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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Does A LOT of dough + A LOT of butter + 183 E-mails Make?

Why A LOT of fun & giggling, of course! Ohh and there was also a dash of panicking and then finally the outcome: Croissants!

Warning: Heavily photographed post ahead..

Croissant Day
Cute lil buttery soldiers aren't they?

Aww yes, kids - the five SEVEN of us kooky gals are back with this month's baking assignment cross-post. It all started when two gals were craving a good pretzel. After that a few other gals decided they'd like to join in on the fun so we had five gals craving a good biscotti, which was great! And what's happened since? Oh yeah, babies.. another two gals wanted in on the fun and we welcomed them with open arms!

Croissant Day
Ohh that flaky goodness!

This month's craving was slightly more involved than our past baking adventures. To say the very least. God. We had 1 gal who had made croissants once before in her baking class and two gals who use to make croissants for a living.. and then - well.. we had 4 gals who didn't know what they hell they were doing. har! And so we formed an e-mail support system - you know, a way to ask if the step you were working on was similar to their experiences.. or a way to share a tip or a blunder that you had experienced. Mmm hmm.. or it could or could not have went like this:

From: Lisa
To: Ivonne, Peabody, Helen, Brilynn, Veronica, Jenny

Subject: The bad juju is starting ALREADY!!

"Ugh!

Last week when I made my preferment it was of batter like consistency -
tonight, it's like dough??? I double checked my measurements of 3/4 c. milk
1 TB yeast & 1 1/3 c. flour. How did this happen? Should I make new? I'm
panicking people!

xoxo"


From: Ivonne
To: Lisa, Peabody, Helen, Brilynn, Veronica, Jenny

Subject: The bad juju is starting ALREADY!!

"Hi Lisa,

I made my preferment earlier and mine was also like dough. I let it rise for
2 hours and it rose very nicely into a puffy sponge that smelled strongly of
yeast. It was very similar to the sponges that we made in baking class so
I'm thinking that this is okay.

Ivonne"


Notice the difference in tone between the two? She was my pillar, that Ivonne.

Croissant Day

That was Friday night, and that was just 2 of the 16 replies for that thread. When it was all said and done (around 11 pm), we had all discovered that Ivonne was going to be waking back up at 4 am to start her dough as she had classes all day Saturday, and Helen was thinking about doing bad things to her husband when he announced surprise guests were coming the next night for a dinner party:

From: Helen
To: Lisa, Ivonne, Brilynn, Peabody, Veronica, Jenny

Subject: The bad juju is starting ALREADY!!

"I can't sleep....I debated getting up early and then form my dough and go run, but I'd be to obsessed with it while running and might lose focus. Then I have to train 3 clients in the afternoon and hubby just told me about a dinner party for tomorrow night. I could have killed him. "Hello! Croissant Freaking Weekend here!" I might do the dough between work and dinner and roll it at night. I might be the last one posting....
BTW, the day for our post is the 30th right?! "Courage" everybody!"


heheheee!

Croissant Day

But Saturday was a new day and we were all up early talking about what we had in store for the rest of the day. There was going to be a lot of dough in our small mixers and the possibility of mixer engines dying a painful death because of it. There was going to be a lot of rising time, a lot of folding time and a lot of time to sit and think and panic in between steps. Some of us were concentrating so hard on the steps to good croissant making that this soon came through the wire (cable?):

From: Jenny
To: Lisa, Ivonne, Peabody, Brilynn, Veronica, Helen

Subject: It's going to be a good juju day! Dammit!

"Just about to go pull my preferment out and get moving - also been
distracted trying to figure out where the regular milk disappeared to for
the kids cereal (seriously, the entire jug is missing!)"


Followed a few hours later with,

From: Jenny
To: Lisa, Ivonne, Peabody, Brilynn, Veronica, Helen

Subject: It's going to be a good juju day! Dammit!

"Well I just ran into my first problem - my mixer was definitely not big
enough for this - I thought I was going to kill it with that max of 4
minutes of mixing, even when I kept turning it off to pull apart the dough
(so I knew it was elastic because it kept springing back together!)

And fyi, the missing milk was found, in the kitchen cupboard where the mugs
are, probably sitting there since 4pm yesterday, where I probably put it.
I've never done that before, so I think I was very, very distracted with my
croissant prep at the time!"


hahahaha!

Croissant Day

Veronica was holding her own so far, but soon we found out she was having a different problem all together:

From: Veronica
To: Brilynn, Jenny, Lisa, Helen, Ivonne, Peabody

Suject: Re: It's going to be a good juju day! Dammit!

