Thursday, January 20, 2011

Croissant Friday! (A day early)

Awwwww yeah. When I tell people I'm studying baking and pastry, the first thing most people ask about is croissants.... mostly "When are you learning to make them?" followed by "Can I come over that day?"

Back when I was a real person, with a full time job in NYC that required a harrowing daily commute, I dumped about 15% of my paycheck into daily iced coffee pitstops at Dean and Deluca. I managed to refrain from baked goods until Fridays, when I'd treat myself with a giant ham and cheese croissant at my desk. This may sound lame, but fantasies of my Friday morning croissant sometimes motivated me though a long week of work.

It may go without saying that since I now eat baked goods for 6+ hours each day, I no longer celebrate Croissant Friday on a regular basis. But, the delicious croissants we made today definitely brought me back to my Dean and Deluca days. These things were AMAZING. Crispy on the outside, super flaky and light on the inside, and but-ter-yyyyyy.

My group made three varieties: spinach and Gruyere (shown in the first picture), pain au chocolat, and plain (shown directly above). The spinach croissants were crazy delicious and everyone gobbled them up in minutes. We essentially made creamed spinach as a filling and topped them with shredded cheese. It sounds gross... but it was brilliant.

We also made Danish today, which are probably my least favorite breakfast pastry. Nothing sounds more disgusting to me than a cheese danish. BARF. These were actually really fun to make, though, because it was like origami with the dough. It's similar to making paper snowflakes -- you fold up the dough, make some cuts, and unfold it to make pretty patterns.

Last but not least, we whipped up some cranberry almond scones. I assume they were delicious, but the scones fell victim to a tragic accident a mere seconds after this photo was shot. The 'oven manager' (this job is way more important than it sounds - essentially one person is responsible for putting products in and out of the oven. It's a very heavy responsibility) accidentally dropped the whole sheetpan on the floor. Whoops.

Let's be honest though... my body probably would have shut down had I ingested one more gram of butter today.... so really, this is a blessing in disguise!

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