arm, flaky croissants [kʁwa.sɑ̃], some extra butter and jam on the side, coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice, and all that served on a rooftop terrace in Paris, overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Now that’s the breakfast of champions! But, have you ever wondered how to make croissants?
Croissant Dough vs. Puff Pastry
- Puff pastry doesn’t contain any yeast while croissant dough does.
- To make puff pastry, you need to make 5 single turns, and to make croissants, you need only 3 single turns.
- One more important thing, if you want your croissants perfect, you will need at least 2 days to make them. First you need to make your yeast dough and chill it overnight. On the second day you need to make the turns, and after the dough rests, you can start making croissants.
Origin of Croissants
The origin of the croissant is, like it usually happens in the history of gastronomy – unknown, or, to say the least – undefined. However, it seems that all the historians agree that the predecessor of the croissant was kipferl,a crescent shaped Viennese cookie traditionally made from ground nuts. BTW, if you want to learn how to make kipferl, also known as , check my post about it. Now, about the legends regarding the origin of croissants. There are many, but I will name just a few. According to one, kipferl was invented in Europe to celebrate the defeat of the Umayyad Calpihate forces by the Franks at the Battle of Tours, France in 732, with the shape representing the Islamic crescent. Another legend tells a similar story, only it happened in 1683 – allegedly, some baker from Vienna, Austria, while the city was under siege by the Ottomans, heard their soldiers digging a tunnel to penetrate the city, and called the military who collapsed that tunnel and saved the city. So, to celebrate the defeat of the Ottoman forces, they created the crescent shaped cookie and named it kipferl.
Fast forward to 19th century, and we have yet another story claiming that there was an Austrian artillery officer, August Zang who in 1838 or 1839 founded a Viennese bakery (“Boulangerie Viennoise”) in Paris, France and served Viennese specialties including the kipferl that was made with noticeably flakier dough than traditional and the French changed its name to “croissant'” – in French that means “crescent”. Now, it is important to emphasize that this was not a croissant that we know and love today, because it was not made of puff pastry at all! BTW, if you want to learn how to make a really good , check my post. Now, various recipes for croissant appeared in the years after Zang’s bakery opened, but the first one to refer to a croissant based on puff pastry was a French baker named Sylvain Claudius Goy, who wrote a recipe in 1915 that specifically mentions puff pastry with yeast! Finally, a star was born! Nothing more to tell, so, let’s honor the memory of great chef Goy and make some yummy croissants right now!
Well, what do you think about this post?
I read and really appreciate all the comments, even though I do not always have the time to respond to each one. So – keep me in the loop and try to create some sweetness every day because – Sweetness is happiness!!