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Gluten-Free Croissant Recipe (Made With a Sourdough Method)

October 27, 2023 (Last Updated: April 4, 2024)
two gluten free sourdough croissants on a plate

Embarking on the journey of making croissants represents the zenith of pastry artistry. Venturing further to create a gluten-free croissant recipe with a sourdough method might seem like an impossible task.

It’s important to note that while these croissants may not mirror the classic, butter-laden flakiness of traditional French croissants, they stand as a commendable alternative.

Particularly for those with dietary constraints, these croissants offer a delightful experience with a crispy, buttery crust and a soft, flaky crumb, complete with the distinct tang of sourdough. While they might differ from the traditional archetype, their unique charm and flavor are worthy of celebration and sharing.

If you’re just starting your journey into gluten-free and lectin-free sourdough baking, we strongly suggest exploring our Beginner’s Guide to Baking Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread. It provides a thorough introduction to our baking method, ensuring you have all the knowledge needed to embark on this delicious adventure.

Embarking on a Gluten-Free Sourdough Croissant Journey

The allure of croissants is undeniable. Crafting them at home demands an artistry and patience that can seem daunting. For many, the luxury of sourcing traditional croissants from a skilled bakery isn’t an option.

This sparked my curiosity: Could I recreate these buttery crescent rolls, known as croissants, in my own kitchen using a gluten-free sourdough approach?

In my experiment, I used my gluten-free sourdough starter comprised of millet, teff, and sorghum flours, and prepared a preferment with a blend of sorghum and millet flours. While the outcome with different starters and flour combinations may vary, I believe this recipe offers flexibility for adaptation.

What sets this recipe apart is its lamination method, distinct from traditional techniques. Inspired by an Instagram creator who shared her simplified approach to croissant lamination, I was eager to embrace this method. Her endorsement of this technique as an easier way to make croissants was all the encouragement I needed to give it a try.

Note: Lamination is the process of creating the butter and dough layers specific to croissants.

two gluten free sourdough croissants on a plate

Time Commitment

Crafting croissants is a leisurely process. While the hands-on time isn’t excessive, it does require you to be at home throughout the day.

Set aside a relaxed day for this project. If you begin around 8 AM, expect to enjoy freshly baked croissants by 5:30 PM. Don’t forget, these croissants freeze and reheat beautifully, perfect for a delightful morning treat.

Setting Expectations for Gluten-Free Sourdough Croissants

As these croissants diverge from traditional versions, it’s important to set realistic expectations, beyond what can be discerned from photographs.

Texture: Expect a delightful contrast with a crispy, buttery crust and a soft, flaky crumb that’s impressively layered. They are denser and more ‘bready’ than the traditional croissants.

Taste: Far from being sweet, these gluten-free croissants possess the distinct tang of sourdough, with the rich flavor of brown butter taking center stage. For extra sweetness, follow the suggestions in the recipe card.

Serving Suggestions: These croissants are best enjoyed 10-15 minutes post-baking while they’re still warm. If you have leftovers, freezing them is the way to go. For reheating, a quick 10-minute warm-up in the oven at 190°C (375°F) revives their freshness perfectly.

Your Time Investment: Although this recipe might be more straightforward than the traditional method, it still demands a significant amount of time and focus. It’s not a venture to embark on amidst stress or a hectic schedule. Personally, I approach this recipe as a rewarding challenge, a rare but gratifying culinary adventure.

gluten free sourdough croissant cut in half

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Sourdough Croissants

Preferment:

  • 20 grams active starter
  • 60 grams filtered water (mineralized is better)
  • 70 grams of flour (35g sorghum + 35g millet)

Wet mix:

  • 17 grams psyllium husk flakes
  • 15 grams raw, local honey
  • 6 grams MCT oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 400 grams almond milk (dairy milk can also be used)

Note: I add vanilla powder to the almond milk. You can also sweeten your milk for a touch of sweetness in the final product.

Dry mix:

  • 100 grams sorghum flour (finely ground)
  • 100 grams millet flour (finely ground)
  • 85 grams tapioca flour
  • 15 grams almond flour
  • 3 grams salt

Extra:

  • 180 grams unsalted French butter
  • Millet flour for dusting 
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon almond milk + vanilla for egg wash
  • Inulin powder for dusting (optional)

Note on sweetness: These croissants are not sweet. There is no sweetener other than the 15 grams of honey. If you eat sugar, you can add some to the milk before mixing it with the wet ingredients. If not, try adding your favorite sweetener. But croissants are not generally sweet pastry (although they do contain a very small amount of sugar), so I prefer them plain. For a touch of sweetness, I powder them with inulin powder.

