use lots of dusting flour at first and less as you get to the end. If you are needing more, then I’d say that there is too much liquid in the dough or the dough/butter is too warm – my best guess.

      Not sure what you mean by the raw dough being ok – it should roll easily and then rise which means it looks puffy but not huge. Too long a rise and the foam will break and they will collapse. I found that anything over an hour and a half and they just fall apart so cut back on the rise if they are collapsing. If you are going longer than 1.5 hours, cut back. If you are at 1.5 hours cut back again.

      But not entirely sure exactly what you mean by it collapsing in the oven – flattened? Leaking butter? not getting flaky? Can you explain in more detail?

      Also, just one more thing. In the post I mentioned that it probably will not work the first few times, but if people are willing to keep at it, all of sudden it clicks into place. Even if you have tons of croissant making experience in the gluten world, this is way different and somewhat unconventional approach. Expectations for how dough should behave will be different. There is actually no fool-proof way to get it to work except by practice.

      It is probably one of the most frustrating recipes ever. I get that. But it also is one of the most rewarding, too because it ends up being a croissant – eventually. Keep trying. You sound like you are getting there.

      But let me know more detail. I’m especially curious about the ingredients and the consistency of the dough after freezing it – right before the butter packet gets worked in. And tell me more about the butter packet – can you see the flour in the butter packet (you should be able to) and is the square smaller than the dough bed? Temp of your kitchen or working area? And how long are they rising?

      Thanks for getting back to me.

  25. John Nanci says:

    Check on all the ingredients. I’m not sure what else I can say. Ingredients to the letter. Pricey as someone else said. :)

    It was around 75 F.

    When I say the raw dough worked, I meant I was able to roll the dough up into something that looked like a raw croissant and it held. But when I baked it, it spread out instead of maintaining shape.

    After freezing and pretty much the whole time the dough was VERY soft and friable. It just never had anything resembling any attachment to itself. Although it’s not quite right, I would say the best it ever got was softer than a super soft modeling clay. It never got anywhere close to stiff or even really workable, even when very cold. And when it was that cold, the butter was rock like, so it was a no win situation.

    Clearly (to me) the dough you worked with and the one I worked with are worlds apart. Right from the get go. It never wasn’t sticky.

    I know you say the first couple times it would fail, and that it was technique based, but this doesn’t feel like that.

    And to your other questions. Yes, I could see flour in the butter package. The butter package was about 1″ smaller. I let them rise about one hour or so. They had risen well at that point.

    I’m not sure what else to try. I’m convinced it was not technique because it did finally work out. The collapsing makes me thing the dough was the issue – I’m just not sure why. It seems it needed 20-30% more flour, but per your instructions, I didn’t add it except to dust.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      croissants toward the end of folding

      Hi John –

      I’m attaching a photo (not a great one) of the dough toward the end of the folding process. As you can see, (hopefully the photo shows it) it is not sticky at this point. I do end up working quite a bit of flour into the dough in the beginning, but not a ton. Just enough to make it not sticky and more bendy as it goes. By the last folding it is really pliable and not sticky at all.

      The butter should be distributed in a laminate by the time you get to the 2nd folding session and you shouldn’t even notice the butter. When I add the packet in the first part to the cold dough I try to make sure it is fully distributed by hitting it and folding so that the next time around I would not see much butter if any – and by the the time the third folding session begins the dough and butter are fully laminated together. And by the time it is rested overnight and ready for the book fold, it is a really nice not sticky, easy to work dough.

      The hard part at that point is making sure the butter is not blended entirely into the dough but stays more or less as a laminate – I am still challenged making that happen each time.

      If I were to estimate how much more flour I end up adding when working the dough I’d say about 65 grams to maybe 100 grams (1/2 cup to 3/4). The initial dough that gets mixed up and refrigerated and then frozen is very sticky. But from there it should firm up.

      I’m sorry this is so frustrating. I wish it were less so.

      But I think your instincts are correct – that it should hold the shape at the end, so perhaps adjusting the moisture balance in the beginning it key – I’d probably work more flour into the dough as you go until you feel like it is behaving.

      The result you are looking for is that the dough be not sticky, but bendy without cracking and if you look very carefully as you roll up the croissant dough you should be able to see the laminate – and when it bakes and you rip the croissant there should be layers and layers of dough. The outer shell should be flaky and crisp but directly under that it should be doughy, buttery, and layered. It will be slightly greasy because it’s a croissant.

      Hope this helps.

  26. John Nanci says:

    First off, thanks for all the support.

