Inside the Factory

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Series 5 - Episode 3 Croissants



The first recipe for the croissant as we know it today dates from 1906. That’s how recently the French pastry evolved from previous breadier versions with their roots in Austria. This and other flaky facts are part of the package as we watch the production line at a French factory that turns out 18,000 croissants an hour.

They are all based on a mother dough or levain that has been kept going since 1936. Gregg Wallace goes out of his mind with excitement as he learns the stages of baking (in the company of a very charming and tolerant manager called Laure) including why, when it comes to layers of butter, 12 is the magic number.


Gregg Wallace visits a croissant factory in France that produces 336,000 pastries a day, and discovers how an 83-year-old strain of yeast is used to create the perfect flavour. Cherry Healey talks to a professor who specialises in exploring human senses about the perfect way to eat a croissant and visits a farm that produces concentrated butter that is 99.8 percent fat. Plus, Ruth Goodman is in Paris investigating the croissant's surprising Austrian origins and the role of bread in the French revolution.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Gregg Wallace
Presenter Cherry Healey
Contributor Ruth Goodman
Editor John Payazidis
Editor Tony Graynoth
Executive Producer Sanjay Singhal
Executive Producer Amanda Lyon
Series Director Steve Bonser
Series Producer Michael Rees
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Documentary Education