Viennoiserie may originally come from Vienna, but examples of this style include some of the most iconic French baked goods. This style of baking also represents a halfway point between the baker at the boulangerie and the artisan of the pâtisserie — read on to hear how this is so, according to French cooking instructor Paule Caillat. Paule told me that the baker's work is considered hot — the baker works with ovens and heat to create the perfect bread dough and crust. A boulangerie is considered somewhat rustic, compared to the finer arts of a pâtisserie, where the artisans work with cold materials. They work with cold dough, icing, fruit, and mousse to create finely arranged and beautiful confections.
The viennoiserie pastries are somewhere in between — not hot, and not cold, or a little of both. Viennoiserie, however, are mostly to be found in more rustic bakeries and at the boulangerie.
To my eyes, however, most of the viennoiserie pastries I saw in Paris looked quite refined! Such lovely chocolate croissants...
What is your own favorite example of viennoiserie?
(Image: Dana Velden)