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Gluten Free Croissants..Yes Gluten Free

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner Sydney and I have had numerous requests to teach a class on Pâte à Croissants (Croissant dough). To be honest I was not ecstatic at the thought of conducting a culinary class on croissants without having taught a beginner bread and pastry class.

Pains sucré or sweet bread dough has caused calm sane people to revert to a two year old having a tantrum. However a good friend of Sydney’s wanted to learn the method and technique to prepare croissants for a Mother’s day brunch she was hosting; her mother had just finished a long painful battle with breast cancer and this is going to be their first Mother’s Day without chemotherapy. I could not in good conscience refuse.

The small “catch,” as Sydney’s friend explained, was her mother also had celiac disease (she needed a gluten free diet), croissants alone are difficult to master, but gluten free… I began pulling my hair out at the thought.

You can almost smell the buttery goodness!

Sydney and I decided six students would have to be the limit, three students per instructor seemed appropriate. In theory the recipe has few ingredients yeast (fresh or active dry), flour, liquid, sugar and salt. As I mentioned earlier, jumping into creating flaky light buttery croissants without any previous knowledge of yeast breads seemed a recipe for disaster. Sydney and I began brainstorming a successful, flourishing, and enjoyable pains (bread) class. Since croissants can take a minimum of 12 hours to a maximum of 3 days,depending on the method used, we concluded it would be advantageous instead of only teaching croissants to teach a pâte feuilletée (puff pastry), pâte à brioche (brioche), and pâte à croissant (croissant) class both with and without gluten over a 5 day period.

Croissants are, in my opinion, a cross between pâte à brioche and pâte feuilletée. Both puff pastry and croissants need the détrempe and barrage at the same temperature, rest in the refrigerator between rolls, and use the same method of rolling, folding, and turning. Brioche and croissants each use yeast to rise the dough, and need to be proofed more than once.

After we completed a schedule for the week, we were ready for our group of students, the only prerequisite I asked was that each student needed to have an understanding of yeast breads. We prepared six syllabuses, recipes for the puff pastry, brioche, and croissant, and each student received a mini food processor. When Monday arrived we were ready and motivated.

Since my intention is not to bore you with the details of the entire week from here on I will only be referring to the croissant portion. I must admit, for the most part, the class went rather smoothly and all had a tremendous time. I will start with same line I said as we began the croissant portion, “please take a deep breath and release slowly.” If you are confident, the dough will submit to your will.

Prior to beginning anything prepare your mise en place

We used fresh compressed yeast (also called cake yeast), but active dry yeast works fine and I have given both versions.

Pâte à Croissant Dough 1:


244 grams/ 1-cup whole milk, warm about 35 degrees C/ 95 degrees F

110 grams/1/2-cup heavy cream, warm about 35 degrees F/ 95 degrees F

29.9 grams/ 1.3 ounces fresh yeast or 13 grams dry yeast/ 1 Tablespoon, plus ¼ -teaspoon

4 grams/ 1- teaspoon sugar

18 grams/1 Tablespoon salt

About Bobbie Noto

  • Louise

    Did you use the warm cream with the white sugar and salt with the dry yeast?

  • 12345

    I made these over yesterday and today. I used the warm cream, sugar and salt with the yeast as the comment above suggested, which worked well.. I’m well experienced with gluten bread baking, but in the past few months have been introduced to gluten free baking, so i’m still quite new. I did find that even using a tablespoon of xanthan gum, the dough still didn’t get nearly as elastic as the instructions suggested, and while completing the turns the dough often cracked with rolling.. I would reccomend freezing the rested formed croissants BEFORE baking because my first few simply fell apart in the oven so I put the rest in the freezer on the baking pan for about 20 minutes before I put them in the oven which worked well. They looked more similar to a flakier pillsbury crescent roll than the picture, but they turned out DELICIOUS and I will be making them again, maybe with some dark chocolate hidden inside too!

  • Jennifer-Adventuresome Kitchen

    Hi! I love your croissant recipe. I’ve wanted to attempt gluten-free croissants for some time now. I have a few questions..1) what is a Beurrage Package? I’ve never heard of one, and would love to know what it is and where to find it.
    2) I’m confused on the ‘flaps’ directions in the Paton section..can you articulate that a little more clearly? It seems that you wouldn’t need flaps if you’re just wrapping the butter..Are you saying that the 4 corners of the dough need to be brought together over the center of the butter, slightly moistened and secured?- so it looks like the back of an envelope? I’d appreciate any clarification. I’ll report back once I’ve made these. Croissants are the one pastry I truly miss.

