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This time, it's the 'Magic Soufflé,' a chocolate soufflé encased in brioche
Of course, Dominique Ansel would roll out another crazy invention right about now: Crumbs has mass-produced the Cronut in the "Crumbnut," the Cronut line is shorter than ever, and the frozen s'mores didn't have quite the impact you would think something like that would garner.
So this time around, Ansel released the "Magic soufflé," which Grub Street reports is a mini chocolate soufflé baked into an orange blossom-scented brioche. Somehow, the soufflé remains risen, with a molten center, all while proofing inside a buttery brioche. This man is a genius.
According to Grub Street, Ansel uses the same ingredients of a normal soufflé (chocolate, sugar, egg whites, flour), but with different proportions (which has made all the difference, obviously). Customers are still supposed to eat the pastry right out of the oven; three soufflés go for $7.
The chef is debuting the tidbits today; the soufflés officially go on sale Saturday. Expect more lines at Dominique Ansel (darn).
Eight More Cronut Copycats from Around the World
It's been another busy week of Cronut Mania: SoHo bakery owner and Cronut inventor Dominique Ansel has changed up the rules at his shop: the epic line will now wrap around a different corner and camera crews are not allowed to show up unannounced. Internet company Digg is (probably kidding about) working on inventing a service that allows users to push a button to have a Cronut delivered to their desk. Premium Cronut Delivery makes buying Cronuts from scalpers somewhat less sketchy than it's been so far (but at $100/cronut). A "Deez Cronuts" Tumblr happened.
In a new section of the Dominique Ansel Bakery website called "Cronut 101," Ansel reveals that the he is actually working on scaling up his Cronut production: "We are working on a way to hopefully bring them nation wide soon!" They better get on that. This week's batch of Cronut copycats brings the Zonut (Sydney, Australia), Frissant (Vancouver, BC), Cro-Nots (Boston, MA), and there will soon be a knockoff fittingly named the Cronie (Durham, NC). Below, eight more impostors joining the ranks of the many, many bakers shamelessly copying Ansel's frenzy-inducing Cronut. Names people are using are Zonuts, Frissants, Dossants, Cro-Nots, Dough'Ssants, and, no joke: One of Those.
[Photo: Swiss Bakery / Facebook]
Swiss Bakery, Vancouver, Canada
The Swiss Bakery in Vancouver, BC has been serving Frissants to customers since May 29th. Their first flavor was Vanilla Bean, and apparently there are also versions with chocolate custard cream.
[Photo: Chicago Pastry / Facebook]
Chicago Pastry, Bloomingdale, IL
Bloomingdale, IL bakery Chicago Pastry has started selling Dossants. They claim to be the "the first bakery in Chicago" to serve Cronuts, having been serving since June 3.
[Photo: Adriano Zumbo Patissier / Facebook]
Adriano Zumbo Patissier, Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia's Adriano Zumbo Patissier are serving two versions of their Zonuts: salted caramel and apple streudel. Regarding ripping off Ansel, baker Adriano Zumbo told the Sydney Morning Herald: "I'm kinda happy in a way that I haven't chased the cronut. It makes what I've done mine and gives us a bit of difference . Who created the macaron? Who created apple pie? Everything starts somewhere." Cool.
Pena's Donut Heaven & Grill, Pearland, TX
At Pena's Donut Heaven & Grill in Pearland, TX, Cronuts knockoffs called Dossants are now being served with a strawberry cream cheese filling. Owner Raymond Pena tells Eater Houston, "Pena's is always trying to do new stuff. I heard about the cronut. I heard about the craze." Like Ansel, Pena is "starting off real slow."
Random Craigslister, Miami-Dade County, FL
An enterprising pastry chef in the Miami-Dade area has offered his Cronut-making skills to anyone willing to pay for the kind of sad looking knockoffs. The anonymous Craiglist chef is offering four for $16, as well as delivery. Unlike some other copycats, this Craigslister credits Ansel directly: "From the popular trending 'Cronut' first introduced in Soho, New York by Dominque Ansel. Comes my take on the half donut half croissant."
[Photo: The Gallows / Facebook]
The Gallows, Boston, MA
In Boston, The Gallows have jumped on the doughnut-croissant train with Cro-Nots. The Gallows posted a picture of the pastry on Sunday, and Eater Boston reports there's "a limited supply."
[Photo: Dessert Club, ChikaLicious / Facebook]
Dessert Club, ChikaLicious, New York, NY
Not far from the watchful eye of Dominique Ansel, the chefs at Dessert Club, ChikaLicious in New York City's East Village are now making Dough'Ssants. This isn't their first excursion into the world of pastry mixing they also created a Yum Bun last month, which is was a croissant cinnamon roll hybrid.
[Photo: Eater Vegas / Facebook]
Lulu's Bread & Breakfast, Las Vegas, NV
In Las Vegas, Lulu's Bread & Breakfast is serving a fried croissant it's calling a One of Those. There knockoff looks to be one of the few that doesn't have a whole in the center like Ansel's Cronuts do. Eater Vegas reports that Lulu's is only making "One of Thoses" on the weekend "because they are so labor intensive."
Cronut inventor's "addictive results"
At the festival: Ansel hosts Death by Chocolate, 10 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, at the National Hotel, 1677 Collins Ave. Tickets, if still available, are $125.
Claim to fame: The French-born Ansel spent seven years as executive pastry chef at Daniel, Daniel Boulud's flagship French restaurant in New York. But it wasn't until he invented the cronut — a croissant/doughnut hybrid — after striking out on his own, that he ascended to star status. Time magazine called it one of the best inventions of 2013, and it birthed several other hybrid pastries including the bruffin (brioche/muffin), the duffin (doughnut/muffin) and the scuffin (scone/muffin). Last year, Ansel won the prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. He's since invented the chocolate chip cookie milk shot, where a shot of milk is served in "glass" that's made out of a cookie.
