When I was a child, I really wanted my mother to bake for me. I had it in my mind that cookie = love, that mothers bake.
My own mother, liberated creature of the sixties, did not agree. She believed that's what God created upscale bakeries for. Every school event requiring a muffin - she went to The Sweet Gallery or Patachou. Not so secretly, I always felt deprived. I mean, that's what moms do. They bake. (I still go to the Bloor West Sweet Gallery location a few times a year. It serves the best smoked meat and bean soup!)
When I was about 12 - long before the internet age democratized everything - I started to learn the skill in my own right. I read The Joy of Cooking and The Silver Palate (how de rigeur!). I talked to people who knew what they were doing (there were more of them back then). I progressed from cookies to pies to bread. I had a knack.
Might I add that, for its numerous flaws, the weather in Canada is quite conducive to baking. We have cool and the right amount of moisture. My hands are always cold!
In a great irony, after my own kid was born (once I finished with the homemade organic baby food and all the dinners one makes after coming home from work out-and-out exhausted) there wasn't a lot of energy left for baking. I did it occasionally, but not consistently. The art, the science, languished in my home. I didn't have the energy to miss it.
Fast forward to this summer. Scott says that, since I recovered those dining room chairs, I've become all DIY-chick. Maybe it's true. Maybe my creative spirit is just resurfacing. Maybe it's the distinct lack of sun and heat this summer that's propelling me into some kind of activity that one can get with while the weather sucks.
And lord help me, I decided to make croissants. C'mon - it's a hop, skip and a jump from puff pastry. Actually, it's a hybrid of puff pastry and bread. But I won't bore you with the details.
It only took 15 hours, on and off, and about 30,000 steps. Just 5 ingredients though!
At any rate, I didn't have the wherewithal to a) make croissant dough for the first time ever, b) proof it, turn it and roll it for 3 hours and c) photo-document the whole shebang.
Here's what I managed to capture:
I'll be blunt: they're pretty fine, but I will improve. I'll def add more salt the next time (this time I used salted butter in lieu of salt but it wasn't adequate IMO). I'll also have to better my shaping technique. It's not as easy as the tutorials advise (nor is it rocket science - I guess I just have to learn the trick).
As 4 of them were inhaled straight out of the oven (and peeps have burns to prove it), I think it's not a bad first try. Now on to making the wild mushroom chowder that will go with these at dinner!