05 October 2008

Sunday Croissants - let someone else do the baking



This week there will surely be baking in Hopie's Kitchen, possibly a reprise of the Zucchini Bread as there was loads of zucchini in Friday's CSA basket again, and something with apples...mmmm. But this Sunday I decided to let someone else do the baking and, living in Paris, there are plenty of good bakers around to pick up the slack.

After a Saturday night birthday party for a friend, and numerous servings of spiked punch, I decided to do Sunday the traditional French way. I slept in, rolled out of bed around 11am, threw on some clothes and headed around the corner to the best neighborhood boulangerie. Now, I'm not claiming that it's the best boulangerie ever, or in Paris; it's not famous or anything. It's just one of many wonderful places to get amazing bread and patisseries in the time it takes to say "bonjour" and "bon dimanche."



Later, browsing through Joy of Cooking for particular recipe, I got distracted by a paragraph about croissants. It's like the dictionary for me: you look up a regular old word and end up being seduced by finifugal and abluvion, and then you're done for. But that's another story. According to the Joy of Cooking, although popularized by the French, croissants were actually invented in Hungary. In 1686 Hungarian bakers, who were working through the night to prepared the morning's pastries, heard Turkish invaders tunnelling under the city. If it weren't for the bakers, it would have been a massacre, but thanks to their warning, the Hungarian army had enough time to rally and defeat the invaders. As a thank you, the government mandated the bakers to create a pastry in the shape of the crescent on the Turkish flag, so everyone could nibble on the symbol of their defeat!

Still, no one can argue that the French know how to do pastries. So this morning with buttery croissants still warm from the oven, hot tea and coffee for proper croissant-dipping, and despite the dismal, rainy weather, I remembered why I love living in Paris.

18 comments:

Apples and Butter said...

That sounds devine. Can you please transport me there right now? I'm considering making a special trip out for croissants so I can have some with a pot of PG Tips. Yum!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great way to enjoy one's Sunday morning! I love Croissants!

Cheers,

Rosa

Sam said...

That was really interesting, I've learned something new!
I really want a croissant now!

sandrine said...

Les croissants me donnent des aigreurs d'estomac et même si le plaisir de le déguster est grand, quand j'en mange un je suis malade toute la journée :-( Et ça c'est pas chouette;-)

croquecamille said...

Amen!

Hopie said...

Apples - Sure, close your eyes and click your heels together three times...oh wait, no, that's for going back to Kansas. Can't help you ;-) Croissants and PG Tips sounds wonderful.

Rosa - I know, me too. Classic, yet so good.

Sam - I hope you find one!

Sandrine - Vaut mieux éviter alors...

Camille - :-)

Katharine said...

The story is fascinating, and, my dear, as you have Hungarian blood it is now only natural that you would one Sunday bake your own croissants! Love, Mom

Posuto/Kiki said...

Je n'ai pas tout compris, mais ça sentait bon quand on regardait ! Et je suis épatée par l'origine de cette pâtisserie. Alors, comme ça, en venant ici, je perfectionne mon anglais, j'attrape des connaissances historiques et je salive de faim. C'est un blog à 3 coups !
Kiki :-)

Cicero Sings said...

Sounds like you had a lovely Sunday morn! The perfect kind ... totally lazy. (We were lazy too ... buttermilk pancakes and fresh pears at noon ... with champagne as it was D's b/day!).

Those croissants have my mouth watering.

Nazarina A said...

You are truly a lucky ducky living in the culinary capital of the world. First time here, will try to visit often. Love your site!!!!

Hopie said...

Mom - Well ok, if the Turks start tunneling under the city of Paris, I'll bake croissants!!

Kiki - Je suis heureuse de contribuer à ta culture générale (qui est déjà impressionante) :-)

Cicero - Oooh, champagne breakfast. A wonderful birthday idea. Tomorrow is my birthday. You can tell D. I said happy birthday from one libra to another ;-)

Nazarina - Thank you for your kind words and thanks for stopping by!

Psychgrad said...

Sounds like a pretty good Sunday to me.

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

thanks for dropping by my blog hopie.. interesting to know that u are an actress!

Alex Rushmer said...

They look like perfect croissants. Can't wait to try them,we've just booked a trip to Paris so we don't have too long to wait!

bolliskitchen said...

alors les croissants, je ne les fait jamais moi-même, trop de boulot et en plus, je n'aime pas trop les croissants......

Hopie said...

Psychgrad - Indeed!

Mahimaa - Thank you. I enjoyed my visit :-)

Alex - Well done!

Bolliskitchen - Des bonnes raisons pour ne pas en faire, en effet...

eleonora said...

Ahhhh un croissant..que du bonheur pour moi le dimanche matin...un plaisir...

Hopie said...

Eleanora - je suis entièrement d'accord !