Taste Test Thursday: Croissants

croissants_taste_test
1_taste_test_name

On bad days, I like to treat myself to a little croissant and a cup of tea.

Something about a flaky, soft, slightly-sweet-and-slightly-salty pastry (with a beautiful honeycomb structure on the inside) can make a dreary day into a good one. There’s no need for butter or jam or anything that could possibly taint the purity of a croissant. All you need are two hands and some undivided attention.

Croissants are a pivotal morning snack, and there’s no denying our attraction to them. Today, we taste-tested five of the best croissants in Dallas (from Hospitality Sweet, Weekend Coffee, Village Baking Co., Eatzi’s, and Empire Baking Co.) to find out which one deserves our complete and unrequited love.

Personally, this is my favorite taste test that we’ve done so far.

A. Hospitality Sweet
B. Weekend Coffee
C. Village Baking Co.
D. Eatzi’s
E. Empire Baking Co.

2_taste_testers

Tim Rogers, Bradford Pearson, Zac Crain, Jessica Jones, Kate Crouse + all the regulars. Nancy was too busy working.

3_tasting_notes

A.Hospitality
A.Hospitality_inside

  • “A delightfully shiny surface with proper amounts of brown, very light, flaky. A bit dry on the mouth parts, though.”
  • “Flaky outside. Very buttery. Best texture. But a little overcooked-tasting.”
  • “Has a nice, cripy, airy center.”
  • “Flaky and buttery croissant perfection.”
  • “A little stiff, kind of stale.”

 

3_tasting_notes

B.Weekend
B.Weekend_inside

  • “Too dense. More bread-like than croissant-like.”
  • “Nice and crunchy on the outside and super soft inside. Maybe too doughy.”
  • “Tastes like a loaf of bread.”
  • “What the hell is this? This is no croissant. If a French person saw this–well, he’d just give up and eat it. But, between drags on his cigarette, he’d curse it. Inside, it is the opposite of airy. If I had to pick one of these to use as a weapon, this is the one I’d pick.”
  • “Not a croissant. Total dinner roll.”
  • “Not a croissant. Just a biscuit. LAME.”

 

3_tasting_notes
CVillage
CVillage_inside

  • “Kind of like an insane dinner roll, in a good way.”
  • “What’s up with the matte finish? The outside is too uniform, almost looks machine made. It doesn’t make me happy.”
  • “I like it, but this one is doughy and gummy in the middle.”
  • “If I was hosing brunch, WHICH I’M NOT, I’d pick this for aesthetic reasons.”
  • “Crunchy on the outside. Very unique, but not my favorite.”

 

3_tasting_notes
DEatzis
DEatzis_inside

  • “Super basic and tasted like someone had either under or overcooked it.”
  • “Buttery and soft. Best flavor. Wish it was flakier, though.”
  • “Bizarre coloring. The inside is heavy, not flaky. Sure, I can eat this, but it’s not worth the carbs.”
  • “Too chewy and bread-like.”
  • “Good crunch on the outside.”

 

3_tasting_notes

EEmpirebaking
EEmpire_inside

  • “Looks amazing, tastes amazing. We have a winner.”
  • “Flaky, but less flavorful.”
  • “Tastes a little burnt.”
  • “Pretty good. A little drier than i typically like, but again, I like things doughy.”
  • “Beautiful shiny exterior. Is it too evenly brown? I don’t think so. It’s flaky to the point that our cleaning crew is going to be angry with the mess I left. The center is airy, buttery, delightful.”

 

4_tally_up

3 votes for (A) Hospitality Sweet
2 votes for (C) Village Baking Co.
2 votes for (E) Empire Baking Co.
1 vote for (D) Eatzi’s

5_conclusion

I’m not surprised that Hospitality Sweet’s croissant took the cake on this one. I eat this croissant maybe twice a month for its easy-to-pull-apart structure and amazing, amazing buttery taste.

Only Hospitality Sweet and Empire Baking Co.’s croissants had honeycomb structures when you split them in half. Empire Baking Co.’s pastry, though, wasn’t as fluffy. It was too easy to flatten and the texture reminded me of a Costco croissant. Don’t ask me why. Nonetheless, a couple people really loved this one, and I can’t blame them.

Nobody chose Weekend Coffee’s croissant because its texture was too bread-like. Take one look at the inside, and you’ll see why.

Village Baking Co. and Eatzi’s had similar interior constructions with wide, gaping holes. This left a little something to be desired when you bit into the croissant. (Too many holes = not enough pastry.) Village Baking Co.’s easily had the most beautiful crust, though. Gorgeous rings gave the pastry an extra crunch. Like Brad, I would use this one if I were hosting a brunch. Then I’d keep all the Hospitality Sweet croissants for myself.