Tools You Need

  • Two mixing bowls
  • A dough scraper
  • A fork and butter knife
  • A pastry brush
  • A rolling pin
  • A flat working surface
  • A baking tray that fits in your refrigerator. If unavailable, use a platter that fits in the fridge for shaping the croissants, then transfer them to a baking sheet before baking.
  • Approximately eight parchment sheets

Instructions and Schedule

Preferment Preparation (the night before):

  • Prepare a double preferment using millet and sorghum flour as late as you can, ensuring it remains at peak activity the next morning.

Dough Preparation (early morning, around 8 AM):

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Prepare the psyllium husk gel by mixing all the ingredients, set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Mix the preferment with the psyllium husk gel thoroughly.
  • Incorporate this mixture into the dry ingredients. Start mixing with your hands, then switch to a plastic or silicon dough scraper. Holding the bowl with your non-dominant hand, scrape the sides of the bowl, and fold the dough into the center, rotating the bowl and repeating this movement for about 30 seconds.
  • Cover the dough and allow it to ferment at room temperature for approximately 60 minutes.

Shaping the Dough:

  • Carefully invert the dough onto a surface lightly dusted with flour, ensuring the bottom side faces up. Begin by folding one-third of the dough from the far end towards the center. Then, roll this section towards you, covering the remaining third. The seam should now be on the underside of the dough.
  • Gently rotate the dough using both palms, creating a subtle tension against the surface. Continue rotating until the seam is smoothly sealed. Lightly dust the top with flour, then place the dough seam-side up in a bowl lined with a cotton towel and sprinkled with sorghum flour.
  • Finally, wrap the dough in the towel, encase it in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Layer Preparation:

  • Prepare 13 parchment paper squares by cutting full-size sheets into four equal squares.
  • Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. If you prefer precision, weigh the dough; the total should be around 880 grams, making each portion approximately 73.33 grams.
  • Shape each portion into a ball and roll out to a diameter of about 18 cm (7 inches), using millet flour for dusting. A silicon mat topped with parchment paper works well for rolling, although a wooden surface might be suitable without the paper.
  • Stack the rolled-out dough portions, separating them with the prepared parchment squares, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, allow the butter to soften at room temperature, aiming for a slightly loosened texture without it becoming warm.
making gluten free sourdough croissants

Lamination:

  • Whisk the butter until creamy with a fork, aiming for a spreadable texture while ensuring it doesn’t become too warm.
  • Take the dough sheets out of the fridge. Place the first sheet on a full-size parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Using a butter knife, spread a thin layer of butter on each dough sheet, stacking layer by layer until you used the last dough sheet. Do NOT butter the top sheet.
  • To chill, use the parchment paper to lift the entire buttered stack and place it on a tray. Wrap everything in a plastic bag and return to the refrigerator for another hour.

Forming Croissants:

  • Carefully roll out the stacked dough to a diameter of 36 cm (14 inches), beginning from the center and gently working towards the edges.
  • Cut into 4 large triangles using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Then, divide each large triangle into 3 smaller ones.
  • For each triangle, make a small incision at the wider end, right in the middle. Gently stretch the triangle, then begin rolling from this end, ensuring the tip is positioned underneath.
  • Arrange the croissants on a baking tray (that can fit into the refrigerator), cover them with a towel and wrap them in a plastic bag, and let them rise at room temperature for 60 minutes. 
  • Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F) with the fan setting.
making gluten free sourdough croissants

Cooling and Baking:

  • Transfer the tray with the croissants to the refrigerator (make sure you use a size that can fit inside) and cool for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, take them out and brush each croissant with a mixture of one egg yolk and a tablespoon of almond milk.
  • Bake on the oven’s middle rack for 25 minutes. Monitor them at the 20-minute mark if your oven tends to run hot. They should emerge golden brown.
  • Optional: dust them with some inulin powder before serving.
gluten free sourdough croissant

Cooling & Storing:

  • Transfer the croissants to a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.
  • If not consuming immediately, freeze in a sealed bag. Reheat from frozen at 190°C (375°F) for about 10 minutes.
gluten free sourdough croissant with a latte

Enjoy our Gluten-Free Croissant Recipe!

I hope you enjoy this gluten-free croissant recipe. If you have any feedback and find ways to improve this recipe, please share your thoughts in the comments.

More Gluten-Free Bread Recipes Using My Sourdough Method:

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Gluten-Free Croissant Recipe (Made With a Sourdough Method)

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By Claudia Curici, Health Coach Serves: 12
Prep Time: 2h 30 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Particularly for those with dietary constraints, these croissants offer a delightful experience with a crispy, buttery crust and a soft, flaky crumb, complete with the distinct tang of sourdough. While they might differ from the traditional archetype, their unique charm and flavor are more than worthy of celebration and sharing.

