Culinary Arts

The Perfect Croissant

Dominique Ansel

Lesson time 32:31 min

What the omelet is to savory chefs, the croissant is to pastry chefs. Learn the techniques that make for golden, flaky croissants – like dough lamination and making starter – and watch as Chef analyzes croissants from his team around the globe.

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Dominique Ansel
Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals
James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel teaches his essential techniques for making delicious pastries and desserts in his first-ever online class.
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Chef Dominique Ansel, chef of the famous Cronut and owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery, says: “Making croissants is a labor of love and dedication—a lifelong baking project.” This humble French pastry is all about mastering time-intensive techniques to produce perfect results. But do not be intimidated by this task; rather, with Chef Dominique’s guidance, you will learn how to make croissants, hone your skills with each subsequent batch you create, and spot the difference between a good croissant and an exceptional one by understanding how the intricate pastry is constructed. 7 Tips for Making the Perfect Croissant 1. Levain is the “DNA” of the Croissant. Croissants begin with a levain, which is essentially the sourdough starter used to make bread. In the croissant, however, it contributes more its tangy, acidic flavor, balancing out the richness of the butter fat. 2. Practice Your Rolling Pin Technique. Mastery over pressure is essential to making a perfect croissant. You must exert gentle pressure on the rolling pin while flattening the dough so that you don’t crush or tear the layers in the dough, and you must use barely any pressure at all to gently stretch the cut dough triangles and roll them into the final croissant shape. 3. Buy Quality Ingredients. Buy fresh, all-purpose flour and use high-quality, European- style butter that has the highest fat content you can find. Good butter is like clay: it’s malleable and elastic, even when cold from the refrigerator. The quality of the levain depends on how long it ferment, so follow Chef Dominique’s recipe closely. 4. Keep a Close Eye on Dough Temperature. If the dough gets too cold, it can be difficult to roll and the butter layers inside can break apart and become brittle, which will impede the development of flaky layers in the finished croissant. Keep the countertop cool and work with the dough while it’s cold from the refrigerator, trying not to handle it too much with your hands to avoid warming. Work quickly, but calmly, and keep everything as neat as possible. This both minimizes the amount of waste from the dough, but also keeps the dough in the perfect shape to give you the beautiful croissants you’re after in the end. 5. Use a Light Hand. Once the croissants are rolled, be careful not to destroy all those beautiful layers you worked to build up. Be gentle when rolling and shaping the croissants and use a light hand when applying the egg wash–you don’t want the brush to to drench the dough or crush it. 6. Cool to Room Temperature. Once baked, allow the pastries to cool to room temperature and use a sharp serrated knife so it can cut through, not crush, all those flaky layers. 7. Take a Bite...and Look for the Honeycomb. The layers inside should resemble a “honeycomb” in that they should not look dense, and the air pockets should be of an even size from the inside to the outside. Smell the croissant; it should smell yeasty and buttery. The Perfect Croissant R...


The Art of French Pastry

Celebrated for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Cronut® creator and James Beard Award-winner Dominique Ansel has been called the “world’s best pastry chef.” In his MasterClass, Dominique teaches his essential techniques for perfect pastries. Learn baking and more with his precise methods, add classic recipes to your repertoire, and explore texture and flavor inspirations to delight friends and family with your own decadent desserts.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

He was very thorough and it was very helpful. Thanks!!

Lesson 16 has no PDF, but Dominique is utterly delightful

well paced clear and beguiling simple -now to put into practice. PS I am now hungry!

This class made me think out of the box. Creativity is now a must! thank you Chef Ansel


Comments

Eric M.

I would have loved to see Dominique cutting the same croissant he did by hand at the end, not another one, you Can see the one he cuts has 4 rolls while the one he makes has 3, that way we really known the actual outcome to this hand made process

A fellow student

Hi everyone! My name is Ivan and I follow exact recipe and time for testing. Anyone know how come the surface is so rough?

A fellow student

Okay dough was tearing and butter coming out by the second stretch couldn't roll it out I live in a tropical place''please help

Robin G.

First stab at Dominique Ansel’s croissants. Thank you Dominique and MasterClass!

A fellow student

Couldn't find heavy cream in stores. I read whipping cream is closer in fat; about 35.1% in fat, so I got that. Also someone please help with the accurate egg measurement, I'm gonna try Croissants next week for the 4th time; I can't take another failure :)

Kristy H.

Hi there - just looking for confirmation on the amount of egg needed in the croissant dough. I've used one egg, but the mixture was a little dry. The recipe calls for 29g of egg, which I believe is an error. Could you kindly confirm if I've used the right approach?

A fellow student

I cannot download the recipe for the perfect croissant. The error message says, "Access Denied" Can anyone help?

rebecca S.

is anyones dough coming out no where near as elastic as dominique's? it seems like he uses much more butter in the video than what the recipe calls for, it seems like the lack of butter might be the issue? not sure.

A fellow student

Hi everyone! Thanks for the amazing class, chef. I’ve got one question, tough. I wonder why my croissant got this weird opening. I’ve got three theories, and maybe you guys could help me finding a conclusion: 1. Perhaps it was not fermented enough, and due to excessive gluten strength it “ripped” like that; 2. Too much pressure while shaping the croissant; 3. Not enough gluten development when mixing the dough. What are your thoughts about it? Thanks a lot for the help. Cheers from Brazil!

Howard S.

Really enjoyed this lesson! First attempt was not great, but here's some pics from attempt 2. Pretty happy with this! Did have to adjust the amount of liquid as the first attempt was a bit dry. Maybe it's the flour used. I use KA All Purpose.