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A Pastry Class at the Paris Lenôtre school (page 2 of 2)

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Lenôtre offers high-end non-professional pastry classes in Paris. Are they worth the time and money? Who attends? What do you actually learn? Read my account of a Brioche and Kugelhopf class at Lenôtre's school on the Champs-Elysées.
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The second part of the course, done concurrently, was about brioche. First we prepared brioche dough by kneading butter, eggs, sugar, yeast, salt and flour. Brioche dough needs a long raising time. The pastry chef had prepared some the day before and we used that one.



We made two types of brioches: Brioche Parisienne, like on the picture above, with its trademark little balls on top of each other. The making of a nice, smooth ball is difficult. You squeeze a piece of dough between your open palm and the table and then make circles with the hand, raising it gradually. It took us a while to master this tour de main!


The second type of brioche, seen on the pictures above and below, is Brioche Nantaise. You make a number of large balls with the dough and stuff them in a cake form.

Both types of brioches need a double layer of egg yolk to get their famous deep brown color.




See the back of the brioche nantaise.



This Lenôtre pastry course was very serious and informative. We spent every single of the class' 210 minutes learning about pastry and doing it. I would definitely come back to Lenôtre for another class. Just bear in mind that clases are in French but these are not French classes: you need to have some fluency. There are many cheaper cookery classes in Paris, some even in English. I don't know if they match Lenôtre's high quality as it is definitely a high standard.

To attend a class at Lenôtre:

Ecole Lenôtre
Tel +33 (0) 1 42 65 97 60
Pavillon des Champs-Elysées
10 Avenue des Champs-Elysées
75008 Paris, France


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If you do this recipe at home please let me know how it worked for you by submitting a comment or send me a picture if you can. Thanks!


