Who bakes that? The boulanger or the pâtissier? An excellent question, reader Tom! The viennoiserie, loosely translated as the “stuff from Vienna”, is the portion of the French baking canon that hails from the former Austrian empire. Most people are quite surprised to discover all that’s in it, the stereotypically French items that it turns out aren’t really French at all: croissants, brioche, pain au chocolat, the list goes on.
The products of the viennoiserie all share certain characteristics. First they’re all made, at least classically, from fine white wheat flour. Second, packaged yeast cultures are critical ingredients (“brewer’s” yeast back in the day, granulated yeast products today). These concentrated yeast populations — which you could never achieve via natural “starter” cultures — create a quick rise and by extension the fluffy, light and/or crispy textures that are synonymous with “Vienna” breads. Lastly they are rich. The Viennese have never been content to leave bread alone. They add milk. They add eggs. They add butter. And the results speak for themselves: wow.
But to answer the question, Tom, the viennoiserie is the responsibility of the boulanger, the bread baker. As I understand it, they are legally entitled to handle anything that calls for yeast, and that includes laminated croissant dough.