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Croissants, or: how I learned to stop worrying and love the laminated dough

March 5, 2013

Saucy gander


What do the numbers 27, 81, 243 and 2187 have in common? They are all factors of 3, and are the number of layers in laminated dough pastries.

So Pastry Joe tells me on his excellent blog all about baking and pastries:

“A folded flaky pastry for say, a galette, can have as few as 27 layers. Croissants often have 81, Danish 243, and puff pastry can have as many as 2187 (though I prefer the less flaky version of 729).”

According to Mr Google, the croissant is a relatively modern French take on an Austrian yeasted roll, the kipferl. The kipferl is made of yeast dough, without the laminated layers. Somewhere along the way, a Viennese person introduced the kipferl to Paris, and the Parisien pastry chefs turned it into the many-layered buttery fantasy we know today. Quel genius!

Genius or not, croissant is a word that strikes

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