  • #1
  • Comment by Winnie Hsu
Hi, I am from the USA. I am interested in taking classes. Please send me information. Thank you. Sincerely,Winnie
  • #2
  • Comment by Melissa
Hello, I just stumbled on your blog. You seem like a real avid baker!I've
been dying to take that class, now you have convinced me. I have taken
many classes at Lenotre and enjoy each one. Have you tried to make the
kougloff at home yet?Best regards,Melissa
  • #3
  • Answered by fx
Hello Melissa, thanks for your comment! No, I haven't tried the Kugelhopf at home yet. In fact I had misplaced the recipe (damn!) and managed to get a copy from Lenôtre last week. Really nice people there. Frankly I can't see why it wouldn't work at home but I'll report back after I try.
  • #4
  • Comment by danny
I want to learn all about pastry,   can you give me some idea soon I want to open my own shop.
  • #5
  • Answered by fx
You need to speak French to attend Lenôtre's professional pastry school, but in America you have the CIA - Culinary Institute of America. I have a book by Bo Friberg called 'The professional pastry chef', he teaches there, very detailed and professional although not really geared towards home chefs like myself. Contact them and see what they offer. Good luck with your shop!
  • #6
  • Comment by Deborah
I just returned from Paris. I knew about the pastry class at Lenotre but I did not have the time since I was only there for four days. But, I did have a "quick" chocolate and caramel treat at Lenotre after dinner at "La Villa Corse" in the 16th arrondisement.My question is, are you at liberty to send me the recipe or post it for the kougloff? I love these little gems and your description of them plus the photographs have inspired me. Where did you buy the bitter almond extract? Thank you for sharing your experiences. :)
  • #7
  • Comment by makram abou ghanem
Hi I am chef pastry from Lebanon I want to know if you give courses for one week in bakery and chocolate and how much is the salary.    
  • #8
  • Answered by fx
Makram, you can contact them using the website and phone numbers above. They also do professional courses and it's all on their website. Good luck - I love Lebanese cuisine by the way!
  • #9
  • Comment by Henry Lowenstein
Sirs, the last picture on your web page shows a picture of small, brioche-type pastries, the size of small muffins but much lighter, with small pieces of sugar on them.  I had these all over Paris recently when I was there but do not know what they are called or how to make them.  Can you tell me about them or at least what they are called.  They are almost hollow inside, they are so light and puffy, but they look like mini-brioches.  I am hoping so much you can help me. Your site does not say what they are, but they are the last picture. Thank you in advance, Henry Lownstein
  • #10
  • Comment by samiha mitwally
Hi Sir. I'm interested in taking a French bakery and pastry course in Paris. would please e.mail me the full details the length of the course, when  dates, how much. Do you provide a place to stay during the course. Please reply to me ASAP.Regards, Mrs Mitwally
  • #11
  • Comment by Ana
I am interested in your classes. I am from the USA and would like some information for next year's class. Thank you,Ana
  • #12
  • Comment by sun
II love your informative article about Lenotre Pastry making class. I’ll definitely fly to France to try it myself. I’ve been spending days and weeks on the web searching for the best School, College or Institution offering diploma on Pastry and chocolate around Europe. The only one I found is in Switzerland, DCT Hotel and Culinary Arts School. .The duration is 3 months.Do you know any other school in Europe offering diploma course on Pastry and chocolate? I live in England. Thank you very much.Sun
  • #13
  • Comment by ParisBreakfast.com
Great post and terrific photos!Thanks.I think I'm signed on for a macaron class at  Lenotre..keeping my fingers crossed I'll get in.This really helps lay it all outCarolg
  • #14
  • Answered by fx
Good luck for the macaroon class Parisbreakfast!
  • #15
  • Comment by ParisBreakfast.com
I did take the macaron class today in fact!My French is spotty but a neighbor student helped out where necessary. The end results looked a little sad & bumpy unlike your lovely kougelhopfs...hmmm I got the feeling some trade secrets were being kept under the chef's toque...but then it's understandable I guess. I may be over my macaron addiction, so that in itself made it worth while. Who wants to go to Rehab?
  • #16
  • Comment by Anat
Hi! although it past midnight here, I couldn't get my eyes off the screen - the article was great! I am looking for a good pastry art school in Europe. After days and nights searching the internet, I came up with one in Switzerland, and two more in France. Are there any more that you know about? Thanks a lot for the Help, Anat.
  • #17
I a from California, USA . I am also interested in taking the Lenotre pastry class. Does the teacher speaks French or he can also teach in English. What is the website to check for the classes , fees in how much is the class and also the dates or months for 2008.Thanks,Nancy
  • #18
  • Answered by fx
Nancy, the pastry classes at Lenotre are conducted in French, not English. Please click on the link to their website at the bottom of my article for your other questions.
  • #19
  • Comment by Nawal
I liked your article very much. I was wondering if you know how I can find lenotre books in english. I really admire your adventure . I would love to go there, It has always been my dream. Good luck
  • #20
  • Answered by fx
Nawal, I think most of their books are actually bilingual English-French, you should be able to order them through Amazon or directly on Lenotre.fr although they are not cheap.
  • #21
  • Comment by Beatrice
Although I don't make my own kugelhopf (they are readily available near my home in Alsace), I have found that if you don't devour them all the first day, they make wonderful pain perdu (French toast).  Just don't let them spend more than a couple of seconds in the beaten egg-cream mixture...
  • #22
  • Answered by fx
Beatrice, it would indeed be very hard for us home chefs to beat professional Alsatian bakers at making Kugelhopf! Quite right, just like panettone you can turn stale slices into delicious pain perdu!
  • #23
  • Comment by Sebnem ERENAY
Hi, I loved your blog and we(me and my two friend trying to find a nice pastry course, we need a one month course and need to try lots of cakes, do you have any classes in summer or if you don't can you send me a name and the costs please.Thanks.
  • #24
  • Comment by yenny
I'm looking for a pastry school in france actually.. Do you have any suggestion which one is really good, beside lenotre. As I've checked lenotre and really2 interested to it but I don't really speak french and it does cost so much! Thanks.
  • #25
  • Comment by nancy
I enjoyed your article on the LeNotre Class. I attended one there in February (08) with the same chef shown in your picture.
I'm from US, and although I majored in French, the actual cooking terms were a little difficult. However, the chef was aware that some of us in the class weren't totally fluent, so he was able to describe in English.
The other thing that was different: I've been baking for over 30 years with great success so I was a little puzzled at first when they didn't use measuring cups and spoons. Everything was weighed. It was a very enjoyable experience and we all walked away with 6 different types of cakes. You also go home with the printed recipes of everything you make in class. If you're a novice at baking/cooking and not fluent in French, this could be a difficult class.
  • #26
  • Answered by fx
Nancy, thanks for visiting and I hope you'll get to have another pastry clas at Lenôtre!
  • #27
  • Comment by Ha
   I stumble upon your site looking for brioche recipe,I just came back from 2 weeks in Paris,I did passed by the Lenotre bakery, I wish I knew they offer baking class,next time I will
definitely will try their baking class.Did anyone try to check
The Cordon Bleu it's in Paris too,I got invited to my cousin last day of her first session for a cooking and baking demonstration,and I've got to tasted it too :)
  • #28
  • Comment by yhya
hallo.Iwant get trining in yor school in pastry
I want idea abuot the cost and deat and evry thing
think you
  • #29
  • Comment by Haider

