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Sunday, August 16, 2009

A New Category: Flops

Is that not the most piteous looking croissant you've ever seen? It makes me sad just to look at it. Today, I decided that it was time to add a new recipe/post category: flops. The reason is because I learn so much every time I have a flop, and I figured someone out there might benefit from seeing what I did that did not work. I mean, really just did not work. I guess it really could've been worse. I mean some of them ended up with a bit of layering, but nothing close to how a good croissant should be.

In fact, the most successful part of the whole mission was the cut-off scraps that I tied into knots and ate last night. They were not laminated really at all (no surprise there since the scraps were from the edges where there was no butter layered). But they at least turned out fairly light and tasty. I also was a little perplexed that they tasted so flat: I used unsalted butter, as instructed for the butter package, but it tasted like there was no salt at all! Maybe I forgot the salt in the dough... I've been forgetting ingredients quite a bit lately.

The dough was very easy to make and, while many recipes I looked at did not include an egg and the one I used did, I don't think that negatively affected the recipe. It was such a beautiful dough. I think the main problem had to do with the application of the butter "packet": the recipe I used instructed me to cut the butter into small pieces and sprinkle it over the dough in a strategic fashion and then fold and roll to make the laminations in the dough.

Unfortunately, as you can see here, instead of ending up with nice thin, even layers of butter between layers of dough, I ended up with big pockets of butter.

Uh, yeah. So this is what happened to those big blobs of butter: they oozed out of the dough when I baked them this morning and ended up all over the baking pan. Goodness there was a lot of butter squirting out everywhere!

Anyway, nevertheless, I moved forward in blissful ignorance last night. I rolled and cut the croissants the way my book showed me and let them rise until double in bulk. It was getting late at this point, and the book told me I could cover them and refrigerate overnight without any issues and simply bake them off in the morning. Uh huh.

Unfortunately, when I got the pan out of the refrigerator this morning, the croissants were all flat and deflated! I let them sit out for a while, hoping that the yeast would come back to life and poof them back up, but my waiting was in vain. I actually threw away more than half of them. If I'm going to consume those kinds of calories, they're gonna be worth it, dang it!

So here's what I have planned for the next go around:
  • I wonder if something didn't happen to my yeast. Next time I'll be very careful with my temperatures.
  • I think I'll use the same dough since it seemed so lovely.
  • I'll be very sure that I include the salt in the dough and I think I'll use salted butter in the butter package.
  • Instead of adding the butter as little cubes, I think I will warm it enough to be just spreadable and then just be sure that I refrigerate thoroughly between layers.
  • For the next time, I will try to make at least half of the batch in one day and experiment with the others to see if, indeed, they can be made mostly the night before and baked off the next morning.

Hopefully, these changes will make them a lot better! The reason I was so excited about the recipe I used was that the butter package part seemed so much simpler than the traditional method, which appears very time consuming. Hopefully, I can successfully come up with an in between method that produces good product with less effort. I'll let you know how it goes...

1 comment:

  1. It took great courage to write this article. However, I want you to know that it helped me immensely as you reviewed your steps and errors. For me, your article is well worth the time you put into it for I learned a lot. A sincere Thank You!


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