National Croissant Day is celebrated by chefs, bakers and others who love fine pastry. The croissant is a French pastry enjoyed around the world.
Croissants were introduced to the United States in the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that they began to gain popularity. French cuisine was becoming fashionable in the United States during this time, and croissants were seen as a trendy and sophisticated pastry. They were primarily served in high-end restaurants and hotels. Croissants became more widely available in the 1970s and 1980s, as specialty coffee shops and bakeries began to open and offer them. Today, croissants can be found at many types of food establishments across the United States, from coffee shops and bakeries to grocery stores and even fast food chains.
Types of Croissants
Croissants can be served in a variety of ways, depending on personal preference and the context in which they are being served. Some common ways to serve croissants include:
- Plain: Croissants can be enjoyed plain, without any additional toppings or fillings. This is a classic way to enjoy the buttery, flaky pastry and appreciate the flavor and texture of the croissant itself.
- Sweet fillings: Croissants can be filled with sweet ingredients such as chocolate, almond paste, or fruit preserves. These are often enjoyed as a breakfast pastry or a dessert.
- Savory fillings: Croissants can also be filled with savory ingredients such as cheese, ham, and eggs. These are often enjoyed as a breakfast or lunch pastry, or as part of a brunch or picnic spread.
- Sandwich: Croissants can be sliced in half and used as a sandwich roll, with fillings such as meats, cheese, and vegetables.
- French Toast: Croissants can be used in place of bread to make French toast.
- As a side dish: Croissant can be served as a side dish along with soup, salad or any main course
- As a dessert: Croissant can be served as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream or chocolate sauce
Croissants are a versatile pastry, and can be enjoyed in many different ways. Try one of these on National Croissant Day.
Interesting Facts about Croissants
Croissants have a rich history, and there are many interesting and amusing facts associated with the pastry. Here are a few:
- The croissant is said to have originated in Austria in the 17th century, and was called a “kipfel” or “crescent roll.” The French later adopted the pastry and named it “croissant,” which means “crescent” in French.
- The croissant is said to have been created as a way to commemorate the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The crescent shape of the croissant is said to represent the Ottoman flag.
- The croissant’s flaky texture is due to the large amount of butter used in the dough. In fact, traditional French croissants are made with 83% butter!
- Croissants were originally considered a breakfast pastry, but in the 20th century, they became a popular snack food.
- In many countries, croissants are often used as a symbol of French culture, but in France, they are often seen as an example of American fast food culture.
- Some people has been calling croissant as a fancy bread roll due to its unique shape.
These are just a few examples of the interesting and amusing facts associated with croissants. While croissant is a beloved pastry, it also has some fun facts that make it more interesting.
Croissant Recipe to Try
Try out your talent on National Croissant Day with this recipe for traditional French croissants. Keep in mind that making croissants is a bit of a time-consuming process and requires some patience and practice.
- 500g (17.6 oz) all-purpose flour
- 7g (0.25 oz) instant yeast
- 40g (1.4 oz) sugar
- 10g (0.35 oz) salt
- 250ml (8.4 oz) whole milk
- 250g (8.8 oz) unsalted butter, chilled
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
- Heat the milk until lukewarm and add it to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
- Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.
- Take the chilled butter and place it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound it out with a rolling pin to create a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
- Place the butter rectangle on top of the dough rectangle so that it covers 2/3 of the dough. Fold the dough over the butter and seal the edges.
- Roll the dough out again into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter.
- Roll the dough out again and fold it into thirds again.
- Place the dough in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least 1 hour.
- Roll the dough out into a large rectangle and cut it into triangles.
- Roll the triangles up, starting from the wide end, to form croissants.
- Let the croissants rise for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Brush the croissants with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve warm.
As you can see, making croissants requires several steps and some time, but the result is definitely worth it. It’s a classic French pastry that is perfect for breakfast or as a snack.
Enjoy Whale Bay Coffee with your Creation
What better way to celebrate National Croissant Day than to serve your creation with a cup of “café au lait”, a delightful coffee made with steamed milk. The coffee used for café au lait is typically a medium-dark roast, such as a French roast, which has a strong, robust flavor that pairs well with the buttery, flaky texture of a croissant. The addition of steamed milk makes the coffee less bitter and more creamy, which also complements the croissant.
Another great option would be a café crème, which is a shot of espresso with a dollop of steamed milk on top. This type of coffee is stronger than café au lait and goes well with croissant as it’s a rich buttery pastry.
A cappuccino is another great option, a cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, it is a stronger coffee than café au lait and has a nice balance of the acidity and the sweetness of the milk, which pairs well with the buttery croissant.
Ultimately, the best coffee to serve with a croissant is a matter of personal preference. You can experiment with different types of coffee to find which one you prefer; enjoy!