Want more?: Ansel's first cookbook, "Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes" was released last October and includes a recipe for The At-Home Cronut Pastry, as well as Chocolate caviar tart, Baked Alaska and Mini Madeleines.
'Check that the oil is at the right temperature. If not, let it heat up again before frying the next batch,' the instructions read.
Given that the version made at the Dominique Ansel bakery in New York's SoHo is even more complicated to prepare, it makes us understand why only 200 Cronuts are produced per day.
Patisserie mastermind: Mr Ansel, who hails from Beauvais, France, worked at Fauchon and Daniel Boulud's Daniel before opening his eponymous bakery in 2011
Since inventing the Cronut, Mr Ansel has made headlines with other ingenious treats including the Frozen S'more, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shot and a chocolate souffle inside a brioche.
Last month it was announced that the chef would be opening his second bakery in Tokyo, Japan, in summer 2015.
Mr Ansel, who hails from Beauvais, France, and worked at Fauchon and Daniel before opening his eponymous bakery in 2011, said in the announcement: 'There will be something created just for Tokyo, and I will personally see every aspect of development. I can't wait to personally welcome everyone on opening day.'
THE RECIPE: DOMINIQUE ANSEL'S AT-HOME CRONUT
Ingredients (makes 8 Cronuts)
- 3 3/4 cups flour, plus more as needed for dusting
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (preferably SAF Gold Label)
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 large egg white
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (84% butterfat), softened
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Nonstick cooking spray as needed
- 18 tablespoons unsalted butter (84% butterfat), softened
- Grapeseed oil as needed
- Glaze of your choice as needed
- Decorating sugar of your choice as needed
- Stand mixer with dough hook and whisk attachments
- Large offset spatula
- 3 1/2-inch (9 cm) ring cutter
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) ring cutter
- Deep-frying thermometer
- 2 uncut piping bags
- Wilton #230 Bismarck metal tip or other Bismarck tube
- Ateco #803 plain tip (5/16-inch/0.8 cm diameter)
Make ganache: Prepare one of the ganache recipes below and refrigerate until needed.
Make pastry dough: Combine the bread flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water, egg whites, butter, and cream in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until just combined, about 3 minutes. When finished the dough will be rough and have very little gluten development.
Lightly grease a medium bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the dough, to prevent a skin from forming. Proof the dough in a warm spot until doubled in size, 2 to 3 hours.
Remove the plastic wrap and punch down the dough by folding the edges into the center, releasing as much of the gas as possible. On a piece of parchment paper, shape into a 10-inch (25 cm) square. Transfer to a sheet pan, still on the parchment paper, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Make butter block: Draw a 7-inch (18 cm) square on a piece of parchment paper with a pencil. Flip the parchment over so that the butter won't come in contact with the pencil marks. Place the butter in the center of the square and spread it evenly with an offset spatula to fill the square. Refrigerate overnight.
Laminate: Remove the butter from the refrigerator. It should still be soft enough to bend slightly without cracking. If it is still too firm, lightly beat it with a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface until it becomes pliable. Make sure to press the butter back to its original 7-inch (18 cm) square after working it.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, making sure it is very cold throughout. Place the dough on a floured work surface. Using the rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 10-inch (25.5 cm) square about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Arrange the butter block in the center of the dough so it looks like a diamond in the center of the square (rotated 45 degrees, with the corners of the butter block facing the center of the dough sides). Pull the corners of the dough up and over to the center of the butter block. Pinch the seams of dough together to seal the butter inside. You should have a square slightly larger than the butter block.
Very lightly dust the work surface with flour to ensure the dough doesn't stick. With a rolling pin, using steady, even pressure, roll out the dough from the center. When finished, you should have a 20-inch (50 cm) square about 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick. (This is not the typical lamination technique and is unique to this recipe. When rolling out dough, you want to use as little flour as possible. The more flour you incorporate into the dough, the tougher it will be to roll out, and when you fry the At-Home Cronut pastries they will flake apart.)
Fold the dough in half horizontally, making sure to line up the edges so you are left with a rectangle. Then fold the dough vertically. You should have a 10-inch (25.5 cm) square of dough with 4 layers. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Repeat steps 3 and 4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Cut dough: On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 15-inch (40 cm) square about 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) thick. Transfer the dough to a half sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour to relax.
Using a 3 1/2-inch (9 cm) ring cutter, cut 12 rounds. Cut out the center of each round with a 1-inch (2.5 cm) ring cutter to create the doughnut shape.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly dust the parchment with flour. Place the At-Home Cronut pastries on the pan, spacing them about 3 inches (8 cm) apart. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and lay it on top of the pastries. Proof in a warm spot until tripled in size, about 2 hours. (It's best to proof At-Home Cronut pastries in a warm, humid place. But if the proofing area is too warm, the butter will melt, so do not place the pastries on top of the oven or near another direct source of heat.
Fry dough: Heat the grapeseed oil in a large pot until it reaches 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Use a deep-frying thermometer to verify that the oil is at the right temperature. (The temperature of the oil is very important to the frying process. If it is too low, the pastries will be greasy too high, the inside will be undercooked while the outside is burnt.) Line a platter with several layers of paper towels for draining the pastries.
Gently place 3 or 4 of them at a time into the hot oil. Fry for about 90 seconds on each side, flipping once, until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels.
Check that the oil is at the right temperature. If not, let it heat up again before frying the next batch. Continue until all of them are fried.
Let cool completely before filling.
Make glaze: Prepare the glaze below that corresponds to your choice of ganache.
Make flavored sugar: Prepare the decorating sugar that corresponds to your choice of ganache.
Assemble: Transfer the ganache to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whip on high speed until the ganache holds a stiff peak. (If using the Champagne-chocolate ganache, simply whisk it until smooth. It will be quite thick already.)
Cut the tip of a piping bag to snugly fit the Bismarck tip. Using a rubber spatula, place 2 large scoops of ganache in a piping bag so that it is one-third full. Push the ganache down toward the tip of the bag.
