Viennoiserie may not be a familiar term to all, but it refers to a category of lesser sweet pastries, such as croissants, Danish pastries and pain au chocolat. Said to be brought to France by bakers from Vienna, these pastries are absolutely delicious and equally tricky to create! The method involves folding or kneading large quantities of butter with the pastry and a process of rolling the dough, known as lamination. Precision is imperative to creating luscious layers and flaky pastry.
Traditionally eaten as breakfast, these boulangerie favourites have garnered a huge interest recently, becoming one of the industry’s biggest trends and forcing pastry chefs to think outside the box. You’ve got the iconic croissant, but now we’ve introduced the bicolour croissant; there has been the amalgamation of a muffin and croissant to produce the ‘cruffin’; and ‘cronuts’ (croissant + doughnut) now exist in all their glory. We’ve even seen a croissant cube! But, what’s next?
One of the masters of viennoiserie, Daniel Alvarez, came to Savour this month to share his recipes, techniques and fresh perspective on these butter rich pastries. Daniel has been in the industry all his life, having come from a family of pastry chefs where he recalls sleeping on bags of flour when he had to! Now the owner of Dalua pastry shop in Spain, Daniel is famous for his millefeuille, croissants, panettone and cookies. He remembers his father saying to him, “the first thing you have to do in the morning is viennoiserie, and if it turns out good, the rest of the day will be easy”. For this reason, viennoiserie is embedded in his DNA. Daniel sees viennoiserie doughs as living products and he is humble to their tradition. He enriches his creations with all kinds of fillings, such as creams, ganache, almonds and fruit, staying true to the original product but adding a worthwhile twist.
Nowadays, consumers are drawn to colours and intriguing flavour combinations – the underlying theme being that it is “Instagrammable”. But, how far will the hybrid trend go? Will pastry do the full circle and revert to the classics? Only time will tell, but for now we’re enjoying the creativity surrounding viennoiserie.
You can learn how to make viennoiserie at Savour with our hands-on classes and online classes. Daniel Alvarez has also filmed a selection of online tutorials in viennoiserie which will be available on Savour Online Classes in the coming months.