Portuguese Croissants

Close to my old workplace, there's this little bakery that sells the most amazing portuguese croissants. They are soft and yellow and sweet and oh my gosh, just so good with ham and cheese. Before I moved here, I had never had or even seen a portuguese croissant and at first I didn’t quite know what to make of them, but it only took one bite to get me addicted. I've been in withdrawal since I don't come by there every day anymore, so I decided to make some croissants for brunch last week.

The recipe I had seemed a bit wonky from the beginning and it turned out I was right. For instance, for a croissant that apparently can be translated as “milk bread” from Portuguese (don’t quote me on that, though), it sure had very little milk in it. So I had to adjust some of the ingredients to even get a working dough, but in the end they still looked nothing like the croissants from the shop. They did taste really good, though: soft and rich and slightly sweet and also really, really good with ham and cheese, but also with jam. So even though they’ll never replace the ones from that little café, they are quite an adequate substitute when I can’t get the real thing.

Portuguese Croissants


200ml milk
375g flour
1/2 envelope active dry yeast
80g sugar
75g butter
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks

1. Warm the milk, but don't let it boil. Mix the flour and yeast with half of the sugar, pour the warm milk on top and mix until smooth. Let it sit in a warm place for half an hour.

2. Cut the soft butter in small pieces and add it to the dough. Add the other half of the sugar, 3 egg yolks and the pinch of salt and knead with a dough hook until you've got a fairly smooth dough. It's alright if it's still a little sticky.

3. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about half an hour, deflate it and put it in the fridge overnight. (Note: I usually prepare yeast dough in the evening and let it rise overnight in the fridge a second time, so I can use it the next morning, since letting the dough rise in the fridge makes it more finely pored. If you don't want to do that, simply let the dough rise for about 45 minutes and then go to the next step.)

4. The next morning, get the dough out of the fridge, let it warm up for about 15 minutes, deflate it, knead it for a couple of minutes on a floured surface, then roll it out in a rectangle of about 20x40cm. Cut the dough into 5 or 6 triangles and roll them up from the long end.

5. Mix an egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of milk (alternatively: water) and brush the croissants with it. Let the croissants rise for another 30 minutes in a warm place.

6. Bake for about 15 minutes on 200°C.


♥ Nicole


  1. Das Rezept klingt sehr gut. Muss ich unbedingt mal ausprobieren. Den Teig langsam im Kühlschrank gehen lassen mache ich auch gern. Ich finde, er wird einfach aromatischer.

    1. Sie sind zwar null so geworden wie die aus dem Café, aber ich fand sie trotzdem sehr lecker! Werd ich definitiv wieder machen.

  2. Milk bread or "Pão de Leite" in Portugal is not the same dough as croissants, milk bread is also yellow like the Portuguese croissant and with the slightly sugary taste, however the portuguese croissants are a lot denser than milk bread.

    1. Oh, thanks for clearing that up! :) What turns both the croissants and the milk bread so yellow, though? I thought it might be the egg yolk, but mine didn't turn out yellow at all. Any ideas?

  3. I baked these today! So delicious!<3

    1. Oh, great! :) I found a bakery this week that sells Portuguese Croissants that look just like mine, but they were so much drier, so I think upping the milk really helped. (Though they still look and taste nothing like my beloved original. :))