It's official. I have baking street cred. On the 4th of July this year while everyone else was getting BBQ side dishes prepared (I did mine the night before), I was on a 10-hour mission toward a major baking feat...homemade croissants.
Growing up, we often got the Costco packages of croissants...this, of course, was after my mom's health kick finally cooled off. At the time, it seemed like such a carb-filled treat. After some time in Europe, I learned that croissants didn't have to be soft all around. They could be perfectly crispy and flaky on the outside (so much so that you leave a little trail from plate to mouth) and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. There are few joys in life like pulling out that slightly stretchy bit of dough from the middle of a croissant and hearing the crunch as you have your first bite.
The process starts with a simple dough of flour, milk, yeast, sugar, and salt. I used the Cook's Illustrated method since this kind of baking requires detailed and easy-to-follow instructions and the kind of expertise in baking that they have. I wasn't about to start following some blogger's instructions (wait a minute...)
After bringing the dough together, you create a square of butter. Yep, that's right...a whole square of butter. And not just any butter, extra fatty European butter. I can't guarantee that no drool hit it. Kidding, of course I'm kidding...maybe.
The part of this process that really takes the most time is cooling down the dough. This is the part of baking that requires a lot of patience and planning--I am only good at one of those things, I'll let you guess which one.
Anyway, after about a million times cooling, then rolling it all out, you finally get to make something! As you can see from the picture below, I taped off my counter to the size the sheet of dough needed to be so I didn't have to constantly measure since I just have my bench scraper to do that. It really came in handy, but you definitely need to be precise.
|Little buttery flags|
|Hurrying your photographer makes for a blurry pictures|
|Takes lots of time, but at least you get a lot of them!|
I'd say the result turned out just fine...
|Daisies care of the rental house we stayed at in Pacific City|