Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Butter Bonanza, part 1

I say part 1 just because I am assuming there will be at least 20 other times when I use over 5 pounds of butter during one day of school. From here on in, I hope to keep a running tally.

Today we started preparing our croissants and danish dough. Much like making puff pastry, this involves wrapping a phone book-sized piece of butter in dough, then rolling it out, folding it up like a letter, and chilling it for 30 minutes. Then we repeat rolling, folding, and chilling EIGHT BILLION TIMES. The biggest difference between puff pastry and things like croissants is yeast. Croissants and Danish are yeasted, which makes them super puffy and delicious. Puff pastry uses steam as its only leavener (so there is no yeast or baking powder).

Freshly folded dough! That big ole slab is going to make 100 croissants tomorrow.

As you can imagine, all of this chilling in between rolls leaves us with a lot of time on our hands. Fear not, though -- we never waste time! Today we made biscuits and scones and experimented with crazy flavors. We made Parmesan herb:

Here they are, hot off the rack. I wish that this photo was scratch and sniff because these biscuits were dang good.

We also shaped and baked the brioche that we made yesterday. I am not sure if you guys are fans of brioche, but let me tell you: THIS DOUGH IS THE BUTTERIEST EVER. Seriously. It's basically a clogged artery crammed into a cute little ruffly muffin tin. They are delicious and totally worth eating once in awhile, but my advice is this: don't butter your brioche. It's already included in the price of admission.

In my opinion, the best thing about brioche is that they look like little boobs. I couldn't stop giggling as we were taking them out of the oven, because I am eight years old:

Ok, well I should correct myself and say that most of them look like boobs. For unexplained reasons, my group somehow ended up with a brioche that looked like a turtle... ?Slow and steady wins the race... but not the cooking competition. This one got hidden under the table, pronto.

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