We all know I love to bake. I would be a whole lot fatter without my work colleagues to help. There are certain traditional times when everyone brings in something edible into the office: birthdays, and when they come back from holidays. I add in 'whenever I feel like baking' to that list...and that's often. So when I get to one of the times when everyone brings things in, I'm on my mettle to produce something a bit more....so I spent 3 days making croissants for my birthday.
It began on Friday night, when I mixed sourdough leaven and yeast poolish (batters made of flour, water and wild or cultured yeast).
|Leaven - sourdough batter, made with equal parts water and 00 flour and a spoonful of my sourdough culture. Poolish is|
identical, but switch a tiny amount of commercial yeast for the culture. I have no idea why it should be called poolish....
|Monday 17th October, about 7.20am.|
Croissants are a bit of a faff, even for somebody who really doesn't think that 24 hours is too long to wait for a loaf of bread. You make something a bit like a baguette dough (so that's very soft and very white)...
|Dough bulk rising.|
and you roll it out, plonk a slab of butter in the middle and wrap it up like a parcel...
|Laminating croissant dough with butter: and roll and fold and roll and fold and roll and fold and...|
|Aren't they cute? I was aiming for mini ones, but they baked up to suitable breakfast size...|
It was Sunday evening by this stage - I could probably have got to this point 24 hours earlier but I wanted to make sure I could bake them on Monday morning, because who wants a day old croissant? I was going out with my friends to have brunch on Sunday, too, so it's a good job the dough is pretty forgiving - you can put it in the freezer and things to slow it down. Next time I make them though I want to do what they tell me about when I bake them, because I'm hopeful that will just perfect the texture.
On Monday morning, they looked like this:
|All glazed up.|
I'm not going to try and write out the recipe, it would take too much explanation. Tom and I have a new Bible -
It's really excellent, if you're into this kind of thing. Lots of detail, lots of explanation, lots of wonderful photos. I think the croissant recipe would probably total about 20 pages, but it's hard to count and certainly not that hard to do. This is the second time I've made this recipe and they really did come out well. I am beginning to think I might make a few changes next time, because I'm not getting just the texture I want, but I need more time for that - and a lot of people to eat them...
There are a few more photos here.