Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Comme un patron

Ever given a massage? I love giving them. And working a rich, bolar pastry dough feels almost exactly like massaging the skin and subcutaneous fat of someone's back*.

Before we continue, please excuse me. I have to take a few aspirin, because it hurts to pat myself on the back for making perfect croissants on a first attempt.

Food stylist credit to Avanti, who can rompre her pain like
nobody's business.
Jen also helped with the eating.
Unbaked, puffed up, full of potential.
Okay, done being arrogant now, because making these** is actually not very difficult. It's a long process, and I nearly had to skip a class in order to finish baking the second batch***, but there's very little that is technically difficult. A few tips cobbled together from the Internet, this experience, and a couple cookbooks:

1. The dough should be smooth, cold, and pliable. Imagine giving someone a massage just after they've been in a naked snowball fight****. Like that. Be sure to keep the room and your work surface cool so that the butter stays cold and malleable.
2. You won't need much flour to keep the dough from sticking. Overflouring will leave you with tough croissants, not the flaky, delicate deliciousness that you're aiming for.
3. If you're working with a small oven in a studio apartment under 400 square feet--no shame, my indebted, belectured compatriots!--the croissants will begin to brown well before the inside is baked. Either drape them lightly with aluminum foil when they're crusty and golden on top or cut smaller croissants.
4. Use good butter. I didn't, and I regret it. Also, these are a little tiny bit too sweet for my tastes, but still, the 1/4 cup is plenty subtle. And maybe try a sourdough croissant and let me know if it's worth the extra effort.

It's Thanksgiving break now. I'm going to read (one chapter left in 1Q84!) and sleep and convince myself that med school isn't as stressful as I make it out to be.

*I tried to think of a more appetizing way to put this. "Flesh" was the best I could come up with. While it's not poetic, it's true.
**Joanne Chang is the scion of Flour, and thus I trust any food-related statement she cares to make.
***I may have skipped that class in order to make a doctor's appointment anyway, but at least it wasn't for the croissants!
****Again, I tried. I'm sacrificing imagery for accuracy.

1 comment:

  1. you didn't need to pat yourself on the back, we helped you out in that regard plusieurs fois. et milles merci for the photo credit :) passe des bonnes vacances!