In the spirit of our #TakeOutTakeout Challenge, I wondered if making one of my favorite “grab and go” breakfasts from scratch – the croissant –is Worth It Or Not Worth It? Ally-Jane Grossan investigates…
Deciding to make homemade croissants is a bit like deciding to cross the atlantic ocean in a canoe: it takes time and if you don’t have right equipment you’re going to sink. There was a lot of folding and chilling in this recipe and not enough Netflix and chilling. Making croissants is a two-day affair: 14 hours for the dough plus a few hours for shaping, rising and baking the following day. I choose to spend my weekend with a croissant recipe by the infallible Nancy Silverton (of LaBrea Bakery) and there was barely time to shower before my friends came over Sunday night to eat them!
The recipe calls for special equipment: a stand mixer with a dough hook, a ruler, a pastry brush and trash bags. In case you’re wondering, the trash bags are to tent over the croissants as they rise, protecting them from the elements and moisture in your kitchen.
About three hours into the dough making, my black yoga pants dusted in flour, my brow covered in sweat and my face starting to break out from all the butter, I was ready to give up. But I persevered with a little help from a Francoise Hardy Spotify playlist.
In the end, after all that work, the croissants were divine. Fluffy and pillowy and piping hot out of the oven. Possibly one of my greatest baking success stories. But the tragedy was that I shied away from eating more than one. I had rolled and kneaded three sticks of butter into these things and I am all about ignorance is bliss when it comes to eating. I gave them away to friends who patted me on the back for my perfect croissants, feeling at once both proud but also distressed at how quickly the pile diminished. Hours and hours of work now just flaky crumbs on my couch.
On my way to work the next morning I stopped in a local coffee shop and saw the gleaming pile of croissants in the case. Yesterday’s batch on sale for only $1. Still delicious and without all the fuss. I’ll leave this one to the professionals.
VERDICT: Not Worth It