Oui ou Non

Croissants are my holy grail. So far, my attempts at the elusive flaky confection of air and butter are more non than oui.

I keep trying.

The last batch was under-proofed and too dense to eat. First batch, the dough was close but I ran out of European butter and added a patch of the regular stuff. Some of those croissants were edible, some leaked butter.

I made them for Brat – sort of. At the last minute we tried to turn them into Pan au Chocolate. After Brat picked out the chocolate we tossed the leaden blobs of bread.

Todays batch wasn’t much better. I was patient with the proof, followed the instructions which called for the triple expansion of dough. Missed the jiggle the recipe called for and thought maybe, just maybe, I was about to bake real croissants.

Yeah, not yet. Over-proofed. Those puppies lost an inch and came out of the oven in a pool of butter. The only one impressed with the bake was Roxy. That dog would levitate for a stick of butter.

So I’m back to sourdough. Especially sourdough with roasted garlic and rosemary.

But sooner, or later, I’ll try again. The dog will whine with anticipation, and my oh-so-smart sweetheart will head outside, far, far away from the danger zone.

27 Replies to “Oui ou Non”

  1. Oh, I feel your pain. I made my first stab at olive oil mayonnaise today. It started out creamy but then, as I got impatient with adding the oil, it just turned to slop. It has the consistency of salad dressing so my dogs might get some dribbled on their kibble.

  2. Actually, your efforts are impressive. My sourdough has been about as successful as your croissants! I look forward to hearing of your laminated success.

    1. Took me a far amount of time to get good loaves too. Keep at it Roger. It gets easier!
      (And I’m afraid I lament more than I laminate but I’ll try!)

  3. Ugh baking has always been an uphill battle for me, and I rarely get great results. I avoided baking for years because I just figured it was just creating extra dishes for some subpar version of yummy things at the store! Fast forward to milk, egg, and gluten allergies, and I now do much more experimental baking. If the results aren’t great I have an excuse! I’ve actually gotten quite a feel for textures now, although croissants are way out of my league. A gluten free sourdough sounds like a fun next project. We successfully made gf pie crust last holiday and we very proud. I’m sure the croissants of your dreams are just around the corner! Also smart cookie to stay away from the thunderclouds in the kitchen.

    1. I didn’t make a good loaf until I read Barbara O’Neal’s The Secret of Everything. It’s a beautiful novel and she shares a great recipe for cinnamon roles. Her description of how bread should feel spoke to me. How great you’re willing to experiment. That must make the wins special indeed. I adore Smart Cookie, he’s a lover not a fighter.

      1. Definitely something I should look into if it speaks to textures. It doesn’t translate particularly well, but if I have a starting place of how regular baking works it helps a lot! Hubby’s sister is an accomplished baker and she has had so many wonderful insights that have been so helpful. She also experiments with sweet treats often, so they don’t feel like they are going without. Smart cookie sounds like a dear and we definitely have one similar at our house!

  4. Lol, Kelly. I shouldn’t laugh, but can appreciate your experiences with baking so far. Two of our children (the boys) are apprentice bakers. So, it’s awesome what they bring home and of course the tales they tell of their baking misadventures 😊

    1. We’re always laughing too. How terrific your boys are bakers and bringing home the goods. When the grandkids were here I was hoping for artwork. Instead, they went on a baking binge. Studding bread dough with raisins and pressing it into cookies. Free form pretzels were a sticky hit.

  5. Baking is something I enjoy and I’m quite good at it. My grandmother was once the head bakery chef at the Russian Tea Room in NYC and she taught me many things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried making croissants and failed! I’ve come close but something’s always off. Why should it be such a struggle? I have to remind myself how long it took me to master biscotti so I will not give up! How I love a good croissant! 🥐

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