"I just formed my rectangles and refrigerated them. Those are great notes Lisa. I'm going to write mine down too. My cat is playing a guest starring role in this. He has been driving me crazy since last night. I bought a new pastry brush yesterday and washed it and left it to dry. He got on the counter (which he isn't allowed) and ran away it . The hubby ran after him and carried him back and he still had the pastry brush in his mouth (kinda like a dog with a stick). Had to wash the pastry brush real good again. This morning he woke up with me and has been watching me make the dough. I'm guarding my ingredients and utensils like a hawk!"

pashmi

After seeing Pashmi, I dissolved into a fit of giggles..

har!

Later that morning, to my surprise, we received an update from Ivonne that went a lil something like this:

From: Ivonne
To: Helen, Brilynn, Veronica, Jenny, Peabody, Lisa

Subject: How I Learned to Hate Croissants!

"Good morning my friends!

I got up at 5:30 this morning to roll out the croissant dough. I finished about 10 minutes ago.

To begin with, I found the dough very difficult to roll out. While the butter was distributed nicely and didn’t really pop through or anything, it took some serious upper body strength to roll out this dough. (Note to self: visit gym.)

Once I rolled it out, I then divided it in half lengthwise, because I decided to make mini-croissants instead of regular sized ones.

When I rolled out my second batch of dough, I also divided it in half lengthwise and made croissants with one half and chocolate ones with the other. Mainly because I got tired of cutting and rolling croissants. In total I would say I got about 30 mini croissants and about 20 chocolate ones.

I’ve attached a few pictures.

While this was an interesting process, and I’m glad I did it, I honestly can’t see myself making croissants at home on a regular basis. To begin with, and perhaps this is a commentary on our hectic lives, my schedule just doesn’t fit the steps it takes to make croissants. Secondly, it’s damn hard! Thirdly, I’ve got some amazing pastry shops within driving distance that make kick-ass croissants.

But I’m glad we tried! Kisses to us!"


My pillar? Although not nearly fallen, was showing signs of crumbling. hahahaa!

Croissant Day

So you kind of get the idea of what we were going through, yes? THREE days of croissant making is a ride that I enjoyed immensely due to the constant chit-chatting through e-mail. It was also a ride I doubt I'll be taking again any time soon, even if my lil croissants turned out flakey, buttery and delicious (especially the pain au chocolat and pain au jambon, fancy French speak for croissants filled with chocolate and croissants filled with ham and gruyere cheese). As Ivonne stated above, croissant making just doesn't fit in with most of our lifestyles these days - personally, I had to pause the movie I was watching like 4 times! Sheesh! =)

Croissant Day Croissant Day

From: Lisa
To: Ivonne, Brilynn, Veronica, Helen, Jenny, Peabody

Subject: Re: I'm done!

"Okay well.. I don't know if I've done a foolish thing or not.. I did a very quick search on the net for advice.. got 1/2 that said you could freeze the dough after rolling but before proofing and got 1/2 that said you should freeze after proofing.

Knowing that pizza dough and croissant dough are not even remotely the same - I still decided to go the route of my pizza dough - which is, after it raises the first time, I freeze individual amounts before the 2nd rise. So that's what I did.. instead of proofing that first batch, I threw them into the deep freeze.

The 2nd batch is proofing now.. I did some mini plain, some mini chocolate and some slightly bigger than mini ham & cheese.

I'll send you pictures after I bake them later this afternoon.

I can't thank you gals enough for all the support and giggles and panic we've shared! Although I hope, nay PRAY, that next month's project is much more simple - I hope we all manage to bake again on the same day so we can "discuss" throughout the process. :D

Ivonne and I discussed briefly last night - about everyone submitting one suggestion for next month's project and then we'll hold a vote. After the vote we'll start a list of the "losers" for future projects so hopefully we'll get to make everyone's suggestions. How does that sound to you guys?

xoxox"


Yes, I froze some for enjoyment on a later date and yes, it appears that this monthly cross-post isn't nearing an end anytime soon.. HOORAY!! =)

Everyone, at this point, had agreed that next month's baking adventure will be less involved - some were a lil more than agreeable:

From: Jenny
To: Lisa, Helen, Peabody, Veronica, Ivonne, Brilynn

Subject: Re: I'm done!

"So next month we are doing something simple, right? Like micorwave popcorn? :-)"

From: Peabody
To: Ivonne, Helen, Lisa, Veronica, Brilynn, Jenny

Subject: Re: I'm done!

"Now you all know why I groaned when you said this is what we were doing. Next to cream puffs these are my least favorite...and I have made them a ton."

Thankfully, Peabody had made her croissant earlier in the week, as she had a mishap over the weekend and hurt her leg! Ugh! We're all hoping she's feeling better =)

Croissant Day

So, after 183 e-mails, roughly 12 pounds of butter, 389 pounds of dough (that might be a slight exaggeration) and aching shoulder, back and stomach muscles we were done, sated and very, very happy croissant bakers. :D

Croissant Day

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Comments on "What Does A LOT of dough + A LOT of butter + 183 E-mails Make?"

