Robert Frost

The best way out is always through.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Croissant break

What to do on a day like this?.... a rare event....snow in Texas that doesn't melt at the ground and lingers a little.
It put me in the mind for baking...a Valentine's treat for my family. David remembered a long ago wish I made and for Christmas (2009) got me the two vol. set of Julia Child's ..... in this second book I found this recipe... my, oh, my....could I do it? I wondered. Then I read that it only took a 12 hour process. hmmm. Who has 12 hours? Well apparently I found 'em, and somehow thought, time+ingredients=tasty. Let us see.
There was mess+4 hours of rising+butter (lots of it)+more time+skill with the rolling and the folding+time (ya see pattern here). It equaled a mess.... and this....Aha.... and in all honesty this burnt horror too (yet still somewhat edible). Plus I got to wake up the girls by smoke alarm at midnight because this burnt butter roll didn't happen without some smoke. But I discovered that the heavy weight pan burnt while our airbake pan worked wonderfully.
As to taste....we ate it ....hmmm....some more...hmm...well another one....hmmm. All in all they looked somewhat right, but the "ooooh, ahhh" was missing. They were most definitely flaky and tender, but the flavor wasn't spot on. Now I wasn't expecting French perfection, but the flavor to me was key over texture. Was it the butter? ...Was it the flour?....Dare I say, was it the "baker"? (well I can't do much there). So will I attempt it again....more than likely...I have to conquer it. Just have to. I will report here as soon as there is success.

Here's one for you.....


Anonymous said...

They look totally yummy to me!

Perhaps the missing ingredient was having a French waiter bring it to your table for two at a Paris cafe so you could nibble it while sipping super strong coffee and watching the people walking by.

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Jenny,
Wow, I am impressed. I've collected a couple of recipes for croisants but have never had the nerve to attempt it. My baking skills are, well it either turns out great or it's a complete disaster. Bravo to you, they look so good.

Jenny said...

AHa! Elizabeth I think you've got it. Yes, Paris was missing. Truly I want to try a different butter but first let's see if I can lose a few pounds before the next round of test tasting.

Bonjour mon amie! THank you for the compliment. I still have no idea what I should be doing but I am going to blame the flour and butter right now. I am still hoping to get your madeleines recipe sometime...but I know you are tres busy.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Well done to you Jenny for even trying and finding the hours too!!

They look yummy and I am sure they were..I hope your family enjoyed them :-)

A Tale of Two Cities said...

You are so ambitious! I can't imagine tackling croissants at home, but boy, do I love those flaky, buttery tastes of heaven. I can't seem to find any place on this side of the Atlantic that makes them as tasty as the ones in Paris.
If you make any more, remember sending them from one town in Texas to another would be such a quick mailing, that they'd probably still be fresh when they got here! Your family is so lucky to have you as a baker!


Jenny said...

Anne, finding time is not exactly too difficult as I am a hermit. My family was "eh" about the whole thing. In the back of my crazy ideas I am constantly testing recipes for that one day cafe I hope to run in our small town...we shall see.

Debi, you are so encouraging and funny. For me I don't think any croissant in the US could be as tasty as in Paris....how could it? I love the idea of sending you food...it just tickles me that anything I made would be postage worthy. Hee hee. Cheers!

Sally Annie Magundy said...

Hi Jenny!
Oh my gosh, I didn't know it was a twelve hour process!!! I knew it involved a lot of butter and a lot chilling and folding but didn't know that added up to that many hours. Wow. Whoa.
They look great to me! I think you're much more of an accomplished baker than I am.
I stink at rolling - can't roll a round pie crust to save my life, so I'm sure I couldn't roll a rectangle either.
That makes me sad that you put so much time and effort in and you weren't happy. I sure hate that!
At Whole Foods they sell a butter that says it's "European Style", not sure what that means or why it's different from ours???
Now I want a croissant SO BAD!!! I'm all rumbly in my tumbly.
Hey! I didn't know that it snows in Texas! D'oh. Duh! What a great photo that is, great memory to have.
Happy almost weekend!

Jennifer K said...

Hi Jenny, wow, you have been posting a lot lately! I'm glad I checked your blog tonight and got caught up. I love to bake and have always wanted to make croissants, but never have. Yours look great to me. I'm guessing that the missing "oomph" factor is the butter. If I were you next time I'd try a European style butter as someone else mentioned. European butters have a higher fat content than American butters. Conversely, American butter has a higher water content. The higher fat content gives more flavor to the product and also a better texture.
To answer your question on my blog, I have to renew my residence card around June this year. I'm just taking it year by year, but I'm planning on staying another year (or at least until July 2011). I want to modify the name of my blog to "My 2nd year in Paris," but it's a template and I can't change it! Oh well.
Bon weekend, Jennifer


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