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March 20, 2010

I have always found that baking good bread requires a certain amount of disrespect. Its so very different from pastry and its ilk, with bread you can disregard the recipe, throw in a bit of what you like, knead it a bit or a lot, and as long as you give it a bit of time to rise it will come out well.

Croissants don’t fall into this category though, they may be bread dough, but all my previous attempts have failed, miserably. Today I have hope though, I have devoted the whole day to making to croissants, and had nobody else interfere with the process. I spent quite a bit of time looking for a good recipe, I eventually settled on this one. With one change, I used bread flour, not plain flour – I can’t quite imagine how it could work with plain flour. I also only left my dough in the fridge for an hour after all the folding was done, I don’t have 8 hours worth of patience in me!

In progress - putting the butter into the middle of the dough

They turned out wonderfully, I’m so impressed, and quite proud of myself, I’m very much looking forward to serving them for breakfast in the morning.

The great thing about making croissants is that I can spend a day doing basically what amounts to absolutely nothing and not feel guilty about it, because in the end some wonderful food has been made.

The croissants shaped and ready to rise

On a totally different, but related topic, spending a day baking like this sometimes makes me want to be a housewife. In the 1950s ‘perfect housewife’ kind of way, wearing big skirted dress which nips in at the waist, and spending the day cooking. Of course, I would get very bored within about 5 minutes of being a housewife. But I have this wonderful idealist image in my mind of living with a boyfriend or husband and spending my free time cooking for and with someone who really appreciates it, that might (hopefully) happen. Of coming home from work and having a reason to cook a decent meal, because you are cooking for someone aside from yourself. Of course that doesn’t necessitate any kind of family in any way, only the right flatmates, and I might have that next year, I will be living with one of my old school friends, and as it will only be the two of us, hopefully most nights we will cook together.

I wonder who is coming over for breakfast tomorrow, at least 2 or 3 people it looks like, maybe quite a few more, a couple of ‘the usuals’ haven’t replied to me, not that I really mind, I’m happy to see who turns up on the day. Its only breakfast, numbers and quantities are irrelevant, its just lovely to start the day with a few friends around the table.

All this baking isn’t so good for the being sensible about eating… there’s too much to try and nibble on!

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