Place the decorating sugar that corresponds to your choice of ganache and glaze in a bowl.
Arrange each At-Home Cronut pastry so that the flatter side is facing up. Inject the ganache through the top of the pastry in four different spots, evenly spaced. As you pipe the ganache, you should feel the pastry getting heavier in your hand.
Place the pastry on its side. Roll in the corresponding sugar, coating the outside edges.
If the glaze has cooled, microwave it for a few seconds to warm until soft. Cut the tip of a piping bag to snugly fit a #803 plain tip. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the glaze to the bag. Push the glaze down toward the tip of the bag.
Pipe a ring of glaze around the top of each At-Home Cronut pastry, making sure to cover all the holes created from the filling. Keep in mind that the glaze will continue to spread slightly as it cools. Let the glaze set for about 15 minutes before serving.
Serving instructions: Because the At-Home Cronut pastry is cream-filled, it must be served at room temperature.
Storage instructions: Consume within 8 hours of frying. Leftover ganache can be stored in a closed airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days. Leftover flavored sugar can keep in a closed airtight container for weeks and can be used to macerate fruits or sweeten drinks.
- 1 gelatin sheet, 160 bloom (If you can't find gelatin sheets, use powdered gelatin. One gelatin sheet = 1 scant teaspoon [2.3 grams] powdered gelatin. For every teaspoon of gelatin, bloom in 1 tablespoon [15 grams] water.)
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 Vanilla bean (preferably Tahitian), split lengthwise, seeds scraped
- 1/2 cup white chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons rose water
Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of ice water until soft, about 20 minutes. If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle 1 teaspoon (2.3 grams) gelatin over 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water in a small bowl, stir, and let sit 20 minutes to bloom.
Combine the heavy cream and vanilla bean seeds in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
If using a gelatin sheet, squeeze out any excess water. Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the cream until the gelatin is dissolved.
Place the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds.
Whisk the white chocolate and hot cream until smooth. Add the rose water and whisk until fully blended. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the ganache, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight to set.
- 2 gelatin sheets, 160 bloom (If you can't find gelatin sheets, use powdered gelatin. One gelatin sheet = 1 scant teaspoon [2.3 grams] powdered gelatin. For every teaspoon of gelatin, bloom in 1 tablespoon [15 grams] water.)
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Grated zest from one lemon
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Soak the gelatin sheets in a bowl of ice water until soft, about 20 minutes. If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle 2 teaspoons (5 grams) gelatin over 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water in a small bowl, stir, and let sit 20 minutes to bloom.
Combine the cream, lemon zest, and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
If using gelatin sheets, squeeze out any excess water. Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the cream until the gelatin is dissolved.
Place the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds.
Whisk the white chocolate and hot cream until smooth. Let the ganache cool to room temperature.
Whisk in the lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the ganache, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight to set.
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons champagne
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon dark chocolate (66% cocoa content), finely chopped
Combine the water, 2 tablespoons (26 grams) of the Champagne, and the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Mix to a smooth paste.
Combine the cream and the remaining 1/4 cup (76 grams) Champagne in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar together in a small bowl. Stream one-third of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly until fully blended, to temper them. Whisk the tempered yolks into the remaining hot cream. Return the pot to medium heat.
Keep whisking! Continue to cook the custard over medium heat until it reaches 185 degrees F (85 degrees C). The custard will turn pale yellow and thicken so that it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder paste until fully incorporated.
Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Strain the custard through a small sieve over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds.
Whisk the chocolate and custard until smooth. When finished, the ganache will have the consistency of yogurt. Reserve 1/4 cup (50 grams) for the glaze. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the ganache, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight to set.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Vanilla bean (preferably Tahitian), split lengthwise, seeds scraped
Combine the sugar and its flavoring in a small bowl. Reserve until needed.
- 1/2 cup glazing fondant (Glazing fondant is also known as "fondant icing" or "pastry fondant." It is similar to royal icing but remains shiny when it sets.)
- 2 tablespoons rose water
- 1/2 cup glazing fondant (Glazing fondant is also known as "fondant icing" or "pastry fondant." It is similar to royal icing but remains shiny when it sets.)
- Grated zest from one lemon
- 1/2 cup glazing fondant (Glazing fondant is also known as "fondant icing" or "pastry fondant." It is similar to royal icing but remains shiny when it sets.)
- 1/4 cup champagne-chocolate ganache (see above)
Warm the fondant in a small bowl in the microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring between intervals. When the fondant is slightly warm, about 20 seconds, add the corresponding flavor and stir until fully blended.
Cronut Inventor Rolls Out Another Pastry Miracle - Recipes
“Hey there copycats, if we’re ever in a room together, I will be able to look you in the eye. Will you be able to do the same?”
That was the exact tweet sent by Cronut inventor Dominique Ansel as a stern warning to all the imitators that have been copying and profiting from his creation worldwide. With the term “Cronut” trademarked and closely guarded by Chef Ansel, countless imitations have been cropping up everywhere, from Zonuts, to Bronuts, to Croughnuts, to Crodough. The list getting longer by the day, it’s clear that the world’s gone crazy over Cronuts, and I can see why.
Though my first experience with a Cronut copycat didn’t blow me away, I can understand its appeal. When Ren first told me about it, just the thought of someone combining a croissant with a doughnut sent my imagination racing. A pastry with the flakiness of a croissant, but the fluffiness of a doughnut? Pure fucking genius man. And it didn’t hurt that the name Chef Ansel came up with is so darn catchy. Cronut. It just rolls off your tongue.
Bottom line, people want these pastries, but not everyone lives in New York. Even if you do live in the city, the chances of you getting one are slim, with an imposed limit of just two Cronuts per person a day, all of which sell out within the first thirty minutes of opening. Obviously, it isn’t enough.
Puff pastry seems to be related to the Greek phyllo,  and is used in a similar manner to create layered pastries. Puff pastry appears to have evolved from thin sheets of dough spread with olive oil to laminated dough with layers of butter.
