Croissants, Gluten-Free

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on May 14, 2010

Croissants. Without gluten. One of the most gluten-dependent things out there. Without gluten. I am still flabbergasted that I figured this out. It took a lot of time, but it worked. When you make it, it will take a lot of time too, but it’s worth it. Yeast is involved, so hours are bound to be involved. It’s not all working time though (far from), so give it a go. You can do it. We can all make croissants. Even without gluten.

I’ve made these quite a few times. But each time, they tasted like croissants, even if they didn’t always look like it. No, they aren’t perfect. But they have layers. They taste good. They conjure up the memory and child-like emotions that I have associated with croissants. I ate them the same way I did when I was seven and they had French Week at school, which meant that we got not just any croissants, but chocolate ones. I pulled them apart, layer by layer and let the buttery beauty of them carry me away in a wave of nostalgia. So here they are, for you to ride that wave too.

I decided to make these when a reader emailed in, asking if I could do it.  They had been in the back of my mind for ages, and with a little bit of inspiration from my friend Shauna‘s puff pastry, I did it.  They aren’t entirely traditional French croissants, but they evoked the memory of them, at least for me.

These made me giddy.  Between watching it’s evolution (trust me – you do not want to see the very first version), and letting memories flood over me, and sharing them at school, it was fun.  It was exciting.  I hope that you like them.  I know that this is just the beginning.  In fact, I’ve already got a few more ideas of what I can do with them!

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Gluten-Free Croissants
An original recipe by Lauren of Celiac Teen.

1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup and 1/2 cup millet flour
1/3 cup and 1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp gelatin
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and cold
1 cup warm milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup millet flour, reserved for later
1 egg, for egg wash

Sprinkle yeast over warm water. Let activate for about 10 minutes. It will be ready when you’ve completed mixing the flours and butter in the next step.

Place sugar, flours (everything except the last 1/4 cup of millet), xanthan gum, gelatin and salt into your food processor. Pulse a couple of times until blended and basically uniform in colour. Place the cold cubes of butter into the food processor, and pulse until no big chunks are left. You can turn it off and move the flour around with your hands to make sure no chunks are there. The largest (absolute, biggest one) would be a small pea.

Lightly whisk or mix with a fork together the egg yolks and milk. Combine this mixture with the activated yeast.

Stir everything together in a big bowl, until uniform. It will be fairly sticky. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

When you’re ready to roll it out, test with a small amount of dough, about a palmful (see pictures below for step-by-step). Roll it out on a very very well floured surface, floured with sweet rice flour. You want it to be very long in length, maybe 1/3 as wide, and really quite thin. This first bit may be too moist. It was much too moist for me, but if you feel comfortable with it, use it like that. If not, very gently mix in that remaining 1/4 cup millet flour to the remaining dough, trying not to deflate the yeast too much.

So, with your either newly floured or already good dough, one palmful at a time (the pictures really help at this point*), roll out the dough on your extremely well sweet rice floured surface, very long, but still with some width. Depending on how wide your dough is, you may either cut in half and then twice diagonally like this> |\|\|. Or just diagonally, as pictured.

Roll your dough beginning at the big end, all the way to the small end. Place rolled croissant on parchment paper lined (this just makes it a lot easier :D) cookie sheets.

Roll out, cut, roll up and place the rest of your croissants on cookie sheets. Let rise for 1 to 2 hours, covered if you wish.  They will not double in size, but should puff up a little.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly whisk an egg with a fork, then brush egg wash onto croissants.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.

Everything you’ll need to roll them out.  A well floured rolling pin, a well floured surface, a knife, and lots of sweet rice flour, to do all of that flouring!  I happened to do this particular batch at night (sorry about the photos).

My extra-flour-has-been-added-after-the-fridge dough.  With a chunk missing.  It already ran into the next photo.

See?  It’s small.  Really quite small.  Make it into this shape.  It does help.

Then, you roll it out like this.  (See that it’s still fairly thick-ish?)

Then you roll it like this.  If it was a little bit wider, you would cut it in half lengthwise, and then do the awesome diagonal cuts.

Start it rolling!  If it’s having trouble getting it’s first start, you can use the silpat, if you’re using one.

There is something really comforting in this.  Once it’s all rolled up, you’ll want to brush off that excess flour.

