If there is a single piece of pastry that we would be able to bake for the rest of our lives, let it be the croissant. It’s not one of its kind though. Croissants are the viennoiserie pastry type of yeasted and laminated dough. Originally it’s said that croissants have become popular because of a Viennese baker from Paris, who opened his shop there back in the 1800’s. Among other viennoiseries are pain au raisin, pain au chocolat, danishes, different turnovers and even xuixo (Shuishu? Suso? Ksukso?). What a pleasure we don’t need to name them out loud!
Eventually the crescent-style pastry has become the true symbol of classic pastry. Not only because it’s visually pleasing, but also because it’s not a quick and easy process. To get it done, you should be quite confident and follow rigorous rules of lamination, proofing, shaping and baking. The dough must have risen, the gluten network must be developed, the butter must be gently folded in. Patience and mastering one’s skills are the keys to success. You can make your own croissants at home. There are plenty of trusted recipes out there in written and visual forms. Spare some 14-16 hours and go for it! It would be smart though to plan at least two days ahead of time, making sure that you’ve got enough time for the dough to be proofed and rested.
But we are here merely to tell you what can you do with your croissant once you’ve laid your hands on it. If custard, apple-cinnamon jam, almond paste, or chocolate seem like your usual go-to ingredients, then you should try the following: brie and jam, feta and spinach, garlic butter, and bacon, peanut butter and jelly, pepperoni with pesto, pumpkin puree with goat cheese. Once you’ve realized that croissant is merely bread and butter, the possibilities are truly endless. One of our favorites is a chicken croissant. Simply brown some onions with ginger-garlic paste, add minced chicken and cook until golden, add spices (turmeric, paprika, cumin and coriander, all ground), season with salt and pepper and stuff your pastry. If you make it from scratch, simply scoop some filling inside before baking. If you have a store-bought croissant, just slice it in halves, add chicken mixture and warm a little in a microwave or put in a sheet pan and place under a broiler in the oven. Good days have come.