 

Anonymous Ivonne said ... (1/30/2007 8:18 AM) : 

Lisa,

I have tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard! I can't believe what a wreck we all seemed like! Reading those e-mails is just too funny!!!

Your croissants look so cute and delicious. You did an amazing job.

But as I said to Peabody, let us NEVER do this again!

 

Anonymous Jerry said ... (1/30/2007 8:32 AM) : 

Good Lord Lis those look fabulous!

If I had a hope in H-E-double-toothpicks of actually pulling that off, I might just try it.

I think I'll stick to my glazes and meats for now though and leave the breads to my wife, who is exceptional at them when she has the time.

 

Anonymous veron said ... (1/30/2007 8:49 AM) : 

Lisa your croissants are awesome! But your croissant post definitely deserves post of the year for this years awards! It is too funny and engaging!We are like a couple of Bridget Jones...:)

 

Blogger Brilynn said ... (1/30/2007 9:36 AM) : 

I love the mass amount of pictures! And the fact that not only did you made the regular croissants, but you made chocolate ones AND ham and cheese ones, you're ridiculous!

 

Blogger Linda said ... (1/30/2007 10:48 AM) : 

Lisa - you have an absolutely stunning blog. so glad to have found you.

do you know you are probably the fourth person posting about croissants i've come across this morning? i've never wanted one so badly in my life!

i really like your photo set up too! great shots!

i've always been so intimidated by baking -- well since i can remember - specifically croissants but i just might give it a go this weekend.

 

Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (1/30/2007 1:21 PM) : 

This is such a fun read. Your photos are stellar! And I am so glad I can say I did these once years ago, long before the internet so I missed out on all the fun you guys had. Croissants are not a light undertaking!

 

Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (1/30/2007 1:39 PM) : 

Lis,

I always say that cooking is fun - you just proved me right! :D

This is an amazing post - wonderful reading!

Your croissants are beautiful - you go, girl! :D

 

Blogger breadchick said ... (1/30/2007 3:35 PM) : 

Lisa, you crack me up! I just visited Brilynn's post. Next stop Ivonne. By the end of reading this tag team cooking effort I will have gained weight!

 

Anonymous peabody said ... (1/30/2007 5:07 PM) : 

LOL- I love that you included the crazy panic posts!
You all know the next time I groan at the idea of making something...it is with good reason :)
They turned out lovely though.

 

Blogger Lis said ... (1/30/2007 6:53 PM) : 

Ivonne - I was cracking up posting it.. and praying you guys wouldn't get mad that I shared some of the "gems" hehee And thank you =) I can't wait for everyone to see yours - there's going to be a lot of droolin' happening in your comments! :D

Jerry - Thanks! I hope she makes time soon.. I'd LOVE to see!

Veronica - heheheee thanks honey =) hey, not only did we laugh and carry on all weekend but we found out we were separated at birth! ha!

Bril - oh heck, stickin' the chocolate and ham & cheese in the middle of them as the EASY part. lol

Linda - Thanks so much! What nice compliments =) If you go for it this weekend, make sure you post, because I wanna see how pretty yours turn out! :D

Tanna - You ain't just whistlin' dixie cups! :D

Patricia - Thank you, dear! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. =)

breadchick - No, YOU crack me up! hehehe

Peabody - BELIEVE ME - the next time you start groaning, I'm going to start running in the opposite direction. har!

 

Anonymous Shawnda said ... (1/30/2007 11:50 PM) : 

What a great post!

 

Anonymous joey said ... (1/31/2007 3:42 AM) : 

I have read the other croissant posts and enjoyed them all...and now yours ties them all together! Fantastic post! I really enjoyed reading it :) And your croissants look great too :)

 

Blogger Mary said ... (1/31/2007 4:00 AM) : 

Sounds like you gals had so much fun with the croissant project! Your croissants look wonderful.

 

Anonymous gilly said ... (1/31/2007 11:25 AM) : 

L
O
L

OMG you guys are too funny! I'd love to make croissants - and I even have a recipe ready... but I'm torn between "I HAVE to try these" and "There's no way in !$%@ I want to try these"!

Beautiful pictures BTW!

 

Blogger Marianne said ... (1/31/2007 2:43 PM) : 

Those are GORGEOUS and I want one right this minute! I demand it!

 

Blogger Helene said ... (1/31/2007 3:09 PM) : 

Thanks for keeping our spirits up with your great sense of humor and wacky personality (I mean that in a good way).
You are a trooper because I know how much you dreaded this!
They are gorgeous. Next batch I am doing ham and cheese, looks great!

 

Anonymous Kristen said ... (1/31/2007 3:13 PM) : 

I think an even better project would be for you gals to get together, make your goodies and then send them out to all of us reading your blogs so we can critique them for you :)
I would be more than happy to do that for you ;)

Your croissants look amazing. This was a fantastic post!