While traditionally ascribed to the French painter and cook Claude Lorrain  who lived in the 17th century (the story goes that Lorrain was making a type of very buttery bread for his sick father, and the process of rolling the butter into the bread dough created a croissant-like finished product), the story is spurious. In fact, the origin of modern puff pastry appears to be Spanish, perhaps through Arab or Moorish influences: the first known recipe of modern puff pastry (using butter or lard) appears in the Spanish recipe book Libro del arte de cozina (Book on the art of cooking) written by Domingo Hernández de Maceras and published in 1607.  Maceras, the head cook in one of the colleges of the University of Salamanca, already distinguished between filled puff pastry recipes and puff pastry tarts, and even mentions leavened preparations. Thus, puff pastry appears to have had widespread use in Spain by the beginning of the 17th century. The first French recipe of puff pastry was published in François Pierre La Varenne's "Pastissier françois" in 1653. 
The production of puff pastry dough can be time-consuming, because it must be kept at a temperature of approximately 16 °C (60 °F) to keep shortening from becoming runny, and must rest in between folds to allow gluten strands time to link up and thus retain layering.
The number of layers in puff pastry is calculated with the formula:
Commercially made puff pastry is available in grocery stores. Common types of fat used include butter, vegetable shortenings, lard and margarine. Butter is the most common type used because it provides a richer taste and superior mouthfeel. Shortenings and lard have a higher melting point therefore puff pastry made with either will rise more than pastry made with butter, if made correctly. Puff pastry made in this manner will however often have a waxy mouthfeel and more bland flavor. Specialized margarine formulated for high plasticity (the ability to spread very thin without breaking apart) is used for industrial production of puff pastry.
Since the process of making puff pastry is generally laborious and time-intensive, faster recipes are fairly common: known as "blitz", "rough puff", or "flaky pastry".  Many of these recipes combine the butter into the détrempe rather than adding it in the folding process and are thus similar to a folded short crust.
Puff pastry can also be leavened with baker's yeast to create croissants, Danish pastry, Spanish/Portuguese milhoja, or empanadilla though such preparations are not universally considered puff pastries.
Puff pastry differs from phyllo (filo) pastry, though puff pastry can be substituted for phyllo in some applications. Phyllo dough is made with flour, water, and fat and is stretched to size rather than rolled. When preparing phyllo dough, a small amount of oil or melted fat (usually butter) is brushed on one layer of dough and is topped with another layer, a process repeated as often as desired. When the phyllo bakes it becomes crispy, but since it contains somewhat less water, does not expand to the same degree as puff pastry. Puff pastry also differs from Austrian strudel dough, or Strudelteig, which more closely resembles phyllo.
The kipferl, the origin of croissant can be dated back to at least the 13th century in Austria, and came in various shapes.  The kipferl can be made plain or with nuts or other fillings (some consider the rugelach a form of kipferl). 
The birth of the croissant itself—that is, its adaptation from the plainer form of kipferl, before the invention of viennoiseries—can be dated to at least 1839 (some say 1838) when an Austrian artillery officer, August Zang, founded a Viennese bakery ("Boulangerie Viennoise") at 92, rue de Richelieu in Paris.  This bakery, which served Viennese specialties including the kipferl and the Vienna loaf, quickly became popular and inspired French imitators (and the concept, if not the term, of viennoiserie, a 20th-century term for supposedly Vienna-style pastries). The French version of the kipferl was named for its crescent (croissant) shape and has become a universally identifiable shape across the world. [ citation needed ]
Alan Davidson, editor of the Oxford Companion to Food, found no printed recipe for the present-day croissant in any French recipe book before the early 20th century the earliest French reference to a croissant he found was among the "fantasy or luxury breads" in Payen's Des substances alimentaires, 1853. However, early recipes for non-laminated croissants can be found in the 19th century and at least one reference to croissants as an established French bread appeared as early as 1850. 
Zang himself returned to Austria in 1848 to become a press magnate, but the bakery remained popular for some time afterwards, and was mentioned in several works of the time: "This same M. Zank [sic]. founded around 1830 [sic], in Paris, the famous Boulangerie viennoise".  Several sources praise this bakery's products: "Paris is of exquisite delicacy and, in particular, the succulent products of the Boulangerie Viennoise"  "which seemed to us as fine as if it came from the Viennese bakery on the rue de Richelieu". 
By 1869, the croissant was well established enough to be mentioned as a breakfast staple,  and in 1872, Charles Dickens wrote (in his periodical All the Year Round) of "the workman's pain de ménage and the soldier's pain de munition, to the dainty croissant on the boudoir table" 
The puff pastry technique which now characterizes the croissant was already mentioned in the late 17th century, when La Varenne's Le Cuisinier françois gave a recipe for it in the 1680 and possibly earlier, editions. It was typically used not on its own but for shells holding other ingredients (as in a vol-au-vent). It does not appear to be mentioned in relation to the croissant until the 20th century.
Culinary legends Edit
Stories of how the Kipferl — and so, ultimately, the croissant — was created are widespread and persistent culinary legends, going back to the 19th century.  However, there are no contemporary sources for any of these stories, and an aristocratic writer, writing in 1799, does not mention the Kipferl in a long and extensive list of breakfast foods. 
The legends include tales that it was invented in Europe to celebrate the defeat of the Umayyad forces by the Franks at the Battle of Tours in 732, with the shape representing the Islamic crescent that it was invented in Buda or, according to other sources, in Vienna in 1683 to celebrate the defeat of the Ottomans by Christian forces in the siege of the city, as a reference to the crescents on the Ottoman flags, when bakers staying up all night heard the tunneling operation and gave the alarm. 
