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Croissants – part one

March 28, 2012

Croissants provingThe last time I made croissants, the butter, in its envelope of dough. got too warm despite having my air conditioning turned to the Arctic setting.  As I rolled it out a huge bubble of air was created which, eased along by my rolling pin, burst at the edge sending butter oozing out of the side.  It felt like a creature that I was trying to tame – very unsuccessfully.  I flung the lot into the bin and instantly developed a severe case of fear-of-croissant-making (the dough division of Mageirocophobia).

So I thought that this month’s Fresh From the Oven baking challenge would be perfect desensitization therapy and was determined to give them another go.  Then suddenly it was the 28th of the month and not a homemade, buttery, flakey, morsel in sight.  Excuses, I have many – my daughters’ school show, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Taste of Dubai, a Fooderati Arabia picnic,  invites to Baker & Spice, Solis Bistro, Donatello, Royal China and the Nobu Garden party plus working on the Food Photography and styling workshop with Meeta.  Add in working for living and putting a meal on the table every night – you know the usual.  However, maybe it was subconscious avoidance.  The fear was deep-rooted.  I couldn’t let this one go.


Grasping the nettle, I set to.  The step by step instructions and pictures by Lavender and Lovage were superb.  The ‘dotting’ technique (rather than trying to roll out a slab of butter) was much simpler, although by the end I did have a bit of seepage, despite cranking up the air-conditioning and lots of time in between stages in the fridge.  I rolled the little devils up – they looked a bit like they’d been made by a contestant on the Generation Game. And that pushed me further and further towards the end of the day….when darkness falls (making food photography impossible unless you have an expensive fancy light – which I don’t).

So was the result flakey, buttery croissants to die for (or at least smother in jam and tear into pieces)?

Croissants ?

Come back on Friday and I’ll tell you.

They’ll also be a collection of croissants on Utterly Scrummy Food for Families in the next couple of days.

Do you have a food-making phobia or a culinary bête noir?  It’s good to talk.

  1. March 28, 2012 10:17 pm

    You have no idea how terrible it feels not having given this one a try. I wanted to so much. i think I will just do it outside of the baking together thing. I have to nail this one.

    I am glad you got to it and made it possible. I am sure they must have looked heavenly.

    The b&W photos look wonderful.

    • March 29, 2012 7:00 am

      Thanks for the nice comment about the pics. Give it a go – I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog….love to see how you get on. They’re tricky little things but this method and instructions make it easier than you think.

  2. March 28, 2012 10:33 pm

    Lovely! I still have to try making croissants… i’ve made puff pastry but never that.



    • March 29, 2012 6:58 am

      I’ve struggled with puff pastry too so I am impressed that you made it Rosa. I think the temperatures here (and my lack of patience!) make it quite difficult.

  3. March 28, 2012 11:12 pm

    Croissants were a real bug bear of mine too…I only really cracked them when I went on a bread making course with Tom Herbert of Hobbs House Bakery and The Fabulous Baker Brothers fame!

    • March 29, 2012 6:57 am

      Lucky you – I’m looking at bread making courses to take this summer. Hobbs House is not far from my home town in Gloucestershire.

      • March 29, 2012 11:57 am

        Would definitely recommend Tom’ course-hugely fun! The other good bread making courses nearby is at the Bertinet Cookery school in Bath -Richard has his very individual style and way of bread making and again it is a great day but expensive and still the places are quickly old out!!

      • March 29, 2012 12:06 pm

        That’s the other course I’m looking at. Better make a quick decision! Bath is my adopted second home!

  4. crasterkipper permalink
    March 28, 2012 11:34 pm

    I like the suspense…can’t wait for the next installment now! . . .

    • March 29, 2012 6:56 am

      Neither can I – it involves eating croissants 🙂

  5. March 29, 2012 2:16 am

    Can’t wait till Friday… May COLOUR return!

    • March 29, 2012 6:55 am

      Oh it will Ishita – but I was quite enjoying the moody monochrome for a change.

  6. March 29, 2012 10:12 am

    the start of them look great! And I am glad you found the time 🙂

  7. March 29, 2012 10:54 am

    From the shape of your lovely rolled croissants in those pics I’m thinking this story had a happy ending? Can’t wait to see the final photos – fingers tightly crossed but I bet they turned out flaky, buttery and delicious!

  8. Lara permalink
    March 29, 2012 1:20 pm

    Wow Sally.. Croissants must be one of the breeder things to make. I love your guts and the intrigue you create.. I think for this part of my life I will just enjoy buying them:) but it’s also admirable for me to watch and learn:)

  9. Lara permalink
    March 29, 2012 1:21 pm

    Not breeder! Hardest!:)

  10. March 29, 2012 3:38 pm

    OHHH THE SUSPENSE! I can’t wait to hear the results…but I get the feeling that these ones were a hit.
    [and now I have an uber croissant craving.]

  11. March 29, 2012 9:45 pm

    Mmmm well they look impressive, Sally! Fingers crossed they turned out! Got to say I’m a sucker for croissants toasted with ham and cheese… I’ve never attempted to make any of my own batch but I feel inspired by your efforts!

    As for my own food-making phobia, I always struggle with fishcakes. It seems like they should be simple and they certainly never look impressive, but for me they always turn out soggy or fall apart, which no amount of draining or chilling seems to cure. But, I love experimenting with the flavours so I will keep trying!

    • March 31, 2012 8:02 am

      I’ve never had a problem with fish cakes – isn’t that strange? Ham and cheese….ooooh what an excellent idea.

  12. March 30, 2012 7:27 am

    I am excited to see the final result! Hopefully they turned out for you! Your black and whites look great!

    • March 31, 2012 8:03 am

      Both batches gone in 60 seconds …well nearly!

  13. March 30, 2012 8:19 pm

    I can’t wait to see the finished croissants! I have been fantasizing (yes, I have!) about making croissants one day. Perhaps that day is fast approaching!

    • March 31, 2012 8:04 am

      Do it Magda! You can go off and do other things in between the stages but they just take a bit of planning. Well worth the effort.

  14. March 31, 2012 12:47 pm

    Wow, it looks great! I have never made them myself!?

  15. Dima Sharif permalink
    April 1, 2012 8:23 am

    Hahaha, I really enjoyed reading this post Sally. I remember when I first attempted puff pastry!!! Yup it was a hazardous experience lol could have been named something along the lines of death by butter frustration!!!
    The dotting method does take the edge out, however I find the dough doesn’t flake as much as in the enveloped method. Did you notice any difference?

    • April 1, 2012 8:32 am

      Well the difference was that I managed to make them! However, yes I think you are right that you don’t have the fineness of layers, they were a little doughy but none the worse for that. The taste was really good. I’ve only ever made rough puff pastry myself….such a coward!

  16. April 7, 2012 6:11 pm

    I must confess I did chicken out at this challenge! I am about to click through to part 2, I’m sure they’re a success, please tell me they’re a success, they look perfect before you bake them!


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