Croissants are flaky, buttery, French pastries that are quintessential to French culture and cuisine. It is the epitome of French bakeries and cafes. It is the greatest pride of any French baker or artisan. Anyone who has ever attempted to make croissants for the first time has failed at least a couple of times.
Croissants are made from laminated dough or puff pastry which is formed by putting dough between sheets of dough, rolling it, putting butter again, repeating the rolling process until layers have been formed. Some people think this is too much of a burden for just bread or pastry. But making an intricately layered laminated dough is an essential starting point to delicious flaky croissants.
It’s best to leave that process to expert artisan bakers. After all, making laminated dough can be likened to a holy sacramental bread experience.
- The United States celebrates National Croissant Day on January 30.
- Marie Antoinette was extremely fond of the croissant. French bakers dedicated their lives to perfecting the recipe. Without them, we wouldn’t have enjoyed croissants today.
- Traditional croissants were baked with chocolate, frangipane, or even fruit and jam fillings. In the 1970s, croissants were filled with savory fillings like traditional sandwiches and in the 20th century, croissants became an American fast food. French people dismay this abomination and would prefer to preserve the sanctity of croissants as a traditional French pastry.
Croissant Buying Guide
Croissants are best bought from artisan and traditional French bakeries whose artisan bakers keep old-world baking traditions and methods alive in their craft. Rustic-looking croissants with imperfect looks and crusty appearance are better than the commercially produced croissants which look like ordinary bread but are marketed as croissants.
Making croissants is an extremely laborious process. You need physical strength, patience, and a lot of time. It’s better to purchase it from the local French bakeries unless you want to dedicate time and effort to baking and perfecting croissants.
Croissant Production & Farming in Texas
Croissants are made from puff pastry but it’s a delicately time-consuming process. Artisan bakers spend a decade or two perfecting their craft from controlling the dough to rise even in different temperatures, to ensuring the same mouthfeel, flavors, and flakiness would not be compromised even if some ingredients will be substituted.
The main point of croissant baking is using the highest and most premium fresh butter available in the area. Processed butter laced with too much margarine or fake flavorings would compromise the quality of the croissant. This is something even the greatest croissant bakers are very finicky about.
Preservatives and Chemicals
The Croissant is holy to the French people. Traditional croissants do not contain any preservatives but modern-day baking technology has permitted some commercial croissant production facilities to incorporate the most common preservatives and chemicals.
Calcium propionate is a baking preservative that prohibits mold growth, especially in humid areas. Other mold inhibitors include benzoic and sorbic acids. However, chemical preservatives have harmful long-term effects on the body. Although calcium propionate is not classified as a harmful ingredient, it can increase glucose levels and can trigger headaches and migraines.
Once the croissants are cooled, they must be individually wrapped in plastic and placed in a box for transportation. Croissants can also be placed in a paper box lined with parchment paper for a more natural and eco-friendly packaging.
Freshly-baked warm croissants are best enjoyed in the morning for breakfast along with coffee. You can either put some butter or jam or just eat the croissant on its own. Croissants can also be eaten as a heavy dessert. Fill the croissant with cream and fresh fruit then drizzle with melted chocolate or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Let the baked croissants cool properly then store in plastic bags and refrigerate for up to 5-7 days. Don’t let it sit on the fridge for long as it will lose its texture and flavor. Croissants can be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight for at most 2 days.
Ham and Cheese Croissants
It’s best to buy croissants from your artisan French bakers to make these breakfast delights. Bon appetite!
24 small croissants cut in half
1 pound thinly sliced ham
12 slices Swiss cheese cut in half
12 slices Provolone cheese cut in half
Ham and Cheese Croissant Mustard Sauce Recipe
4 tablespoons butter melted
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Assemble the croissants by adding a piece of Swiss cheese, followed by ham, then Provolone cheese onto the croissant bottom. Place the top of the croissants for the sandwiches.
- Prepare the Ham and Cheese Croissant Mustard Sauce by whisking together the melted butter, Dijon mustard, Stone House Seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos together in a small bowl. Spread the mustard sauce on top of the croissant sandwiches.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.