I know I complained about Daring Bakers in the beginning, but I have to admit: it has won me over.
For a few months now, what they have set us up with have been real challenges, and I am happy to say that I now feel like I have made things I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise (hello chocolate tempering, please grab a seat while I talk to these people).
This month was no different. The challenge: croissants. To the blog-checking lines!
The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!
I suppose I’m less than an Ideal Daring Baker. More often than not, the challenge is one of those tl;dr ones. I generally read the blog-checking lines, look at the pictures and then try whatever I feel like trying that is remotely like it.
Again, this month was no exception. I have only just realised (while looking for the blog-checking lines) that I was supposed to make ‘the’ recipe provided in the website, and I didn’t. Well, if I get blog-checked, I’m sure they won’t kick me out for using a different butter to flour ratio. Right? RIGHT?
Anyway, it seemed to me like this was a good opportunity to crack open my Bourke Street Bakery cookbook, that I bought a couple of months ago, skimmed through one evening and put in the shelf awaiting the day when I’d finally have time to try one of those incredible recipes.
This was it. I actually, and for the first time made a challenge in the first weekend, instead of the last one.
On croissants: they can hold crazy amounts of butter in them. Even though they’re made using so much butter that they’d make a cow blush at the thought, they are better if slathered with butter before eating – personal preference, that you may take or leave; I suggest you take it.
The whole process took me 3 days to complete. It was fine as the first two stages were quick, and it was more about the waiting than anything else. I found fresh yeast for sale in London, which is another useful thing that DB has made me do. And used it to my heart’s contempt.
I have to say, it all went rather smoothly until the butter layering bit – that is a task and a half! I don’t know what I did, whether it was the weather, or the way in which I was stretching it, I ended up with big holes in my dough, through which I could see buttttter.
It didn’t stop me. I cut 20 triangles, rolled and baked them (the recipe was supposed to make 18 all the same size, mine varied). Now, if you’ve never made croissants, you really must! (well, not really, only if you’d enjoy it).
The baking process is the coolest. I mean, you look at the BSB book and think ‘no way are my going to look like this, look at their perfect layering!’ and then you put yours in the oven and yes, they are not perfection like in the book, but they look and taste like the real thing! It was a sight to behold, my lovely little croissants. We didn’t behold them for very long though, as my good friend Nancy came to visit and we all had a few to celebrate the existence of croissants.
I might make them again. They were great and it was fun, but I don’t know if I can risk a coronary. Not before I get back into my gym habit anyway.
Sorry for no recipe but really, it’s late and I have little to no desire to get the book and type it. If you must have it, let me know. Or better, get the book and with it a whole plethora of recipes. I just said plethora – I should be in bed.