Tartine's Croissants Revisited with Rye and Seeds

tartine croissants with rye and seeds (yossy arefi)
tartine croissants with rye and seeds (yossy arefi)

If you've been following along here for awhile you might remember that I made Tartine's Croissants last year to great results. Well, I got the itch to make those croissants again, with a little twist. I love baking with rye flour so I substituted about 1/4 of the flour for rye, and to add a bit of crunch topped the croissants with a mixture of seeds and flaky salt. The end result was a bit more bready than the original version, but I blame that mostly on my impatience during the rising and resting times. When you make these at home make sure to take the time to let the dough rest, chill, and rise appropriately in between steps for the best results. 

Have a great weekend!

Tartine Croissants with Rye and Seeds

adapted from Tartine

yield 16-18 croissants 

Tartine lists ingredients in cups, grams and ounces. I used the gram measurements which I have included below along with the ounce measurements. There is quite a bit of resting/waiting/rising time in this recipe so make sure to read through the entire recipe at least once before you get started. Use European style butter for the best results here. Baking Illustrated also has some great croissant making tips HERE. Their method for rolling in the butter is a bit more traditional than this recipe, but the folding technique is the same.

For the Preferment

6 ounces/150ml nonfat milk (I used whole milk because that's what I had on hand)

15ml/1 tablespoon active dry yeast

6 1/4 ounces/175g unbleached all-purpose flour

For the Dough

20 ml/1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast

16 ounces/470ml whole milk (room temperature)

20 ounces/570g unbleached all-purpose flour

8 ounces/230g rye flour

2 1/2 ounces/70g sugar

20ml/1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt

15ml/1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Roll-in Butter

22 ounces/625g unsalted butter, cool but pliable

Egg Wash

2 large eggs

2 ounces/60ml heavy cream or milk

pinch salt


2 teaspoons flaky salt

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

To make the Preferment

1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is just warmed through, about 80-90 degrees. Pour the milk into a medium bowl and stir in the yeast until dissolved. Add the flour and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until a smooth, but sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth or plastic wrap and let the mixture rise until it has almost doubled in volume. This will take 2-3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

To make the Dough

1. Add the preferment mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast and mix together on low speed with the dough hook until evenly combined. You may have to stop the mixer and scrape the dough off of the hook occasionally. When the mixture has come together, increase the speed to medium and mix for a couple of minutes.

2. With the mixer running, slowly add in half of the milk and mix until well combined. Reduce speed to low and add the remaining milk, flour, rye flour, sugar, salt and melted butter. Mix until the dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes, loosely covered.

3. Turn the mixer back on low speed and mix the dough until it is smooth and elastic, no more than 4 minutes. If the dough seems very firm, add in more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough seems very soft, add in more all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Make sure to not overmix the dough as over-mixed dough will result in tough, glutenous croissants that are difficult to roll out. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth or plastic wrap and let it rise until the volume increases by half, about 1 1/2 hours.

4. Lightly flour a work surface and transfer the dough to the surface. Gently press the dough into a rectangle 2'' thick. Wrap the rectangle in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 4-6 hours.

To "Laminate" the Dough with Butter

1. About 1 hour before you are ready to start rolling and laminating the dough, take the roll-in butter and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the butter on medium low speed until it is malleable but not warm or soft. Turn the soft butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and  wrap it up. Place it in the refrigerator to stay cool, but don't let it harden completely.

2. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and place the rectangle of chilled dough on it. Roll the dough into a rectangle 28 inches by 12 inches.

3. With the long side of the rectangle facing you, and starting from the left side, use your fingers to gently and evenly spread the butter over 2/3 of the rectangle, leaving the far right side butter-less. Fold the un-buttered third of the dough over the butter, then fold the left-hand third over the center, like a letter. Gently pinch all of the seams of the dough to hold the butter in place.

4. Give the rectangle a quarter turn so that the end seams are to your right and left and the long edge of the dough is facing you. Again, roll the dough into a 28 inch by 12 inch rectangle, being careful to not break the seams holding the butter in. Fold the rectangle into thirds and transfer to a lightly floured quarter sheet pan. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 1 1/2-2 hours before making the final turn.

5. Lightly flour a work surface and place the refrigerated dough on top. Again, roll the dough to a 28 inch by 12 inch rectangle and fold it into thirds. Place the rectangle back on the quarter sheet pan and wrap tightly with plastic. Place the pan in the freezer for at least one hour. If you plan to make the croissants the next morning, transfer the dough from the freezer to the fridge the night before. Alternately, you can freeze the dough for up to one week, just remember to transfer the dough to the fridge the night before you plan to bake the croissants.

I froze my dough for 5 days before baking.

To Finish the Croissants

1. Transfer the thawed dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle 32 inches by 12 inches and about 3/8 inch tall.

2. Use a ruler to mark 4 inch intervals at the bottom of the dough. Cut the dough into long triangles, 4 inches wide at their base. If you'd like to make pain au chocolat, cut the dough into 6 inch by 4 inch rectangles.

3. To shape the croissants, begin with the base of the triangle facing you, gently stretch the base and roll the base towards the point. To finish, grab the point, stretch it gently, and tuck it underneath the rolled dough. This will help the croissants stand tall and proud. To shape the pain au chocolat, place a baton of chocolate or a few ounces of chopped chocolate in the center of the rectangle and, starting from a short end, carefully roll the croissant. Place the croissants or pain au chocolat, seam side down on a lined baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.