  • Lauren

    I made these on Saturday with TREMENDOUS results. I started the dough in my bread machine because my house is cold in the winter and I knew it would keep the temperatures just right. GF dough will NEVER be elastic like gluten dough but this is by far the best dough I’ve tried for croissants, and my celiac friend LOVED them. we didn’t let them proof quite long enough either as it was getting late, but they were still delicious.

    Jennifer– I highly recommend watching some youtube videos on croissant making. Its almost impossible to understand written directions and it will give you a visual on adding the butter, turning and folding the dough. Its very helpful to see it done if you’ve never done it, and everyone’s technique will be slightly different but this dough will make fantastic GF croissants!

  • Bobbie

    There is a detailed step by step on my blog site bobbie’s baking blog

  • Rose Sucree

    I found out I had to eliminate gluten from diet about 2 months ago; croissant are favorite food. I visited bobbie’s baking blog for the full details. This recipe rocks Thank you! Rose

  • Igor

    Thank you! You’ve performed a great service for us Ciliac sufferers!

  • Lee

    Hi, I looked on your web and saw the detailed steps, but that recipe is for regular croissants, not GF. With GF bread you usually can’t just switch out the flour as you have done, so can you tell us whether you made these GF or not? Just curious bc you even have the same story about your daughters friend, but you omit the GF part. I ask bc your measurements are off. For instance 7/8 cup of sweet rice flour = 120 grams, not 300. 3/4 of a cup of sorghum = 90 g. Also, you don’t say when to put in the xatham gum, but i assumed w the salt. Also the batter is very salty (gf flours are more transparent than wheat) which made me wonder if perhaps the 7/8c was the typo. My dough is resting so we shall see. It is very sticky and did not pull away from the bowl, even though i added in the 1/2c reserved flour and another 1/4c. I know better to add too much flour with gf baking, so i stopped there. Please clarify if you would. GF flours are expensive and its a shame to waste if the recipe isn’t correct. Thanks.

  • Bobbie

    I wish the recipe worked out for you; the recipe has been tested and works for most gluten free bakers. The flours have not been switched, it is a scientific mixture to substitute, of sweet brown rice flour, sorghum flour
    rice or corn starch, and xanthan gum.If you need help with the gluten free baking please contact me.

  • Gwen

    The step in which you mix the yeast with the cream and sugar is missing from this recipe. Fortunately I read the comments first and was comparing with the recipe on your blog but for those who might not notice that, it would be helpful to go back and include this step on this website so it’s not confusing.

    Also, in my years of working with gluten free flours, I’ve never seen sweet *brown* rice flour, just sweet white rice. Did you use the regular brown rice flour (like Bob’s Red Mill) or did you actually find a *sweet* brown rice flour? I ended up doing half brown rice flour and half sweet white rice flour (based off a gf puff pastry recipe I have) which may or may not work, but we’ll see.

    Looking forward to seeing how these turn out!

  • Gwen

    Lee: as I said in my previous comment, I decided to experiment with half sweet white rice and half brown rice–as I was weighing them, I noticed that 100g of one was definitely more physical volume than 100g of the other. So perhaps it was a different type of flour than Bobbie used (which is why weight is the best way to do these sorts of recipes…)

  • Bobbie

    I found sweet brown rice at KA.

  • Hope

    These gluten free croissants are so good you won’t believe they’re gluten free!

  • Gal Gone Gluten Free

    These look spectacular. I’m dreaming of a schmear of raspberry jam…

  • Cammy

    Interesting! I’ve been missing croisants in my life… hope i can try to do without the yeast though

  • lucy

    Any substitutes to cream that are lactose free?

  • Jane

    I was really excited to try this recipe, but unfortunately it has a few detrimental mistakes. The author also has the recipe on her blog with corrections – for example 42 g of cornstarch, and 1 7/8 cups of sweet brown rice flour. These errors resulted in a failed batch, but I’m going to try again with the corrected recipe. Here’s hoping.

  • Melody

    I found your posted recipe of GF Croissants on Pintrest. I am a bit confused. First, you didn’t say how to prep the yeast mix–with? can I sub the rice or corn starch with Tapioca starch? what is Beurrage Package? how much is 340 grams of butter in American measuring terms? (Tablespoon, teaspoon, cups). Also I do not have a mixer so I must use my hands and a utensil to stir/mix. Also would substituting the milk to using Lactos Free milk or Almond milk ok to trade out? Do you have any other flavored variations of Croissant recipes to offer? such as Almond Croissants? ham & cheese croissants? Also-isn’t that too much salt in this recipe? 1 Tablespoon? really?
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