The above-mentioned Alan Davidson proposed that the Islamic origin story originated with 20th-century writer Alfred Gottschalk, who gave two versions, one in the Larousse Gastronomique and the other in his History of Food and Gastronomy: 
According to one of a group of similar legends, which vary only in detail, a baker of the 17th century, working through the night at a time when his city (either Vienna in 1683 or Budapest in 1686) was under siege by the Turks, heard faint underground rumbling sounds which, on investigation, proved to be caused by a Turkish attempt to invade the city by tunneling under the walls. The tunnel was blown up. The baker asked no reward other than the exclusive right to bake crescent-shaped pastries commemorating the incident, the crescent being the symbol of Islam. He was duly rewarded in this way, and the croissant was born. The story seems to owe its origin, or at least its wide diffusion, to Alfred Gottschalk, who wrote about the croissant for the first edition  of the Larousse Gastronomique and there gave the legend in the Turkish attack on Budapest in 1686 version but on the history of food, opted for the 'siege of Vienna in 1683' version. 
This has led to croissants being banned by some Islamic fundamentalists. 
Uncooked croissant dough can also be wrapped around any praline, almond paste, or chocolate before it is baked (in the last case, it becomes like pain au chocolat, which has a different, non-crescent, shape), or sliced to include sweet or savoury fillings. It may be flavoured with dried fruit such as sultanas or raisins, or other fruits such as apples. In France and Spain, croissants are generally sold without filling and eaten without added butter, but sometimes with almond filling. In the United States, sweet fillings or toppings are sometimes used, and warm croissants may be filled with ham and cheese, or feta cheese and spinach. In the Levant, croissants are sold plain or filled with chocolate, cheese, almonds, or zaatar. In Germany, croissants are sometimes filled with Nutella or persipan in southern Germany, there is also a popular variety of a croissant glazed with lye (Laugencroissant). In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the croissant is typically called a Gipfeli this usually has a crisper crust and is less buttery than the French-style croissant.
Argentina and Uruguay Edit
Croissants are commonly served alongside coffee for breakfast, aperitivo (a light mid-morning meal), or merienda (a mid-afternoon meal). They are referred to as medialunas ("half moons") because of their shape and are typically coated with a sweet glaze (medialunas de manteca, "half moons of butter"). Another variant is a medialuna de grasa ("half moon of lard"), which is not always sweet.
A cousin of the croissant is the Italian cornetto (in the Center and South) or brioche (in the North). These variants are often considered to be the same, but that is not completely true: the French version tends to be crispy and contains a lot of butter, whereas an Italian cornetto or brioche is usually softer. Furthermore, the cornetto vuoto (Italian: "empty cornetto") is commonly accompanied by variants with filling, which include crema pasticciera (custard), apricot jam or chocolate cream. They often come covered with powdered sugar or other toppings. Cornetto with cappuccino at the bar is considered [ by whom? ] to be the one of the most common breakfasts in Italy.
On 11 November, St. Martin's Day is celebrated in the Polish region of Greater Poland, mainly in its capital city Poznań. On this day, the people of Poznań purchase and eat considerable amounts of sweet, crescent-shaped pastries called rogale świętomarcińskie ("St. Martin's croissants"). They are made specially for this occasion from puff pastry with a filling made of ground white poppy seeds, almonds, raisins, and nuts.
The first type of Portuguese croissant is similar to the French, and can be plain or filled with custard, chocolate, fruit jam, or a typical Portuguese cream made of egg yolk and sugar, "doce de ovo". It is customary for these to also have powdered sugar on top. The second version has a similar consistency to brioche and is commonly eaten with ham and cheese. Sometimes this type is also served like toast, with a spread of butter. While the first type of croissant is considered sweet and is eaten during breakfast or tea, the second type is a more filling meal and is usually considered a sandwich and often prepared for picnics or as travel food. Both types share the same name (French/Portuguese: "croissant") but are typically found in different bakeries: the sweet croissant is more commonly found in Portuguese pâtisseries and the brioche croissant is usually found in coffeehouses.
Besides of the regular croissant, a variation called "cuerno" (meaning "horn") is sold. It is half of a croissant stuffed usually with cream.
A remote similarity of the croissant shape is the Turkish ay çöreği. It is filled with cinnamon, walnut, hazelnut, cacao and raisin.  Its rectangular shape variant is known as pastiç or İzmir çöreği.  It is generally eaten during breakfast or with tea.
The first step of manufacturing croissants is the "predough" formation. To prepare predough, flour, water, in-dough fat, yeast, salt, and sugar are mixed together in a single step.  Typically, croissant predough is mixed in a relatively cool environment, for a longer time than other pastries. The ideal temperature of the dough should be around 19 °C, to best hydrate the ingredients.  In comparison to the mixing of bread dough ingredients, pastry predough is considered underdeveloped in that mixing is stopped as soon as the dough appears homogeneous, to allow for further dough development in the next step. 
The second step is the lamination process. Lamination is necessary to produce multilayered dough with alternating layers of predough and fat. Generally, there are two methods for folding fat into the dough: the English method and the French method. In the English method, one fold results in two fat layers and three dough layers.  After spreading out predough, roll-in fat is flattened to a similar thickness as the predough and spread over two-thirds of the surface of the laminated predough. The exposed third of predough is then folded over half of the roll-in fat, while the other end (one predough and one fat layer) is folded on top. In the French method, one fold results in one fat layer and two dough layers. After spreading out the predough and putting a layer of roll-in fat over the center surface of the dough, the corners of the predough are folded toward the middle of the fat. Croissant dough is typically laminated until 16–50 fat layers are obtained.  The optimal number of layers can be determined by balancing certain crumb properties with specific volume. On one hand, a low number of layers yields large specific heights as well as irregular crumb structure with large voids. On the other hand, a large number of relatively thin layers leads to interconnections between different dough layers as well as less dough lift.
After lamination, the dough is formed into its famous crescent shape. First, the laminated dough is cut into triangles of the desired size. The triangles are then rolled with three-and-a-half to four full turns, and finally, the ends of the roll are curved inwards to form a crescent. 
