Butter has always been the central element in a croissant. Through a technique called laminating, it creates the flaky layers the croissant is known for. But a new Melbourne bakery is turning the idea on its head by introducing plant-based croissants and pastries containing no butter or animal products.
Weirdoughs is the brainchild of seven people, including the co-founders of vegan eateries Lord of the Fries and Matcha Mylkbar. Running the kitchen is Kane Neale, former executive pastry chef for the Vue Group, who has developed a “vegan butter” made from macadamia, cashew and coconut oil.
“In a traditional croissant, there are about three ingredients. In ours, there are about 12 because of all the different things that have to go into it to make it work at a molecular level. It’s pretty intricate, pretty amazing,” says co-owner Ruby Shine.
Weirdoughs’ pastries might not fool croissant connoisseurs, as it doesn’t quite have the multiple layers of a traditional croissant, but it’s still a tasty alternative. “Some people come in and they don’t even know we’re plant-based. It’s not sustainable to keep doing animal farming, so we want to do something that’s a bit different and include everyone,” says Shine. “It’s crazy, but it works and it’s really delicious.”
“In a traditional croissant, there are about three ingredients. In ours, there are about 12 because of all the different things that have to go into it to make it work at a molecular level. It’s pretty intricate, pretty amazing.”
The permanent menu boasts eight other vegan pastries: the cube, chocolate, almond and "ham and cheese" croissants, the cronolli (a croissant and cannoli hybrid), the pizza danish and the red jam and gold custard doughnuts.
Special new pastries appear on the menu every month. Right now, there's a banana split doughnut as well as a pavlova croissant with vanilla custard filling, freeze-dried strawberry, mandarin and baked meringue. For December, there was a Christmas pudding croissant and a gingerbread doughnut. Other creations show up often, like the lobster croissant roll. All plant-based, of course.
To cool down this summer, you might want to order a croissant ice-cream sandwich. But don’t expect classic (dairy-free) ice cream flavours like chocolate or vanilla, but rather unusual combinations like lavender and eggplant, strawberry and tomato sauce, or lemon with wasabi and minted pea.
Drink-wise, you could go for a coffee by St. Ali or ramp up your sugar levels with a spiced pumpkin latte or a cup of peanut butter hot fudge.
The Flinders Lane bakery's irreverent approach is also reflected in its look. Think holographic walls, neon signs and chirpy staff in pink coveralls. “We really wanted the whole experience to be fun, especially being in the CBD where everything is really grey. We wanted people to come in and be a spark in their day,” says Shine.
From January 17, Weirdoughs will extend its opening hours to Friday and Saturday nights. The night-time menu will feature the likes of Aperol spritz doughnuts (with Champagne custard, blood orange sugar and popping candy) and fried chicken croissants.
241 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Mon – Tue 7 am – 4 pm
Wed - Sat 7 am – 11 pm
Perfectly made bolognese is right up there with freshly washed sheets, new socks or an unwatched season of a good new TV show. And the next best feeling to eating pasta with perfectly made bolognese is having a second batch in your fridge/freezer for another day. Make a double batch of this recipe and you can thank us later.
Battered eggplant slices meet "cheese" in this vegan-friendly eggplant parmigiana. The Chefs' Line