 

Blogger Lis said ... (1/31/2007 4:13 PM) : 

Shawnda - Thank you, so much!

Joey - Thanks so much, I'm glad you liked it. =)

Mary - We did, it was a lot of fun - glad you'll be joining us next month! :D

Gilly - You are back! Yay!! How's the house? I think if you are all settled in you should make these.. they will make your new house smell wonderful when they are baking :D

Marianne - OKAY! I'm sending, RIGHT NOW! hehe

Helen - awww thanks :D If it wasn't for you and your pointers on the eve of croissant weekend, I wouldn't have been nearly as calm! (meaning I would have panicked 10 minutes into it instead of waiting 20 min.) :D

Kristen - Thanks lady =) I'd be happy to send them out, but Marianne just got the last batch (I was in fear of my life, you see).. but next time, I'll be thinking of you! hehehe

 

Blogger Callipygia said ... (1/31/2007 5:00 PM) : 

It is hard to imagine something as beautiful and delicate as these pastries can produce so much hair pulling and teeth gnashing. Well, they look so so good and gave us readers a good dose of amusement!

 

Blogger sher said ... (1/31/2007 8:04 PM) : 

What a saga!! It really would make a great film. Someone write a script! And the "little soldiers" look marvelous!

 

Blogger Susan said ... (1/31/2007 10:52 PM) : 

I actually gained 2 pounds just reading this. Seriously.

They are just beautiful, and I so enjoy your site!

 

Blogger Kirsten said ... (2/01/2007 12:32 AM) : 

Lis - SOOOO funny!!!

You are so brave, and I can't describe how entertaining it has been visiting all of your sites and checking out the croissant baking drama.

Yours are beautiful and look so delicious, although I feel exhausted from hearing about how much work they are. I'll be continuing to buy mine from the bakery. :)|

Loved the post!!!

Kirsten

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (2/01/2007 5:04 AM) : 

They look absolutely fantastic! It sounds like it was a great deal of fun, as well as giving you lasses the opportunity and motivation to try something that you may not otherwise have done! :D

 

Blogger Gattina said ... (2/01/2007 4:47 PM) : 

Lis, bravo! it's done, and they're beautiful! You gals, if really go for popcorn, count me in ;p

 

Blogger D-man said ... (2/01/2007 5:14 PM) : 

Uh! Puff pastry! I have not attempted it yet, now I am even more scared......really though I'll do it one of these days. Lis, while reading this though I saw that stuff about pretzels and biscotti and I have a few things to say: I just did a post about pretzels, so let me know, and the biscotti thing.....I have an old family recipe for that one (love those Italian roots through my dad's side). If anyone would be able to talk me into sharing it, right now you could easily talk me out of it.....email me sometime with the re line: nana's anise cookies

 

Blogger Elle said ... (2/01/2007 10:20 PM) : 

Have been to Brilynn, Peabody adn Ivonne's sites. Yours really ties it together with great humor, too. Y'all are a scream. Wonderful, wonderful photos.

 

Blogger Lis said ... (2/02/2007 11:12 AM) : 

Callipygia - hehe yeah you'd be amazed at the stress you can put on yourself to create something you've only seen in bakeries. =)

Sher - Excellent idea!! Ohhh maybe Julia Roberts would play me! We look so much alike and all. ;)

Susan - Thank you! I really enjoy your site too! :D

Kirsten - hehe thanks! And I'm serious.. can I move in? ;)

Ellie muh luv - it really was fun - you should join us in the future!

Gattina - There's nobody else I'd rather make popcorn with. :D

Dylan - You can betcher bottom dollar that I'll be e-mailing you for the recipe - I heart anise cookies! Thanks! =)

Elle - Aww thanks! I'm glad you stopped by :D

 

Blogger ejm said ... (2/04/2007 6:57 PM) : 

I've just read all of the January croissant chronicles - great stuff! Well done!!

You guys are BRAVE!! So what's next? Capturing your own yeast to make a sourdough?

-Elizabeth

P.S. By the way, you have all succeeded in making me vow never to make croissants :^D ...even though they look like they are absolutely worth the huge effort.

 

Anonymous laura k said ... (2/07/2007 8:20 AM) : 

Oh man, I have always wanted to try my hand at making croissants. It must have been nice to have some backup, a good support group, what have you. Sounds daunting...But they look gorgeous.

 

Anonymous mel said ... (6/21/2008 11:17 PM) : 

WoW!! Nice croissant!! Did you guys just use all-purpose flour? or did you add other types of flour??

 

Blogger Lis said ... (6/22/2008 6:36 AM) : 

Hi Mel,

Thanks! The recipe called for AP flour only. If you are interested you can find the recipe here on Veronica's blog. :)

xoxo

 

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