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

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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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...

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.

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Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals