Prosciutto & Gruyère Croissants

prosciutto & gruyère croissant

Last summer, my sister and I escaped to NYC for 36 hours. We packed in a show, some good shopping, and a lot of good eating including breakfast at Eataly and dinner at Momofuku. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this getaway before — sorry, I don’t get out much — but after discovering that Danish pastry dough can be made in the food processor and, as a result, that cheese danishes can be whipped up in just a few hours, I found myself dreaming about other danish-like pastries, croissants in particular, ones brimming with prosciutto à la Eataly specifically.

Now, the breakfast pastries we ate at Eataly were served at room temperature and filled with slices of meat sandwich-style. And while they were delicious, I was craving something more like the pain au jambon I had read about in the Tartine cookbook, in which smoked ham and cheese are rolled and baked with the dough. So, guided by Tartine, I layered thin slices of prosciutto and batons of gruyère over my faux croissant dough, and before too long, a half dozen crackly golden pastries emerged from my oven, cheese oozing from the ridges, salty meat entwined with each flaky layer.

Since I just posted about the cheese danishes, I’ll keep this brief, but I’m still in awe of this dough. Without any labor-intensive butter-laminating process, this pastry dough bakes into a puff of feather-light layer upon feather-light layer. It’s astonishing. Perhaps more astonishing, however, is how the finished croissants — how so many good croissants — feel and taste about as light as rice cakes, as if very little butter went into their creation at all. How do they do that? What a sham.

In any case, the possibilities with this dough seem endless — croissants aux amandes, pain au chocolat, morning buns, plain croissants perhaps made for the sole purpose of making croissant bread pudding or French toast the following day? If you are preparing for a brunch, perhaps an Easter brunch this Sunday, know that the rolled croissants can be prepared a day in advance — I stored two in the fridge for about 18 hours, and after a three-hour rise the following morning, they baked off beautifully. As with the cheese danishes, they reheat incredibly well on subsequent mornings, and when halved and toasted and filled with a fried egg, they make just about the best breakfast sandwich you could ever imagine.

croissants, cooling

croissant dough

topping triangles with prosciutto

and gruyère

rolled croissants

adding the eggwash

just-baked croissants

prosciutto & gruyère croissant

cut croissant

This video is not particularly interesting — it’s completely tedious in fact — but I had a couple of comments/questions regarding the rolling out process and how to do it without adding too much flour. I hope this video offers some guidance:

Prosciutto & Gruyère Croissants

Pastry Dough Source: Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess
Yield = 16 croissants (if you use all of the dough — I used half and made 8)

Notes: If you want to make cheese danishes, view this post. A note of caution: these croissants are definitely on the salty side. If you are wary of salt, perhaps pick a smoked ham that is on the less salty side — not sure if this sort of thing even exists. Finally, day-old pastries reheat quite nicely at 350F for 10 minutes or so.

processor danish pastry:

1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk at room temperature
1 large egg at room temperature
2 1/4 cups (10 1/8 oz | 286g) all-purpose flour*
1 package (2.25 tsp. | 1/4 oz | 7g) rapid rise yeast or 1 tablespoon fresh yeast**
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon (1 oz. | 25g) sugar
1 cup (8 oz | 250g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into thin slices

* Nigella uses white bread flour
** I used instant (rapid-rise) yeast this time but with the cheese danishes I used active dry yeast and let it stand with the milk and water for about 10 minutes until it was a little foamy (see notes in recipe).

pain au jambon:

8 to 16 thin slices prosciutto di Parma or smoked ham (depending on how many croissants you are making)
Gruyère or similar cheese, about 1/2 oz per croissant (I used 4 oz. total), cut into matchstick-sized pieces

egg wash:

1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk

Note: You will have a lot of leftover glaze if you are only making 8 pastries, but if you are prompt about putting it back in the fridge, you can save it until you get around to making the remaining 8 pastries.

make the pastry:

1. If you are using rapid-rise yeast or fresh yeast and have planned ahead such that you know you will be refrigerating the dough over night: Pour the water and milk into a measuring cup and add the egg, beating with a fork to mix. Set aside. If you need to speed up your dough-making process or want to make sure your yeast is alive and well: Sprinkle yeast over the warm water and milk with a little bit of the sugar (I took 1/2 teaspoon from the 1 tablespoon) and let stand until the mixture starts to foam a little bit. Then, beat egg with a fork until broken up and add to milk-yeast mixture. Beat mixture with fork again until just combined. Set aside.

