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The Croissant Chronicles

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Missy Nov 15, 2012 07:29 AM

Perhaps some of you may recall my post last month. Having just returned from a business trip to Rome and Berlin, I was bemoaning the fact that a croissant at the Rome train station was better than any I had ever had in the US. My 16 year old son, who seems to have the "hand" for bread, said ... stop moaning, let's just make some.
Our first efforts resulted in some big, beautiful, puffy, delicious, and feather-light... rolls. We had no problem making them disappear but clearly we needed more practice. Ralph the Chowhound Croissant King advised us about using European style butter, rolling techniques and patience..We changed butters, changed flours, changed resting times, worked on rolling technique.. We ran into a few issues, like butter leaking during proofing, but slowly the croissants morphed from roll-like to croissant-like. Batch 5 was good enough to go to school on the day that Matt's marketing class was supposed to be supplying coffee-break sustenance to the faculty. He was able to take in about 14-some plain, some almond-cream filled, some filled with chocolate - to considerable appreciation.
Batch 6, however, was the magic number. I submit the attached photos as proof.
Along the way, we stumbled on joepastry.com
If you aren't familiar with this blog, you should be. Joe is a great writer, and his website is so full of pastry recipes that you might dive in and never come up for air. All have step-by-step photos to illustrate the technique. We've only made one so far - whoopie pies - and they were so good that Matt's decided to add those to his sales list. Oh did I mention... he's gonna start selling homemade croissants to the kids at school.. Apparently you can't have any financial transactions taking place on school property, so I guess he'll have to hang out just over the line, and his customers will have to seek him out a bit clandestinely. But that should give you some kind of idea about just how good these are.
Below you'll find out first effort... followed by the pictures of Lucky 6.