The Perfect Croissant

Each morning the croissant delights the taste buds of locals and visitors alike throughout the length and breadth of France and although its origins may well be in Austria it is without doubt quintessentially French.

Lovingly prepared by hand, with the dough made at least twenty-four hours in advance, before being folded over and over again to produce 70 layers of dough and butter, it is then cut into triangles and gently rolled so as not to crush the layers, warmed to let it rise and then baked in a hot oven; it is rare to find a real croissant outside of France.

The perfect croissant in…

Paris…. Pierre Hermé
New York City… Patisserie Claude
London… Belle Epoque

The perfect croissant should smell of creamy butter, with a crisp, flaky golden brown crust that crackles as you bite into it and inside you’ll find soft, light layers without any doughiness. The overwhelming taste should be of butter rather than sugar with just a hint of salt and it should not be at all greasy. The key to a great croissant is the quality of the ingredients, especially the butter. Croissants made with margarine are called croissant ordinare while those made of butter are labelled croissant au berre.

Although the croissant should not be eaten too hot it is best served still warm from the oven and only has a shelf life of a few hours – never eat a croissant after 11am!

When I recently stayed in France we opted out of the hotel petit dejeuner which would have cost 14 euros each and instead found a delightful little café just round the corner where you can have tea or coffee with a glass of orange juice, a portion of French bread, a croissant and jam for 6.50 euros. When you consider a coffee normally costs at least 5 euros that’s good value for money and what better way to start the day than watching the Parisian streets wake up while nibbling on a buttery croissant in a pavement café.

P’tite Bougnate
85 Boulevard de Magenta 75010 Paris, France
Tel: 01-47-70-20-55

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16 comments on “The Perfect Croissant
  1. Oh, no! Reading this has given me an incurable itch to get to Paris IMMEDIATELY! :) I miss picking up a delicious croissant from the bakery in the morning… for an extra treat, I would get a pain au chocolat :)

  2. Oh! Now you’re making me hungry. During our travels this year, the best croissants we’ve eaten actually came from Oceania’s pastry chef on the cruise ship! We have a great French bakery at home in Portland that makes amazing croissants (St. Honore). Thanks for the food inspiration : )

  3. The best croissant I ever had was in Rome Italy. It was baked with Nutella. To top it all off it was free. The hostel we stayed at gave us a coupon for the cafe which included a pastry and coffee. I wish I could remember the name of the cafe.

  4. Oh, I could do with some NOW! Haven’t tasted a decent one since we left Buenos Aires last fall. 6..50 euros is a steal! Thanks for the directions.

    • I think they should bake them 24 – 7 so we could enjoy them at their best any time of the day!

      Do you have a favourite place in Buenos Aires to buy them from that I could add to the list?

  5. that is some seriously appetizing breakfast there…given that its 7 am and I just woke up…..my stomach is rumbling for one :)

    I love croissants I get from my local grocery store here even though those probably aren’t half as good as from a french bakery

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