French croissants with an airy texture and creamy taste have become a favourite addition to a cup of coffee or tea all over the world. Heart-soaked Spanish sweet toothpicks follow pastry contests to choose a new place to taste desserts and pastries. Pastelería Canal pastry chef Tony Vera has managed to outperform 70 competitors this year and become the best cream croissant chef in Spain. Tony Vera, who already won the battle of confectioners in 2016, won again this time by balancing the taste and texture of such a simple at first glance pastry masterpiece. By the way, last year this award went to the confectioner of the San Croi chain in Barcelona Albert Roca. Perhaps the secret lies in the proximity of Barcelona to France?
Pastelería Canal was born in 1970 under the direction of Xavier Canal. His nephew Luis Estrada is now continuing his craft business. This small universe of sugar and flour, where innovation and tradition go hand in hand, has two spaces in Barcelona. At the head of the talented pastry shop team is a young Tony Vera from Badalona, who realized he wanted to devote himself to baking experiments. “We believe in our recipe for croissants because it is a mirror of our way of working: only high quality products and special attention to the process of fermentation of the dough,” says Tony’s secrets of success. After winning the contest in 2016, Pastelería Canal began selling more than 200 croissants a day to its regular customers and new guests, rather than 30 as usual. This year, the interest in French baked goods is expected to increase even more.
Creating a high quality croissant capable of melting the hearts of even the most stringent jury requires attention to the quality of ingredients. From the moment they are mixed to the moment the ready croissants get in the windows of the Pastelería Canal confectionery shop, they take 48 hours. What happens in these 48 hours? “We begin by preparing the leaven for approximately 24 hours, then kneading croissant dough with sugar, milk powder, butter, flour and water. The dough is then fermented for half an hour and sent to the fridge to cool down properly. By the way, the chilled dough has the same texture as butter,” says Tony Vera.
After that, the process of creating weightless layers of dough, between which the butter flows, begins, allowing the dough to be absorbed into itself. After formation, the croissant is aged for three and a half hours at 28 degrees Celsius and 80% humidity for final fermentation. An important secret of croissant taste is the quality of the oil. Pastelería Canal uses butter with 84% fat content of French brand Elle&Vire. According to Tony Vera, it is thanks to this high percentage of fat content of added oil that he achieves the plasticity of the dough and weightlessness of the layers.
Addresses of the confectionery Pastelería Canal:
- Carrer de Muntaner, 566
- Carrer Calvet, 15