Classic Savory French Pastries

Light, golden, flaky pastries are synonymous with the world-renowned French pâtisserie. Home bakers will agree that most pastries, regardless of their origin, require practice, the right ingredients, and lots of patience and precision. And although it seems daunting to try and make the perfect croissant at home, the truth is that it is possible. And they will be delicious.

If you like the scent of dough rising and baking into flaky, golden layers, then it does not need to be limited to sweet confections. These savory French pastry recipes are possible to make at home. They range from tender cheese gougères to flaky tart shells to the tastiest breakfast croissants. Plan ahead, roll up your sleeves, grab the beurre, and voilá!

  • 01 of 05

    Cheese Croissants


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    Warm and buttery, these croissants are cheesy versions of the famous French pastry. A perfect complement to sweet brunch foods, these cheese croissants can be served with soup and salad for a cafe-style meal, or simply offered as a light breakfast with a side of fruit and a good cup of café.

    To make the buttery dough, knead, fold, refrigerate and fold again in a series of steps that will ensure you'll end up with a flaky pastry with distinctive layers. Use a good quality Camembert cheese to stuff the triangles of pastry, bake for 14 minutes, and enjoy. Ready in 3 hours and 15 minutes.

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    Alsatian Lorraine

    Quiche Lorraine

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    An Alsatian Quiche, best known as Quiche Lorraine, is a classic of French cuisine that has evolved over the years into many varieties that carry several stuffings, from bacon to vegetables, and many types of cheeses. Once you've mastered the classic version you can experiment and play with your own combination of savory ingredients.

    Served with a salad, a slice of this pie is a substantial and filling meal. You can make the dough yourself or buy pre-made pastry dough. Make a filling with bacon, Gruyere cheese, eggs, and seasonings. Bake for 50 minutes. Ready in 1 hour and 5 minutes.

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    Classic French Brioche

    Ian O'Leary / Getty Images

    Great pâtissièrs and boulangers have mastered the art of making the perfect brioche. And now you can give a try to this iconic treat that rests between pastry and bread. Plan ahead and take your time, brioche dough can't be rushed.

    After a first mix and kneading, let the dough rise once for 45 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 8 hours but not more than 12. The dough needs a final prove out of the fridge for 2 hours. An initial 10-minute bake in a 400 F oven is followed by 30 minutes at 300 F. Bake as a whole loaf or in individual muffin tins. Ready in 30 minutes after approximately 12 hours of proving and resting.

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    Roquefort and Caramelized Onion Tart

    Cheese and onion tart
    Mark Gillow

    This classic Roquefort and caramelized onion tart recipe is layered with complex flavors: salty and tangy from the cheese, sweet from the onions, and creamy and rich from the eggs and dairy. Baked into a flaky pastry shell, this tart is served as a lunch with a salad, or you can bing it whole to a picnic. 

    Splurge on a good quality Roquefort, but if you can't find it use a nice blue cheese to approximate the flavors. Combine the onions, cheese, and eggs and pour into the pastry shell. Bake for 50 minutes. Ready in under 2 hours.

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  • 05 of 05


    French gougeres

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    Gougères are little cheese puffs, usually served as an appetizer with wine or cocktails. The little pastries fill the kitchen with a fantastic aroma and are always a crowd-pleaser.

    Whip up an egg and cheese batter, pipe it onto a baking sheet and bake the gougères until they are puffed and golden. Use Gruyere and Parmesan for a salty and tangy puff. Ready in 40 minutes.