The third step is the fermentation process. Croissants are different from other puff pastries in that they include yeast which, during proofing, increase the dough volume. Ideally, the optimum croissant quality is achieved at a yeast level of 7.5%, with a proof time of 60 minutes at 31 °C.  The croissants are finished proofing when the dough has expanded two-and-a-half times its original volume. 
The fourth step is the baking process. Also known as "pastry lift" or "dough lift", the dough expands as water is converted to steam, thus increasing the pressure between each dough layer. As a result, the croissant dough rises up to yield its characteristic flaky texture.  Depending on the type of oven used and specific size of the croissant, the baking time can range from 10 to 20 minutes and the oven temperature can be set anywhere from 165 °C to 205 °C. 
The final steps are the cooling and storage of the croissant. Croissants are generally not stored for very long and are typically consumed soon after baking.
Gluten proteins affect the water absorption and viscoelastic properties of the predough.  The role of proteins can be divided into two stages of dough formation: hydration and deformation. In the hydration stage, gluten proteins absorb water up to two times their own weight. In the deformation or kneading stage, the action of mixing causes the gluten to undergo a series of polymerization and depolymerization reactions, forming a viscoelastic network. Hydrated glutenin proteins in particular help form a polymeric protein network that makes the dough more cohesive. On the other hand, hydrated gliadin proteins do not directly form the network, but do act as plasticizers of the glutenin network, thus imparting fluidity to the dough’s viscosity. 
Starch also affects the viscosity of predough. At room temperature and in a sufficient amount of water, intact starch granules can absorb water up to 50% of their own dry weight, causing them to swell to a limited extent.  The slightly swollen granules are found in the spaces between the gluten network, thus contributing to the consistency of the dough. The granules may not be intact, as the process of milling wheat into flour damages some of the starch granules. Given that damaged starch granules have the capacity to absorb around three times as much water as undamaged starch, the use of flour with higher levels of damaged starch requires the addition of more water to achieve optimal dough development and consistency. 
Water content affects the mechanical behavior of predough.  As previously discussed, water is absorbed by gluten and starch granules to increase the viscosity of the dough. The temperature of the water is also important as it determines the temperature of the predough. In order to facilitate processing, cold water should be used for two main reasons. First, chilled water provides a desirable environment for gluten development, as the temperature at which mixing occurs impacts the dough’s hydration time, consistency, and required amount of mixing energy.  Secondly, cold water is comparable to the temperature of the roll-in fat to be added later, which better facilitates the latter’s incorporation. 
In-dough fat affects the texture and lift of predough. Although higher levels of dough fat may lower dough lift during baking, it also correlates with a softer end product.  As such, the main function of in-dough fat is to produce a desirable softness in the final croissant.
In laminated croissant dough, the gluten network is not continuous. Instead, the gluten proteins are separated as thin gluten films between dough layers. The formation of thin, well-defined layers affects the height of dough lift. Generally, laminated croissant dough contains fewer layers than other puff pastry doughs that do not contain yeast, due to the presence of small bubbles in the gluten sheets. Upon proofing, these bubbles expand and destroy the integrity of the dough layers.  The resulting interconnections between different dough layers would over-increase dough strength and allow water vapor to escape through micropores during baking, consequently decreasing dough lift. The role of fat also influences the separation of layers, as will be discussed next.
Roll-in fat affects the flakiness and flavor of the croissant. In laminated dough, fat layers alternate with dough layers. As such, the most important function of roll-in fat is to form and maintain a barrier between the different dough layers during sheeting and folding.  As previously stated, the ability for fat to maintain separation between folded dough layers ensures proper dough lift.
The type of roll-in fat used is typically butter or margarine. Butter and margarine are both water-in-oil emulsions, composed of stabilized water droplets dispersed in oil.  While butter is appealing due to its high consumer acceptance, its low melting point, 32 °C, actually makes it undesirable for production purposes. The use of butter as roll-in fat during the lamination step will cause problems of oiling out during sheeting and fermentation if the temperature is not tightly controlled, thus disrupting the integrity of the layers.  On the other hand, kinds of margarine are commonly used as roll-in fat because they facilitate dough handling. Generally, roll-in margarine should have a melting point between 40 °C and 44 °C, at least 3 °C higher than the fermentation temperature to prevent oiling out prior to baking. It is also important to consider the plasticity and firmness of the roll-in fat, which is largely determined by its solid fat content. Generally, a greater proportion of solid fat coincides with larger croissant lift.  At the same time, the roll-in fat should have plasticity comparable to that of the dough, such that the fat layers do not break during sheeting and folding.  If the fat is firmer than the dough, then the dough can rupture. If the fat is softer than the dough, then it will succumb to the mechanical stress of sheeting and potentially migrate into the dough.
Croissants contain yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is incorporated during predough formation. When oxygen is abundant, the yeast breaks down sugar into carbon dioxide and water through the process of respiration.  This process releases energy that is used by the yeast for growth. After consuming all of the oxygen, the yeast switches to anaerobic fermentation. At this point, the yeast partially breaks down sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Once CO2 saturates the dough’s aqueous phase, the gas begins to leaven the dough by diffusing to preexisting gas cells that were incorporated into the predough during mixing.  Yeast action does not produce new gas cells, as the immense pressure required for a single CO2 molecule to create a new gas bubble is not physically attainable 
In order to ensure the flaky texture of the croissant, it is important to balance the yeast activity with steam production. If the yeast overproduces CO2, then the well-defined layers may collapse.  During the baking process, this would cause steam to escape too early from the bread, reducing dough lift and flakiness of the final product. Thus, to offset the negative effects of yeast on layer integrity and dough lift, croissants usually contain fewer layers than other puff pastries.
During baking, the transient gluten network turns into a permanent network.  At higher temperatures, intermolecular disulfide bonds form between glutenin molecules, as well as between gliadin and glutenin. With more bonds being made, the gluten network becomes more rigid, strengthening the croissant’s crumb texture. Additionally, the baking process significantly stretches the dough layers due to the large macroscopic deformation that occurred during fermentation’s dough lift. 