2. Place a large bowl near your food processor. Then put the flour, yeast (if you haven’t mixed it with the milk), salt and sugar in the processor, and give it one quick whizz just to mix. Add the cold slices of butter and process briefly so that the butter is cut up a little. You still want visible chunks of butter about least 1/2 inch in size — about 10 to 15 short pulses.

3. Empty the contents of the food processor into the large bowl, then add in the milk-egg mixture. Use your hands or a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together, but don’t overdo it: expect to have a gooey mess with some butter lumps pebbling it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put in the refrigerator, and leave overnight or up to 4 days. (Note: If you have “bloomed” your yeast as noted in step 1, you can get away with two hours in the fridge at this step.)

4. To turn the dough into pastry, take it (or half of it — I find it easier to work with half the amount of dough at this step) out of the refrigerator, let it get to room temperature (or don’t if you are pressed for time) and roll the dough out into a 20-inch square. (Note: Don’t worry too much about inches here — just try to roll the dough out into a large square that is relatively thin. Also, you will need to lightly dust your work surface with flour and add more flour as needed to your rolling pin and board.) Fold the dough square into thirds, like a business letter, turning it afterward so that the closed fold is on your left, like the spine of a book. Roll the dough out again into a large square (mine always looks more like a rectangle), repeating the steps above 3 times.

5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, if you haven’t already done so at the earlier stage), or refrigerate half to use now and put the other half in the freezer to use later. Note: If you are pressed for time, skip this 30 minute chill time.

roll the croissants:

1. Roll the dough out again into a large square or rectangle. Cut the dough in half lengthwise and crosswise. Then cut each each of the four pieces created in half diagonally. (See pictures for guidance.)

2. Lay a piece of prosciutto or smoked ham over two-thirds (or more) of each triangle, leaving the pointed tip uncovered. Scatter the batons of Gruyère over top. Starting with the wide base of each triangle, carefully roll up each croissant, encasing the ham and cheese as you go.

3. Place the rolled croissants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with the egg wash. Leave them to rise until they double in size, about 1 1/2 hours; they should then feel like marshmallow. Note: With both the cheese danishes and these croissants, it never looks as though the pastries have doubled nor does the texture of the dough feel as fluffy marshmallow. I just stick them in the oven after 1.5 hours regardless of how they look.

4. Meanwhile, about 30 minutes before they’re ready to be cooked, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

These are the two rolled croissants I stashed in the fridge overnight. The following morning, after letting them rise for 3 hours…
rolled croissants after 18 hours in the fridge

…they baked off beautifully. This is nice to know if you want to shape the croissants the night before you plan on serving them.
baked croissants after a night in the fridge

Toasted, halved, and topped with a fried egg. Yum.
prosciutto and gruyère croissant with fried egg via Instagram


26. March 2013 by Alexandra Stafford
Categories: Baking, Breakfast, Cheese, Lunch, Must Have Recipes, Olallie Cafe recipes | 68 comments


Comments (68)

  1. WHOA. YUM. These look like perfection! I’m a total sucker for prosciutto and gruyere! And I’m majorly impressed with your dough, f’sho.

  2. These are spectacular! I’ve seen croissants made on cooking programs before but have always been wary of the work invovled – this has just opened my mind to the proposition. Printed and stowed for the coming Easter bakefest.

    • Erin — same. I have had “Make Croissants” on my to-do list for years now. It wasn’t until I read about this dough in Nigella’s book that I thought I could handle the amount of work at this time in my life. Definitely give it a go!

  3. You are making me hungry and I just ate dinner! My husband talk about Eataly over and over (his was a 48 hour work trip). I really need to eat at this place!

  4. Oh, my. These look sooooo spectacular! I can just imagine the salty, buttery splendor of them! a very ckevervtwist in ‘ham & cheese croissant’ Great post!

  5. I saw this on pinterest and I was immediately drooling. I love the combination of prosciutto & gruyere together in a rich, buttery, flakey croissant. They look beautiful!

  6. Oh how gorgeous! These look so good!

  7. Oh, my….

    ever since you posted about that dough I’ve been meaning to try it myself. Life has been way too busy and frantic, but now you come with these spectacular looking croissants…. I HAVE to make them. Will be away this weekend, maybe I can make it the following weekend…

    • Sally — I totally understand that. When things slow down, give it a go. What’s nice about it is that it can stay in the fridge for as long as 4 days (I think I kept it in for 5 in fact), and you can freeze it, too.

