Videos

The Viral Croissant-Making Video We Can’t Stop Watching

Le Marais Bakery walks us through the riveting 30-hour process toward an artisanal, French-butter, natural-levain croissant.

February 10, 2020
Photo by James Ransom

Get this: A croissant takes 30 hours to make. Not 4 hours (the running time of the 2018 Oscars ceremony), not 12 hours (a flight from London to Singapore), not even 24 hours (the duration of a day for Monica Aldama, the star of Netflix’s Cheer and the award-winning coach of the Navarro cheer team). No, no, it takes 6 hours more than Earth's rotation for my favorite pastry to be made from start to finish.

How do I know this fact? Because this video, made by the lovely crew at Le Marais Bakery in San Francisco, taught me this fact.

Titled A Day in the Life of a Croissant, the cinematic masterpiece follows the process of a croissant’s formation from loose flour, to lamination, to lovely finished product. There’s suspense, there’s drama, action, and even surprise! Hello, Academy, are you listening? I think you missed a contender in the Best Picture category?

The video deserves one viewing at worst and about 40 at best. I, of course, have some favorite moments: the unbelievable long and lithe strip of dough, with an even longer and lither core of butter, being folded over and over onto itself, the blink-and-you'll-miss-it transformation of an isosceles triangle into the iconic conical croissant shape, and the surprise cameo of a child in a pink shirt. (Kids! They’re just like us ... they like croissants!)

The video racked up over 300,000 views quite quickly. As for its inspiration, the bakery’s owner, Patrick Ascaso, had this to say: “We made the first video in December when we had all hands on deck, including our 8-year-old daughter, packing the tens of thousands of frozen croissants we ship each holiday across the country through Williams Sonoma. We decided to create a video of our bakers making a croissant from scratch, a 30-hour process, for those we ship and those we sell fresh-baked every day in our bakeries.”

They’ve since followed up with a pain au chocolat and an almond croissant version of that first viral video. While both are equally stirring, riveting, enthralling, enticing (!), the videos, like the pastries themselves, will never quite match up to the original: the classic croissant.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.

1 Comment

kim February 27, 2020
It does take 30 hours. I made them once (30+ years ago) following Julia Child’s instructions—they were the best croissants ever, but I said never again. Never say never; now I’m tempted!