Starch undergoes gelatinization as a result of baking.  Prior to baking, starch granules absorb a small amount of water at room temperature as it is mixed with water to form predough. As long as the dough’s temperature stays under the gelatinization temperature, this granule swelling is limited and reversible. However, once the baking process begins and the dough is exposed to temperatures above the gelatinization temperature, amylopectin crystallites become more disordered inside the starch granules and cause an irreversible destruction of molecular order.  At the same time, starch gelatinization actively draws water from the gluten network, further decreasing the flexibility of the gluten. Currently, the extent of amylose leaching and granular structure distortion during the baking of croissants is still unknown.
Roll-in fat gradually melts as the temperature in the oven increases. Some of the melting fat can migrate into the dough, which could then interfere with gluten protein crosslinking.  The fat phase also contributes to dough lift through gas inflation, which will be described next.
Water is converted to steam during the baking process, which is the main factor behind the leavening of the dough. The water for steam production comes from both the dough layers and the roll-in fat. As the fat melts, the continuous oil phase is no longer able to stabilize the water droplets, which are then released and converted to steam.  Although the exact mechanism of steam entrapment is still unclear, it is likely a result of both steam expanding inside each dough layer and steam migrating to oil layers, where it inflates gas bubbles. The steam migration to oil phase is likely due to the smaller pressure differential required to inflate a bubble of steam in liquid fat than in solid dough.  As the concentration of steam increases between dough layers, the increased pressure causes the dough to lift. It is important to note that during the entire baking process, only half of the water vapor contributes to dough lift, as the other half is lost through micropores and capillaries of interconnected dough layers.
The effect of gluten proteins during cooling and storage is still unclear. It is possible that gluten proteins influence croissant firming through the loss of plasticizing water, which increases the stiffness of the gluten network. 
Starch plays a major role in the degradation of croissants during storage. Amylopectin retrogradation occurs over several days to weeks, as amorphous amylopectin chains are realigned into a more crystalline structure.  The transformation of the starch causes undesirable firmness in the croissant. Additionally, the formation of the crystal structure of amylopectin requires the incorporation of water. Starch retrogradation actively draws water from the amorphous gluten network and some of the amorphous starch fraction, which reduces the plasticity of both. 
Water migration influences the quality of stored croissants through two mechanisms. First, as previously stated, water redistributes from gluten to starch as a result of starch retrogradation. Secondly, during the baking process, a moisture gradient was introduced as a result of heat transfer from the oven to the croissant.  In fresh croissants, there is high moisture content on the inside and low moisture content on the outside. During storage, this moisture gradient induces water migration from the inside to the outer crust. On a molecular level, water is lost from the amorphous starch fraction and gluten network. At the same time, water diffuses from the outer crust to the environment, which has less moisture.  The result of this redistribution of water is a firming up of the croissant, caused by a decrease in starch plasticity and an increase in gluten network rigidity. Due to the presence of large pores in croissants, moisture is lost to the environment at a faster rate than bread products.  As such, croissants generally become harder in texture at a faster rate than breads.
Fat also affects the quality of croissants in storage. On one hand, an increased amount of in-dough fat has been found to correspond to a reduction in crumb hardness immediately after baking.  This is likely attributed to the high-fat content of croissants, as increased fat levels decrease moisture diffusion.  On the other hand, although roll-in fat softens the croissant’s initial crumb, its effect on croissant hardness during storage is still unclear.
- Stir together milk and yeast in large bowl. Stir in eggs, sugar, and vanilla, then mix well. Add cup of flour and salt, then gradually add another 2 1/4 cups of flour. Stir and knead for several minutes until smooth and elastic, and still somewhat tacky.
- Transfer dough to baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
And voila! Meet the cro-not, the Cronut without a hole.
After trying this recipe, Ren learned a few things: A) It&rsquos best to punch a hole to ensure even cooking, so don&rsquot do what we did. Use a donut cutter. B) If you live in a warm climate like we do, work as fast as you can so the butter doesn&rsquot melt. C) Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes between turns instead of 30. This will help firm up the butter a little more so it doesn&rsquot ooze out so easily.
Pick your poison. A selection of spreads to enjoy with the cro-nots.
London’s best bakeries
April 2019: London&rsquos bread makers and cake specialists are on a roll, and we&rsquove added (almost) a baker&rsquos dozen to our list of must-visit addresses, like the Dusty Knuckle (bread with a mission and a social conscience in Dalston) and Aux Pains du Papy near King&rsquos Cross (whose croissants are the best in town). Elsewhere, Jolene (from the folks behind Primeur and Westerns Laundry) is part brunch spot, part bakery, part small-plates eatery, while cult fave Ararat Bread deals in unbeatable Middle Eastern flatbreads (Baban&rsquos Naan does similar stuff from a hole-in-the wall spot in Highbury).
Whittling down the best dough in the city is no mean feat. From Asian patisseries to cronut auteurs and sourdough specialists &ndash when it comes to bakeries, London is a goldmine. We&rsquove risen to the challenge and eaten our way through the lot to round up yeasty royalty. Quite literally, actually &ndash because the boujie Hackney bakery that did Harry and Meghan&rsquos wedding cake has made the cut.
Anges de Sucre
If you want a showstopper for any special occasion (including weddings), the clear choice is arty patissier Anges de Sucre, who now have their own boutique in North Acton &ndash in addition to supplying Selfridges and other retail outlets. Their cakes are insanely detailed and decorated with everything from lacy Swiss meringue buttercream and white chocolate pearls to ombré-glazed buttermilk doughnuts. Bizarre creations such as the vegan &rsquopig in a unicorn wig&rsquo, the two-tiered &lsquomermaid skirt&rsquo or &lsquogaga rainbow&rsquo cake are guaranteed to bring the house down. Also come to Anges for their macarons and marshmallows in all colours, designs and flavours &ndash or drop by for a hot chocolate or a cup of coffee before you shop (the beans are specially roasted in Paris).
