This classic French pastry is known worldwide for its flaky layers and tender interior. Our friends at ChefSteps.com break down the science in honor of National Croissant Day (Jan 30th)!
  1. Laminated dough and puff dough are similar, but not the same.
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    Puff dough is laminated dough, but it’s the most simple form of laminated dough.
  2. What exactly is puff dough then?
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    Puff dough is made from layers of flour-based dough and butter that are layered on top of each other.
  3. Puff dough has one “spring” to it that is caused by steam.
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    The steam is caused by heating up the actual dough. The moisture in the butter turns to steam, and pushes the dough layers apart.
  4. Croissant dough is called “yeasted laminated dough” because you add yeast to puff dough.
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    The yeast activates and creates carbon dioxide, so the dough begins rising long before it gets to the oven.
  5. The yeast eats the sugar, and turns it into carbon dioxide.
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    This process builds pressure in the dough, and pushes the layers apart.
  6. Once in the oven, the laminated dough goes through the same process as the puff dough.
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    The butter melts, releases water, creates steam vapor, pushes the layers apart further (the second “spring” thanks to the yeast addition).
  7. Voila - you have croissants!
    Croissant dough 7
    Now that you know the science, make your own croissants from one of our recipes: http://to.pbs.org/1WTOWAH