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Uploaded on on Sep 5, 2021


A croissant is a buttery, flaky viennoiserie pastry that originated in Austria but is best known in France. Croissants, like another viennoiserie, are made of layers of yeast-leavened dough and are named for their historical crescent shape. The dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, and then rolled into a thin sheet in the laminating process. As a result, the texture is layered and flaky, similar to puff pastry.

Crescent-shaped bread dates from the Renaissance, while crescent-shaped pastries might be as old as the Greeks. Bakeries and pâtisseries in Austria, Italy, and France have traditionally favored croissants. The modern croissant was invented in the early twentieth century. In the late 1970s, the introduction of factory-made, frozen, pre-formed, but unbaked dough converted them into a convenient snack that can be newly baked by unskilled labor. The croissant bakery, notably the La Croissanterie brand, was a French response to fast food, and by 2008, 30″40% of croissants sold in French bakeries and patisseries were produced from frozen dough.

The croissant’s forerunner, the Kipfer, was invented in Austria in the 13th century and came in a range of shapes and sizes. The kipferl can be plain or stuffed with nuts or other fillings (some consider the rugelach a form of kipferl).


August Zang, an Austrian military officer who founded a Viennese bakery (“Boulangerie Viennoise”) at 92, rue de Richelieu in Paris in 1839, is credited with the creation of the croissant”that is, its modification from the plainer form of kipferl prior to the founding of viennoiseries (others claim 1838). This bakery, which sold Viennese specialties like Kipfer and Vienna bread, quickly became popular and inspired imitations all throughout France (and the concept, if not the term, of viennoiserie, a 20th-century term for supposedly Vienna-style pastries). The crescent (croissant) shape of Kipfer’s French version has become a universally recognized shape.

The oldest French mention to a croissant was in Payen’s Des substances alimentaires, 1853, among the “dream or luxury bread,” according to Alan Davidson, author of the Oxford Companion to Food. However, non-laminated croissant recipes from the early nineteenth century have been unearthed, and at least one reference to croissants as a well-known French bread dates from 1850.

Zang went to Austria in 1848 to become a newspaper magnate, but the bakery remained famous for a long time and was mentioned in a number of writings of the time, including “This same M. Zank…founded in 1830 in Paris, the famed Boulangerie of noisy.” “Paris has exquisite delicacy; in particular, the succulent goods of the Boulangerie Viennoise”; “which appeared to us as fine as if it came from the Viennese bakery on the rue de Richelieu”; “which seemed to us as fine as if it came from the Viennese bakery on the rue de Richelieu.”

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