In case you needed an excuse to explore butter-rich layers of perfectly crisp yet succulently soft dough smushed into thin sheets then rolled a quarter-moon shape, National Croissant Day is this Saturday, Jan. 30.
And what a city to live in to celebrate pastries. Our cup runneth over with chefs dedicated to the art of temperature-controlled butter resulting in perfect honeycomb structures.
La Tarte Tropézienne
1604 Main St., Suite 110
I met the owners of the Dallas’ La Tarte Tropézienne just before they were scheduled to open last January. I loved their story: They’d talked the owners of the original bakery in St. Tropez, France, into allowing them to open the first bakery outside of France. And right here in Dallas. Ouf! But, then COVID-19 hit, and while their small store adjacent The Joule hotel hasn’t flowered into its full limelight yet, the baking goes on. And aside from their famed brioche-style creamed filled tarte, their viennoiseries are spot on. The almond croissant is pure, clean, butter bliss.
And for National Croissant Day they've added croissant pudding (think bread pudding). Their house-made butter and pain au chocolat croissants take a long soak in a cream and rum sauce, then after baking they top it off with a drizzle of white chocolate. It's available in either single servings ($5) or whole pie ($20). I vote whole pie. And they offer curbside pick-up for online orders.
La Casita Bakeshop
580 W. Arapaho Road, Suite 230
These kids are big hitters in the viennoiserie game. They even have sweaters that say, “FLAKY AF” (all caps, so maybe it's screaming it). Anyway, you don’t print such a statement on a sweater unless you’re 10 of 10 in your flake game. They have butter, chocolate, almond and even tiramisu croissants. If you prefer your food to be baked in a muffin tin, their cruffin will blow your mind. You can pre-order online and pick up Saturday at several different locations across Dallas. I’d suggest your order a kouign amann (the complicated, sultry older sister of the croissant) and their croissant sampler box.
Leila Bakery and Cafe
6041 Oram St.
We recently spoke with Kelly Ball of Leila Bakery and Cafe, and she said something quite wise for any human, much less one younger than 40, “I just try to accept things I can’t change, and allow myself to pursue things I love.” Wow. Say it slow and take a deep breath. Ball focuses on quality ingredients, no fillers, palm oil or nonsense in her kitchen and the result is us allowing ourselves to pursue all their baked goods. And their quiche and doughnuts also have solid reputations.
3700 McKinney Ave, Ste 150
I feel like I’m writing about my kids. I love each of these places so much, it’s almost shameful. We truly have such a bouquet of amazing bakeries in our city. Each and every one of them should have sold-out shelves every day. In pursuit of that, have I told how Bisous Bisous chef Andrea Meyer flew to Brittany, France, to track down a guy for a recipe? He was a street vendor, and she just couldn't stop dreaming about his pastries, so years later she went back to this small town. He wasn’t there, but, turns out, you can throw a rock and hit a bakery in France, so she was still able to get a proper recipe and stage for a day. And look at that beautiful honeycomb design above. That’s a Paul Hollywood handshake croissant.
Village Baking Co.
1921 Greenville Ave & 4539 Travis St.
Another baker who honed his viennoiserie skills in a bakery in Brittany is Clint Cooper, owner of the Village Baking Co., which recently expanded to a new spot near the Katy Trail. Years ago Cooper said a baguette is the true test of a baker: “There are very simple ingredients that go into it and you can't hide any imperfections.” For good measure, we tried their croissants the other day, and voila, perfection. Then, we split a chocolate kouign amann and a hush fell over the room.
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