Bonjour tout le monde!
As some of you might know, I recently wrote a piece for the blog section of The Guardian Australia about croissants. I had to sacrifice myself and taste as many croissants as I could to bring you all this information… lucky you!
In the article, I wrote about how I found it hard to find good croissants when I first arrived in Australia almost 10 years ago, but that the increasing number of artisan bakeries has made my quest for quality croissants much easier these days!
Nadine Ingram, who runs Flour & Stone bakery in Woolloomooloo, was my main subject and she invited me in her kitchen to show me how she made croissants. She also told me her tips for good croissants and the answers I got from the other bakers mentioned in the article, David McGuinness from Bourke Street Bakery, Simon Cancio from Brickfields and Pierrick Boyer from Le Petit Gâteau (Melbourne), echoed hers on many points:
– Top quality butter: preferably low in moisture for better layering
– Time: time to let the dough rest overnight, then between each folds, time for the yeast develop to a satisfactory proof
– Freshness: ideally, the croissants should be baked as close as possible to opening time
– Love: you really need to love croissants to spend so much time and care into making them!
I am sure there is more out there in terms of good quality croissants, as I haven’t ventured much further than inner-city Sydney and Balmain-Rozelle, and that is why the article was more meant to reflect my personal experience, as opposed to an exhaustive list.
I’m still going to list here all the croissants I have tasted when researching the story, because I couldn’t mention them all at the time. See below, in alphabetical order:
Nicely coloured (some would even say a bit too cooked) and buttery, Bourke Street Bakery croissants are up there with the best. Apparently their Almond Croissants are a big seller too!
In addition to high quality artisan breads, Chippendale bakery Brickfields sells lovely croissants. Their Ham & Cheese croissants seem to be particularly popular. Just get up early if you want to get your hands on them!
Brioche in Balmain is an organic artisan bakery and also offers gluten-free & dairy-free pastries. They sell sourdough croissants, and the one I bought was very good, even though the crust suffered a bit on the trip home, so it doesn’t look as pretty and glossy as the others on this picture. You can also find excellent baguettes at Brioche.
Flour & Stone‘s croissant was the most buttery and moist of the list, while beautifully crisp. Do yourself a favour and try their “Pains au Chocolat”, which are generously filled with three sticks of Valrhôna, one of the best chocolates around.
I had a very nice croissant from Sonoma‘s stall at Eveleigh Markets, which is consistent with the quality of their breads and other wares. (I am working on blog posts solely dedicated to finding Sydney’s best baguettes… stay tuned!)
Victoire‘s croissant might not have been as regularly shaped as the others, but it was buttery, light and airy: a fine croissant indeed!
–> What about you guys, where have you found the best croissants so far? Please share your tips!