An Instagram-worthy shot of an assortment of croissants, filled and unfilled, presented on a white background

The Art of the Croissant: A History and Guide to France’s Iconic Pastry

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Croissants are a staple of French cuisine and a beloved pastry around the world. Their flaky, buttery layers are hard to resist, making them a favorite at breakfast tables and cafes alike. In this article, we will explore the history and different varieties of croissants and provide a step-by-step guide for making them at home.

Origin of the Croissant

The origin of the croissant can be traced back to Austria, where the Viennese Kipferl, a crescent-shaped pastry, was invented. The Kipferl was introduced to France during the late 18th century when Austrian princess Marie Antoinette married the future King Louis XVI of France. The Kipferl was renamed the croissant, which means “crescent” in French, due to its shape.

Croissant Varieties

There are various kinds of croissants, with the French croissant being the most popular. Other popular variations include the pain au chocolat, a croissant filled with chocolate, and the brioche croissant, which is made with brioche dough instead of traditional croissant dough. There are also savory croissants filled with cheese, ham, or vegetables.

How to Make Croissants

Making croissants at home can seem intimidating, but with the right ingredients and equipment, it’s possible to create delicious croissants that are just as good as the ones from a bakery. The essential ingredients for making croissants include all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, salt, sugar, yeast, and water. The equipment needed includes a rolling pin, pastry brush, and a kitchen scale.

The first step in making croissants is to make the dough. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and water in a mixing bowl and knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. Then, let the dough rise for about an hour. Once the dough has risen, it’s time to add the butter. The butter should be softened and then spread over the dough. The dough is then folded and rolled out several times to create the layers. Finally, the croissants are shaped and left to rise before being baked in the oven.


Croissants are a classic French pastry with a rich history and many variations. From the classic French croissant to the chocolate-filled pain au chocolat, there’s a croissant for everyone. While making croissants at home can be challenging, with the right ingredients and equipment, it’s possible to create delicious croissants that rival those from a bakery. So why not try making croissants at home and enjoy a taste of France in your own kitchen?

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