Croissants are buttery, flaky and downright delicious. They can be served alone for breakfast, or they can be topped with sweet ingredients for a dessert, or with savory flavors for a meal.
As delicious as croissants are, they do go stale within three days, and you really don’t want to be left with a batch of wasted, stale croissants.
If you have baked a fresh batch, or if you found a great deal on croissants at your local bakery, can you freeze them? It is completely possible to freeze croissants and to achieve the same flaky, buttery taste that fresh croissants have. You can freeze croissants you have baked at home or bought from the store. You can also choose to freeze croissant dough, as long as it has been shaped and flash-frozen first.
Make sure to follow the proper handling and storage instructions when freezing croissants, as this will ensure that they will still taste wonderful and have the same delicate texture once they have been frozen, thawed and reheated.
In order to maintain the great taste and texture of croissants, you need to ensure you freeze them, store them, and reheat them properly. Here is a guide on exactly how to do that!
How To Freeze Croissants
Croissants need to be completely cooled before you freeze them. Once out the oven, remove the croissants from the baking pan and allow them to cool on a cooling rack (I use this one from Amazon and it’s perfect).
The cooling rack allows air to circulate around on all sides, cooling the croissant down quicker.
Once cooled, you should wrap each croissant lightly in clear plastic wrap. Make sure it is suitable to be put into the freezer.
Wrap each croissant several times to ensure it has an airtight seal. If the plastic wrap does not stick to itself, use some freezer tape to secure it down.
Or, you can use some reusable food wraps. I personally use this set organic beeswax set from Etee and they are perfect for this.
When all the croissants have been wrapped, place them all into a large freezer bag, leaving around 2 inches of headroom at the top of the freezer bag.
Try to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag shut. You might need to use multiple freezer bags depending on how many croissants you are freezing, just make sure that you do not overfill the bags, and that each croissant is wrapped tightly. Also, make sure you have high-quality double-sealed zipper bags like these.
Label the plastic freezer bags with the date of freezing so you know when they should be used by.
Place the bag of croissants against the freezer wall to rapid freeze, and then move them to the middle of the freezer after 24 hours once they have frozen throughout.
Quick Tips For Freezing Croissants
- Maximize the shelf life of croissants by covering them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out.
- Freshly baked croissants will last up to 2 days when kept at normal room temperature.
- Stored properly, croissants will last up to 1 week in the fridge.
- Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in a plastic bag, croissants can be kept in the freezer for up to a year but should be consumed within 2 months for the best quality and taste.
Can You Freeze Croissants Before Baking?
You can either freeze croissants before or after baking. If you want to freeze croissants before baking, you should shape them first and place them on a baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet into the freezer and allow each to freeze completely. Once they have frozen, you can place them into a freezer bag, label them, and then place the freezer bag into the freezer.
When it is time to bake them, let them thaw overnight in the freezer, egg wash them and place them in the oven to bake.
There should be no real difference between the freshness and texture when you bake them from frozen, and they should still be buttery and flaky, just like they would be fresh.
If you want to make croissants at home, I highly recommend checking out this video by Joshua Weissman on YouTube. He recommends investing in this food scale (if you don’t have one) before getting started.
Can You Refrigerate Croissants?
If you only want to keep the croissants for a few days, and do not want to leave them at room temperature or freeze them, you can keep the croissants in the fridge.
Allow the croissants to cool down first, and then wrap them in plastic wrap or in aluminum foil, similar to how you would do so if you were freezing them.
Place the wrapped croissants in the innermost section of the fridge, as this is where the temperature remains the most consistent.
They should be eaten within a week when kept in the fridge.
How To Thaw and Reheat Croissants
When it comes time to enjoy your frozen croissants, you need to follow a few steps to ensure that they taste as good as possible and that you do not expose them to any bacteria during the thawing process (especially croissants which have not been baked yet).
To thaw the croissants, you should remove them from the freezer and allow them to sit in the fridge overnight. This allows the croissants to thaw at a safe temperature, and although it does take a bit longer, it is the best way to thaw the croissants before baking.
Place the croissants in the oven until heated throughout.
You can also choose to reheat the croissants from frozen. You will have to adjust the reheating time to allow for the croissants to defrost and reheat while in the oven.
Once the croissants have been reheated once, they should be eaten or discarded. You cannot reheat croissants a second time, as they will become stale, and there is a greater chance that they might spoil due to frequently changing temperatures.
Just as you should not reheat the croissants, you should not refreeze them. The delicate flaky texture of a croissant will be ruined if you freeze it a second time, so it really just is not worth it.
The Shelf Life Of Croissants
Knowing the shelf life of croissants is the best way to ensure you use them up before they go stale or bad.
Left at room temperature, croissants should not be stored for longer than two days. There is a good chance of them going stale by the second day, and if you live in a warmer climate, there is a chance that the croissants can spoil after this as well.
Kept in the refrigerator, croissants can stay fresh for up to a week. You will need to ensure they are kept in the right conditions, as they will last longer if kept protected in the fridge.
When frozen, croissants can be kept in the freezer for up to one year. However, the quality of the croissants starts to decrease after 2 months, so it is best to consume them within this time frame. They will be safe to eat after this, but the quality, flakiness, and taste will not be great.
The timelines listed above are all dependent on proper handling and storage. If the proper storage guidelines are not followed, the croissants will turn stale and possibly spoil before they are meant to.
How To Tell If Croissants Have Spoiled
The first sign that you should get rid of your croissants is if they have gone stale. Stale croissants are not great to eat, and you should rather bake up or buy a new batch.
To tell if croissants have gone off, you can look for any signs of mold. If there is any mold apparent, throw the croissants away.
You can also smell the croissants, if there is a hint of an off-smell, they should be thrown away. The last option is to taste the croissant, you will be able to tell straight away whether or not it is off by having a taste.
Can you freeze croissant dough?
You can freeze croissant dough successfully if you do not feel like baking them straight away.
You should shape the dough before freezing, so it will be easier to work with when the time comes to bake them from frozen.
How many layers should a croissant have?
While you really don’t need to follow this exactly when making croissants at home, as it would be really difficult, croissants traditionally have three tri-folds that are perfect.
This will give 81 layers that rise evenly as the croissant is baked, which gives it the delicate volume and flakes which croissants are so well-loved for.
What is good to serve with a croissant?
The beauty of croissants is that you can pair them with almost anything.
Sweet options include chocolate, honey, maple syrup, and fresh fruit with whipped cream.
For a more savory taste, you can have ham, egg, cheese, brie, bacon, caramelized onion, pickles, pretty much any savory item you could want.
Should croissants be heated?
Croissants are best served warm. This helps the layers flake up more and gives more volume to the croissant while livening up the buttery taste.