    Next, my dough never looked close to yours.

    I’ve re-read, and something is indeed not right from the start. You mention “stiff and chilly”. Nope, It never got stiff. It was soft, fragile and cold. It’s like the dough never absorbed the liquid.

    For mine, there was NO WAY I could have ‘hit’ the dough. Impossible. To give you an idea, the weight of the marble rolling pin (I went to my wooden one after this) was enough to push the dough out of the way and go straight to the butter package. And that was ice cold, direct from the freezer.

    You say “Pressing is done until the dough is able to be rolled.”. If by this, you mean we should be working in 65-100 g of flour until it can be rolled, it would be VERY helpful to say that. If that is not what you mean, can you clarify? I was never under the impression I would be working in that much extra flour. I mean, that is an extra 20-25%. Mind you, that feels like how much I wanted to add, but I didn’t because of your admonishment to follow the direction exactly until it worked. See what I mean? I added enough flour to not stick at that moment, but not so much to make the dough not sticky at all.

    BTW, can you tell me what purpose the Pellegrino serves? I like to understand the chemistry, and am curious why that over something like club soda. Seems the minor minerals would have little effect but that’s all I see.

    Thanks for all your work on this.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi John – haven’t forgotten you. Making a batch and taking notes (and photos) including exactly how much extra flour I am adding and the temps of everything as it gets worked. Will have more info and pics later tomorrow.

      And yep – a marble rolling pin would be like hitting it with a redwood tree. I obviously should have mentioned to use a smaller wooden pin – I use a light french rolling pin.

      And the Pellegrino is because of the low PH which is more acidic. We tried it with other brands and the European ones seems to have a lower PH. Pellegrino is easy for most people to find, but if you can locate a brand with a high acidic content, that would work.

      More later.

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        Hi John – here you go. More info with photos. First, I ended up adding only 50 grams of flour but used about 45 grams total. Next – I wrote this recipe before I was truly conversant in grams. I may have been a little off with the milk. 8 tablespoons of milk should be 1/2 cup which translates to 120 grams-ish. But. When I used the volume measure (tablespoons) it does not exactly translate – so the milk in grams should be 85 grams or about 1/3 cup in volume. 1/2 cup Pellegrino will be about 114 grams. So – that reduces the liquid a bit if you were measuring using grams v. my sloppy tablespoons. I mix the dough by hand, but perhaps you might find a mixer helpful to get all the liquid absorbed into the dough? It wouldn’t hurt it to have a few minutes with a dough hook until you see it start to firm up and maybe look slightly stretchy.

        Also, in this version two things occurred. First, the yeast was not at its best so the rise was not great. Also – I don’t think I did a stellar job with the laminating. Sometimes it works well and other times it is just so-so. But I was interested in the temps of everything in each stage. When the butter went into the dough which just came out of the freezer – the butter was about 51 degrees and the dough about 49 degrees. During the first turn the dough was about 51 degrees. 2nd time it was about 55 degrees and same for the third.

        I’m attaching pics of what the dough looks like when it is first mixed and as you can see it is sticky but not wet. Then after rising – from the freezer (a poor job rising because of the crappy yeast, but it is slightly puffy)and into the 50 grams of flour on the silpat. Then adding the butter packet and the size of the dough pad. Then the folding – my fingers indicate first, second and third folds. And then the rolling into croissants (I made small versions) and then the rise before baking (still small-ish from the lack of yeasty poofing) and then the finished looking, small croissants – they didn’t collapse or leak butter.

        I hope this helps some. Let me know if you have questions.

        croissant dough mixedcroissant dough mixed
        from the freezer and into the 50 grams of flour from the freezer onto 50 grams more flour
        butter packet into the dough before foldingbutter packet into dough before folding
        first foldfirst fold
        2nd fold2nd fold
        last fold, book fold before chilling overnightlast fold: bookfold and about to rest chilled overnight
        rolled into croissants before risingsmall-ish freshly rolled croissant dough before rising
        a bit of a rise and brushed with egg wash(crappy yeast)small rise before baking (good reason to proof the yeast!)
        little croissants, bakedlittle croissants, baked

  27. John Nanci says:

    Hi there and thanks for making notes of some of those changes. I think they will make a world of difference. Both reducing the liquid by 1/4 and increasing the flour by 100 g. For a recipe this size, those are huge IMO. If you are going to revise/correct/amend the recipe, I’d get in there that the important thing is how the dough looks and feels. I say that from the standpoint of following your recipe to the T because of the admonishments not to change anything until you get it to work.