Specialities: Celebratory cakes for all occasions . and macarons
AOK Kitchen & Bakery
A venue of two halves, AOK is divided into a ground-floor Kitchen and a downstairs bakery. The former is a health-conscious Mediterranean-style restaurant serving an on-trend seasonal menu against a chic backdrop of marble floors and hand-painted silk wallpaper with a &lsquomagical tree&rsquo as the centrepiece. The latter is an artisan bakery (complete with tables for a sit-down) specialising in dairy- and gluten-free breads, baguettes, cakes, pastries and viennoiseries &ndash all overseen by Sebastien Chiono, the head baker at The Arts Club in Mayfair. The baking team will also produce bespoke cakes, savoury pizzette and desserts such as exotic fruit pavlova &ndash in addition to customised items for special occasions.
Specialities: Gluten-free breads and pastries
It may be little more than a hole-in-the-wall behind Ridley Road market in Dalston, but Ararat&rsquos Middle Eastern-style flatbreads (they call them &lsquonaans&rsquo) are the stuff of legend and find their way into countless restaurants and shops across town &ndash as well serving the needs of hungry local boozehounds. The action centres around a huge rotating oven and a trestle table where the naans are bagged up (hot ones are wrapped in paper, cold ones come in environmentally friendly plastic bags). You can buy them plain, although most people go for the versions topped with meat, cheese or egg either way, they&rsquore cheap as chips &ndash but more interesting.
Specialities: Middle Eastern flatbreads, aka &lsquonaans&rsquo
Aux Pains de Papy
A mere boule&rsquos throw from King&rsquos Cross, this London offshoot of a family-run bakery chain gives punters all the endearing charms of a properly authentic, rustic French boulangerie/patisserie without having to shell out for a trip on the Eurostar. Local workers come here for their daily bread and satisfying lunchtime sarnies, but it&rsquos worth plundering the display of classics &ndash crusty baguettes, rustic saucer-shaped pan bagnats, almond croissants fresh from the oven, pain au chocolat, eclairs and a tip-top version of Paris-Brest (crisp, golden-hued pastry rings filled with a ruff of nutty praline cream). Also look out for their light, sugary and sweetly perfumed bugnes &ndash mini-doughnuts flavoured with orange blossom water. More sites are in the pipeline.
There is some variation in whether the term macaron or macaroon is used, and the related coconut macaroon is often confused with the macaron. In North America, most bakers have adopted the French spelling of macaron for the meringue-based item to distinguish the two. Stanford professor of linguistics Daniel Jurafsky describes how the two confections have a shared history with macaroni (Italian maccheroni, from Greek μακαρία). Jurafsky notes that French words ending with "-on" that were borrowed into English in the 16th and 17th centuries are usually spelled with "-oon" (for example: balloon, cartoon, platoon).  In the UK, many bakeries continue to use the term "macaroon".  
Macarons have been produced in the Venetian monasteries since the 8th century A.D. During the Renaissance, French queen Catherine de' Medici's Italian pastry chefs made them when she brought them with her to France in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France.  According to Larousse Gastronomique the macaron was created in 1791 in a convent near Cormery. In 1792, macarons began to gain fame when two Carmelite nuns, seeking asylum in Nancy during the French Revolution, baked and sold the macaron cookies in order to pay for their housing. These nuns became known as the "Macaron Sisters". In these early stages, macarons were served without special flavours or fillings. 
It was not until the 1930s that macarons began to be served two-by-two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaron as it is known today, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling, was originally called the "Gerbet" or the "Paris macaron." Pierre Desfontaines, of the French pâtisserie Ladurée, has sometimes been credited with its creation in the early part of the 20th century, but another baker, Claude Gerbet, also claims to have invented it.   French macaron bakeries became trendy in North America in the 2010s. 
Many Italian cookbooks of the 16th-century mention almond biscuits closely resembling macarons, albeit under different names. The earliest known recipe dates back to the early 17th century and appears to be inspired by a French version of the recipe.
To make French Macaroones
Wash a pound of the newest and the best Jordane Almonds in three or foure waters, to take away the rednesse from their out-side, lay them in a Bason of warme water all night, the next day blanch them, and dry them with a faire cloath, beat them in a stone morter, until they be reasonably fine, put to them halfe a pound of fine beaten Sugar, and so beat it to a perfect Paste, then put in halfe a dozen spoonefuls of good Damaske Rose-water, three graines of Ambergreece, when you have beaten all this together, dry it on a chafingdish of coales until it grow white and stiffe, then take it off the fire, and put the whites of two new laid Egs first beaten into froath, and so stirre it well together, then lay them on wafers in fashion of little long rowles, and so bake them in an Oven as hot as for Manchet, but you must first let the heat of the Oven passe over before you put them in, when they rise white and light, take them out of the Oven, and put them in a warm platter, and set them againe into the warme Oven & so let them remain foure or five houres, and then they wil be thoroughly dry, but if you like them better being moist, then dry them not after the first baking.
There are two main methods for making a macaron – the "French" method and the "Italian" method. The difference between the two is the way the meringue is made.
In the French method, egg whites are whisked until stiff-peaked meringue forms. From there, sifted, ground almonds and powdered sugar are folded in slowly until the desired consistency is reached. This process of knocking out air and folding is called macaronage. 
The Italian method involves whisking the egg whites with a hot sugar syrup to form a meringue. Sifted almonds and icing sugar are also mixed with raw egg whites to form a paste. The meringue and almond paste are mixed together to form the macaron mixture. This method is often deemed more structurally sound yet also sweeter and also requires a candy thermometer for the sugar syrup.
Either Italian or French meringue can be combined with ground almonds. 
A macaron is made by combining icing sugar and ground almonds into a fine mixture.  In a separate bowl, egg whites are beaten to a meringue-like consistency.  The two elements are then folded together until they are the consistency of "shaving foam", and then are piped, left to form a skin, and baked.  Sometimes, a filling is added.