As some of you know, I love baking. I find it soothing and relaxing, despite the long hours I spend on my feet on the cold kitchen tiles (chasing the boys away from attacking whatever falls off of the counter). I love making funny cakes with fondant designs, cookies with royal icing decorations and anything in the bread category. Being a fairly savvy baker, I figured there was only one thing left to try -- the croissant.
I've spent some time over the years in France, with my last trip being for just over 4 months in the summer of 2006. Bumming around the central and southern parts of the country I was never more than a few steps away from a boulangerie (bakery/goody shop/heaven). The pastry in France is bananas; I think I averaged two to three croissants and/or pain au chocolat per day.
I long for the warm sun on my face, sand beneath my toes and a flaky masterpiece teasing my tongue. We are still in a holding pattern, travel-wise, so I figured I'd just whip up some of my own.
Ah blind optimism.
If I was going to make French croissants then I needed to find a bad-ass and authentic recipe. Naturally, I though of Julia Child. I assembled all the ingredients I needed and set off on a 9-hour baking adventure. Baking pastries is a science, so I diligently measured, weighed and timed.
3 sets of two hour chills, 4 folds and an hour rise later, they were in the oven and smelling lovely. My mouth watered with anticipation. Marc arrived just in time from work for me to surprise him with our house-turned-French-bakery.
Well they were an utter and complete disaster.
Apparently I spent the entire day making Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Whomp, Whomp.
Frustrated and disappointed, I threw the batch in the garbage and vowed to never make them again. Being an A-type personality, I knew deep down that my threats were empty. It's been a long time since something I've made hasn't turned out and my ego isn't used to the bruising.
The next morning I scrolled around the Net trying to find someone that had similar problems with Ms. Child's recipe. Luckily, I found a lady who'd had the same tastes-like-pre-made-dough situation and I think I found where I went wrong. I'm nervous to try again as the process is endless and you don't know until the bitter end whether it's worked out or not, but I will push past the fear and do it again.
I feel like Monday shall be the day.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!