I get it.  You see the words “easy croissant dough,” and think what?  I promise, this is easy. It’s fun. And, it will make you happy to tackle something you think you can’t do.  Again, taking a page from my favorite Baking for the Holidays you can make this dough in the morning and be baking croissants and other delectables by the afternoon.

Recently I’ve used this dough to make danish.  I’ve made a cranberry cream cheese danish, sent off to my parents, and then made a small bath of individual apple tarte tatin.  This may look intimidating, but it isn’t.  In fact, it’s rewarding to try something you thought you couldn’t do and actually realize you can do it! The ingredients aren’t out of the ordinary — butter, flour, sugar, salt and dry active yeast.  Perhaps, the last ingredient you might have to purchase…  The key to creating the buttery layers is room temperature, pliable butter.  It’s slathered all over the dough then folds are created.  You can do this!


This recipe makes roughly 2 1/2 lbs of dough  I cut mine into half, and froze the other.


Cheater's Croissant Dough

A buttery, multi-layer dough that will have you making croissants and danish for all.

 Author Sarah Keiffer


  • 1 ½ cups warm water, 110° - 135°

  • 4 tsp dry, active yeast

  • 4 cups all purpose flour,plus 1 tbs all purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp unsalted butter, melted

  • 1½ cup butter, room temperature (this is 3 sticks) The recipe call for European butter but I used regular


  1. Grease a large bowl and set aside ( used Pam). In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the water and yeast and let sit until it's dissolved -- roughly 5 mins.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the 4 cups of flour, the sugar and salt. With the mixer on low, add the water-yeast mx=ixture, follwed by the melted butter. Continue to mix all ingredients until combined, 3-4 minutes. The dough will appear "bumpy," but in one piece. Move the dough to the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap to let rise 1½-2 hours, it should double in size. Gently press the dough down, realizing as mcc gas as possible. Place the dough on a large pice of plastic wrap and shape into a 10x12 rectangle, then cover with more plastic wrap, place on a sheet pan and let sit in the fridge for 2 hour or up to overnight.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and 1 tbs of flour until creamy. It should take 2-3 minutes and the consistency should be creamy, combined and pliable. After the 2 hours, remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap it and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to 12x20 rectangle, spread the dough evenly with the butter mixture, leaving a ½ inch boarder.

  4. You're ready for the turns! Make the first turn by having the short end facing you. Fold ⅓ of the dough onto itself, as if you're folding a letter. Then fold the remaining dough on top of the side already folded. Turn the dough so the seam is facing you to the right and one open end is facing you. Gently roll the dough into a 10x18 rectangle. Each time you roll, the rectangle will become smaller). Repeat the "letter fold then sprinkle a bit of flour on a plate or sheet pan and place the dough on it and freeze it for 6-minutes. Set a timer! You don't want the dough to freeze. After the 6-minutes, remove the dough and repeat the letter fold again, making sure the seam is facing to the right.

  5. Roll the dough back into a rectangle, roughly 8x16, and repeat the step for 1 (one) letter fold. {each fold and roll is creating those lovely, buttery, flakey layers}. Roll the dough gently and cut into two equal pieces. If using immediately, please the piece in the freezer again for 6-minutes to chill, then move on with what your making. The dough, wrapped in plastic and placed in a freezer-safe bag can last for at least 2-weeks frozen. Place into the fridge to thaw before using