SEE?!  Sorry, I’m excited about those flaky layers.

That’s about it. Croissants. Gluten-free. Anything is possible. Don’t doubt it. Go for it.


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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

laura May 14, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Go for it L!
This is just awesome! 😉

Lynn May 14, 2010 at 6:45 pm

I am now thinking about all the things you could do with this basic dough. :)

Theresa May 14, 2010 at 7:09 pm

YES! I’ve got major food love going on here, I want some! You’re a legend, thanks for sharing!

kamran siddiqi May 14, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Croissants. Gluten Free?! Lauren, this is an amazing feat! I feel like pulling all of the necessary ingredients out, just so I can try this amazing recipe. AMAZING post!

Joy May 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Love, love croissants! I’m so glad you can now enjoy them gluten-free, a victory for sure. :)

Tessa May 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm

The first word in my mind was “HOW!” but then I realized you can make pretty much create anything gluten-free and mouth-wateringly delicious looking.

Zoe @ Z's Cup of Tea May 14, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I love croissants, too! Who doesn’t? I was amazed when I saw the first two photos of these.

Jenn May 15, 2010 at 12:40 am

They’re absolutely gorgeous Lauren, I love them. Next time I motivate myself to make puff pastry I am so trying these :)

Robin May 15, 2010 at 7:11 am

Wow, Lauren. This is amazing. And I can’t wait to try it out for my friend Morgan, it would make her year to be able to have a croissant!

Maria May 15, 2010 at 7:32 am

Fantastic job! The croissants look incredible!

gfe--gluten free easily May 15, 2010 at 8:22 am

Woohoo, Lauren! If you hadn’t been already, now you’re elevated to baking goddess! :-) You already were in my book! 😉

Fabulous, dear!

Valérie May 15, 2010 at 10:51 am

Lauren, this is so impressive! Kudos to you for pulling this off!

Chelsey May 15, 2010 at 11:12 am

Fantastic! Croissants that taste like croissants! That is amazing. I am really interested in trying helens puf pastry too, although Shaunas is much more healthy!

Bravo on your work of art.

Sondi May 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Do you think these would work without gelatin?

Lauren | Celiac Teen May 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Thanks everyone! I’m kind of overwhelmed by your enthusiasm =). I hope that you like them!!

Sondi – I’m not sure. I haven’t tried them that way, but you could give it a go if gelatin doesn’t work for you.

Rosa May 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Those croissnats are really pretty and must taste great!



Linda May 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Great job Lauren! They look delightful.

Juliana May 17, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Lauren, great version of gluten free for croissant…looks fabulous :-)

Cheryl Arkison May 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm

How awesome is that?

Alta May 25, 2010 at 10:44 am

These are absolutely fabulous! Wow.

Lucy May 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Wow, Lauren!

I’m going to have to get my coeliac teen working on those…

Susannah May 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Yum! Can’t wait to try them!


Ellen Allard (I Am Gluten Free) May 30, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Can I tell you that I can’t wait to try these???!!! They look fantastic. You go girl!

Charis August 1, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Girl! You are amazing! I just found your website this morning & am flaberghasted & filled with awe! I can’t believe that you are just 17. You definately have a gift, my friend! Keep it up! People like me (I have Celiac & so does my 6 yo daughter) need people like you! Keep up the awesome work!! I’m going to share your website on my FB page so that my other GF friends can find out about you!!

Chickiepea September 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm

My daughter would be nuts for these- she misses croissants most of all. I’m trying to figure out how to replace the corn though… ideas?

Lauren | Celiac Teen September 27, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Chickiepea, although the exact properties of each starch to vary slightly, I’m sure you could interchange it with your favourite. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t be sure, but best of luck!

Kelley November 23, 2010 at 11:47 am

How many croissants are made (approx) per batch of dough- I want to make them for thanksgiving dinner and need to know if I should double to recipe or if there will be enough

Lauren | Celiac Teen November 23, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Hi Kelley, I seem to remember it being around 20 (maybe 24).

Cindy March 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm

These croissants are amazing! I mistakenly used whole grain millet instead of millet flour but surprisingly enjoyed the crunch! I also filled them with chocolate chips and it melted wonderfully. You are right about it tasting exactly like gluten-filled croissants! Brings back memories indeed. Thanks for creating this delectable recipe!

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