Chapter 15 of 17 from Dominique Ansel

The Perfect 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

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

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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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 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.

James Beard Award winner Dominique Ansel teaches essential pastry-making techniques, from dough and fillings to stunning presentation and decor.

A downloadable cookbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps, recipes, and supplemental materials.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Dominique will also critique select student work.

Reviews

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

I live a block away from the NYC bakery. What a joy to meet the chef and learn about pastry, chocolate, design.

Dominique Ansel enlightens our soul with a dance of pastry aura. His childlike creativity sparks our custard dreams to life.

I really enjoyed this class! I love to bake, especially cakes and cookies. This year I've started branching into new areas of baking; breads, pies and so on. I'm looking forward to trying the croissant recipe. I haven't worked with laminated pastry before and I look forward to trying something new. Chef Ansel's creativity is inspiring.

It's very inspiring to learn from the best. They make everything look easy and feasible. It helps challenge us to do our best!

Comments

A fellow student

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

A fellow student

I have tried this recipe twice now, following the directions quite closely. In both cases the dough did not achieve the elasticity that it shown in the video - not even close. Is it possible that more liquid ingredients are necessary.....

Chris M.

First batch done, and I must say they are the most delicious croissants we have ever eaten. I have learned a few lessons, would love to share. Tips I learned- #1. Use a full large egg, not the 29g in the recipe, since a large egg is around 55-60g. #2- When you remove the butter block from the fridge, let it sit out for as long as needed for the butter to be easily spread. (my first time the butter was not warm enough and it broke into small pieces inside the dough). #3- After rolling, let the gluten rest for an hour in the fridge, but not longer than that. If you leave longer than an hour, the butter gets too stiff and the lamination is not as smooth as needed. Hopefully these tips help someone else,

beatrice A.

How did you like this lesson? Well, even if I only watched this lesson, it is worth every penny of the price of the pass! I have copied recipes to make croissants for years but always felt daunted by the number of steps and being French, you grow up believing you should leave this type of complex recipe to professionals...you also never have an incentive to bake croissants at home when you can buy delicious croissants down the street. Merci Chef Ansel. Regardless of the time being spent and hurdles along the way, this is an experience that I really cherish. It took me over a month to get the levain to the right consistency. It did reach the thickness yours has once in the initial making of the levain but if you are not ready to start the process when the levain is ready, then it will deflate and water will gather on top. I played with it a lot and had jars everywhere. What I found out was that there are three steps to make levain in the recipe. If the fluffiness you seek hasn't happened by then, remove enough levain to be left with 200 gr and add 100 gr flour and 100 gr very warm water. I kept the jars of levain on a tray (in case one overflows) with a old blanket over and around the jars. I made one batch of croissants with fluffy levain and one with a deflated levain. While they were both delicious, the first batch didn't rise as much as the second batch but I'm not sure if it is a question of temperature in my house or due to the levain (the second batch with a flat levain stayed in the 59F living room overnight before being baked, while the first one with a fluffy levain was kept on cool shelves overnight). The first batch had the proper honeycomb while the second one had strands of dough bunched together, which might not come from the levain at all but the butter which was incorporated in the initial dough slightly colder than the first batch and never seemed to be integrated in the dough the way it was in the first batch. As a result, the butter melted out of the croissant during the baking and smoked profusely. Thanks to every one for sharing their experience and again to chef Ansel for teaching how to make truly delectable croissants.

Mario T.

I only 1 or 2 croissants per day. Any way to place them in the freezer or fridge at one point in the recipe and bake them when I need them?

Tina A.

I am having the same issue as levike2 not sure what i am doing wrong. I have made croissants many times in the past but never used levain and they came out much better . Chef Ansel can you please critique these ans let me know .

Freddy C.

This is my second try to make the levain! The first one I saw water like in the photo but more pronounce. This second try this is the second day and it seems it is getting the same effect. I am weighing all the materials. Do I have to correct the water content?

Transcript

There is a time in every petit chef's life where you have to learn how to make a croissant. A croissant is a weekend process. If I make it at home, I will usually start it on Friday morning, mix the dough. The next day, I will fold the butter. And the third day, bake it and use it for brunch. I call it the omelet of pastry, because there's just a few ingredients. It's very simple, but yet, you need skills, and you need to really understand how everything works together. There's tons and tons of recipes of croissant out there. Most people do it with just dry yeast or fresh yeast, which works very well, as well. But I prefer mine with de levain. De levain is a name in French for a starter. So a starter is essentially two simple ingredients-- flour and water. The water for this has to be warm and the flour just room temperature. So we want to activate the fermentation. We're going to leave it at room temperature for a couple hours. And what's going to happen is that the mix of flour and water is going to start fermenting. So this is the beginning of our levain. It's still pretty dense. It has a little bit of elasticity, and it's a little tacky. So this is exactly what we want. We have to actually feel it every day. So we'll take a little bit of the dough out, and we we'll add more water and more flour every single day. We want to keep the nice fermentation, where there's not too much acidity and there's enough of the development of the fermentation. And eventually, after a few days, you actually have this very light, very airy-- it feels like puffy, pillowy. It's very jiggly. It has, like, micro bubble. That's a good sign of the activation of the fermentation. I started my own when I first opened a bakery almost seven years ago, and we still have the same base. And we actually-- I actually carry myself this base, de levain, in all of the countries where we have a location-- in Japan, in London, in Los Angeles. And we surely have the same base. So we're growing this levain. It's almost like think about it like a rolling stock, where you have your base of soup, and then you add a little bit more water every single day. That's what's going to bring all the flavor inside the croissant. Just a few ingredients to start. We have flour, butter, and levain. Those are three critical ingredients to make a beautiful croissant. So we're going to start mixing all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. We'll start with the flour. The butter. The sugar. Then, going to add the eggs and a little of cream, salt, the levain. And then we'll add the water and a little bit of dry ice that we dissolve with the water. Whisk it together. And we just combine everything together. You're going to place this on the mixer with a hook attachment. We're going to start mixing in a first speed to just combine all ingredients, and then we'll go into higher speed to really develop the gluten. [MIXER WHIRRING] So for the mixing pro...