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Food

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.

Incredible skills learnt, who knew dessert was such an art and Dominique made it look so effortless and exciting!

I've always been inspired by Chef Ansel's creative takes on pastries, and watching him in action proves he is a master at his craft. The classes were easy to follow and I was lead through all the problem/difficult sections of each of the recipes. I've already made the madeleines (delicious!!!) and am planning on tackling the chocolate cake this weekend.

Great set of classes! New found respect for croissants.

It feels awesome learning from the best Pastry Chef ever. I'm so happy to have received this for Christmas. Now I can enhance my pastry techniques .


Comments

Keiko S.

The issues, we the students post here are talked among ourselves. Is Chef Ansel going to ever answer?

TrueNorth

Things were going wrong almost from the beginning. The dough turned out too stiff and not as stretchy as Dominique's. My butter block took 20min to thaw out. During first roll-out I ended up with sticks of butter inside the dough. Maybe I was pressing too hard or my rolling stick is too skinny? Then, during the second roll-out the butter broke and I had chunks of butter inside. Today is day 2. I am loosing hope for a good croissant tomorrow...

Bradley H.

Question: the butter is cracking. This is my 3rd attempt. I am using the President butter, which I believe is correct fat %. It was soft and malleable for the 1st turn. After 1 hour in refrigerator , for the 2nd turn , the butter cracked. I am wondering if I'mm leaving it in the refrigerator too long or the temp is too low. Thoughts?

Deanna

Wow he is brilliant! These are amazing recipes. No wonder his bakeries are so popular!

Alexis D.

What do you do with the Levain after day 5? Store it in the fridge? Continue to feed it?

A fellow student

I HAVE MADE THE CROISSANTS WITH A LOT OF SUCCESSFULL, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO FREEZE PART OF THE PREPARATION, WHEN DO YOU SUGGEST ME IS THE BEST BEFORE THE FERMENTATION OR AFTER

A fellow student

Hello, I have some lesson questions. I live in a hot climate aprox. 28 grades (Villavicencio), and I don´t know if the time of the rest the dough it´s the same time in a cold climate. I tried to make croissants but, when I did the third fold the butter was out the dough, OHHHH!! I feel so frustrated... please tell me about it...what can Ido?

Mila S.

The workbook instructions were a bit unclear. I thought the croissants were a bit flavorless so I would recommend adding a bit more salt.

Noriko M.

I also questioned 29g of egg in the dough. It was about 1/2 of one egg. Any advice on that?

Noriko M.

My first attempt came out doughy. I live in a warm climate so that's a hurdle. I even iced the working surface before I rolled. My levain felt too wet but went ahead and mixed it into the rest of the dough. The dough, when it was done mixing, felt little tough. Is it because it had too much hydration? Or not enough mixing? Or...?