How to Make Croissants at La Cuisine Paris
Eating a croissant will never be the same again. It only took 11 years of living in Paris for me to learn what goes into making a proper croissant: patience, time, and BUTTER (one of my favorite foods!). It’s incredible how “simple” they are to make, yet it’s a true art, and it’s all about how the dough and butter is combined into layers. Here’s a glimpse inside the super fun 3-hour Croissant and Breakfast Pastries class at La Cuisine Paris.
Croissants all start with simple ingredients—flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water, and melted butter—to make the dough, known as détrempe. The process is like making pasta in terms of how it’s combined. The process is quite quick, but the dough needs several hours of refrigeration before the next steps.
When it comes to croissants, it’s all about the butter. Roll out the butter block in parchment paper that then gets folded into the détrempe. The goal is to keep the rectangular shape of the dough to ensure even layers. (Our chef Segoline made this look SO easy! It definitely takes some practice.)
The croissant dough (pâté levée feuilletée) gets rolled thin. Croissants are cut into triangles and rolled into their very identifiable shape. Pain au chocolate are made from rectangles, with a couple variations for rolling to enrobe the bars of chocolate. The secret to croissant making is to keep all the scraps! Every bit can be used, even if they’re minis.
The same dough is used to make pain au raisin and drops. This involves a layer of crème pâtissière cream filling that adds a layer of moisture to the pastry. You can add any other flavors along the way to give it your own twist.
You can also have some fun with different shapes, forms, and filling. It’s kind of magic how it all comes together.
It’s the preparation that takes time. Before baking the pastries need time to rise. The pastries actually cook quite quickly (15-20 minutes). Some pastries got a sugar syrup glaze.
We had a blast during our 3 hour class with lots of simple “Ohhhh, that’s how it’s done!!!” mind-blowing moments! For over 10 years La Cuisine Paris has been teaching travelers and locals the art of French cooking at their cooking school in the center of Paris along the Seine.
While travel may not be in the cards right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t travel vicariously and learn a new skill, or make croissants for your loved ones or neighbors (you never make a small batch when you’re making croissants). La Cuisine Paris has launched an online version of the school where you can everything from croissants, to macaroons, choux pastry, French sauces, souflées, basic breads, and more. They’re also offering LIVE cooking classes (space is limited, which means everyone gets access to the chef).
Of course the best part of the class is when you get to taste your creations—fresh out of the oven! Thanks to croissant-lover Graham for inspiring me to learn something new. I’ll never look at croissants the same again. (After class the hunt for the best croissants in Paris continued.)
Paris croissant resources:
- Best croissants in Paris according to Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini
- Best croissants in Paris according to Paris by Mouth
- Best pastry shops in Paris according to David Lebovitz
- A brief history of croissants from La Cuisine Paris
- La Cuisine Paris Croissant Fundamentals online class & classes in Paris
Mille mercis La Cuisine Paris + chef Segoline for such a fun experience!!