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.

Dominique was so passionate about his baking. The way he explained how to bake his recipes was so compelling. All in all, I would definitely recommend this masterclass.

Loved this class! Chef Domonique Ansel explains everything perfectly and really transmits his passion for baking.

I went to Dominique bakery shop in NY. I ate everything . Everything is delicious. When I saw his name show in Masterclass. I was so happy to learn every lesson. This is worth to become Masterclass member. I would like him to comeback for more lesson . Thank you.

It's been a great experience joining you at this Master Class. Meeting one of the most famous Pastry Chefs in the world, couldn't be more amazing. I've learned new techniques, which for me is the most important aspect about pastry classes. I want to highlight two phrases: "think out of the box" and "always be creative" Those are main focus to be successful in this pastry world. Thanks a lot


Comments

A fellow student

Chef Dominique , you have explained so well about the beauty of French pastreies. The croissant recipe is truly perfect ! True, it is time consuming and you have it in less than a minute. Lol. If I may ask, any tips on how to store croissants 🥐 and reserve them in the freezer to have ready ones always ? Basically which step of the process you are able to freeze the dough , after proofing the croissant or after the 3rd lamination ?

Suah K.

Can I halve the levain recipe? also, how can I '“feed” the levain again each day with equal parts flour and water that’s equal to the weight of the levain' ? if the levain is 200g should I add 200g flour and 200g water?

Dalton H.

Hello Guy, I am really excited to make these over the holidays...the only hiccup I came across was that several of my family members are gluten-free. Is there any possible way we could make this gluten-free? any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Fiona

Just had my second go at making croissants, guided this time by Dominique's lesson - it made a big difference! The first batch I made was pretty doughy - tasty but more scone or bread like. This second batch actually had a bit of lamination! Very pleased - thanks Dominique. I will hope now to improve each time I make them.

A fellow student

In the video he just use de levain in the dough and in the written recepie he asks for yeast, I dont understand

Peter G.

I’m having some issues with making the crossing fluffy enough when it comes out of the oven and I think it’s because the dough is too heavy when I fold it. Are there any others who are having the same issues and could help me get a more light and fluffy crossaint?

Alicia N.

Excellent, I've always wanted to learn how to make a croissant. It may have been interesting to see different folding/layering strategies.

A fellow student

I would have liked to hear Dominique explain why he was adding commercial yeast when he had levain. I am growing my own starter so am not wanting to use commercial yeast. Thanks for the great lesson though, great demonstration; I learned a lot!

A fellow student

Pretty good but maybe a little heavier/Doughier in the middle than I’d like. Can you explain why this may be the case?

Aisha

Did anyone have issues with butter seeping out during baking? I had some come out and am wondering what I did wrong