  8. What a great recipe! I am making these tomorrow. Last year I took a puff pastry class at Surfas in LA and I loved it but I’ve only made the dough once since the. This saves so much time-thank you.

  9. A post of some of my favorite things–NYC, Eataly, croissants with gruyere and prosciutto. Yes, please! Your photos are beautiful! Those croissants look absolutely delicious. Oh, I went to Fish Eddy’s on your suggestion and it was such a fun place. Thanks for sharing! (En route we discovered a small but cute kitchen store called Whisk. It was another fun shop if you love kitchen things).
    A Happy Easter to you and yours!

    • Trish — great to hear from you, always! Isn’t Fish’s Eddy so much fun? I’m bummed we missed Whisk. Sounds like fun. And I know, what’s not to love about NYC, Eataly and croissants? Happy Easter to you as well!

  10. I was enticed, mesmerized, enchanted, and overwhelmed by your luscious pictures.I ran into the kitchen, grabbed the food processor, and pulled out some butter. I started making them at 2 p.m. and by 630 pm I had magnificent ham and cheese croissants for our dinner breakfast. I took your suggestion and split them in half and served them with herbed eggs. Thank goodness I only made the half batch. I could have eaten about 20 of those puppies! They were fantabulous! THanks for sharing the recipe and pictures.

    • Cristina! Wow! I’m so happy to read this. I did the super-fast route with the cheese danishes and was astonished by how quickly and spectacularly they turned out given the short time frame. Herbed eggs sounds like the perfect complement to these croissants. I reheated one this morning — three days old now — and it still tasted delicious. I have one left. So so so happy you liked these, too.

  11. Alexandra….I am always in awe of the delicious things that come out of your kitchen, and these gorgeous croissants are no exception…but I have to say that it’s really your photography that gets me every time. Your pictures are unbelievable! You are so talented! Keep up the great work!

  12. OK!! Those croissants looks sooooooooooo flaky!! YUM!!!!!!

  13. Oh. My. Yum! These look utterly amazing! …especially the breakfast sandwich. Heaven! This is really something I’m going to have to try. I posted it on our Facebook as I’m sure our FB fans would love it as well! Thanks for sharing!

  14. My MOUTH IS WATERING! Where I grew up, on Lopez Island, Wa. there was (is still) a fabulous bakery called Holly B’s. All natural bakery, made with honey, local ingredients, not you run of the mill donuts, etc. Well she made the BEST croissant au fromages and to this day I still dream of them. I cannot wait to make these, I may have to run out for prosciutto…. Simply amazing

    • Thank you, Inge. That bakery sounds wonderful. I miss having something like that in my town…I was so spoiled in Philadelphia. This food processor pastry dough is kind of life changing. I fo hope you try it!

  15. Just made these tonight. I prepared the dough yesterday, and followed the directions exactly. These croissants are probably the best homemade thing I’ve ever made! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. What else, other than the cheese danishes can I make with this dough? I’m new to baking, especially from scratch, so I’d like to learn. Thank you!

    • Jenny U! So excited to hear this. I kind of feel the same way. There is something really fulfilling about making this dough and then the pastries from the dough. So, next up on my list of things to make with the dough are morning buns. I love the morning buns at Tartine, and I found this recipe online: http://www.7×7.com/recipes/tartines-heavenly-morning-buns-recipe

      I think you could use this dough but follow the filling instructions and make something really wonderful. And if I get around to making these, next up for me would be frangipane-filled croissants. So, I would spread a thin layer of frangipane over the triangles, roll them up, and brush a thin layer on top of the rolled croissants and sprinkle them with sliced almonds. I hope that gives you a few ideas. If I think of anything else, I will be sure to report back!

  16. These look phenomenal. I would actually spend the money for gruyere to make these. That’s saying a lot because I’m totally cheap.

    • Tales From — you’re funny. If you didn’t want to splurge on your first batch, you could certainly use Swiss. But, I think gruyere is worth the new extra coins…so good!

  17. I love following your blog! These look delicious and I cannot wait to make them for a lazy weekend breakfast. Thanks for the excellent post!

  18. I can’t get over how beautiful these look. Prosciutto is a favorite, I bet these would be good with a few chunks of pineapple inside too… mmmm. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Found this on Pinterest and I made them this morning for a brunch. They turned out far better than any other croissant attempt I’ve made. I used smoked gruyere and oh dear, this was one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time! I really appreciate your post, thank you so much for making pastry accessible!