I used two baking sheets.

4. Loosely cover the formed pastries and let them rise until at least doubled in size, 2-3 hours, in a draft free area. The ideal ambient temperature is 75º, but a bit warmer or cooler is alright as long as the temperature is not so warm that it melts the butter in between the layers. When the croissants are finished rising the pastries should be puffy, but still a bit firm to the touch.

5. When the croissants are ready to be baked, preheat your oven to 425º and prepare the egg wash by whisking all of the ingredients together. Stir the salt and seeds together in a small bowl. About 10 minutes before you are ready to put the croissants in the oven, gently brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle with the seed mixture if desired. Let the wash dry slightly before baking. Make sure to wipe up any errant drips of egg wash on the baking sheet.

6. Place the croissants in the oven and turn down the temperature to 400º. After 10 minutes, quickly open the oven door and turn the sheet pan(s) 180º which will help the croissants bake evenly. Bake for 6-10 more minutes or until the croissants are deep golden brown.

7. Remove the croissants from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. They are best enjoyed fresh and warm, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or for up to 3 days in the fridge. Genltly warm them in a 375º oven before serving.

Bonus Recipe

If you have any scraps of dough left over after cutting your triangles and rectangles DO NOT throw them away. Roll them in a mixture of 4 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Then curl them up into little snails and tuck them into a muffin tin. Let them rise until they are doubled in size and bake in a 400º oven until crisp and deep golden brown. 

tartine croissants with rye and seeds (yossy arefi)
tartine croissants with rye and seeds (yossy arefi)

Kouign Amann

kouign amann (yossy arefi)
kouign amann (yossy arefi)

Koiugn amann (pronounced queen a-mahn) originally hail from Brittany, a region of France known for it's incredibly delicious butter so it is no surprise that they are chock-full of the stuff. Kouign amann are similar to croissants in that they are made from yeast dough laminated with butter, but a higher butter to flour ratio and a healthy sprinkle of sugar makes them rich, crunchy, and totally irresistible. I was first introduced to the buttery treat on a sunny day in Seattle a few summers ago by Ashley who kindly informed me that it was the best thing in the pastry case at Honore in Ballard. She was not wrong. Their koiugn amann are the kind of thing you dream about; a compact treat, deeply caramelized, impossibly buttery and sprinkled with the perfect amount of crunchy sea salt. I admit, like making croissants, making kouign amann at home is a bit of a process, but totally worth it especially if your local bakeries don't make them. This recipe is quite lengthy so make sure to read through it at least once before starting. If you'd like to make these treats over the course of a couple of days there are instructions as to where you can pause the process in the instructions below.

Kouign Amann

makes 12

adapted from

The Kitchn and David Lebowitz

Kouign Amman are traditionally baked in pastry rings, but if you don't have them, a muffin tin will do the job just fine. Use the very best butter you can afford in this recipe. Butter from Brittany (the home of kouign amann) would be most appropriate, but any good European-style butter will do. Just make sure it is salted.

1 cup water at 110º

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

8 ounces salted butter, cool but pliable

1 1/2 cups sugar

1. Combine the water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to dissolve. Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add the flour and salt and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough for 4-5 minutes or until it is smooth, but still tacky. If the dough sticks to the bowl add flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth. If the dough seems stiff and dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth.

2. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it rise for one hour or until doubled in size. Alternately, let the dough rise in the refrigerator over night.

3. After the dough has risen, put in in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. This will help keep the butter cool in the following steps.

4. Roll the dough into a roughly 12-inch by 20-inch rectangle on a well-floured surface. Gently and carefully spread the cool, but pliable butter on to the left 2/3rds of the dough. Leaving the right side bare.

5. Fold the right, unbuttered side of the dough over the buttered dough, then fold the remaining 1/3 of buttered dough over to the right, like a letter.  Gently press the seams of the dough to hold the butter in place. Flour the board again if necessary, rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll it into a roughly 12-inch by 20-inch rectangle. Again, fold it into thirds like a letter. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured quarter sheet pan and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. Be careful to not let the dough get too cold or the butter will harden and tear the dough when you try to roll it out again.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer it to a well-floured surface and again roll it into a 12-inch by 20-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with 3/4 cups of sugar and press gently (this will seem like a lot of sugar. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter and repeat the process with the remaining 3/4 cups sugar. Transfer the dough back to the floured quarter sheet pan and chill for 30 minutes.

7. While the dough is chilling prepare the muffin tins or pastry rings by very generously buttering them and arranging them on parchment lined baking sheets. (I didn't do a good enough job and some of my pastries stuck :( Don't be like me!)

8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer it to a surface that has been generously sprinkled with sugar. Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 8-inches by 24-inches. Use a pastry wheel or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 12 even squares.

9. Fold the corners of each square towards the center and tuck each square into the muffin tin or pastry ring. Let them rise until slightly puffy, 30-40 minutes. Alternately, the kouign amann can be refrigerated overnight (before rising). If you'd like to take advantage of that option make sure to bring the pastries back to room temperature and rise before baking.

10. While the kouign amann are rising, preheat the oven to 400º.  Place the baking sheets into the oven and lower the temperature to 350º. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the pastries are deep golden brown (just shy of burnt). Let cool briefly and remove the kouign amann from the muffin tins or pastry rings to a rack. Do not let them cool in the pans or they will stick and you will have a real mess on your hands. These treats are best enjoyed warm, the day that they are baked.

kouign amann (yossy arefi)