Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy 2011!

I spent a bunch of last week engaged in the arts.
The pastry arts, that is.
Perhaps you already know that I am a croissant and pastry whore, and that homemade croissants aux amande are one of the specialties of the house here at Splatgirl Creates. I know I've carried on before about how a fresh croissant is one of my favorite things, and whined that the only way that ever happens around here is if I make them myself...which I do with regularity, because having a bag of shaped, unbaked croissants in my freezer makes me feel like a total smartypants.
Anyway, my obsession with sourdough baking naturally led me to wanting to take the leap from my always reliable, stand-by croissant recipe to a sourdough one, and I figured the need for a whole bunch of croissants for my annual new years' brunch was the perfect opportunity for a little R&D
I took the plunge with the Tartine bread baking book's version of sourdough croissants. If you' haven't seen this fairly recent addition to the bread-baking book lineup, know that it's gorgeous and useful in equal measure, and that I've had great results with the boule recipe. But sadly, the croissant recipe was a huge disappointment. Like HUGE. And if I didn't have a fairly high level of experience with croissants and laminated doughs and a great recipe for comparison that I know works, I would probably blame myself for the failure. But it's so bad and so wrong, well, I just think it must be wrong.
Good thing I planned ahead for a trial-run.
On the bright side, the not-buttery-enough-to-be-a-croissant-things I ended up with made a pretty decent ham and cheese biscuit, so all was not lost. And also on the bright side, it was all the nudge I needed to convert my stand-by, yeast leavened croissant formula to sourdough...with fabulous results.
Here's the finshed pastry bonanza on my brunch buffet:
the "pastry cart" new years brunch, 2011
Those are the ham and cheddar biscuits on the left, with banana muffins, assorted danish (my first foray into this genre), and the house specialty almond croissants completing the lineup.
When I composed the basket and set it out, I said to Boy "doesn't this look like we are someplace really special?"
and he said "we ARE!"
Gotta love that Boy.
Here's the rest of the spread we and our guests enjoyed on 1-1-11:
brunch bonanza 2011
Here's to a delicious new year! And as my sourdough pal Jay says, "bake on!"

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