The cream cheese is nicely nestled between the buttery and light layers of these cream cheese croissants. These pastries are so irresistible with their golden exterior and their flaky, delicate tops. If you love pastry, also try my Danish Pastry Braid.
Today, we savor the delicious goodness of the pastry that is croissant. For the basic croissant recipe, check out How to Make Croissants. And for the chocolate version, of course we have Chocolate Croissants.
I am definitely on a roll, you guys and I don’t know when will I ever stop. I love croissants!
I totally enjoyed making croissant dough and making varieties of pastries with it is so much fun! Have you seen these Tartine’s morning buns? They are such a delight.
Although making croissants can be a long process, the reward that you get is totally worth your time and effort. The buttery, flaky texture and the soft, light layers inside, they can get you so hooked that you will want to make croissants every week.
Or maybe that’s just me. But still.
Cream Cheese Filled Croissants
Now, as an added variety, we have these cream cheese croissants. Cream cheese. It was not hard for me to come up with this one. I have totally seen it coming. To incorporate cream cheese into the beautiful layers of croissant, why not?
I think this is the point where I convince you to drop all your inhibitions and just make the croissant dough. If you are still on the fence, I suggest that you just go right in and get your hands rolling and folding. Just make these croissants.
It may seem hard. It may seem at first that you have got yourself into trouble but, really, all you need is to take your time, break the process into single, simple steps and you are going to be fine.
Trust me. Once you do the final fold of the dough, and especially once you see your assembled pastries have risen nicely, you will feel like you have just accomplished something great. The warm, fresh out of the oven croissants will be the extra, delicious bonus.
Cream Cheese Croissants : Recipe Overview
- Making the Dough
- Making the Butter Block
- Enclosing the Butter in the Dough
- A Series of Folding and Rolling ( 4 Times)
- The Double Fold and Long Chill
- Shaping and Filling the Croissants
- Resting and Baking
Let’s Make Cream Cheese Croissants
Make the Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, yeast and the brown sugar. Let this sit for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and foamy.
- Combine 3 ¾ cup of flour and salt. Attach the dough hook to the mixer. Gradually add the flour mixture in three additions to the yeast mixture, beating at low speed after each addition,
- Then slowly speed up to fully incorporate the flour. At this point, if the dough is separating into long, dry and powdery chunks, drizzle about 1-2 tbsp. of milk, then mix until the dough comes together. If your dough is coming together well, there is no need to add extra milk.
- Continue to run the mixer until the dough is smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough over into a clean surface, and knead briefly.
- Pat it into a 1 ½ inch thick rectangle. Wrap it in plastic film and chill for 1 hour.
Prepare the Butter Block
- While the dough is in the fridge, prepare the butter. Combine butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Beat butter and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until incorporated and smooth.
- Transfer the butter into a large plastic film.
- Wrap it and pat into a 5 inch rectangle that is about 1 inch thick. Make sure to tap and pack it well to release any air pockets. Chill this in the fridge until the dough is ready.
Enclose the Butter Block Inside the Dough
- After chilling the dough, unwrap it and roll it into a 17 x 10 inch rectangle.
- Lay the butter block on the center of the dough. The long edge of the butter should be parallel to the short edge of the dough.
- Fold the dough business letter style: Fold the bottom part over to the center to fully cover the butter. Stretch the dough as necessary to keep the edges straight.
- Fold the upper part of dough over to the center, fully covering the first flap. The butter is now enclosed in the dough. Brush any excess flour from the dough. if the dough has gotten warm at this point. Wrap it in plastic film, place it in a baking pan and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Otherwise, let’s move on to the Rolling and Folding part.
Folding and Rolling the Dough (4X)
THE FIRST FOLD
- On a floured surface, position the rectangle dough so that the short edge is closest to you. Using a rolling pin, gently pound the dough along its length to gently flatten the butter block inside.
- Roll it out into 17 x 10 inches rectangle, keeping the edges straight as best as you can.
- Fold the lower flap of the dough towards the center.
- Fold the upper flap over the center to cover the first flap. This is now now your first fold.
- Wrap the dough in plastic film. Place it in a baking pan.