Ingredients

  • PREFERMENT:
  • 20 grams active starter
  • 60 grams filtered water (mineralized is better)
  • 70 grams flour (35g sorghum + 35g millet)
  • WET MIX:
  • 17 grams psyllium husk flakes (whole)
  • 15 grams raw, local honey
  • 6 grams MCT oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 400 grams almond milk (add vanilla to the milk for extra flavor; use the milk of your choice for a nut-free recipe)
  • DRY MIX:
  • 100 grams sorghum flour (finely ground)
  • 100 grams millet flour (finely ground)
  • 85 grams tapioca flour
  • 15 grams almond flour (skip and replace with any of the above flours if want to keep this recipe nut-free)
  • 3 grams salt
  • EXTRA
  • 180 grams unsalted French butter
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon almond milk + vanilla for egg wash
  • Millet flour for dusting
  • Inulin powder for dusting (or some powdered sugar if you eat sugar)

Instructions

1

The night before, prepare a preferment my mixing well all the ingredients in a clean jar and loosely cover. Let it activate overnight on the counter. Make the preferment just before going to to sleep.

2

In the morning (around 8AM or earlier), gather all the ingredients.

3

Prepare the psyllium husk gel by mixing all the ingredients, set aside for 5-10 minutes.

4

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.

5

Mix the preferment with the psyllium husk gel thoroughly.

6

Incorporate this mixture into the dry ingredients. Start mixing with your hands, then switch to a plastic or silicon dough scraper. Holding the bowl with your non-dominant hand, scrape the sides of the bowl, and fold the dough into the center, rotating the bowl and repeating this movement for about 30 seconds.

7

Cover the dough and allow it to ferment at room temperature for approximately 60 minutes.

8

Carefully invert the dough onto a surface lightly dusted with flour, ensuring the bottom side faces up. Begin by folding one-third of the dough from the far end towards the center. Then, roll this section towards you, covering the remaining third. The seam should now be on the underside of the dough.

9

Gently rotate the dough using both palms, creating a subtle tension against the surface. Continue rotating until the seam is smoothly sealed. Lightly dust the top with flour, then place the dough seam-side up in a bowl lined with a cotton towel and sprinkled with sorghum flour.

10

Finally, wrap the dough in the towel, encase it in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

11

Prepare 13 parchment paper squares by cutting full-size sheets into four equal squares.

12

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. If you prefer precision, weigh the dough; the total should be around 880 grams, making each portion approximately 73.33 grams.

13

Shape each portion into a ball and roll out to a diameter of about 18 cm (7 inches), using millet flour for dusting. A silicon mat topped with parchment paper works well for rolling, although a wooden surface might be suitable without the paper.

14

Stack the rolled-out dough portions, separating them with the prepared parchment squares, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, allow the butter to soften at room temperature, aiming for a slightly loosened texture without it becoming warm.

15

Whisk the butter until creamy with a fork, aiming for a spreadable texture while ensuring it doesn't become too warm.

16

Take the dough sheets out of the fridge. Place the first sheet on a full-size parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Using a butter knife, spread a thin layer of butter on each dough sheet, stacking layer by layer until you used the last dough sheet. Do NOT butter the top sheet.

17

To chill, use the parchment paper to lift the entire buttered stack and place it on a tray. Wrap everything in a plastic bag and return to the refrigerator for another hour.

18

Carefully roll out the stacked dough to a diameter of 36 cm (14 inches), beginning from the center and gently working towards the edges.

19

Cut into 4 large triangles using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Then, divide each large triangle into 3 smaller ones.

20

For each triangle, make a small incision at the wider end, right in the middle. Gently stretch the triangle, then begin rolling from this end, ensuring the tip is positioned underneath.

21

Arrange the croissants on a baking tray (that can fit into the refrigerator), cover them with a towel and wrap them in a plastic bag, and let them rise at room temperature for 60 minutes. 

22

Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F) with the fan setting.

23

Transfer the tray with the croissants to the refrigerator (make sure you use a size that can fit inside) and cool for 20 minutes.

24

After 20 minutes, take them out and brush each croissant with a mixture of one egg yolk and a tablespoon of almond milk.

25

Bake on the oven's middle rack for 25 minutes. Monitor them at the 20-minute mark if your oven tends to run hot. They should emerge golden brown.

26

Optional: dust them with some inulin powder before serving.

27

Transfer the croissants to a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.

28

If not consuming immediately, freeze in a sealed bag. Reheat from frozen at 190°C (375°F) for about 10 minutes.

Notes

Note on Sweetness: These croissants are inherently unsweetened, catering to those who prefer a more natural flavor. If you have a palate for slight sweetness, consider using a sweetened milk alternative or add a mild sweetener to the milk. Personally, having given up sugar over six years ago, I opt for a light dusting of inulin powder to impart a subtle sweetness without compromising my dietary choices. Note on preparation time: The preparation time is an approximation of the hands-on time. The rest of the time is passive.

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