Since many of our previous projects have been left open ended, today was a day of closure! Things started off a little rocky when we came in to discover that someone in the afternoon class had left the freezer door open all night long. Our dough was gigantic – proofing all night long! But we re-froze it and crossed our fingers, and ended up making it work in order to finish our CROISSANTS!
When we left off, we had just finished rolling out the layers and layers of butter and dough, freezing and rolling over and over again. Finally we had the correct number of layers, and we rolled our dough out into 30 inch long pieces. Then we marked every four inches with a knife on both side, in order to cut out triangles.
Each piece was then rolled into an individual croissant, and shaped into a crescent.
We gave them an egg wash and let them proof, and then one final egg wash before popping them into the oven.
Fifteen minutes later, we had flaky, browned croissants!! These were the ones that I made – I thought they came out really well. (They were supposed to be darker in color!)
Check out all the flakiness inside – mmmmmm. I ripped an end off and gave the rest to one of my teammates.
Our one new project for the day was to make Pate a Choux – otherwise known as éclairs! This was really interesting to me – I had no idea how these were made! We started by making a baker’s roux – water, butter, and flour over heat. Once a ball of what looked like mashed potatoes was formed, we slowly tempered in TWO POUNDS of eggs to get a batter-like consistency.
Then we spooned the Pate a Choux into piping bags and piped it out onto parchment lined sheet trays.
These batter-like tubes were then put into the oven with the steam setting on, so that the gelatinized gluten and starches would be puffed up by the steam. Fifteen minutes later we had éclair shells – so cool!
Tomorrow we are making the creams and fillings for these – yum! Speaking of creams, we finished our cream pies today too. We made a big batch of Chantilly cream, and piped it on top of yesterday’s pastry cream pies.
Mine looked like stars and stripes – how patriotic!
After we piped our pies, we went upstairs for our lunch break. I’ve started packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit for lunch, so that I don’t have to rely on food from classrooms – especially since it’s very hard to know which things are made with meat products (there is chicken stock in everything
!). After lunch, we came down to discover that it was finally time to taste all our marvelous pie creations from the week…
Even though there were a lot of different flavors and varieties of pie, I figured I only needed to try one cream pie and one fruit pie, in order to get the flavor and understanding of both techniques. I took two bites of this delicious banana walnut cream pie…
And I finally got a teeny tiny piece of my apple pie that I’ve been drooling about since yesterday! It turned out really good – loved the oatmeal streusel topping.
Now I need to go finish my vegan baking paper! THANK YOU to the wonderful readers who gave me suggestions and links – you guys are awesome!