Whether you love French cuisine or have Austrian in your blood, which is where the croissant has its origins, you might be ready to stock up on this flaky, buttery pastry.
So you’re probably wondering if you can freeze croissants? In this article, we’ll cover more than you ever thought you needed to know about freezing baked croissants and croissant dough.
Can You Freeze Croissants?
Yes, you can freeze croissants. In fact, croissants freeze very well, although you’ll need to put in a little leg work to preserve their flavor and texture.
The room temperature shelf life of croissants is only a couple of days. However, if you don’t bake your own croissants and instead buy croissants from a bakery that falls within this timeframe, you can freeze them with confidence that they’ll maintain their flavor.
How to Freeze Croissants
One of the most important things to know before you freeze croissants is that they must be fully cool before tossing them in the freezer. If you just pulled your croissants out of the oven, consider setting them on a baking rack to speed up the cooling process.
Once your croissants are room temperature, follow the steps below to ensure they come out of your freezer as fresh as they went into it.
Step 1: Take a piece of plastic wrap and wrap them around the croissants. Make sure to wrap each croissant individually.
Step 2: Cover the croissants once or twice more in layers of plastic wrap—this step is crucial to keep air out.
Step 3: If the plastic wrap doesn’t seal well onto itself, use freezer tape to secure it into place.
Step 4: Take all your individually wrapped croissants and place them into a freezer bag. Leave about two inches of space at the top.
Step 5: Squeeze out all the air from the bag*. It’s important to leave space at the top of the freezer bag for this reason.
Step 6: Put the freezer bag against your freezer’s wall to speed up how quickly they freeze. After 24 hours, move the bag towards the center of your freezer.
*You can also insert a straw in the bag and sucking out any remaining air in your effort to keep your croissants as fresh as possible.
If you don’t have plastic wrap, you can cover your croissants with aluminum foil. The purpose of wrapping the croissants apart is to prevent them from drying out.
Once you’re ready to eat your frozen croissants, you’ll need to do a little planning. Take your frozen croissants out of the freezer and let them sit in your fridge overnight.
Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you can reheat them in your oven. Every oven is different, so you’ll need to adjust the defrost settings on yours accordingly. However, a 350°F setting is generally a good rule of thumb. You’ll want to start by baking your croissants in the foil until they become springy to the touch. Then, remove the foil and continue baking them for a couple of minutes longer until they become crisp.
Assuming you’ve let your croissants defrost in your fridge overnight, you should still aim to bake them in your oven before eating in order to mirror the taste and texture of freshly baked croissants. In that case, you should set your oven between 200°F – 250°F and let them heat up for approximately three minutes.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t reheat croissants more than once. Otherwise, they’ll lose their flakiness and taste stale.
Freezing Croissant Dough
You might be wondering—is it possible to freeze croissant dough before baking it? Thankfully, it is.
To freeze croissants before putting them in your oven:
- Take the dough and shape them, placing them with space apart on a baking sheet.
- Put the baking sheet in your freezer.
- Once the croissant dough is fully frozen, pull them off the sheet and store them in a freezer bag.
Once you’re ready to bake your croissants, you’ll need to take the frozen dough out of your freezer the night before. Once the dough thaws, wipe them with an egg wash, preheat your oven, and get ready for a tasty breakfast—frozen and thawed croissant bread is just as flaky and buttery as fresh croissants.
An important item to note is that it’s critical you let the frozen croissant dough thaw in your fridge overnight. Croissant dough is more susceptible to bacteria than cooked croissants, so this will minimize the possibility of contamination.
As with cooked croissants, you should never freeze, defrost, and re-freeze croissant dough. Doing so will ruin their texture and taste.
Tips for Freezing Croissants
Now that you have a good idea about how to freeze croissants, below are some tips to help you become a croissant freezing expert.
- Don’t place anything on top of the croissants. Even though they’re frozen, they’re still filled mostly with air and will get crushed if you place heavier items on top of them.