i'm from Australia i'm intersting to study The Professional Certificate programs (Pastry)
i'm ready to move there during my study ,please let me know what should to do to apply & how much will cost, I'm already have certfcate 4 in pastry here in Australia.
but i'm intersting aslo to ipmrove my skill .
I have good experance & i been in diffrent contries in past but i'd to learn more to enhance my skill.
looking forward to hear from you
Best Regards
  • #30
  • Comment by susan
Hi, I would like to do a 3month course in your pastry school. I am would like to know if you have classes in English and how much it will cost and also accomodation
  • #31
  • Comment by safiya
I just stumbled across your blog, and was wondering if you coukd help me out. I'm about to apply to this school for the classes, and I would love a feedback. How was it? Did you love it? Would you go back?

Thank you so much
  • FX's answer→ Safiya, just read the article, it was great.

  • #33
  • Comment by Jan Yeung
Hi, I am coming from HK and now in Paris.I am a Pastry Chef, I will join hte course 'The art of sugar' in Lenôtre.
  • FX's answer→ Good luck for your pastry course!

  • #35
  • Comment by Maria
Thanks for a really informative article. I have come across LeNotre school before, while researching for professional pastry schools and I was very impressed with it, however, sadly I decided against following the course due to my lack of French. I am still thinking of doing the course in the future, once I learn French however, I would like to do a professional pastry course in the meantime to help me gain experience and qualifications with a view to become a pastry chef. So, here is my question...Do you know of any good professional pastry schools in... Madrid? I have researched the internet excessively and weeks later I am none the wiser. Would appreciate any information you can send my way. Many thanks
  • FX's answer→ Maria, I have never visited Spain although I speak Spanish, and am not a pastry chef so, to my regret, all I can do is wish you good luck!

  • #37
  • Comment by Maribel

I am interested in taking some pastry classes for the summer.  Please let me know if you are offering any.

Thank you
  • #38
  • Comment by Miriam
Hi, I am from Guatemala, and have always loved to bake! I checked your blog and I was fascinated with it.

Do you know if there are any bakery schools in latin america that would teach puff pastry, and other similar doughs, as well as the French ones?

I have just started my own bakery business and want to learn more.

I would love to share recipes with other people around the world. Thank you!
  • FX's answer→ Good luck with your new business Miriam, unfortunately I don't know bakery schools outside Paris!

Hi Francois,

As always thank you for the great posting. I wanted to share a little bit of my dillema - I just received a call from Lentore Paris telling me that the class I've been waiting for has suddenly become available. It's the infamous Macaroon class for July 4th. You see, I'll be visiting Paris during that week and my schedule fits just perfect except for one thing. I don't speak French that well at all, other than the basic greetings and very rudimentary. I know you mentioned that I need some flucency in order to partake a class in Lenotre as the instructor don't speak any English (and the lady who called warned me about that too). Do you think I will gain much from this class by watching and "deafly" following the instructor? Will I irritate the French because I may be the only one who don't understand the language and hence will be an obstruction to the class?