- Cover it with a clean towel and chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
REPEAT THE ROLLING AND FOLDING THREE MORE TIMES
- So after the dough has chilled, position it in the surface so that the short edge is closes to you. Roll it out again into a 17x 10 inches rectangle. Each time you roll out the dough, make sure the surface is dusted with flour, as well as the top of the dough to prevent any sticking.
- Again, fold the lower flap over to the center, then fold the upper flap over to cover the first 23. flap. This is your second fold. Brush any excess flour. Wrap this again in the same manner as before. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Take out the dough from the freezer and repeat the roll out and fold to make your Third Fold. Brush any excess flour. Wrap again and Chill.
- Next, take out the dough from the fridge. Roll it out again. This time you will see the the dough is starting to have some cracks. This is normal. If you encounter one, simply patch the area with some dusting of flour. It is also important that the surface is floured to prevent any sticking. Fold the dough in the same manner. This is your Fourth Fold. If the dough as gotten warm at this point, pop it again the fridge for 30 minutes. If not, go ahead and continue to the next step.
The Double Fold and the Long Chill
- Roll out the dough into a 20×10 inches rectangle.
- Then, with the long edge closest to you, fold the two sides so that the two short edges meet at the center.
- Fold the entire thing in half so that the opening is to the right, like a book. Wrap the dough again and chill it the fridge for at least 8 hours, but not more than 18 hours.
Shaping and Filling the Croissants
- Once you have chilled your final croissant dough for at least 8 hours, divide it in half and put one half back in the fridge, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Roll the other half into a 10 x 18 inch rectangle.
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 4 sections horizontally, and four sections vertically so that you have 16 small rectangles.
- Place a strip of cream cheese on one of the short edges of a rectangle. The cream cheese should be chilled beforehand so it is easier to cut them and position them in the dough.
- Starting on the short side of the rectangle, roll the dough while lightly stretching the other end in the opposite direction to get a nice tight log.
- Repeat the process with the rest of the rectangles and place them on a large baking tray. Leave about 2 inches space in between each pastry. You are going to need two trays for all of them.
- Cover the pastries loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise for 2 hours.
Note: You can double line the baking trays with parchment paper to avoid over browning on the bottom of the croissants.
Bake the Croissants
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Once the temperature is achieved, use a spray bottle to spritz water generously inside the oven. Close the door briefly then put in the baking trays. Spritz with water once more, then close the door.
- Lower the temperature to 400 F. Bake the croissants for 8 minutes without opening the oven door. Then, switch the position of the trays and rotate them 180 degrees. Lower the temperature to 375 F and bake the cream cheese croissants for 5-8 more minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Flaky pastries, what a beautiful sight!
I really enjoyed that early morning assembling these pastries while my kids were sleeping. But of course, what I enjoyed the most was munching on these lovely cream cheese croissants while the house still smelled wonderful from baking these treats.
Pointers for Freezing
- You can use the other half of the dough right away within the day or freeze it for up to two weeks. Just wrap it nicely with a plastic wrap, then in foil. To use it, thaw in the fridge then proceed with your recipe.
- You can also freeze the croissant dough anytime between the folding process. Wrap it well in plastic film, then in foil. Thaw and continue when ready.
Cream Cheese Croissants
- 1/2 recipe croissant dough about 1 and 1/2 lbs
- 1/2 block cream cheese chilled ( 125 grams)
- In a lightly floured surface, roll the croissant dough into an 18 x 10 inch rectangle. Dust off flour from the dough. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 4 sections horizontally, and 4 sections vertically to form 16 rectangles.
- Cut cream cheese into strips about 3 to 4 inches long and 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Place a piece of cream cheese on one of the short edge of a rectangle. Stretch the dough briefly, then fold the dough over the cream cheese. Roll it to form a tight log while keeping the dough taut and stretched using the other hand. Place each rolled dough on a large baking tray that is lined with two layers of parchment paper. Repeat process with the rest of the dough. Position the rolls two inches apart from each other. You will need two trays. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. using a spray bottle, spritz water generously on the inside of the oven and close the door briefly. Place the croissant trays inside the oven and spritz with water once more before closing the oven door. Lower the temperature to 400 F and bake the croissants for 8 minutes without opening the door.
- After 8 minutes, switch the position of the baking trays and rotate them 180 degrees. Lower heat to 375 F. Bake for another 5-8 minutes or until the pastries are golden.