Gluten-Free & Vegan Croissant
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Croissants for Breakfast (Vegan, Gluten-free)

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Gluten-Free and Vegan Croissant for breakfast

These gluten-free & vegan homemade croissants are flaked with buttery layers of chewy croissant dough. I never thought I would be able to enjoy croissants for breakfast ever again but now I can! I worked hard on making this croissant recipe easy and am proud to say that anyone can make this.

Eating Croissants for Breakfast

My father is French and one of my dearest memories of him is of having fresh-out-of-the-oven croissants for breakfast. Needless to say that it was a tradition of ours growing up. So it was very important for me to make them with that deliciously buttery taste and have those chewy and flaky layers without the gluten and dairy.

Making this Croissant Recipe Easy

Full disclosure, I made 8 batches of these homemade croissants before the recipe was viable. Normally, I would have given up after 2 batches and called it a loss. Since this was for a client and was quite excited about building the recipe, I stuck to it. So, batch after batch, I baked my little buns off, yet my homemade croissants still fell flat, literally, they just wouldn’t rise.

I was on my last draw when I asked the vegan baking community and they were amazing. They troubleshot the hell out of those flat croissants. Hats off to the awesome community that was willing to take the time in helping me make this croissant recipe easy. 

There were 2 major hurdles that I had to overcome in making this croissant recipe an easy one. The first one was to find the right type of vegan butter that worked best for this recipe. The second was to find an appropriate replacement for the lack of elasticity in gluten-free flour. 

Using the Right Butter Alternative

When making regular croissants, you need to create layers of butter to be able to get that flaky texture. This is created by getting the butter block hard and folding it into the dough over and over again. If the butter is too soft, then creating those layers will be quite difficult.  A lot of the time, vegan butter is more like soft margarine than butter, it’s quite soft even coming straight from the fridge. This is either because of the oils being used and/or added water making it more spreadable.

I tried multiple types of butter for this recipe; Earth balance, Melt, Le Grand, and President’s Choice. The only ones that I found worked well were Le Grand and President’s Choice Plant-Based Butter Alternative.

If you don’t have these brands available in your area, you can do a test. Put it in the fridge for at least a day and take a butter knife and run it through the top as you would to spread it onto your toasts. If it flakes then you’ve found yourself a good vegan butter alternative for making your homemade croissants gluten-free, if it doesn’t find another brand, you’ll end up with a sloppy mess.

Croissants, How to Make them Gluten-Free

What makes homemade croissants so fluffy is the elasticity of the dough. The gas-producing yeast balloons up creating pockets of air making them fluffy. When baking croissants using gluten-free flour, you lose all of the elasticity, and the air escapes making for some very flat croissants. So when it comes to gluten-free homemade croissants, how to make them with the same elasticity is a bit of a challenge.

I troubleshot this problem with the vegan baking community and they came up with a great solution. It seems that adding psyllium husks would be the best way to add elasticity to gluten-free flour allowing them to rise properly.

Making Croissants for Breakfast

The Day Before

Step 1 – Making The Croissant Dough

In a small bowl mixing, add the water to the psyllium husks and set aside for 5 minutes. In the meantime, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add your yeast, sugar, and body temperature almond milk and let sit for 5-10 minutes. This will activate your yeast and should create a foamy layer on the surface.

Step 1 of Gluten-Free & vegan Croissant

In a medium-sized bowl, add all the remaining dry ingredients and mix till uniform. Starting slowly, turn on your stand mixer with the yeast bowl and slowly add psyllium husks, then the melted butter, and finally the dry ingredients ½ cup at a time waiting in between till each scoop has been incorporated before the next.  Cover everything with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Step 2 – Making the Butter Block

The key to good croissants is the flaky, fluffy layers. To achieve these layers, you’ll have to fold in a block of butter over and over again.  So, the first step is to make your butter block. As I explained earlier, choose a vegan butter alternative that will flake when passing a knife through it when it is refrigerated. 

Start by leaving your butter out for a few hours to soften it up. Take a small bowl and add your butter and 2 tbsp of flour and mix till uniform. Then, take a sandwich-sized ziplock bag and put it into a tall glass rolling the opening over the edge of the glass. This will facilitate adding your butter into the bag.

Once all your butter is in the bag, close the bag 2/3rd of the way and either flatten it out with your hands or you can also use a rolling pin. Try to remove all the air in the bag then close it. Lay it flat in the refrigerator until it hardens, a least a couple of hours.