    • Karen F — wonderful to hear this! Smoked gruyere sounds incredible. I wish I could get my hands on some. Isn’t it nice to know that croissant-style pastry truly is accessible?! Such a find. That Nigella!

  20. I have these babies rolled and are now rising, another hour before I pop them in the oven. I used baked ham and swiss, as the Italian ham is too salty for me

  21. Well all I can say is oh my goodness. Like the finest pastry shop. Who would have thought this could be done so easily. Flakey and amazing. This is one of the best I have made. Have not made this in years as it is so time consuming rolling up the butter in a sheet inside the dough. But the processor and the rolling were easy, and took maybe 10 minutes to rolls 4 times. I am very impressed, my son even gave it kudos as he can usually find something wrong with everything. I am an avid baker and love anything made with yeast. So I have the other half of the dough, and am now deciding what to make cheese danish or plain ones. Yum and thanks again for a truly magnificent treat

    • Ileen — I am SO happy to hear this. I can’t agree more with how you are feeling — this recipe truly feels like a triumph. Every time I make them, I am in awe that it actually turns out so incredibly well for so little effort. My next plan for this dough is to make morning buns, Tartine style. I will be sure to keep you posted. And I think the baked ham was a good call. The prosciutto definitely was on the salty side, which I like, but which I know can be too much for some people. Thanks so much for writing in!

  22. I tried making these and I fear I made a mistake with the dough somewhere along the way…the texture was heavier – more like a Pillsbury crescent from the tube than flaky like the ones in your picture. Any idea what I might have done wrong? I know my yeast wasn’t bad – I bloomed it ahead of time with the milk and water and a bit of sugar just like you suggested. Maybe I just didn’t let it rise enough on the second rise…They still tasted great though!

    • Alex — Sorry to hear this. Let’s think. How long did you let them rise the second time around? And did you refrigerate the dough or assembled pastries at any point along the way? I suspect the trouble happened during the rolling and folding process. How did that go for you? Did you complete the rolling and folding process at least 3 times? Did you have to add a lot more flour during the rolling out process? Let me know, and I will try to think further.

  23. Had the prosciutto gruyere croissants with cast iron roasted asparagus and it was perfect! Thanks for a fantastic recipe!!!!!

    • Sandy — wonderful to hear this! Love the idea of asparagus. Were the asparagus on the side? Or actually in the croissants? Either way sounds delicious. And I’m intrigued about your cast-iron roasted asparagus. Is this something you start stovetop and then move to the oven?

  24. I let the pastries rise about 1.5 hrs the second time and I did not refrigerate. I covered them loosely with a tea towel and set them near my kitchen window during a sunny afternoon so the warmth would help the yeast.

    I did complete the rolling & folding 3 times, but I did have to add quite a bit of flour to make it rollable. I floured my work surface and my rolling pin and the dough was sticking terribly to everything. I didn’t even measure out how much extra flour I added but I think this may have been the clincher.

    Is your dough very sticky after the first ‘refrigerator’ rise? How do you make it workable without adding too much extra flour?

    • Alex — hi! So sorry for this very delayed response. I made another batch of the dough last night, and I had my mom take a video of me rolling out the dough today. The dough definitely is very sticky after the first refrigerator rise, and I do have to add flour as I roll it out, but I try to go as lightly as I can on the flour. OK, here is the video: http://youtu.be/qST4i0d8Z2c It is long/repetitive/unexciting, but maybe it will give you a sense of how much flour I use versus how much flour you use.

      Another thought (thanks to my mother), and it’s something I’ve been considering myself, is getting one of those large Silpat rolling mats, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Non-Stick-Silicone-Countertop-16-5-Inch-24-5-Inch/dp/B00008T961, which might help you not have to add too much more additional flour.

      One thing, too, that I noticed today as I was rolling out the dough was that I tried to go light — in other words, rather than press down hard on the dough, I tried to push outward more with each roll, if that makes any sense.

      One other thing to keep in mind is that, if you find that after you have completed a full rollout-fold-rollout rotation, and the dough feels a little stiff, just give it a break for 5 minutes or so. This will help the gluten relax a little bit, and you will have a much easier time rolling the dough out.

      One last thought, too, is that a cool kitchen always helps — as soon as the dough warms up, rolling gets more difficult.

      Hope that helps! So sorry again for this very delayed response.

