Organic croissants are a tasty, luxurious treat that can make you feel like you're sitting in a bistro in France. Croissants, even made with organic ingredients, will never be health food, but at least you can feel a little better about eating the organic varieties.
What Is a Croissant?
Famous in France and loved all over the world, croissants may have gotten their start in the 1600s. However, the first reference to a French croissant seems to be from the 1850s.
Basically, croissants are a leavened puff pastry with layers of butter between them. The layers are rolled and folded together repeatedly to make the fluffy, buttery dough, which is then twisted into a crescent shape and baked.
It can take several days to make a croissant from start to finish and making them by hand requires great skill and patience from the baker. Now croissants are mass-produced in America and other countries and are popular fare at fast food restaurants, but these concoctions in almost no way resemble real croissants.
Whichever way your croissant was made, even organic croissants aren't that good for you. The plain croissant from Au Bon Pain, for instance, has 270 calories and 15 grams of fat, while the plain at Dunkin Donuts has 330 calories and 18 grams of fat. The Starbucks butter croissant sets you back 350 calories and 19 grams of fat before your mocha latte with extra whipped cream.
None of those croissants are organic, of course, but the nutritional value is probably similar. Organic croissants are not an everyday food, but they are wonderful for a special breakfast alongside your favorite organic tea.
What Goes into Organic Croissants?
Organic croissants are made with the same kinds of ingredients as other croissants, namely:
Of course, for a croissant to be classified as organic, all of these ingredients must also be organically produced. You can see why the price of organic croissants is higher than that of croissants made with conventional ingredients because organic dairy products and eggs are often much more expensive than their conventionally grown counterparts.
If the croissants are flavored with cheese or chocolate, those products must be certified organic as well. Some croissants may be made with some organic ingredients but not be 100 percent organic. If you're buying locally, you can ask your baker which organic ingredients were used.
Buying Organic Croissants
If you're lucky enough to live near a natural food store that has its own bakery, odds are good you'll be able to find organic croissants there.
If not, look for an organic bakery in your town or someone who makes some organic baked goods. If they already make a croissant from conventionally produced products, you can probably talk them into experimenting with an organic version.
Buying locally is the best option when it comes to organic baked goods. Most items have a very short shelf life and overnight shipping can be quite expensive, even for something as light as croissants. Some delivery companies might be able to get you croissants, but its likely they won't make it through shipping very well.
Make Your Own
If buying croissants made with organic ingredients isn't possible where you live, you might try your hand at making your own. Just don't forget that part about the process being time consuming and requiring patience and skill.
Check out the Food Network basic croissant recipe, which is ranked for advanced bakers, to get an idea of what's involved.