Monday, October 25, 2010

Croissants, round two

Okay -

The first round of Julia Child croissants sort of blew up in my face. In the end, all I made were rolls.

I resolved for Round Two to do things a bit differently.
1 - do a flour mix instead of straight up bread flour
2 - follow the chill times exactly
3 - be nicer and a bit softer in my rolling of the dough

You see, I realized that not only did I beat the dough up, I also didn't use enough butter. I doubled the recipe but didn't double the butter. What a dork!

Fast forward to this past weekend and Round Two.

I painstakingly followed the directions. I was soft and delicate and used enough butter. Everything seemed to be going really well. The dough seemed to be working in my favor. I pulled the lovely beauties out of the oven. They looked right. They smelled right.

They were all wrong.

I was devastated. The outside was beautiful and crisp and brown but the inside was...a roll. No fluffy and flaky layers of croissant and butter. Instead, I just had french tasting rolls. They were yummy, but not quite right.

It was sad. I almost cried. Instead, I sat down at the computer and tried to figure out what went wrong. I read dozens of recipes and watched videos on YouTube of chefs and french bakeries making these delicate little treats.

A few things became clear.
1 - high altitude is a bugger
2 - i needed more yeast - the croissants just aren't rising enough
3 - more butter! double, in fact.
4 - different flour - cake flour
5 - patience and love

Faced with yet another failure in the bread department (oh, Julia. Why is it so hard?) I am determined to continue the fight (the 9 hour fight) and end up with something any real french baker would be proud of.

It may take me the rest of my life.

But, when I woke up this morning, only one thing was on my mind. Today is the only day I have to try Round three this week and right now, as I type, a dozen reformed croissants (you see I invented my own recipe this morning) are proofing on the stove.

Stay tuned.

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