The Morning Of

Step 3 – Laminating the Dough

Take your dough out of the fridge and lay it out on a sheet of saran wrap. Cut out half of the dough and place the rest back in the fridge. If it smells a little like beer, don’t worry this is normal, it’s just the yeast. If this smell bothers you, knead it a little. Sprinkle your surface with flour then, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough till you get a 9×13”-sized sheet of dough (should be ½ in or less. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then transfer the dough to the baking sheet and cover with saran wrap. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes then flip over and place back into the freezer for another 15 minutes.

Step 3 -Laminating the dough

Remove baking sheet from freezer and the butter block from the fridge and immediately place dough on a flat surface with the parchment paper. Place the butter block in the center lengthwise of the dough and fold the two sides on top of it then fold again in half. Roll out again till you have approximately a 9×13 sheet of dough. Repeat this process 2 more times. If it’s a sloppy mess, then your butter was probably too soft. Place the dough back onto the cookie sheet and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Step 4 – Shaping the Croissants

Remove the baking sheet from the fridge over the length of the dough, cut 3 equal-sized rectangles. Then split those rectangles into equal-sized triangles. Over the base of the triangle cut a 1” slit. Start by curling the inside of the slit towards the outside and then roll up your croissants.  

Step 4 Shaping the croissants

Step 5 – Proofing your dough

Make sure to put your croissants into a draft-free environment covered with a wet cloth. I put mine into an oven covered with a wet paper towel. Depending on the room temperature, if it’s below 20˚C or 68˚F you might want to add a pot of lightly simmering water. Yeast prefers warmer environments between 20-24˚C or 68-77˚F. However; you don’t want it so hot that the butter melts out of your croissants. They should grow more or less double in size but they will be visibly larger and puffy. If you can touch them and it leaves a permanent indent then you know that your croissants are well-proofed.

Proofed

Step 6 – Baking

Preheat your oven to 475˚F. In the meantime prepare all your “egg wash” ingredients. Brush on top of your croissant and put it back in the fridge. Once the oven reaches its temperature, throw a couple of ice cubes into your oven and put your croissants on the middle rack. Set your timer for 5 minutes then reduce it to 450˚F. Set your timer again for 5 minutes then reduce it to 425˚F and bake for another 5 minutes and you’re done!

Storing these Croissants

Unfortunately, these do not keep too well so once they are baked. You can keep them for a day or two in an airtight sealed container if you heat them in the oven but are never as good as when they are freshly baked.

Freezing these Croissants for Breakfast

If you are considering making these croissants for breakfast or even brunch, you might want to consider making them in advance and freezing them. This will simplify the preparation process and let you focus more on actually enjoying your breakfast.

Simply take them out the night before and put them on a baking sheet covered with a damp paper towel. By the time the morning comes, your croissants should have risen and be ready for the oven.

Eating these Croissants with Nutella (vegan)

One of my favourite things to eat with these croissants is vegan Homemade Nutella. It is so delicious and a must-try.

Gluten-Free and Vegan Croissant for breakfast
Vegan & Gluten-Free Croissant
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Croissants for Breakfast (Vegan, Gluten-free)

These croissants for breakfast (gluten-free, vegan) are flaked with buttery layers of chewy dough making them a delicious breakfast staple.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine French
Keyword Croissant, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Gluten-free brunch Ideas, Vegan, Vegan Brunch Ideas
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 15 minutes
Proofing 2 hours
Total Time 1 day 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 278kcal
Author Happy as a Yam Recipes

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with dough attachment (optional)

Ingredients

Butter Block for Half the Dough

  • ¾ cup high-quality unsalted vegan butter such as Maison Le Grand
  • 2 tbsp gluten free bread flour blend

Dough

  • 1 packet or 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) almond milk warmed in microwave for 20 sec or body temperature
  • 4 tbsp Psyllium husk
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 ¾ cups Gluten-Free flour mix I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour
  • 1 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp butter melted (warm not hot)

Vegan "Egg Wash"

