Flaking Out

To kick off Vegan Mofo this year I decided to tackle one of the most iconic French pastries: the croissant. Croissants are a yeast dough that is rolled and folded to form layers of butter and dough, like puff pastry or danish dough. The layers of fat separating the dough layers are what make these pastries flaky. While these types of laminated pastries may be intimidating, they are easily within reach. It may be a little time consuming, but the effort is well worth it. I also made two of the most common filled croissants: almond filled croissant aux almandes and chocolate filled pain au chocolat.


3 sticks (3/4 pound) of Earth Balance (I highly recommend the sticks over the tub), equally divided and softened at room temperature
4 cups all purpose flour, approximately
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
4 1/2 tsp (2 packages) dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1-3/4 cups soy milk, plus 1/4 cup Mimic Cream, warmed to 80°F to 90°F

For Pain Au Chocolat
Dark chocolate chips, or batons, or bars cut into sticks (don’t go too dark here, since the pastry isn’t really sweet. I like somewhere around 60-75% cacao content)

For Croissant Aux Amandes
8 oz package or can almond paste (not marzipan)
Sliced almonds

Liberally flour a cutting board and work together the Earth Balance into a solid mass. Place on a piece of foil and form into a 6” square. Wrap in foil and chill in refrigerator.

Disolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups flour, salt and sugar. Add yeast to the warmed soy milk mixture (make sure neither the milk mixture or the water is too hot, otherwise it will kill the yeast) and mix with the flour. Stir with a paddle attachment for a few min until well mixed. Add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until you have a soft, but not sticky, dough (you may not use exactly 4 cups of flour). Switch to a dough hook and kneed for about 5 min. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Ensure that the Earth Balance is at a workable temperature. It should be soft enough to bend slightly, but should not crack (too cold) or be oily (too warm). You may have to take the Earth Balance out of the fridge before the dough. Place the dough on a floured surface and pat into a 10” square. Unwrap the Earth Balance and place on top of the dough diagonally. Fold each corner of the dough to the center, overlapping the dough and sealing into a package (see photo). Roll the dough in to a rectangle, about 8”x18” (the exact size is not critical).

Fold the dough in thirds, like a letter. Turn the dough so that the open ends are facing towards and away from you. Roll the dough again into a rectangle. Fold each end to the center and close, like a book, so you have four layers. Place the dough on a parchment lined sheet pan and cover with a damp towel (rinse a clean tea towel in cold water and wring dry). Let rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

After the first folding, the dough will be in three layers. Turn so it is facing like this before rolling again.
For the second turn, the ends are first folded to the center
The dough is then closed like a book to make four layers.

Unwrap the dough and roll again into a rectangle. Fold in thirds (like a letter). Place back on the sheet pan and wrap with a damp towel and plastic wrap. Chill 4-6 hours or overnight.

Flour a large surface (you will need a good amount of room for this) and roll the dough into a rectangle about 12” on the short side. The overall dimensions are not important, but it is important that the dough is rolled 1/8”-1/4” thick. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into two 6” strips. Cut each strip into triangles, about 6” across the base (you can change the size and go bigger or smaller if you like). Roll each triangle starting from the wide end toward the point. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and form into a crescent shape (the point should facing the inside of the crescent and should be tucked under the croissant). Place remaining croissants at least 2” apart and let rise on the counter for 1-2 hours, or until about doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 425°. Brush each croissant with soy milk or MimicCream and bake 20-25 min, rotating pans half way through, until browned. Cool on a wire rack before serving.


Pain Au Chocolat (chocolate croisants):
After rolling the dough cut into rectangles about 4”x6”. Place a chocolate baton or a row of chips along the short end. Fold over and place another baton or row of chips. Roll the dough and place, seam down on baking sheet. Let rise and bake as above.

Croissant Aux Almandes (almond croissants):
Roll and cut the dough into triangles as for plain croissants. Form a small log of almond paste about 3” long  and place near the base of the triangle. Roll and form like a plain croissant. After brushing with soy milk or MimicCream, sprinkle each croissant with sliced almonds.

This was my take on the classic ham and cheese croissant. I used some scraps and wrapped Tofurky franks with some Daiya.

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22 thoughts on “Flaking Out”

  1. Wowzers! I think a VERY well known blogger wanted to veganize these babies. You got it down! I am going to make these for company! Congrats on creating a fab recipe! There should be TONS more people flocking to your website!

  2. Oh how I miss almond croissants! Thanks so much for posting this recipe – I can’t wait to try my hand at these. Yours look so perfect!

  3. Hi! Thanks for sharing this recipe; I made it yesterday and it was a huge hit at my friend’s bday brunch. I have only two critiques: In the stage where I was adding the flour, I had to add waaaay more than two additional cups to make it into a dough rather than a batter. The other thing is that even though these were absolutely delicious, the texture was definitely not layered in the same way a croissant is, since I only rolled in fat one time (as per the directions). If I make these again, I will try to do the more traditional technique of adding the fat bit by bit between layers in order to create the layered effect of authentic croissants.

    Anyway, just wanted to give folks’ a heads up and also say thank you! It took me many, many hours but was well worth it.

    1. Hi, thanks for sharing your experience. Glad you enjoyed them.

      On the flour: a number of factors can change how much flour is needed for a dough, including humidity and temperature.

      On the fat: The traditional way croissants are made is with a single block of fat (as in the recipe). Then as the dough is rolled and folded the fat forms the layers of the the croissant. This can be a temperamental process. If the fat gets too warm, it will ooze out or be absorbed into the dough, and if it is too cold it will break into pieces and not form the proper layers. For this reason it is very important to give the dough time to chill between the “turns” and time to come up to a workable temperature after chilling.

      Happy baking!

  4. This recipe was intimidating to me but I was craving croissants and gave it a shot, turned out beautifully! I made mine savory, some with vegan pesto and some with Field Roast, had to add about a cup more of flour as well. Will definitely try this again and will be serving to my non-vegan friends!

    1. I always want to make savory ones, but sweet usually wins out. I’ve done a few with Daiya and veggie dogs, but spinach and “cheese” is high on my list to do.

  5. These are great! …also worth noting that this can make a LOT of croissants. I ended up doubling the recipe – I thought if I was going through all this I was going to make a double batch, and wow, that’s a lot of croissants. I shaved some chocolate truffles into half of them while I was rolling them out too which turned out nicely.

    I live at altitude, and I don’t know if it was due to that, but I found them more flaky and “buttery” cooking at 350. Maybe my oven temp is just off though too – I should get a thermometer.

    Someone else noted something about the variation in amount of flour, and I could see this varying a lot based on your technique – I used a lot of flour as I rolled the dough each time, so the dough kept taking on more flour as I rolled it. I started with slightly less than the recommendation, but might have ended up with more in the batter by the end.

    Thanks for this!

  6. You would probably be just fine using soy creamer instead of the MimicCream, or you could probably get away just using 2 cups soy milk.

  7. I think I could do it 🙂 croissants turned out really good. I just baked them 400F around 15 min
    Thank you very much for such great recipe!

  8. That’s pretty amazing. Here I was thinking I’d never eat a croissant again… Now I’m so excited to see these and hopefully someday soon try to make them! Beautiful work!

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