    “Until you are certain you have it nailed, please follow the recipe exactly as directed and that includes using the requisite ingredients.”

    I’ll be trying again with the modified version.

    I’m almost tempted to ask you to try it again exactly as written and see what we’ve gone through LOL.

    Thanks for the revision.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      John – I did follow the recipe exactly as written and is reflected in those photos. I just noted that the milk tablespoons were a typical volume measure and did not add up to the gram weight one would use with that amount (8 tablespoons)- so suggested using only 85 grams of milk which would be 1/3 cup. Also, in total I only added in 45-50 grams of flour from working the dough which is a little over 1/2 cup. That’s what you see in the last set of photos.

      Just wanted to make sure you had those final numbers.

  28. Perhaps a silly question, but is the tapioca flour in addition to the Expandex? Also, how much of each type of flour goes into the mix? Thank you for all your hard work!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      The tapioca flour is in the Canteen flour blend. The flour blend formula is a simple one – indicated in the notes at the bottom of the recipes. Also if you click on the About Flours link there is more information. The Expandex is in addition. Hope that helps.

  29. Christo Blom says:

    Good Day,
    I am very impress with your recipe ! As I have developed a gluten free pastry myself .
    Could you please tell me what is the purpose for the pectin in the recipe ?
    All so the egg white instead of an whole egg ? I presume that is for stability and to give a more sponge effect .
    Thank you
    Regards
    Christo Blom
    South Africa

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Thank you, Christo. The pectin is a dough conditioner to help it’s elasticity while laminating the butter & to help retain moisture in the finished pastry. And the egg white – yes – the protein in the egg white helps with foam building during the rise & with texture after baking. Great questions, thank you.

  30. hi !!! god, i want to make these croissants. I’m french and since i started my gluten free diet, i miss viennoiseries !!! in canada i’m not able to find expandex… how can i proceed to have a similar result without it ? Thanks !!!!!!!

  31. Can I use Saco powdered buttermilk in lieu of regular powdered milk?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Elisabeth – Sorry, wrong type of protein. Buttermilk would impart the wrong flavor in a croissant, even in that small amount.

      • No problem… Can I make the dough and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator? Then proceed with the turns in the morning?

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        If you slide to the bottom of the post after the recipe you’ll see in the cliff notes you can let it sit overnight, but best to do it after all the folds are completed (through step 4 in the recipe), including the last book fold. You’ll want to wrap it in plastic wrap as securely as possible because you don’t want it to rise much at all until after they’ve been cut and rolled into croissants. Hope that helps.

  32. Linda Blanchard says:

    It Looks to me as though Expandex is out of stock everywhere — hope they didn’t stop making it! Are you aware of any other brand like it on the market?

  33. Debra Holzheimer says:

    Hi Lisa, Thank you for all of your hard work and helpful responses to comments/concerns. I have a home bakery offering croissants and other pastries using my handmade laminated doughs. I even have vegan versions. I have had many requests for a GF version so your recipe will be my first try. Right at the start of measuring ingredients I ran into a snag. I’m not sure of the amount of Expandex to add. The weight given is 35g. Volume is noted as 4 tablespoons. When I weigh it out 35g looks like about 4 TEASPOONS. I checked the calibration of my scale to rule that out. It is Expandex sent by Ingredion that I am using. I am going to proceed with the recipe today using the 35g while I wait for your reply. I have been waiting all week for the time to try this. I just can’t wait any longer! Thanks for your help.

  34. Debra Holzheimer says:

    Oh Lisa! I went back and remeasured. 4T of Expendex is exactly 35g. I forgot to tare the scale for the container I was measuring into. Feeling stupid. But so glad I figured out my mistake.

  35. Umm.. Who are you and do you work for America’s Test Kitchen?? They need your commitment and determination. Have not tried recipe but having read through a few times have picked up tips to make working with GF flour easier. Thank you many times over.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi, Gina. Glad the info helped. Pretty sure ATK hasn’t a clue that GF Canteen even exists but thanks for the kind words about the croissants and flour tips.

  36. GF Cottage Bakery says:

    Nuts.com sells SF gluten free flours. They just can’t call it that for some reason. I’m convinced it’s the same as AF. Not necessarily cheaper but you can buy in smaller quantities and shipping is reasonable so you save a little money. Plus they have lots of other great stuff. Happy GF baking.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      I’ve purchased the Nuts.com flours and they are pretty good but they are not at all like Authentic Food superfine flours. Authentic Foods flours do come in small bags – 3 pound packages and less than 3 pounds for the tapioca. They discount larger quantities and larger bags. Nuts.com is very expensive to ship to CA, but less so for those on the east coast because Nuts is located in the east. But Nuts.com is certainly a better choice than many other flours, but never as good as Authentic. Good resource, though, for so many GF products. Thanks!