  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Vegan butter melted*

Instructions

DOUGH

  • In a small bowl mixing, add the water to the psyllium husks and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • In the meantime, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add your yeast, sugar, and body temperature almond milk and let sit for 5-10 minutes. This will activate your yeast and should create a foamy layer on the surface.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, add all the remaining dry ingredients and mix till uniform. Starting slowly, turn on your stand mixer with the yeast bowl and slowly add psyllium husks, then the melted butter, and finally the dry ingredients ½ cup at a time waiting in between till each scoop has been incorporated before the next. Once everthing has been combined, turn the mixer on high for 5 minutes. At this point, your dough should not be sticky. If it is add and extra 1/4 cup of flour.
  • Cover everything with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

BUTTER BLOCK

  • Take a small bowl and add your softened butter and 2 tbsp of flour and mix till uniform. Choose a vegan butter that will flake when passing a knife through it when refrigerated.*See Notes.
  • Take a sandwich-sized ziplock bag and put it into a tall glass rolling the opening over the edge of the glass. This will facilitate adding your butter into the bag. Once all your butter is in the bag, close the bag 2/3rd of the way and either flatten it out with your hands or you can also use a rolling pin. Try to remove all the air in the bag then close it and lay it flat in the refrigerator for a least a few hours or until the block has hardened.

DOUGH

  • Take your dough out of the fridge and lay it out on a sheet of saran wrap. Cut half of the dough and place the rest back in the fridge. If it smells a little like beer, don't worry this is normal, it's just the yeast. If this smell bothers you, knead it a little.
  • Sprinkle your surface with flour then, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough till you get a 9×13 sized sheet of dough (should be ¼ in. or less. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then transfer the dough to the baking sheet and cover with saran wrap. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes then flip over and place back into the freezer for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the freezer and the butter block from the fridge. Cut down the sides of the baggie to expose the butter block. Set it aside while you prepare the dough.
  • Remove baking sheet from freezer and the butter block from the fridge and immediately place dough on a flat surface with the parchment paper.
  • Place the butter block in the center lengthwise of the dough and fold the two sides on top of it then fold again in half. Roll out again till you have approximately a 9×13 sheet of dough. Repeat this process 2 more times. If it's a sloppy mess, then your butter was probably too soft.
  • Place the dough back onto the cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

SHAPING THE CROISSANTS

  • Remove the baking sheet from the fridge and over the length of the dough, cut 3 equal-sized rectangles. Then split those rectangles along the diagonal into equal-sized triangles. Over the base of the triangle cut a 1" slit. Start by curling the inside of the slit towards the outside and then roll up your croissants.
  • Place the croissants at least 2 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover croissants with a wet paper towel.

PROOFING

  • Bring a small pot of water to a slow boil on the stove. Remove from the heat and place the pot in your oven on the very bottom rack or even right on the bottom of the oven.
  • Place the croissants on a rack in the upper third of the oven. Close the oven door and allow the croissants to slowly rise, which can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. Once they look puffy and they're noticeably larger, you can remove them from the oven.**
    Gluten-Free & Vegan Croissant

BAKING

  • Preheat oven to 475˚F. Mix all ingredients for the "egg wash". Brush the croissants with the prepared egg wash and place the croissants in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  • Take a couple of ice cubes and throw them onto the oven floor and place the croissants on the middle rack. Quickly close the oven door and set a timer for 5 minutes.
  • Drop the temperature down to 450° F and set a timer again for 5 minutes.
  • Again, drop the temperature down to 425° F and set a timer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the croissants from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

*Make sure you use a high-quality vegan butter that is not spreadable at fridge temperature. I have found this out the hard way that most vegan butters are almost like margarines and have a high water content and/or are mixed with oils that will not harden. It is essential that it should have more or less the same consistency as a non-vegan butter. I used Le Grand or Miyokos butters
** The croissants rise best at temperatures of 20-24˚C or 68-77˚F if the temperature rises above this, the butter might leak out.

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9 Comments

    1. Hi Eva, I would say probably not. The flour mix that I used (bob’s red mill 1 to 1 baking flour) has a combination of different flours that make it bind together better which is important for the rising process to work. You can try it but my gut instinct tells me that it probably wouldn’t work.

  1. thanks, I use no grains so I bake with either coconut or almond flour or a combo, but would love a croissants I could make

  2. Question, what do you do with the other half of the dough that was placed in the fridge? I must be misreading the instructions

    1. Hi Jackie, thank you for your question. The other half is simply to make another batch of it. You can freeze it or you can make the other batch right away. Up to you. Hope this helps

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