From Dominique Ansel's MasterClass

The Perfect Croissant

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.

Topics include: Day 1 • The Butter Block • Degassing the Dough • Day 2 • Roll and Shape • Day 3 • The Finished Croissant • Troubleshooting Your Croissant

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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.

Topics include: Day 1 • The Butter Block • Degassing the Dough • Day 2 • Roll and Shape • Day 3 • The Finished Croissant • Troubleshooting Your Croissant

Dominique Ansel

Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals

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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.

I am really happy to watch the class from the Master of pastry.

Amazing class. That's truly inspiring. I hope Dominique will open a second class.

It's very good. I gained an understanding of what's involved in a bakery... especially the effort that goes into these creations..

Hello... I enjoyed very much Chef Dominique Ansel. He has a special charisma teaching his classes in a way there is so much fun. Without being a show off, he's professional and humble. Glad you brought him to Master Class!!! Please offer more of him. Thanks!

Comments

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.

Laura S.

Wow - I followed directions and got a terrific result. First, I was very glad that I already had a levain that was essentially the same as Chef's recipe. So that saved me several days. Mine had been "sleeping" in the refrigerator - probably not something Chef Dominique would do - but then I'm working in my kitchen at home and I don't have the time or resources to make bread every day. So for those of you who have gone through the time to make the levain and don't want to "throw it away", put the remainder in your refrigerator or freezer and wake it back up when you are ready to start again. Simply start feeding it again according to Chef's instructions. When you go back to use the levain later, you might find a dark liquid sitting on top - that is normal - I think it is alcohol from the yeast. However, if you see pink or green, it is contaminated - toss it out. We also chose to make our croissants smaller and ended up with 32 beautiful little croissants. We found that two were ideal so maybe next time we will make our croissants a little bigger. We also took the liberty of making chocolate croissants and garlic croissants. Heaven! Thank you Chef Dominique!

Lisa

Greetings fellow bakers, making these croissants was definitely a lengthy process but I think it was worth it in the end. It was fun to try a new recipe albeit a week-long effort. Here are a few of my croissant-making observations: THE LEVAIN Since the recipe calls for so much more Levain than the 68grams needed for this recipe, I made three batches of croissant dough. I didn't have any baking friends to give the extra Levain to and there was no way I was going to toss it, considering how long it took to make. Three dozen croissants meant more to gift and freeze. EGG WEIGHT DEBATE There has been discussion in this group about the correct weight and/or number of the egg requirement. I ended up using one large egg and it was fine. I also used room temperature water to dissolve the yeast. THE BUTTER BLOCK After sandwiching the butter block between the parchment paper. Turn the papers over so the pencil lines are fully visible (with pencil lead still on the outside away from the butter). Also, I used a plastic pastry bench to spread and create the butter block because the metal bench kept tearing my parchment paper. NO SHORTCUTS ON REFRIGERATION TIME Because I made three batches of dough, I could easily compare any deviation from the recipe directions. On butter batch number three, I was getting impatient so, I cut the refrigeration time from 1 hour down to 45 minutes. Bad idea. The butter kept breaking through the dough while rolling it and making a mess of my pastry board and rolling pin. That’s when I remembered that the refrigeration time had been decreased. I put the dough back in the fridge for a full hour and it rolled just fine after that. WRAP PLASTIC THOROUGHLY Once my triangles were cut, there were a few that were accidentally not completely covered in plastic. That caused them to dry out a bit and when I tried to stretch them out, they promptly broke. I ended up patching them back together but that demonstrated the need to make sure the dough and triangles are thoroughly plastic-wrapped during refrigeration. BAKING TIME Of course, every oven is different, but my croissants definitely took much longer to brown. I baked each batch for about 22 minutes in a 350-degree convection oven for perfect, golden browning. EGGS-TRA TOPPING After applying the egg wash, I sprinkled sliced almonds on top of some of the croissants along with raw sugar for a sweeter baked croissant. I also drizzled thin lines of melted chocolate over some of the plain croissants once baked and cooled. I had so many croissants to work with, it was fun to play around with the various toppings. GIFTING I packaged up single croissants in small goodie bags, twist tied them, added a black and white ribbon and then gifted the fresh croissants in pink gift bags to friends and family. They were a big (French-inspired) hit. I've included a styled photo of a few of my finished croissants. While there were a few minor discrepancies between the recipe and Chef Ensel's video, there was nothing I found that could not be worked through. I'm looking forward to trying the strawberry tart next. Happy baking. -Lisa

Lisa

Greetings fellow bakers. I will finally start my dough tomorrow after an impatient but eager week of making the Levain. One question to those who have already made these croissants. The dough directions in the PDF call for "203g of cold water" but the same directions say "stir together the yeast and room temperature water". Should I use cold water or room temperature water with the yeast? Am I misinterpreting the directions? Thanks.

Shauna

Thank you to all of you for your generous hints -- I am starting my levain on Monday and appreciate your willingness to share!

Tina A.

I am in NYC now and just tried the almond croissant at Dominque Ansel bakery and OMG!!!!!!!!! WOW WOW WOW so good the best I have ever had and I try a croissant every where I travel to , I am going to practice , and practice until I get them right!!!

francesco F.

Hello Master Class! Im trying to download the recipe for The Perfect Croissant lesson but I'm having trouble its say that the page has expired. Please will you let me know what should i do. Thank you