Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What I do on my days off

The other day Chef asked me what I did on my days off.
When I told him that I made croissants and macarons, he looked a little bemused.
"Dont you bake enough at work?"
"I guess I am just really lucky to have my hobby as my job!"

As any professional bakers would agree, baking at home is very different from professional baking. The portion is smaller and the pace is slower. The downside of baking at home however, is the dirty dishes one has to clean. But on the other hand, you get to decide what and when you want to make!

croissants batch 2.1

It has almost become my second nature to make croissants on my days off. I make a small batch, enough to last us a week. I like to shape and proof my dough then freeze them in the freezer. They are ready to bake on the days we want to eat them. That way, we can always have fresh croissants.

Making croissants at home may seem a little time consuming and daunting at first, but after a few practices, it gets easier. The key to a good croissant in my opinion is good butter. By that, I mean Plugra butter. It's the European butter with a higher fat content. While the usual butter in market has fat content of 70-73% ( and we are talking about the better brands), Plugra has 83% fat. I used Plugra butter liberally in my bakes when I could find it cheap at my local farmers market. But lately, the market has decided to discontinue the product, so I restraint the use of Plugra butter in croissants and danishes only.
choc croissants

Usually, making croissants is a 2 days event. After the dough is made, it benefits from the overnight rest in the fridge before rolling out and shaping for the final proof. One time I tried to rush it and made everything in a day. The croissants were lacking in flavor. Apparently, there wasn't enough time for the yeast fermentation, which contribute to the flavor development. After the first failure, I treated my dough with more patience and let it rest overnight before the final proof.
croissants batch 2.1

I find it really therapeutic to play with croissant dough. I told the chef. To which he said: "Mandy, you are something else."

note: I will include the recipe with a step by step pictures instruction when I make croissants again next week. Stay tune!

17 comments:

Lauren said...

I can't wait for the full instructions!!! I really really love a good croissant and someday want to be able to make my own but it's a bit of a daunting process. Thanks for making it easy!

Lauren said...

I can't wait for you to detail the process for making croissants. I love a good croissant and someday want to make tasty ones. I can't wait for you to make it simple.

Memória said...

I'm looking forward to the process photos as well. These croissants are lovely! I love making laminated dough.

zwischengang - intermediate course said...

croissants is one thing on my list to do. thanks for sharing.

Eliana said...

What a relaxing thing to do on your day off. I wish I had the patience and skill to make these beauties. Maybe one day.

Lynnette said...

I love to make croissants but usually wait for the colder weather. Thanks for sharing.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

You're so right about how different it is to bake at home and in a professional enviorment. Your croissants and pain au chocolat are gorgeous.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Beautiful croissants! You are indeed lucky to do what you love and love what you do.

Bertha said...

Your croissant looks really lovely, can't wait until you make your next one

Maytina said...

Croissants are so amazingly good, I can't be trusted with more than a couple because I will shamelessly eat them all. :P If they're homemade though, I'd at last be able to claim I need to know what they taste like.

Patricia said...

Thanks for the tip on the Plugra butter - I am looking forward to your instructions.

Cluinary Institute LeNotre

AK @ Incontinence Supplies said...

They look delicious.. but i'm not sure i have the patience to make them over a period of 2 days!

I'll just go to the bakery :o)

Sabine said...

These look absolutely amazing! I am an amateur baker, but I recently gave pain au chocolat a try. I was really excited about it, but they went very wrong. It was a combination of using whole wheat flour (what was I thinking?!), and making them on a below freezing day (they rose in a cold room). Anyway, it would be wonderful if you wrote out some tips and instructions, you seem to know what you're doing :)

Steven said...

These looks so yummy. Yours look so delicious

bee hooi said...

i looking forward to have your croissants recipe with step by step photo. thank u

bee hooi said...

i look forward to have your croissants recipe and step by step process photo. thank u

Shrey Patel said...

Hi,

Baking Croissants at home is very different from Professional Baking. It's hard to make Croissants at home.

Your Croissant looks really amazing i think you have made many times at home.

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