Cronut creator Dominique Ansel rethinks the breakfast egg sandwich


Editor’s Note: As we begin to leave our home kitchens and eat more, the weekly The Lunch Break section will evolve to highlight dishes from various sources: a new or reopened restaurant; a person, a place or a recipe that makes the news; or, of course, an excellent cookbook.

Since introducing Cronut to the world in 2013, Dominique Ansel has lived in a sugar-sprinkled universe dominated by the hybrid donut-gourmet croissant with cream.

Dominique Ansel diverted his attention from the Cronuts to the croissants.

Photographer: Zack DeZon / Bloomberg

Now the The legendary baker defends the croissant more directly. AT The Dominique Ansel workshop, which will open its doors on Friday, July 16 in New York’s Flatiron District, will offer eight varieties of croissants, starting at $ 4.50, including a filling with Black Forest ham and Fontina cheese, and topped with melted Gruyere. Expect unconventional offerings like an olive oil croissant with a touch of candied garlic to accentuate the sunny flavor.

The Ansel version of pain au chocolat consists of a black and white dough cut into precise strips and contrasted with an X-Acto knife, then filled with three pieces of chocolate, instead of the standard two, before baking. Ansel thinks that seeing a chocolate exterior more directly signals the flavor of the pastry. “I wanted something recognizable. You see it, and you know it’s chocolate, ”he says.

relates to the creator of Cronut, Dominique Ansel rethinks the breakfast sandwich

In addition to the pastry counter, Ansel’s workshop has a test kitchen area for classes and demonstrations by guest chefs.

Photographer: Zack DeZon / Bloomberg

Ansel has made croissants since opening his SoHo bakery in 2011, but they are invariably sold by Cronut, as well as DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann), a ridiculous caramelized butter pastry made from a traditional French snack. . Ansel saw in his new workshop an opportunity to highlight a product that is not respected enough, especially on his part. “A rival baker once said my croissants were so bad, that’s why I had to fry them,” says Ansel, referring to the Fried Cronut.

relates to the creator of Cronut, Dominique Ansel rethinks the breakfast sandwich

Atelier specialties will include the striped chocolate croissant (top right) filled with three pieces of chocolate instead of two.

Photographer: Zack DeZon / Bloomberg

The croissant that Ansel will sell at the workshop was developed earlier in the Covid-19 pandemic. It is made from two ingredients imported from France: flour from the Grands Moulins de Paris and the expensive butter from Isigny Sainte Mère. The other key element is sourdough, the yeast sourdough that will be familiar to anyone who started a sourdough project during the pandemic; Ansel has had his for 10 years. Together, the staples combine to build a pastry with seemingly thousands of flaky layers and a crunch that will turn heads across the street when you grab a bite. “You should be able to hear the peeling,” he says.

Because Ansel loves experimentation, the Atelier’s menu will extend to baked goods such as a “Riz au Lait Cube”, an oversized block of puff pastry brioche filled with arborio rice pudding and jam. tart blueberries, and a triangle of golden pastry with a spoonful of praline and coffee in the center. The edges can dry out, so they’re stuffed with extra hazelnut cream, “like the pizza crusts you see on TV,” he says.

relates to the creator of Cronut, Dominique Ansel rethinks the breakfast sandwich

The ingredients of the Breakfast Sandwich. Like any good French chef, Ansel warns you not to brown the eggs.

Photographer: Zack DeZon / Bloomberg

To balance the sweets, Ansel has put together a list of savory items, including The Breakfast Sandwich (recipe below). It’s a croissant, cut in half lengthwise and stuffed with an omelet stuffed with garlic and herb buckskin and a pinch of chives. This isn’t a dish the chef grew up with – he ate eggs with a baguette spread with bursin, which he calls “the French version of cream cheese” – but it is a dish he perfected.

This gorgeous ode to an egg sandwich is stuffed with what looks like an unpretentious omelet. Step inside and the creamy, oozing filling turns out to be a delicious contrast to the croissant. It’s a sandwich best eaten with your hands, although it can be messy, even as messy as a hamburger with ice cream.

If you’re in New York City, head to l’Atelier and experiment with different flavors of croissants. If not, try this recipe with any good quality, crispy croissant. Do it and you will forget that you may have already ordered a beak.

Tester’s Note: To make the perfect sandwich, make one omelet at a time. For convenience, you can make an omelet for two and cut it in half to fill two croissants.

Breakfast Sandwich

relates to the creator of Cronut, Dominique Ansel rethinks the breakfast sandwich

The Breakfast Sandwich can be served with a knife and fork if you insist, but is best eaten with your hands.

Photographer: Kate Krader / Bloomberg

Makes 4 sandwiches

8 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
A 5.2 oz. packet of bursin, at room temperature
4 croissants, carefully sliced ​​from top to bottom
Chopped chives

relates to the creator of Cronut, Dominique Ansel rethinks the breakfast sandwich

Do you remember the bursin?

Photographer: Kate Krader / Bloomberg

In a bowl, beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper.

In a small non-stick skillet, melt the butter over low heat and swirl it evenly around the pan. Add a quarter of the eggs; cook, stirring gently with a rubber spatula, until just around the edges. When the eggs are still soft and just runny in the center, spread a quarter of the round of buckskin on one half. Fold the omelet to enclose the cheese.

Open the sides of the croissant, if necessary, and arrange the omelet inside. Sprinkle with chopped chives to finish.

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