National Croissant Day – January 30th
NATIONAL CROISSANT DAY – January 30th
The croissant is a crescent-shaped pastry, usually made of butter layered dough. It is commonly served with breakfast or as an appetizer. Croissants are often sold frozen and can be found in many major grocery store chains across the country.
Croissants are believed to have been created by Viennese bakers who were inspired by traditional Turkish baking techniques, but there are several theories surrounding their origin. The original croissant recipe calls for basic lean dough including only flour, water (or milk), yeast and salt; with no butter added at all because it was thought that adding fat would inhibit the ability of the dough to rise properly. However, as time went on and speciality bakeries became popular, the croissant transformed to include butter, water (or milk), yeast, salt and then fat. The addition of butter helped create the flaky structure that is prevalent in today’s croissants.
The crescent-shaped pastry became popular throughout Europe during the 18th century; however, it didn’t reach America until shortly after the French had introduced them to the United States at their World Fair exhibit in New York City during the late 1800s. Croissants are believed to be a favourite treat of Marie Antoinette who was known to frequently eat them with coffee for breakfast.
Not Just For Breakfast!
Americans today commonly enjoy eating croissants with jam or jelly spread inside for breakfast. However, you need to wait until morning to enjoy this delightful pastry because National Croissant Day occurs each year on January 30th.
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Croissants are related to many other foods including the Danish, bear claw and crescent roll all of which have a similar “crescent” shape. The first American bakery known to have produced croissants was Boulangerie Patisserie La MICHELIN in New York City in 1984. Unfortunately, this bakery has since closed its doors but lives on through an independent French bakery that still produces their delicious croissant recipe at the same location using family recipes that date back to 1953!
A few bakeries today produce French style pastries incorporating locally grown fruit and regional flavours allowing for unique combinations such as apple cinnamon, pecan praline, raspberry or blueberry.
NATIONAL CROISSANT DAY HISTORY
We have searched newspaper archives back to 1871 looking for facts about National Croissant Day. We identified the earliest mention of National Croissant Day as being celebrated on January 30th in a Hartford Courant article that was published on January 29, 2012 with the headline: “Good Morning! It’s National Croissant Day”. Other mentions include a Des Moines Register article published on December 5th 2011 which promoted an event at DART French Market Restaurant with the following description – “Since it is National Croissant Day there is no better way to celebrate than enjoying this classic pastry from France.” As you can see below, over time this holiday has become quite popular and widespread.
This website found celebrations for National Croissant Day dating back to 2003 including announcements in newspapers such as The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Martinsville Bulletin and The Lancaster New Era.
There is some disagreement about whether this holiday is celebrated on January 30th or July 14th; we’ve seen claims that the holiday occurs in both months with celebrations throughout the United States. We agree that croissants are a traditional pastry served across Europe and Asia during many different holidays including Easter, Christmas and Ramadan; however, we chose January 30th as National Croissant Day because this date does not conflict with any other food related holidays in any way – in fact, it has been promoted by several bakeries looking for an excuse to celebrate their tasty treats!
Is croissant a bread or pastry?
– A croissant is a type of pastry. Croissants are made from a yeast dough that includes flour, butter, water (or milk), salt and then yeast. The dough must rest for several hours in order to develop the gluten before it can be rolled out into thin sheets. Once these sheets have been created, they are layered together with more butter to create multiple flaky layers – one reason why croissants are so delicious! After this process, the sheets are folded together creating additional layers allowing for increased puff when baked.
As the croissants bake at an elevated temperature, the butter creates steam forcing the air pockets to expand rapidly creating light tasty flaky crumbs which lead to our beloved crescent shape. Standard croissants are made with a filling of butter and/or other ingredients such as jam, but you will also find more advanced croissant recipes including almond croissants, chocolate croissants and ham and cheese croissants.