Delightfully crispy outside, perfectly glutenous inside, and each bite packed with buttery
goodness, nothing tastes like France quite like the croissant. Everyone loves French croissants, but how much do you know about them? There is A LOT to think about and these facts will have you talking about and eating croissants from dawn until dusk for a good week. Ready to have your minds blown.
Once upon a time in 1683 Vienna, Austria the Turkish tried to invade Vienna during a big battle siege over the city. Failing each time they decided to dig an underground tunnel, but Vienna’s bakers, who worked in the basement storerooms, heard the digging and alerted the army. The Turkish invaders didn’t succeed and the bakers of Vienna were given high honors for saving the city. Bakers made pastry in the shape of a crescent moon, that is the symbol of the Ottoman Empire (also known as the Turkish Empire), to celebrate this victory.
August Zang, an Austrian artillery officer, is credited with bringing the croissant to France when he opened his own Viennese bakery in Paris. (Some say it was Marie Antoinette who brought the croissant to France…)
Despite the switch in the name after Zang left France in 1849 from the Austrian German name “Kipfel” to the French word “croissant,” the croissant still tasted more like a bread roll than the crunchy and light croissant we know today.
The first known modern-day French croissant recipe wasn’t created until the early 1900s.
The Croissant became the French national product in 1920 and started as a luxury product, but by the end of the nineteenth century, it was middle-class (the rich preferred a good brioche).
Before the modern croissant, puff pastry was used as a garnish or shell, not to eat on its own.
The chocolate croissant is actually called pain au chocolat, as it is not in the shape of a crescent.
Croissants are typically made by folding butter into dough, rolling the dough into sheets, and then continuing the folding and rolling process known as ‘laminating’, before cutting and rolling into a crescent shape and baking in an oven.
How many layers are there in a croissant? Different bakers make their croissants with a different number of folds and turns. But most fold their croissant dough into thirds at each turn before spreading it with a roller and folding it again into thirds for a total of 3 or 4 turns. So if a baker folds his dough 3 times each turn for a total of 3 turns, the resulting croissant dough will have 27 layers while 4 turns results in a croissant dough with 81 layers. After the laminating process, bakers cut the croissant dough into triangles and roll the dough into their famous crescent shape, increasing the number of layers in the croissant by two for each roll. Most recipes recommend 3 or 4 rolls. Laminated dough with 81 layers, rolled 4 times, will result in a croissant with 649 layers. Mind blowing, isn’t it?
There are only 8 ingredients in a French croissant recipe. The basic ingredients for a classic French croissant au beurre are: 1) butter, 2) flour, 3) water, 4) milk, 5) yeast, 6) sugar 7) salt and 8) egg.
A croissant should be golden brown, crispy and flaky on the outside with visible layers. The interior should be soft and airy with honeycomb air pockets. It should taste rich and slightly buttery but should not be too greasy just as you will get them in our Cafe Brunch restaurants. Now there is only one thing waiting for you.. our delishh croissants to try!