While food historians have varying theories about the origin of croissants, there's no doubt that "croissant" is the French word for "crescent." The name is appropriate because croissants are tender, butter-flavored pastries rolled into flaky crescent shapes. Use croissants to create sandwiches with a touch of elegance. Toasting a croissant takes only seconds and makes your croissant sandwich even more flavorful.
Select fresh, firm croissants that are golden brown on the outside. Avoid croissants that have a yellowish tint, which may indicate that the croissants are under-baked. Properly proofed croissant dough rises for an adequate time in a warm spot before baking, and as a result, has air pockets and a light, fluffy texture.
Toast croissants in large, nonstick skillet, fry pan or griddle. If you don't have a nonstick pan, coat the pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray or oil. You can use margarine or vegetable oil, but butter provides the best flavor and a flaky texture. Heat the pan over medium heat.
While the pan is preheating, slice the croissants in half lengthwise, using a serrated knife to prevent tearing the bread. Place the sliced croissants in the hot pan with the cut side down. Allow the croissants to toast for about 30 to 60 seconds. Build your sandwich while the croissants are hot.
Make a sausage, egg and cheese breakfast croissant for breakfast or create a simple lunch or dinner sandwich by piling a croissant with thinly sliced deli meat, cheese and your choice of vegetables and other toppings. For a more substantial croissant sandwich, begin with thinly sliced steak fillets, then add arugula, radicchio or baby spinach, along with Brie or Camembert cheese and roasted bell peppers. Make a dessert-style croissant with grated dark chocolate melted into a sauce made of raisins, whiskey and orange juice.
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