It seems 2020 was the year we all learned to make bread. As lockdowns became more prevalent the shortage of flour and yeast were very serious. Even mail order was sold out. I did make bread then moved on. All this seems so long ago as year two begins.
The last thing I baked before the lockdown were canelés.
During this year I made cakes, soups, cookies, learned how to make a steamed figgy pudding and even jumped on the hot chocolate bomb craze. We are still at home with the endless lockdowns, and my baking motivation is not what it used to be. To get me out the funk, I decided to take a virtual baking class through Sur La Table. I was going to learn how to make croissants. Take a class they said, it will be fun they said.
Well, like any good student I printed out the instructions and measured all the ingredients and had everything ready. Well almost everything, I got the times mixed up. I thought the class 3-5, but had it not been a text message from a friend who was also taking the class, I would have missed it.
Franticly tuning into the class my device couldn’t download any faster, the expletives were flying as the pinwheel was churning to the connection.
Finally, success! I had to have the hubster run to the neighbors for milk, he scored the needed milk from a second neighbor, as the first one only had almond milk. I was behind the steps, but I began to combine the ingredients into the mixer as quickly as I could to catch up. Ah at last I am all caught up. At least for the moment, until I discovered I forgot the salt, I was behind once again as the flour and expletives were flying. At this point I decided two things, I am not good at virtual learning and for the rest of the session I would watch and take notes. I vowed to be ready for day two.
And as a prepared student ready to go for day two. Today was rolling the dough, cutting, proofing, baking and of course tasting.
Following the instructions, the dough was rolled out and cut into nice triangles. Filled some with ham and cheese another filled with almond paste. So, in the end I would have several of each flavor.
How lovely they looked on the baking sheet ready to rise during the proofing process. 30 minutes, 45 minutes they didn’t really rise so much. My kitchen was not as warm to give a good rise out of the dough.
I forged ahead with the final steps of the egg wash and the baking. 22 minutes or 90 degrees internal temperature. The first tray baked for 24 minutes not really 90 degrees internally, so the second batch baked about 26 minutes. The color was better looking, and the internal temperature was 90 degrees!
You need to let them cool for a bit or you will burn your mouth. The anticipation of freshly baked croissants was tough to get through. At last the first bite of my first attempt at baking croissants.
They were buttery and yes, they were flaky, but they were heavy and little dense in the middle. I don’t think I gave them enough time to rise. Lesson learned.
Will I make them again? Yes. I did learn that virtual is nice, but maybe not croissants as the first virtual cooking class you take.
I do have a macarons class scheduled for May. I won’t miss this one.