- When possible, freeze croissants as soon as they cool from the oven to maximize their freshness and longevity in the freezer. However, you can also freeze croissants that are a day or two old.
- You can reheat croissants in a toaster if you don’t need to heat many. Make sure to keep the heat setting low to avoid them burning.
- It’s okay to put your croissants in the fridge after you’ve frozen and reheated them. However, you should never freeze the same croissants twice.
How Long do Croissants Last in the Fridge/Freezer
Assuming you wrapped your croissants well and stored them according to the instructions above, you can take them out of the freezer one year later and enjoy this decent tasting French delicacy. Nevertheless, we recommend eating your croissants within two months of freezing them to enjoy a freshness that tastes straight out of the oven.
An excellent tip when preparing to freeze any food is to write the date you froze it on the freezer bag. We doubt you’ll forget about something as delicious as croissants, but it saves you the struggle of trying to remember if you find them buried under other frozen goods someday.
In comparison, croissants maintain their texture and flavor for only about one week in the fridge. As you can imagine, their room-temperature shelf life is the worst. If you don’t make any attempt to keep your croissants cool or frozen, you can expect them to stay good on your counter for around two days.
How to Tell if Your Frozen Croissant is Bad
Now that you can answer the question, ‘How long do croissants last?’ it’s time to face the cold hard truth—no matter how much care you put into freezing your croissants, a bag puncture or anything else can happen that causes them to go bad.
Especially if you’re working with frozen cooked croissants instead of dough, it’s unlikely that eating a bad croissant will send you to the emergency room. Nevertheless, you should look out for these signs to know if you have spoiled croissants:
- Visible mold
- An off smell
- Strange or stale taste
Provided that you follow the instructions in this article, you shouldn’t have to worry about your croissants experiencing freezer burn. However, if you do notice those pesky crystals on your croissant, you may be happy to know that it’s safe to eat them.
What to do With Frozen Croissants
Now that we’ve answered the question, ‘Can croissants be frozen?’ you might be wondering what to do with a freezer packed full of these pastries. The most obvious answer is to eat them plain—we’re sure you’ll be shocked by how flaky they are as if you baked them fresh the same day.
However, there are lots of other ways to eat croissants. Some people love pairing them with jam, butter, and fruit. But if the cook in you wants even more of a croissant concoction, consider whipping up croissant French toast. Use the same egg-based batter that you would for regular French toast, except croissants serve as your slices of bread.
It may sound gross to put maple syrup and whipped cream on a regular croissant, but trust us—you’ll want to put them on your French toast croissant version!
Other ideas for using croissants include:
- Bread pudding
- Making a sandwich
- Bread casserole
- Croque madame
As with the French toast, you can use your regular recipes for any of the dishes above and replace bread with croissants.
Can you freeze croissants? Absolutely! Whether you want to freeze baked croissants or the dough, these pastries bounce back wonderfully after spending time in the freezer. Provided that you individually wrap the croissants and give them proper time to thaw, you’ll be able to enjoy them as a snack or meal for months after storing them in your freezer.
About freezing the croissant dough. You mentioned making them into croissant shapes and freezing. What about the rise time?. When you thaw them in the fridge overnight, do they rise to the max level or you have to keep them at room temperature to rise before baking.
Great question, Nusrat! I will start with a usual “it depends” answer 😉 The reason is what the room temperature is in your environment and how long you plan to let is proof/rise. Generally, proofing or letting rise in the fridge is a better idea because of the lower temperature more carefully allowing the dough to rise due to lower yeast activity. So, the best answer is: the more frozen the dough is when you remove from the freezer and your environment is cool and you don’t expect to leave the dough for a very long period of time, outside of the fridge is fine. If, however, the dough is not completely frozen or your environment is warmer and you plan to leave the dough out overnight or for a long period of time, then a fridge would be a better choice. I hope that explains the reasons and scenarios that may apply to you.