For those who don't know, I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. In addition to making fabulous dinners, as previously posted here, I also bake a lot. I probably bake something at least once a week, and I would do it more often if I had more people to feed. However, I can only send food to work with Ben about once a week or so before people start mumbling something about getting fat from all the treats. I can't really blame them. I mean, why do you think the treats all go to work with Ben? We don't want to weigh 800 pounds either.
I usually stick to relatively easy things like cookies, bars, muffins, etc., but this week is special. In honor of my last week of French classes before having the summer off, I decided to make croissants and pains au chocolat for my students. I've wanted to make croissants for a long time due to my love of French pastries, but have you ever looked at a croissant recipe? It is, how you say, intimidating. Hours upon hours of chilling the dough, rolling it out, folding it, repeating the process. Plus, I know how delicious real croissants are and how pathetic the ones you can buy in the grocery store are in comparison. I didn't want to fall short and disappoint myself after a day and a half in the kitchen.
The good news? Actually it's all good news. 1) I made the croissants; 2) They are absolutely completely totally delicious; 3) I used half the dough to make pains au chocolat, which are equally delicious (according to me, Ben just wants the croissants. In fact, he ate two in class last night and was wondering how many he could eat for breakfast today without dropping dead from butter consumption.); and 4) They really weren't very difficult to make.
Sure, they really did take a loooong time. But after reading the recipe and being prepared, I had no kitchen emergencies, no peeking in the oven and gasping, no suspicious poking of what may or may not be a ruined pastry. Nope, just buttery goodness from the oven. If you're interested, I used recipes from epicurious.com for the dough, croissants, and pains au chocolat which you can find here, here, and here.
If you're not feeling that ambitious, you can just look at the pretty pictures and dream that someday I might be in the same city as you and bake them for you.
Bon appétit! And au revoir for the time being; we're heading to Portugal for some sun, good food, and relaxation! Fantastico!