Finally, Pastry

I’ve put this off for far too long, I mumbled to myself eyeing the boxes of frozen butter. Eleventy-one hundred loaves of bread is plenty to make without having once tried the really-not-all-that-difficult laminated dough.  To horribly mix my LOTR movie quotes, I’m going on an adventure!  Here’s the deal:  determined to make croissants on the same day we were hosting a Memorial Day barbecue I tried to get as much ready the night before.  The poolish was mixed and active, the natural levain starter was practically leaping out of its container, butter was unfrozen, and I was ready for a nightmare of folding and rolling.  But really, how hard could this be?

Croissant dough rolled


There it is, an enriched dough with a hidden layer of butter mixed with flour.  Was this the third fold and chill or the second? Who remembers?  I was rushing back and forth from the pool to the barbecue to the kitchen, also keeping an eye on a quadruple batch of naturally-leavened and very wet dough I was making for sandwich bread.  Roll the croissant dough out, letter fold, roll again, letter fold, and chill.  This isn’t rocket science but I found either my simian knuckles were too large or the rolling pin too small because I kept dragging furrows as I rolled.  I used the Tartine croissant recipe which has a sock-it-to-me punch triple punch of poolish, natural starter, and straight-mixed yeast in the dough.

Let’s cut to the chase–what did Uncle F$#k-Up mess up?  Well, I think you have to keep flipping and folding and rolling the same direction so you are always increasing the number of laminations:  2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128.  At some point I must’ve reversed it because the croissant was not as flaky and interlayered with butter as I wanted.  And I can now attest what it looks like to see your arteries clogging:  imagine 18 croissants slathered with cream and egg yolk sizzling in a lake of molten butter on a cookie sheet.  Holy Spetznaz are these things buttery good!  Next time I’ll make them with some orange peel and a sugar crust so they are more like morning buns.  And then I’ll be the fattest baker in all the land.


Writer, architect, father, husband.

Posted in Baking Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
One comment on “Finally, Pastry
  1. Po says:

    It’s is better to taste good than look good 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: