Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sunny Sunday

The croissant baking adventure is officially a success. I started late yesterday afternoon after making a run for some European butter and some yummy cheeses to snack on for dinner. I decided I'd start with the croissant recipe from Joy of Cooking, since I've never been let down by anything published in the cookbook I consider to be the desert island stand-by. I did have a slight misstep with the dough portion of the recipe, fortunately before I had swathed it around mt $8 worth of Plugra butter. Initially I followed the recipe exactly but once I added the liquid/yeast to the dry ingredients, it quickly became evident that there was too much flour in the dough. It was really stiff and dry and would have required lengthy kneading to become smooth, whereas the recipe says "knead for a few seconds until smooth". So I started over with new liquid and dry ingredients, holding back on the flour by 1/2c. Much better. Nice soft dough with just a bit of kneading. Here's my fresh butter-laden dough after two turns, ready to be rolled, envelope folded and turned again.

The JOC recipe only calls for four turns total, so I was done folding and rolling and with a finished dough in just a couple of hours. I promptly cut and rolled it up into smallish croissants, half plain and half with some freshly made almond paste from another JOC recipe (another first for me).
I baked off a few of the plain croissants last night to evaluate my success. They were delicious and boy and I gobbled up two each with some delicious French blackberry preserves and the leftover Plugra. YUM.
I put a few more on a sheet tray in the fridge to bake for breakfast, and the rest went into the freezer to enjoy on demand.
As soon as I got up this morning I pulled the tray from the fridge and let it sit at room temp for a couple of hours to rise. While the croissants were baking, I made us some cheesy eggs and fruit to go with. Here's our delicious plate of freshly baked croissants d'amande

What a treat!
My only criticism is of the almond paste, as I think it needed to be drier and stiffer. I have a lot left over that I plan to freeze for croissants round two, so I'll add some more powdered sugar to it to sitffen it up first.
Since it's so nice out today I think I'll forgo the cinnamon something baking for the afternoon and head outside while I ponder what to make for dinner.

You are so amazing! Would you like to move in next door to me so I can be one of your tasters? I made croissants once, and they turned out okay but not nearly as gorgeous as yours. I used the Baking with Julia cookbook, which I love. Keep it up!
Daggone, this site has made me hungry.

I admire your dashing attitude with picking up new recipes. I hate working in the kitchen. Easy stuff only.

Off to lunch.

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