August 04, 2017

From croissants to pain au chocolat, tarte tatin to apple galettes, there are so many lovely French ways to start the day —- or cap off a great evening. But when you think of French pastries, you may imagine hours upon hours of folding dough, perfecting pleats, and managing finicky timing. And while some of that fussiness is a tad unavoidable, there are plenty of lovely recipes for a guaranteed delight that'll have you saying "Bon appetit!"

Shortcuts to Deliciousness

Ready to get started? Bread machines, frozen puff pastry, and a little ingenuity make French pastries totally do-able for the home baker. We've rounded up some top-rated recipes that will help explore those tools, techniques and short-cut ingredients. Pile on fresh fruit, sprinkle some sugar on top and you'll be making impressive eats in no time.

Apple Galette
Photo by Meredith
| Credit: Meredith

Advanced French Pastries

Once you've mastered the basics or, you just want to challenge yourself to an ultimate bake off, these are the recipes to try. But just remember, great works of food art take a little extra time, as these can take more than a day, start-to-finish. Between resting, kneading, and refrigerating between stages, you're going to need a little patience — but you will be handsomely rewarded. Watch this short video to learn some tricks for creating a bakery-worthy pain au chocolat.