The Austrian Origin of French Croissants
On the subject of French delicacies, it’s not uncommon for a culinary delight to have a tongue-twisting identify. However within the case of the croissant and its family members often called viennoiseries, these treats got here to French delicacies within the type of appropriation from Austrian foodways – ensuing within the world-famous French delicacies leaving an indelible mark on a Central European invention. (As a facet be aware, it wasn’t simply the French who appreciated Austrian baking – the Danes have their very own model within the type of the Danish pastry, which was delivered to Denmark by Austrian bakers.)
Why viennoiseries, then? The reply is apparent: the forefathers of croissants and their family members have been developed in Vienna, the capital of Austria, within the nineteenth century, with the arrival of a brand new baking course of.
The evolution of an icon
First, there was the kipferl, often called early because the thirteenth century. This was a crescent-shaped bread rolled from a sheet of dough. Nevertheless, the dough in medieval instances and all through the early trendy interval was comprised of sourdough starter. This conventional technique remains to be in use – as evidenced throughout the current pandemic when beginner bakers internationally tried their hand at making their very own sourdough delights.
However then, within the nineteenth century, there was a revolution. Yeast-leavened bread was launched, producing a sweeter, extra delicate variant. When the brand new method debuted in a Viennese bakery throughout the Paris Worldwide Exposition of 1867, everybody was amazed: a star was born, specifically the Kaiser roll (in German, the Kaisersemmeln), a spherical bun excellent for a single-serving sandwich.
However together with this viennoiserie powerhouse roll got here an assortment of largely candy snacks fabricated from laminated pastry crammed with fruit. This new dough type match completely with candy fruit fillings. The remainder was only a matter of time.
Taking perfection to a brand new degree
19th-century Paris was filled with Viennese bakeries that will introduce their developments in baking strategies. And the French took it from there. Their invention, the puff pastry, is a variation of the laminated dough launched by the Austrians.
Within the early twentieth century, these concepts converged: the brand new type of Viennese beer-yeast dough (in Austria, made with Hungarian flour from trendy mills), the final idea of viennoiseries, the kipferi crescent form, and the French puff pastry. While you put all of them collectively, the result’s the world-famous croissant.
Presently, we’re many years after another revolution – the pre-frozen ready-made pastry that permits large-scale manufacturing and last baking by beginner bakers. If the croissant is the epitome of being French and an emblem of a luxurious breakfast, the Viennese and Danish pastry stay their considerably old-school family members, feeding the hungry in a rush and furnishing convention tables throughout board conferences.
Does this match the standard refined but easy-going Viennese way of living? Maybe not. However a pastry will not be what it appears – it’s an emblem of way of life in all of its kinds. And Central Europe is the place that infused the croissant with its symbolism of stylish.