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.

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.


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

I really loved Chef Dominique's philosophy about baking, having the right techniques and knowledge mastered to be able to create new things that connect with people.

I've been a fan of "cooking" shows since I was a child. It started with Julia Child's French Chef on PBS network. This course presentation reminded me of that beginning delight. I especially enjoyed the final class by Chef Ansel where he showed 3 of his marvelous creations, which likewise brought back pleasant memories of my beginning interest in all things French.

Chef Dominique presents the lessons in a really interesting way that is also so educational. He is encouraging and supportive while also being instructional and obviously passionate about what he does. You can tell by the smile he gets on his face after he has smelled the product and then tasted it. What a great class!

I love this class, a great addition to the cooking classes.


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.

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!