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.

Play
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.
Get Started

Preview

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.

Through Masterclass, I learned so many different techniques in patisserie, also I could understand how the chef put his brain to create new things.It gave me so much inspiration!

this Class is so beautiful. Again, another inspiring masterclass. It taught me so much not only about the subject in question, but about creativity, passion and drive. I wasn’t aware of many of the techniques presented and it has taken my pastry skills to a new level. Thank you.

All his techniques were really detailed and well explained

Sonno veramente stupito dalla precisione di Dominique. A colpire e stato lui per me e per rimanere Master Classe. Grazie ...


Comments

Jules E.

This was great. Tried to make the croissant and it worked. But it was hard. The workbook was not that specific so i had to often refer back to the video. But all in all the croissants tasted great.

Ghinescu M.

Hi. 50g Flour and 50-30gm water,if it's cold, it's hot. My opinion and the chef

A fellow student

I feel that the instructions on the workbook for making levain are incorrect. It says to use 50g (3⅓ tbsp) flour and 50g (3⅓tbsp) water. However, water weighs more than flour so the tbsp amounts should be different.

Aleen C.

loved this instructive video. I have never made a croissant before but it makes me want to try it. Thanks Chef

Allan S.

I was actually disappointed that they key to this, the levain, was the least well described part of this lesson. Even the workbook was vague and just pointed out its importance in croissant making. I had to resort to youtube to get an idea of how to make a good levain. For something that chef Dominique calls the DNA of the croissants this is really disappointing.

Angie V.

Mine are not proofing or raising very well, anyone know why this is happening or having similar problems? I'm not sure what I've done wrong.

Pamela M.

Just finished baking, not perfect but the husband is willing to sacrifice himself :). I followed the recipe but have some questions. Butter pooled when I baked the first batch, I turned my oven up to 400F and the second pan did the same. I didn't have unsalted butter cold that have added extra moisture? In the video he says you have to pull out some of the levain, but the printed instructions only tell you to remove 20% on the 4th day of fermentation. Are you suppose to remove 20% each day? Can you refrigerate the remaining levain and then bring to room temp for use in other batches?

Ghinescu M.

Hi all. In Italy is a problem,all-purpose flour does not exist here and dry instant yeast it doesn't go so well.What to do?

Francesco M.

Hi all, in the recipe pdf, dominque calls for the levain starter as his yeast source, any ideas how to replicate this same recipe with commercial dried yeast? Thanks.

Brent

Excellent instructions. Thank you!! Made first croissants today - house still smelling of pastry and butter. So rich! Very enjoyable process. Levain Starter- first attempt at a levain smelt of parmesan/butanoic acid. It became every acidic and had quite an enjoyable tartness despite the stench it was making. On day three it died and my attempts to revive it by diluting it in more flour and water didn't work. For this first attempt I used a bleached organic wholemeal flour. The second attempt at a levain worked well. On this occasion I used a non-bleached flour - will never know if that made the difference as changed other variables as well, including location. This new levain actually smells yeasty. It's not as excitingly tart as the first one though. Made croissants over 2 days overall. Seems quite a forgiving process as I didn't stick rigidly to the timing in the recipe. My dough was slow to prove so I left it to itself for a few more hours than recommended when proving was required. A good deal of love goes into making the croissant. It's such a same seeing the supermarket up the street from me selling them for around a dollar each for a packet of 4. Someone should lock mass-production up in the cupboard and throw away the key. Recipe made around 8 large croissants with additional waste. Enjoyable tasting the raw and cooked doughs while trying to discern the ingredients within. Thank you for a really enjoyable, informative masterclass.