  37. Do you have a recipe for Butterhorns (sweet yeast bread)? They are similar in shape but are not flakey like those of croissants.

  38. Hi there,
    These look amazing! A celiac’s dreams come true! Aside from the expandex that may be hard to obtain over here in the True North, are these able to be made vegan using Earth Balance?

    Best,
    Rachel

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi, Rachel. These aren’t intended to be vegan. The dairy is necessary as a foaming agent as well as part of the dough’s lamination. I’m guessing a vegan version would be a different recipe, altogether. Not saying it wouldn’t be possible but I’ve not made one so I can’t tell you if it would work or not – but it wouldn’t work as a substitute in this recipe.

  39. Thank you so much for your recipe… it took a long time to source the ingredients, and it’s certainly a labour of love making these, but I did give it a try (my eldest daughter, who is 16, was diagnosed with coeliac three years ago and really misses her croissants!), and to be honest expected utter failure especially after reading some of the comments, but it worked!!!

    The dough was fine and much easier to work with than I had expected (patient pressing, while time consuming, works really well), the croissants didn’t rise a lot, but rolled and baked perfectly well and looked, smelled and tasted really good! I’m really chuffed!

    I’m in the UK so couldn’t get Expandex, but used Orgran Gluten Substitute instead, and it worked fine (I followed their recommendation on how much to include for this quantity of flour).

    Is there any way I can include a picture in a comment?

  40. I never post to blogs but I wanted to say thank you. I made 2 recipes of this for a bridal shower this weekend in Phoenix. They turned out perfectly and we all loved them. The guests were astounded that they were GF. I made them in smaller sizes as we made everything in petite serving sizes. I think they made about 16 per recipe and several guests had 2-3. Thank you so much. This is a scientific miracle I think.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      So happy to hear that you not only enjoyed the croissants but made two batches! Glad they were a hit (and congrats to the bride to be). Thanks so much for posting to let us know – really appreciate it.

  41. Sarah Allen says:

    I tried these on the weekend they are brilliant – thank you! Do you think it would be possible to make the dough in large batches freeze it and use when you need to use it?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi, Sarah. So glad you enjoyed them and thanks for letting me know. I have not had great luck freezing GF yeasted (raw) dough, including the croissants. It seems to do something to them that prevents the dough from holding together and rising properly once they thaw. However, you could slightly under bake them, cool completely, wrap tightly and freeze them. Then thaw in the refrigerator before unwrapping so the condensation doesn’t make them soggy and then reheat them or finish baking them in the oven. But you’d have to experiment to see how that works for you. I would try one or two so you don’t waste a whole batch if it is not successful. Hope that helps.

  42. Hi, I was wandering why you don’t have any scroll bars in your web site.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Linda. Right side of the computer monitor screen is a gray scroll bar. It might be very light gray so could be hard to see, but it is there. It’s there on the mobile version, too.

  43. Tapioca…………..sigh. It makes my stomach hurt worse than being glutened! Why oh why isn’t there a substitute for tapioca?? :o(

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      I wouldn’t recommend subbing any other starch in this recipe, but most of the time you could probably get away with subbing arrowroot or corn starch for tapioca, especially in cookies or cakes. It would be more difficult with breads and yeast based recipes if they weren’t developed using other starches.

  44. When I make croissants with flour I take butter from the frig and grate it onto the rolled out dough then fold it. After a few grates and folds I do the last roll and make the croissants. My sisters in law do not believe I make them. They always said I had bought them. I am keen to try GF for a friend coming to visit. Thanks for the recipe. Nick New Zealand

  45. HI! is this recipe using pasteurized whole milk? can I use whole raw milk? this has more bacteria than the pasteurized milk. thanks!

  46. I found this recipe while looking for a recipe for chocolate croissants. Can you put a piece of chocolate in the middle? Thanks in advance!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Gina – if you read through the recipe and post you’ll find directions on how to make pain au chocolat (from the croissant dough) which is what you are looking for.

  47. I live in France and it is gluten free HELL there is nothing available NOTHING but there are loads of wonderful glutenFULL pastries and breads..its really hard for us glutenfree people Of course we can order from UK which has a .great range of stuff at a price of course.30 years glutenfree sounds like a life sentence to me

Trackbacks

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