last week, chris and i watched an episode of good eats, and i became convinced that making my own puff pastry was a bad idea - too much effort and poor results likely. according to alton brown, the store bought frozen puff pastry is made with big machines that can control the laminated pastry dough layers much more easily than the average amateur pastry chef can in their home kitchen.
but, the next day, i started reading a blog called dinner with julie, and she made it seem so easy! her recipe and blog entry really convinced me that i (an average person with no pastry-chef training) could do it. i threw caution (and all of alton brown's warnings) to the wind and got started on the dough.
things i learned:
- rolling out refrigerated dough is hard work. and requires significant upper body strength. i do not have much of this strength. chris was recruited to help at times.
- my oven is very temperamental, and cannot keep a consistent temperature (it wavers back and forth by 50 degrees). this results in dark-bottomed croissants if you don't watch carefully.
- alton brown was right, puff pastry is hard work. but, i'll probably try it again sometime when i have a few days to spare.
overall, my first attempt at puff pastry was not too bad. there's definitely things i'll change when/if i attempt it again (mostly relating to technique rather than ingredients).
but, they were certainly edible - and disappeared quickly in the grad student office (although, that may not be the best way to judge their quality). they were even flaky, and i could see a few of the laminated layers.
the chocolate ganache centres were delicious (a modification i made to the original recipe). much better than using regular chocolate which hardens when the croissant returns to room temperature. the chocolate ganache centres stayed soft and creamy until the last croissant was gone.
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