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How a Method 1 Engineer Created One of many World’s Most Coveted Pastries


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As a younger baby rising up in Melbourne, Kate Reid spent many late nights along with her father watching auto racing. Fascinated by the pace and adrenaline of the game, she knew from an early age that she was destined for a profession in aerodynamics. Nevertheless, she by no means imagined that dream would finally result in her pursuing the sluggish, methodical craft of croissant-making.

After ending a long-sought diploma in aerospace engineering, a 23-year-old Kate landed her dream job in Method 1 racing and moved to London. It was 2005, and Method 1 was very a lot nonetheless a male-dominated sport. She discovered herself the one girl on a group of 120 individuals working to engineer the esteemed Williams Racing group, which had already gained a number of Grand Prix titles. She was residing her childhood fantasy, but usually discovered herself sitting at a pc for as much as 16 hours a day. Finally, she developed signs of burnout, melancholy, and an consuming dysfunction. In an effort to fight the grind and stress of her high-pressure job, Kate discovered consolation in coming house every evening and baking. Working along with her arms to meticulously mould, form, and knead pastry turned her methodology of self-care.

Three years into her Method 1 profession, Kate realized that the bodily toll of this adrenaline-fueled world was not for her. As her well being worsened, she made the robust determination to depart London and her profession behind. She returned to Melbourne to be close to household and to heal herself, mentally and bodily.

In remedy for her consuming dysfunction, Kate started to understand a way of normalcy in her life. “I used to be an everyday espresso drinker at a tiny, however excellent, café named Ousia,” she stated. “I labored up the braveness to ask the proprietor if I may assist along with her every day baking. She taught me to like meals once more. Not simply the enjoyment within the consuming however the pleasure within the preparation, respect for substances, and their transformation into one thing a lot greater than the sum of their components.” Slowly, Kate constructed up her information of baking and began to develop a fascination for extra complicated pâtisserie. Over the subsequent yr, her obsession with pastry consumed her life. By day, her arms had been lined in dough, and at evening, she buried herself in her favourite guide on the subject, Delicacies et Patisserie au Gaz, written in 1950 by Paul Roinat. Realizing that maybe one other future awaited her, she booked a one-way ticket to Paris to be taught all the things she may about pastry.

Inside weeks of her arrival, she discovered herself staging at Du Ache et des Idees, a boulangerie within the metropolis’s stylish tenth arrondissement. Relationship again to 1875, it’s a spot that each locals and vacationers have on their must-visit record not just for the famed pastries, however for its wealthy historical past and painted by hand glass ceiling.

For the subsequent three months, Kate immersed herself in studying the artisanal craft of conventional French pastry. Excited to place her newfound culinary training to work, she returned to Melbourne and started reverse engineering what she had realized in Paris, obsessively making an attempt to recreate the perfect French croissant. “I repeatedly examined each recipe and every time, I’d change one variable,” she instructed me. “I noticed that I couldn’t merely take the croissant dough recipe and adapt the lamination course of for the house kitchen. I needed to fully change the dough itself. It isn’t the traditional French methodology and it’s not for the faint-hearted. It requires time, preparation, and an unyielding dedication to comply with the method.”

Once I requested her concerning the second she fell in love with the croissant, she stated: “It was like nothing I’d ever tasted earlier than. Once I got here again to Melbourne, I searched and looked for the proper Parisian croissant, however it didn’t exist. I had a lightbulb second the place I assumed, ‘I do know all the things there may be to find out about croissants, so perhaps I can begin my very own enterprise.’”

In 2012, after months of recipe testing, she opened Melbourne’s Lune Croissanterie. Her dedication to method and substances—or maybe it’s her real love for the pastry—paid off. In 2016, The New York Instances declared that her croissants “could be the best you’ll discover wherever on this planet.”

Kate discovered that there’s way more to creating the proper croissant than method—utilizing the suitable substances is vital. “I solely use butter from a farm in Normandy,” she stated. “You have to honor the method and purchase the perfect butter you’ll be able to. I take advantage of [the] French butter Beurre d’Isigny. At Lune, we make the croissant dough with Laucke Euro, a flour developed particularly for viennoiserie (Austrian breakfast pastries).”

Lune has now grown to 5 bakeries in Melbourne and Brisbane, and Sydney’s first location is slated to open quickly. Croissants are the foundational product, however Kate additionally creates morning buns, Danish, torsades (twists), and special-occasion cruffins.

Picture by Hardie Grant, February 2023

I requested her how she eats her croissants, whether or not she delicately peels every layer or if she merely takes a giant, pillowy chew. “The expertise of consuming a correct butter croissant recent from the oven is elegant,” she stated. “In Paris, I found the kouign-amann. It was probably the greatest issues I’ve ever eaten—candy, salty, caramelized to the purpose simply earlier than bitter, crunchy, and chewy, just about all the things you possibly can ever need in a pastry.”

In February 2023, Kate launched the U.S. version of her debut cookbook, Lune: Consuming Croissants All Day, Each Day, a visually beautiful, mouth-watering journey by way of pastry. The guide was a real baking labor of affection. “Once I signed on to put in writing this guide for house cooks, I assumed the recipe for the plain croissant could be simple—I imply I’d been making croissants for nearly 10 years at Lune. What ensued was weeks of frustration, countless testing, moments of self doubt, and actually questioning whether or not I truly had the capability to ship these recipes,” she stated. But she persevered in her quest to demystify the croissant and make it a extra approachable challenge for house cooks.

Her Chocolate-Dipped Croissant ‘Biscotti’ is an homage to Italy’s custom of serving morning espresso paired with a confection. Kate’s model is double-baked like a standard biscotti, however by utilizing flaky, skinny croissant dough, she achieves a crunchier texture excellent for dipping in espresso. Should you’re craving to strive her recipe however don’t have the fortitude to aim a do-it-yourself croissant, know that the store-bought model will work simply tremendous.

Will you be making an attempt Kate Reid’s croissant ‘biscotti’? Tell us within the feedback!




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