17 June 2005

The Story of The Croissant

My old instructor, originally from Denmark and a long line of Bakery heritage, would talk fondly about lessons he had learned. A smile would spread from ear to ear, his eyes brimmed with excitement as he talked of bakery times. On one such occasion my group in Laminated pastry station, were gathered around the 40 qt Hobart - waiting for a batch of croissant dough to reach full development.


Do you know the story of croissant dough? A long, long , long time ago The Turks were invading Vienna. Everyone retreated to hide. As there was constant strife - many normal practices were shut down, this included Bakeries --- baking was deemed forbidden. Forming alliances Bakers made deep underground "bakeries". The Turks, while seeking a strategic attack that would overwhelm The Viennese --- found out about the bakeries , troops were ordered to start tunneling toward these secret caves.

As the tunneling neared , Fighting the Turks off with everything they could , a lone baker was able to run and alert the king's guard, and The Turks were defeated. The King told these bakers " Since you have shown such loyalty and bravery, I declare, If you create a pastry, I will patent the formula and name it for you", so out came croissant dough. Although it had quite less layers or butter as modern dough does. It also contained a small amount of egg. In Europe it is widely called "Vienna Pastry". It's Formula still can be found made today.

I have learned that to find the story behind your formulas -- it can prove quite interesting.


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