On my first visit to Paris, I did the â€œstations of the
croissant,â€ a pilgrimage to various bakeries searching for the perfect
representation of the pastry that, to me, represents France more than
Good croissants are hard to find here at home, however. The American concept
has made it huge, airy and tasteless, not crisp, flaky and buttery. To
enjoy true French croissants, it is all but necessary to make them
yourself, a time-consuming and laborious quest that usually involves
getting up at weird hours of the night if you want to eat them for
But now it is possible to have fresh-baked, crisp and flaky and –
yes! – buttery croissants fresh from the oven at home, with no fuss. And
our unlikely hero is not the Pillsbury Doughboy, but Trader Joeâ€™s.
These store brand croissants come unbaked and frozen, eight to a box for
plain, so-called â€œminiâ€ croissants, or four chocolate croissants.
Before going to bed, you put the frozen chunks of dough on a baking
sheet and leave them, uncovered, to thaw and proof while you sleep. In
the morning, preheat the oven to 350, brush the risen puffs with egg,
then bake. Voila! True croissants – the hardest part is waiting for them
These croissants are buttery and best of all, they have what purists
call â€œshatterâ€ – meaning the crispy outside sounds like it shatters
when your teeth crunch in. Short of a trip to Paris, or a long series of
folding and rolling dough, I havenâ€™t found a better croissant.
These photos show the croissants straight out of the package; after proofing overnight; and fresh from the oven!