September 25, 2019

Dough, butter, dough, butter.....

Un Croissant S'il Vous Plaît

Dough, butter, dough, butter.....

It all just came together today!  After a week of nursing along a levan, getting up early to preform folds in 60 degree weather on the back porch, and baking in 1 minute increments.  It happened! The coloring, the flakiness, the honeycomb, the beautiful layering, the shattering crunchy ends.  Ahhhhhhh, it's so gratifying!  

I've been interested in bread making...... particularly croissants, for as long as I can remember.  I decided to get serious about it 5 years ago.  I went to King Arthur Baking School in Vermont for a few weeks.  It was wonderful and so helpful! I spent 2 years baking up a storm!

Since the accident, the wind has not filled my baking sails.  Collateral damage left behind in the wake of widowhood.  

Damon is a subscriber to the Master Class Series.  While we were in Cabo this summer I had a look through the offerings.  Dominique Ansel had a class on croissant making.  I couldn't help myself.....I had to watch it!  Fast forward a few months and I had the desire to watch it again and try it!

Dominique uses a levan starter (basically fermenting flour and water).  I've used it with sourdough, but it was something new to me with croissants.  

I liked how he used a mixer for the dough construction.  It was a beautiful soft dough. His square technique to envelop the butter worked perfect!

Do you know about high fat butter?  ('cauz regular butter just ain't fat enough ;) High fat butter will not shard if you cut it when it's cold.  There is more fat and less water.  This makes a huge difference.  I like Kerrygold no salt Irish Butter.

I've learned that "folds" are much easier to preform in cool temps.  It's important to not let the butter get too soft.  This is hard to achieve in St. George.  My solution was to wake up at 5:50a, set up a work station on the back porch, then preform folds in 60 degree weather.  3 folds and 4 hours later I had fully laminated the dough with no snags.  It was a lovely morning.  The following day, they proofed up beautiful.

He suggested a cooking time of 12 - 15 minutes at 350 convection.  I tried this a week ago and was disappointed with the centers.  Today we kept cooking in 1 minute increments.  We finally decided to pull them out after 23 minutes.  It really helped having Damon here to tell me.... maybe another minute.  At the end of a week of babysitting dough, you don't want to blow it on the last step!  His expert eye was perfect!  I had made raspberry jam a few weeks ago..... oh it's the perfect pairing :)  

In the afternoon I ran to the grocery store and purchased shaved honey ham, baby swiss, avocado, pepperoncini's, and an assortment of delicious mustards.  We heated up the croissants and made a sloppy open face delicious mess.  Mmmmmmmmmm

Sometimes creating delicious food is like Heaven on Earth to me.  I'm thankful DJ subscribes to Master Class and I could experience this type of JOY again.