If you’ve had the pleasure of enjoying a freshly baked croissant while roaming the streets of Paris, then you have also most likely experienced the pangs of life without them upon returning home. It’s no secret: the French have a way with pastries. But now, Elwood’s freshly opened Lune Croissanterie is bringing a bit of France to Melbourne.
Just off Elwood’s Brighton Road, at the intersection of Scott and Tennyson Streets, is the quaint two-storey house where owner and baker Kate Reid lives and bakes the delicious pastries that fill the shelves of cafes such as Station Street Trading Co., Clement, Woodfrog Bakery and the recently re-opened Stokehouse .
While originally trained as an aeronautical engineer, Reid has always had a passion for baking. After a visit to Paris and patisserie Du Pain et des Idess, Reid decided to toss her career in Formula 1 car development to the side to pursue her passion for pastry.
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She began as a sales assistant at Phillippa’s Bakery in Armadale before moving on to become pasty chef at Three Bags Full. Left with a longing for the Parisian lifestyle, Reid knew she had to go back to Du Pain et des Idess. “When I left Paris,” Reid says, “I just couldn’t get this patisserie out of my head, so I ended up emailing them and saying, ‘I don’t know if you do this, but are you interested in taking on an apprentice?’ And they said, ‘No we usually don’t, but when do you want to start?’”
Reid dropped everything and flew to Paris to learn the ins and outs of the Parisian patisserie. Months later, Reid is back in Melbourne, running a one-woman show that pumps out some of Melbourne’s best croissants.
Requiring three days of preparation and four different pieces of baking machinery, the croissant is understood as one of the most difficult pastries to master. And this is where Reid’s engineering background puts her at an advantage. “I like to think of baking as the highest form of engineering!” she says with a laugh. “Baking is a real science…if you don’t have the formula right, it’s not going to work.” And her devotion to detail truly shines through in her pastries.
So, what is it that makes a croissant great? Reid explains that the first thing you should notice about your croissant is the butter. “You should be able to smell the butter before you even bite into it. It should be buttery and rich, but not oily or wet.” And of course, it should be light and flaky, not heavy or flat. “After eating a croissant, your lap should be covered in flakes,” Reid laughs.
But freshness is the ultimate contributing factor for enjoying a croissant. “A croissant needs to be eaten within two or three hours after being baked,” Reid explains. “By the time it gets cold it is already starting to go stale.”
It’s not just about sweetness for Reid. Lune supplies a variety of savoury croissants such as the cedar mustard, ham and gruyere at Clement.
And while Lune Croissanterie is primarily a supplier, Reid will sometimes opens up her shop on Saturday mornings so that locals can get a taste of France and meet the woman behind the pastry.
1/29–31 Scott Street, Elwood
Sat 9am–11am (occasionally)