At GO Artisan Bakery, we pride ourselves on making a pure butter croissant that brings together all the rich, buttery silkiness, the fabulous flakiness, and rich flavour that the best croissants deliver
Buttery puff pastry, lightly crisp on the outside, meltingly soft and slightly chewy on the inside with a silkiness that comes from the abundance of butter used in its preparation, the croissant is perhaps one of France’s most instantly recognisable creations.
The café-croissant is a French institution and probably one of the first things every visitor to France indulges in. It is the opening phase of their journey, a confirmation that (yes!) they really are in France, that life is good and it’s about to get better. But if you can’t be in France, you can still taste France, and at just a couple of dollars for a freshly brewed coffee with a delicious, freshly baked croissant to dip into it, well, there aren’t many better starts to the day than that.
Surprisingly, for such a nationally iconic food, the croissant is actually a relatively recent invention, and its story doesn’t even start in France. Instead, the croissant’s history curves all the way back to 17th century Austria, and the much mooted origin story of their very curvy kipferl. The kipferl though is much “breadier” than the sumptuous pastry that has become France’s favourite breakfast, as indeed were the earliest iterations in France. It was an Austrian named August Zang who made the Austrian kipferl a popular indulgence in 1830’s Paris.
But even then, the first written reference to it appears in Payen’s Des Substances Alimentaires, published in 1853, while ten years later it pops up again in the Littré dictionary, where it is defined, rather uninspiringly, as a “little crescent-shaped bread or cake”. A later reference in Les Consummations de Paris (1875) includes ‘croissants for coffee’ in a list of ordinary, as opposed to fine, pastry goods. Definitely not our croissant then, which succeeds at being both ‘ordinary’, as in every day, but lusciously indulgent all at once. The first published recipe doesn’t even appear until 1905, just before French chefs rolled up their sleeves and made this Viennoiserie their very own by melding the idea with puff pastry. The croissant was born. Thank all the gods.
At GO Artisan Bakery, we pride ourselves on making a pure butter croissant that brings together all the rich, buttery silkiness, the fabulous flakiness (croissants are probably not advised for those who are obsessively tidy), and rich flavour that the best croissants deliver. Dip it in your coffee (the French way), or slather it with butter and jam (the English way), or just savour it on its own: plain, simple and unadorned deliciousness. But first turn the crescent-shaped treat on its side and instantly put a smile on the start to your day. And then you get to taste it.
Written by Nicky Sullivan