I finally got my DVD store membership the other day. To celebrate I rented “It’s Complicated” with Meryl Streep – whom I adore! There is one scene where she makes fresh croissants. Cue montage with Meryl,music and croissant triangle faux bikini top – rent it, you’ll see what I mean.
My “monkey see / monkey do” button switched on and I thought “Heyyyyyy…. I could eat some fresh homemade croissants right about now…” I immediately began to fantasise about Ottolenghi like, perfect croissants. Croissants with so many layers that they shatter into slivers when you take a bite. You find shards of crisp croissant hiding in the the oddest places for the rest of the day, and you have such fond memories that you eat said shard even if the place it was nestled in was less then ideal.
But between the craving and the eating lay 24 hours.
Because first I had to make a bread dough, then I had to incorporate 290g of butter into a paltry 500g of flour! It’s easy to begin with. I got cocky thinking “I nailed this dough! You just need to show this dough whose boss.” Yeah right! By roll 3, I was swearing furiously at Meryl and her stupid croissant dough bikini. By roll 6 I was quietly perspiring and little L was looking at me and mentally tapping her foot impatiently (she is too little to actually tap her foot but I got the message).
I finally got to the end of our odyssey and put two trays of croissants through the oven. Result… Eh…
…if I were a teacher marking a student I would say something like…”good effort!” which let’s face it is tantamount to a big slap in the face! There were layers but not enough (I blame it on butter seepage during rolling). The outside was a bit tough, probably because I was throwing flour at the dough instead of sprinkling it on.
I worked hard on those puppies though, so I ate 5 of them. Now I don’t think I will be able to look a croissant in the eye for a while. I froze 10 and still have another 10 waiting for me on the kitchen counter so I am thinking a walk in the Tiergarten tomorrow and a visit to the duck pond.
I blame two people for my croissant ordeal. Meryl, for making it look like So much fun and Mr. Ottolenghi for having shown me what the perfect croissant tastes like.
As for the recipe, well..l it’s 250g flour, 250g strong white flour, 290g butter, 290 ml milk, 15g yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 45g sugar.
Oh it’s long, too long for me to type out with my index fingers on this iPad and my Mac died. But I will come back and update this when I get a replacement. Although really, I think there are better teachers on this subject out there….