This is often the question when you end up with a lot of fresh croissants on hand. These delicious creations have a short shelf life once you pull them out of the oven.
Many people (like me) want to enjoy them for days, so I use a unique technique in freezing croissants. With the method I use, I always get to enjoy croissants every day without going to the bakery each time.
I just became tired of ending up with soggy croissants because I failed to consume all of them quickly enough. Hopefully, you won't have to suffer the same way with this croissant freezing method.
What are croissants?
Whenever someone mentions croissants, you tend to think of that flaky, buttery pastry that's crescent-shaped. You could either have it for breakfast, mid-day snack, or dessert. Croissants are versatile because you can have them savory or sweet. You can even have it plain, stuffed, or as a sandwich.
I know that croissants are not accessible to everyone. They cannot get those fragrant, flaky, hot, and fresh croissants right after leaving the oven.
For some who do get croissants from their bakeries, they can keep the pastries overnight.
Yet, if you bought a lot of croissants, you should use your freezer for storage. This will save you money and avoid unnecessary waste. The only thing you need to do is to know how to freeze croissants properly. That way, you can ensure the freshness of the pastries when you are ready to eat them.
Since freshly-baked croissants tend to get stale in three days, what can you do if you end with a large leftover batch?
Guides on how to store croissants
Imagine yourself just pulling out a huge tray of these fresh, flaky pastries from the oven, and your guests cancel the last minute. You don't need to worry.
Here, you'll learn how to ensure the correct storage of your fresh croissants. What's more, let discuss how to reheat them. That way, you can enjoy tasty croissants after cold storage.
Storing at room temperature
If you plan to consume croissants in a day, you can store your croissants at room temperature. Keep in mind that leaving croissants for more than two days will become soggy and stale. It will also be prone to certain elements that accelerate their spoilage.
Here are some ways to store croissants properly at room temperature:
- You can leave fresh croissants in a paper bag rolled or folded shut for 36 hours only. After such time, they will start to lose that distinctive texture. Within 36 hours, you can reach for a croissant and warm it up in your oven for three minutes. You can then cool it thoroughly first before eating.
- You can also wrap each croissant in aluminum foil. See to it that you wrap each croissant fully so that air will not enter and touch the croissant. Do this carefully so that you don't break the croissant's delicate crust.
- A Ziploc bag can also help store croissants at room temperature. Just be sure to remove the air from the bag as you seal it. Once sealed, the croissant is safe from air penetration. Make sure you get a large Ziploc bag so that your croissants have enough space.
- Place your croissants on your counter or in your pantry. Of course, make sure there are no insects such as ants or flies. You should also see that the croissants are not exposed to sunlight or heat from the stovetop.
Storing in the fridge
You can count on your fridge if you want to keep your croissants for a few days. The following are the steps to do it correctly:
- Cool the croissants down first.
- Wrap each croissant entirely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped croissants in the most inner part of the fridge.
Storing in the freezer
For long-term storage, freezing is your best bet. Just bear in mind that the longer croissants freeze, the worse they get when it comes to taste and texture. Here is how you should freeze croissants:
- If you want to freeze your croissants, double wrap them. Wrap them in plastic wrap first. Then, place them in a freezer-friendly airtight bag such as a Ziploc.
- Place the wrapped croissants in the freezer, on top of other things. The delicate and flaky crust of croissants will crumble if you place anything on top of them in the freezer.
2 Options to freeze croissant:
- Wrap your croissants in plastic wrap then put them in a Ziploc bag. Take out all the air first before sealing the bag.
- It is best to seal them right after the croissants finish baking.
- If the croissants have been out at room temperature too long, you will only be freezing stale croissants.
- Place your newly-purchased or freshly-baked and cooled croissants on a baking sheet. Make sure that the croissants don't touch. Place the tray in your freezer for at least two hours, until the pastries are firm.
- Take the firm croissants out of the freezer and wrap each croissant in aluminum foil. Put the wrapped croissants in a gallon-size freezer bag and then seal the bag.
- Label the bag with a marker and indicate the date you put it in the freezer. Put the freezer bag flat in your freezer. The croissants will be good in there for a month.
How to defrost or thaw
If you want to defrost your croissants without destroying them, you should thaw them thoroughly before taking them out of their airtight container.
After thawing, you can bring the croissants back to life by placing them in a preheated oven at 365°F for three to four minutes. Cool them to room temperature before consuming them. This is as close as to freshly baked croissants as you can get.
You should freeze croissants within three days after they were bought or baked. Doing so will give optimal results.
Can you reheat croissants?
It doesn't matter how you store your croissants. Reheating them is the most crucial step before eating them. Getting the croissants warm enough will bring their texture back.
Method #1: Heating a Croissant in the Oven
Reheat your croissants for at least two minutes in your oven after storing them at room temperature. The oven should be heated at 200°F - 250°F.
- Let the pastries warm up naturally out of the fridge.
- Then, heat it at 200° to 250° F in the oven for three minutes.
You can heat these croissants straight in the oven even without thawing.
- Preheat your oven to about 350 degrees.
- Place your foil-wrapped croissants until it becomes springy enough to return to its shape when you press it down slightly. This should take about seven to ten minutes.
- Peel off the foil that covers the top of the croissant and bake until crisp. This takes about two minutes. The heating period depends on how frozen your croissants are.
Here's how to reheat a croissant stored at room temperature:
- Divide croissant into two. With a butter knife, cut the croissant gently length-wise. Be careful and take your time. Croissants are delicate. If you cut roughly or quickly, you can tear your croissant apart.
- Get a baking sheet. Place your croissants on a baking sheet with the open side down. Use either a non-stick cooking spray or a parchment paper to prevent croissants from sticking.
