So, where shall we begin?
I made croissants.
And when I say that, I don't mean I made crescent rolls. I didn't pop a can of anything. I mean, I made, from scratch, over two days, real live actual butter-and-pastry croissants. It's tempting to end that statement with the phrase "so, suck it", but that is completely unnecessary, and not valid, because while I made croissants, this, my first batch was not perfect. But I learned, oh did I learn, and my next batch will be perfection. And in the mean time, you can still be totally impressed with me.
The lovely Julie at Willow Bird Baking issued a challenge a few weeks ago, and I find it impossible to resist a cooking challenge that promised to be as satisfying as this :) So when I had a good weekend to devote to the effort, I followed her directions, advice, and very helpful illustrations (also, some help from Julia Child with regards to butter-bashing), and the result was fantastic, and oh so very satisfying. I thought they were best served warm, with a little butter and a drizzle of honey, but anyway you served them, they were pretty fantastic.
In hindsight, I would probably do a few more folds/turns with the dough. Once I got the technique down, I really enjoyed the measuring, folding, and rolling, and formed quite an attachment to my lovely little bundle of pastry :) A few more turns would yield even more flaky layers, which, let's face it, can only be viewed as improvement! Also, I'd be much more liberal with the egg wash. The other croissant graduates' pictures boast much more golden, shiny croissants than me, and this is all about my light touch with the wash. Despite these few small shortcomings, the result was still pretty impressive, and enough to make me feel like an official croissant master! I'm pretty sure these will find there way onto my Christmas morning brunch menu this year...
Next post, I'll have some of my new favorite cake pictures, and Matt in his own personal Man vs. Food challenge at the Fountain City Diner (*spoiler alert*, food, sadly, was victorious).