I’ve heard it said that if you can learn to bake a croissant, a real genuine French croissant, then you could learn to bake anything. The dough is supposed to be so finicky and the process so daunting, that few home bakers ever take the time to try it. I think it’s one of those projects that you just have to enter knowing full well you’ll be tied to a rolling pin for most of the day and clumps of flour will collect all around. Mounds of butter will have to be manipulated and you just have to get over the feeling that maybe this much lard just isn’t healthy at all. Basically, you have to know what you’re getting into and accept the challenges along the way. It just occurred to me how the act of forming a pastry is so much like life itself – a little unpredictable and sticky at times, but hopefully worth it all in the end.
I am no master at this task by any means. I had trouble achieving the desired 6-spiral shape of the croissants. I had trouble proofing and clearly mine are not very bronzed. Yet when I think of all the times I tried other croissant recipes or methods and came out with rocks in my oven, I think these were a huge improvement and quite tasty! As you can see from the photo, my “wallet” fold was textbook. I even acquired a marble slab for the project (thank you sweetheart!), which was heaven and will get a lot of use (not to mention extra chocolate batons).
Jim and I keep joking with each other about opening a bakery someday. It’s a joke for many reasons (cash, cash, cash), but when he shot the photo of all the croissants in the sea basket like an offering to the masses a part of me wondered what it would be like to see your own creations in a shop window.
If I could learn to bake anything, who knows what could happen?