- Preheat your oven. Heat your oven to 250 °F. Place the baking sheets with the croissants in the oven.
- Bake them for two to three minutes. Be sure to set your timer. Heat the croissants until they are warmed and also toasted. When the croissants are done, they will be slightly crispy and firm.
- Add your chosen toppings—usually, jam and butter top croissants. Yet, you can add whatever toppings you prefer. You can add savory deli meats or mustard.
You are free to eat croissants in place of your usual breakfast sandwich. You can put cheese slices or an egg between two halves of a croissant.
Method #2: Heating a croissant in the toaster (stored at room temperature)
- Cut your croissant in half. Avoid tearing your croissant. Use a butter knife to slice the croissant in half carefully.
- Place your croissant slices in the toaster slots. Slide the croissants into each slot of the toaster. Be slow and careful. You might crumble your croissants if you push them too.
- Toast in short intervals. It would be best if you got to know your toaster first before using it to heat your croissant. Every brand of the toaster is different.
To reheat the croissant in your toaster properly, heat them little by little.
Check them after two or three minutes until they are a bit brown and crispy. Remember, they are delicate pastries.
They will freeze but in a fragile way. They will also burn quickly, so start at a low setting. Just increase the temperature gradually.
Transfer to the oven if your toaster is too small. You cannot jam all your croissants into a small toaster. These pastries are very delicate. It is best to heat your croissants in the oven to avoid breaking or crumbling them.
Baking raw croissant
- It will help if you proof raw croissants before you bake them. Line our baking sheet with baking paper and place the raw croissants on it. Place the tray in your kitchen that has a temperature between 24 °C (75 °F) and 27 °C (80 °F).
- Allow them to sit for an hour to an hour and thirty minutes. You will know when proofing is done when you see defined layers of pastry from one side. When they wiggle slightly upon shaking the tray, you can be sure that the proofing is done.
Preheat your oven.
- Many recipes require baking croissants at 204 °C (400 °F). If you check labels and recipes, the temperatures vary.
- Brush with an egg wash. You can make an egg wash by beating one egg in a small mixing bowl.
- With a baking brush, apply the egg wash on the croissants. Be sure to coat the top and the sides.
- Cover the croissant completely to ensure even browning and glossiness.
Rearrange the racks
- Position one oven rack on the upper third of your oven. Place a second oven rack on the lower third.
- Place your croissants in the oven. For two baking sheets, put one sheet at the top and the other at the bottom rack. For just one sheet, put it either at the top or at the bottom rack. The position of the sheet will change later.
- Switch the sheet positions after 10 minutes. Be sure to set your kitchen timer to 10 minutes. Exchange the positions of the sheets once the timer beeps. Either swap the trays' positions or move the single tray from one rack to the other.
- Bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Take note that when they're done, the croissants should be brown throughout. Their edges should be a little bit darker.
Take out the croissants. Place them on your cooling racks before eating them. There will be varying cooling times, but most baked goods cool in just 10 to 20 minutes.
Store your croissants.
For the croissants that you don't eat immediately, place them in a sealable plastic bag, or wrap them in aluminum foil. You can refrigerate them. Also, you can store the croissants in the pantry or on your kitchen counter. Croissants keep well for two days in your pantry and up to seven days in your fridge.
Freeze croissants and increase shelf life.
When you freeze your croissants, they will be good for up to twelve months. Be sure to wrap them in plastic before sealing them in an airtight bag. Their thawing times depend on the heat in your home, but most croissants will thaw in a day.
You can also reheat croissants right away in the oven without going through the thawing stage. Just add to the normal time for reheating. Bake for seven minutes and then check the croissants. Keep adding the time until the croissants are heated thoroughly.
Shelf life of croissants
How long do croissants last? When you know the shelf life of croissants, you have the assurance that it will not go stale or spoil. How long can you keep croissants? The reply to this question depends on the storage method you select:
- Do not store at room temperature for more than two days.
- You can store croissants in your fridge for up to seven days.
- You can keep your croissants in your freezer for up to a year. But to keep the texture and taste of your croissants, freeze them up to two months.
Frequently asked questions
1 Is a croissant a puff pastry?
Take note that croissant dough and puff pastry are laminated doughs that have the same folding methods. Yet, croissant dough contains yeast. The yeast provides the dough a softer and lighter texture.
- Croissant dough also contains milk and sugar.
- Puff pastry doesn't have these two ingredients.
- Sugar and milk make croissant dough richer with a much better flavor.
- On the other hand, puff pastry has a bigger layer of butter and more folds. When it's cooked, the dough is crumblier and flakier.
- The lamination process of croissant dough and puff pastry dough is different as well.
- Although these two doughs have similar prep techniques, both doughs have different textures when they cook. That is why they are used in different ways in French pastry making.
2 Can you buy croissant dough?
If you want a croissant dough without the complicated process of making it, you can turn to ready-made branded doughs such as Pillsbury™ Croissants. These give you pinched croissants with buttery notes and sweet flavor that comes in a baked format, proofed, and pre-formed. When you thaw them, they give you 2.75-ounce flaky croissants.
3 How do you keep croissants fresh?
It is important to note that bakery or homemade croissants stay fresh and delicious at room temperature for just two days. You can keep them from absorbing moisture in the surrounding air by wrapping them in aluminum foil or keeping them in airtight plastic bags.
4 How many days do croissants last?
Fresh, oven-baked croissants can last up to only two days when they're stored at room temperature. If you store them properly, croissants can last for up to a week in your refrigerator.
I do hope you now know how to store your delicious, delicate croissants properly. You can just let them stay at room temperature, refrigerate, or freeze them. Be sure to wrap them well to keep them safe from spoilage.