  25. Looks amazing and I love your images of the croissants! Delectable! Can’t wait to try it. I do have a quick question though about the croissants that you rolled ahead of time with the gruyere and prosciutto and left in the fridge overnight. You said that you pulled them out of the fridge and let them rise for 3 more hours. Is this at room temperature? And if I wanted to serve it at breakfast, does that mean I need to get up at 5am to get them out of the fridge to rise for 3 hours to go in the oven at 8am? Am I understanding this correctly? Thank you for the clarification!

    • Phuong — Yes, I let them sit at room temperature for about 3 hours, but you probably could get away with fewer. I just wanted to make sure they had a chance to really get to room temperature before baking them off. So, I would say that if you want to serve them at 8, you would be safe getting them out of the fridge by 6, or you could do the 5am wakeup and then crawl back into bed for an hour. Honestly, I think 2 hours (maybe even less) would be just fine — I had the time the morning I baked them off to let them rest, so I used it. Hope that helps!

  26. Oh my gosh these look just amazing.So glad I’ve discovered your blog

  27. I’ve made these croissants twice and they are FANTASTIC! I’m prepping to make them again this weekend for my brother’s birthday by special request. On a side note, I watched your croissant dough rolling video for the first time today and it made me smile to hear the familiar sounds of Curious George in the background. It is one of my kiddos’ favorites.

  28. Hi! We made these this week and while the flavor is absolutely delicious the texture of the dough turned out more biscuit-like than croissant-like; they didn’t have the flakiness of yours pictured above. Do you have any suggestions or ideas about where we might have gone wrong? Thanks! Love your blog.

  29. Brilliant! I just made it and it was easier than expected. I was afraid it won’t turn out fluffy and light and it did. Thank you so much and your blog is amazing!
    - Annie

  30. These look delicious, I cant wait to try them. Thank you for the post!

  31. They look delicious! I just finished prepairing my dough….well, it doesn’t look like a proper croissant dough….more like a thick lumpy soup:(….. Followed every step…..what could’ve went wrong….please help…..should I add more flour, if I do will it still taste the same? Appreciate any help:)

    • It sounds as though it is looking just right: a big ole mess. That truly is what it looks like when you mix the dough. Stick it in the fridge (it’s probably already there), and tomorrow when you go to roll it out, don’t be afraid to use as much flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Don’t go overboard — the less flour you add the better — but use what you must to make it workable. Watch the video (or just a minute or so of it) if you feel like it. It might help.

  32. I’ve made these once before and have my second batch in the oven. I love it. So easy to follow. My family members dived on the first batch and they were gone within minutes. Absolutely delicious. I have used bacon pieces and a perfect melt cheese with Gouda Parmesan and cheddar. Hoping it turns out just as good.

  33. I was terrified that I did something wrong because this morning when I took the bowl out of the fridge it looked like oatmeal mush. I worked it though….and they turned out AMAZING!! Thank you for posting this. I served it with a poached egg on top and my husband about died. He loved it!! I have a feeling that I’ll be making these a lot more now. It wasn’t even that difficult-just time consuming with all of the waiting :)

    • I know, it does that — looks like a total mess — after it’s mixed and after s night in the fridge. So glad the looks didnt’t deter you! And that the results were pleasing! My husband would have died, too, upon seeing a poached egg on one of these guys. And I’m glad that you agree that they really aren’t that difficult. Thanks for writing in!

  34. Just made these today. Plain. They’re really good. Admittedly not as flaky as yours, but I totally rushed the process along. Started at 11 and eating by 2:30, but still great.

    • Wow, well done on the rushing. Yeah, the flakiness is more pronounced with an overnight rest in the fridge. But it’s nice to know you can rush the process along. Do you have any dough leftover? The cheese danishes are my favorite.

  35. Sono una parola MERAVIGLIOSI, appena posso tradurrò il post e poi farò questi splendidi cornetti.

    Bravissima

  36. Hi there: I made these for the first time for a thanksgiving brunch and they came out more like a crescent roll instead of a croissant. Not very flaky. They were still yummy though. What could I have done wrong?

    • Erin, hi, and I’m so sorry for this very delayed response! And I’m sorry to hear about the trouble with the rolls. What type of yeast did you use? And did you do the fast method (skipping the overnight in the fridge step) or did you follow the recipe pretty closely? Let me know, and I’ll try to get to the bottom of it.

  37. I have to say these are by far the best I have ever had made and store bought, even at a great bakery, flaky buttery and the dough was very easy to work with

  38. I cannot wait to make these. Hope they turn out as nice as yours!!!

  39. I’m gonna try to make these with pre-made croisant dough

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