About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

My Complete Profile

Recent Posts
Menu For Hope III
My Other Gig
Great BBQ Challenge
Busy Boy
Someone Special
Eye For a Bargain
A Day In The Park
Chablis
The Kitchenhand
The Season Continues

Links
1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
Cook (almost) Anything at least once
Cooking Down Under
Cook sister!
Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
David Lebovitz
Deep Dish Dreams
Chef Paz
Chubby Hubby
Eating Melbourne
Eating With Jack
essjay eats
Food Lover's Journey
Gosstronomy
Grab Your Fork
I Am Obsessed With Food
I Eat Therefore I Am
Iron Chef Shellie
Just Desserts
Kalyn's Kitchen
Kitchen Wench
Lobstersquad
Matt Bites
Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Sunnybrae
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tomato
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
WhiteTrashBBQ
Vicious Ange

Food Blog Resources
Food Blog S'cool
I Eat I Drink I Work
Kiplog Food Links

Food for Thought
Autism Victoria
Autism Vox
forget me now
Lotus Martinis
MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
St Kilda Today

Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Croissant 101
When the weather gets really hot, what cooking chores do you undertake? Something easy huh, like churn some icecream, now that would be a good idea. Prepare a salad for a light dinner, mmm, not bad. Anything really that is simple to do. So it was with some trepidation that I set off for my daughter P's house to make croissants on a day when the mercury hit 37 c (98.6 f). She had been asking for ages for me to help; there was that one false start when she put the yeast dough in a tight fitting plastic bag to rest in the fridge overnight and it had simply oozed out everywhere and another attempt went awry when without scales to weigh out the flour, P produced something apparently akin to glue. But on this day, the planets had aligned and her yeast dough was safely in a large bowl in the fridge.

It was not that she didn't have a recipe to follow, for I had faxed her a very good, detailed one from the Roux brothers excellent Patisserie book. But for all the time I have lived on this planet, I have not made croissants simply because the urge wasn't there. But P did have the urge and as a foodie I understood completely, empathetically.

As I drove over, the sun appeared as the orange, glowing end of a lit cigarette, through a haze of tarry, acrid smoke that a giant set of lungs had expelled, turning what should have been blue skies a dull grey. The smell of burning Australian bush was pervasive, a smell that can never be forgotten, containing as it does not only the scent of burnt eucalyptus, but a sense of fear and dread for what is to come. The smoke that had been blown down by the hot, northerly wind was so dense that fire alarms were going off in the city.

Not a good day for pastry making.

I heard Rick Stein say once that life was too short to make puff pastry and I suppose it is, if you have access to a quality product, but where I am no such quality exists. Sure, if I'm making homemade sausage rolls for a party, the supermarket puff is what I use, but for something special like a Beef Wellington, it has to be homemade. Really, it's not all that hard to do, but there is a lot of waiting for the butter to reharden in the fridge so it doesn't break through the layers of pastry. And croissants are simply puff pastry with the addition of yeast.

We set to, rolling out the yeast dough into that four ear shape, so that we could place the butter in the centre and fold each 'ear' back over the butter to fully enclose it, then embarked on rolling and turning and resting (chilling) that builds up the buttery layers giving that characteristic flakiness. It went well for a couple of turns too. Then the heat factor kicked in and butter started leaking through the pastry. More flour and extended resting helped a bit, but P ran out of time and went off to her singing lesson, leaving me to it.

Don't you hate it when you don't read a recipe properly?

Because I have made puff pastry before, I sort of missed the part where you need to rest the rolled up croissants for two hours prior to baking so that they double in size. So when I had finished the rolling and turning, rolled the pastry to the correct thinness, cut the triangle shape, carefully rolled each one up and gave them a distinctive crescent shape, I realized that I wouldn't be able to hang around and taste my first ever batch of croissants. Bloody hell!

So I have to tell you what my kids told me. They were damn good. The three of them said they were just like from the shop, only the shape was a little wonky.

I can live with that.
 
  posted at 7:54 am
  10 comments



10 Comments:
At 9:13 am, Anonymous Amelita said...

Nothing like a good flaky croissant with butter and rasberry jam. Yum! Now you have me wanting one :)

 
At 10:41 am, Anonymous Ellie said...

Oh my god! You're a brave man, to make pastry in that kind of weather! I'm glad to hear they turned out well...maybe next time you can make them at home so you can benefit from all the hard work ;)

 
At 5:10 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi amelita, that is exactly what I would put on....cup of good coffee, great breakfast.

Hi ellie, my daughter had been asking for ages, so when we made the date there was no choice but to go ahead.

 
At 8:45 pm, Anonymous Tanna said...

Wonky shape is A-OK.
I only did croissants once and I thought they were excellent. I'm not sure that my son and his 6 friends (14 y/o) had a lot of appreciation for them.
I can't imagine really pulling croissants off in those temps.
Bravo!!

 
At 9:32 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok so now I am craving home made croissants, I never even contemplated making my own before. Only problem is I cant see when next I will have a whole day spare to make them - good work!

Maybe if I'm going crazy waiting for my baby girl to come along this will be a good way to kill some time

 
At 4:46 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, I think that this might be my only attempt. It is much more civilized to go to the bakery for them, after all the poor baker gets up so early just to make them for me!

Hi ange, it's a two part process, you need to start the day before to make the dough which doesn't take long. If unlike me, you knew what you were doing, maybe two hours the next day, plus two hours rising time. Doesn't the baker sound like the better option?

 
At 12:06 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now our next mission is to make fresh ravioli with our own mixture!! I have a ravioli cutter too!!
-P :)

 
At 4:12 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi darling, whenever you're ready! But this time I want some to take home, okay?

 
At 12:32 pm, Anonymous veron said...

It seems you did a great job on the croissant. Funny story too!
I love the header Ximena made for you, isn't she the best!

 
At 12:44 pm, Anonymous Ivonne said...

Cheers to you, Neil! And that's a great story. Glad to hear from a fellow survivor of the Croissants Wars!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home



Search


Recipe Categories
Soups
Salads
Vegetables
Poultry
Pork
Beef
Cakes & Desserts
Miscellaneous

Archives
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
May 2009
June 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
July 2012

Miscellaneous
AUSTRALIAN FOOD BLOGGERS
Prev ~ List ~ Random ~ Join ~ Next
Site Ring from Bravenet


Site Feed

counter easy hit

Credits
Blog Design by:


Image created by:
Ximena Maier

Powered by:


Photos, Original Recipes, and Text - (C) Copyright: 2005-2010
At My Table by Neil Murray, all rights reserved.
You may re-post a recipe, please give credit and post a link to this site.

Contact Me
Neil Murray

Follow messytable on Twitter