I even tried looking for translator and would gladly pay for the price of the course - but no luck. This is a new class they had just opened, so there is still some space available. Any advice?

Thank you very much for any tips you can share with me about Lenotre's class for the English-speakers.

  • FX's answer→ Will, I really recommend you take up the class anyway, and research macaroons in advance so that you sort of understand the various steps. They'll give you a detailed recipe at the end so you can use this as a basis for recollecting what you did. Otherwise just ask your hotel if they can arrange for a translator to join you for 3 hours, they must be able to do it. Then tell Lenôtre you'd come with a translator, they might not charge him for the course. Have fun!

  • #42
  • Comment by Joann
I really enjoy your blog. I would love to prepare these at home.  where can the clay molds be purchased if possible in the U.S.? Thank you.
  • #43
  • Comment by ILAN
I found your article very interesting and was wondering whether you can recommend a pastry school, in English, in Paris, for my wife who's a chef but not a pastry chef.
  • FX's answer→ Sorry I only visit Lenôtre and they do all in French! Might be best to go for one of those even if you miss out a bit, as I would not trust too much pastry classes given in English in Paris...

  • #45
  • Comment by Wong from HOng Kong
I called the staff Lenotre paris and she said they don't except learner to able to speak French, I can ask them in English, it is pratical class, doesn't need so much talk, student must see how teacher showing in the class.  So i would like to attend the class in 6-9 April 4 days of Cakes and Entrement.  Is anyone going there?  
  • #46
  • Comment by edith
  • FX's answer→ Thanks

Hola. Acabo de encontrar tu página, y la verdad es que me es de mucha utilidad porque llevo un tiempo queriendo asistir a alguna clase o curso especialmente de pastelería en Francia y no sé muy bien donde pedir información... te agradecería muchisimo tu contestación. Un saludo. Gracias.
  • #49
  • Comment by Marisol
Muchas gracias por compartir tu experiencia en la escuela francesa de cocina. Tus comentarios muy acertados. Nunca he preparado Brioche Parisienne, pero me gustaría que me enviaras la receta. Saludos desde Venezuela!
  • #50
  • Comment by Nicole
Muy buena..... me gustaria estudiar ahi ... soy fan N°1 de los postres y de Paris .... queda excelente no..??
Se que voy a lograr estudiar en Paris .. es miu sueño ser una patissiere  profecional ... les agradesco todo Saludos
Nicole Cairo
  • #51
  • Comment by Maria Milagros
Cai por casualidad en tu blog y me encanto lo que lei de tu experiencia. Pienso ir a París en Julio y me encantaria tomar una clase para aprender a hacer macarons.No se por que tenía entendido que en Lenotre ofrecian clases en Inglés. Si sabes de otro curso de macarons que sí sea en inglés, serias tan amable de informarme ya que por Internet solo consigo la de Lenotre. Mil gracias. Ma Milagros
  • FX's answer→ Maria no me parece que Lenotre ofresca cursos en Ingles, lo siento....

  • #53
  • Comment by Faith Maximilian
Is there a way I can receive this original recipe without the pictures? Maybe. I appreciate the step by step instructions but I can add this to my paper, it will exceed 750 words, you know what that means?
  • FX's answer→ Don't know where I put it, sorry.

  • #55
  • Comment by Maria Ximena Gago Carrillo
helow! i am from Peru.. i would like to take classes on this school and go to Paris. Could you send me information please? I need to be a professional? because i want to learn there i haunt study gastronomy. Please answer me!
  • #56
  • Comment by Emilia Carrasco
Hi, I am from the Ecuador. I am interested in taking classes. Please send me information about this course. Thank you. Emilia

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