Adding another layer of knowledge...
Who doesn't love a delicious croissant? Or how about a warm, jam filled danish? I know that I would happily take either of those as breakfast any day of the week.
This week we learned the process of lamination, which is how to create thin layers of fat in-between layers of dough in order to create a wonderfully delicious honeycomb pattern inside. It was a surprisingly easy process, much simpler than I had thought it would be. We made puff pastry and Danish dough to introduce us into the world of lamination. Both doughs are very similar, the only variances are the use of yeast and fats (typically being eggs) being incorporated into the dough itself. (Fun Fact: technically, croissants are made from a lean dough because the dough itself has no eggs in it, the fat comes from the layers of butter that are folded into the dough to create layers.) Puff pastry made from scratch is a very labor intensive product, and not very practical for many businesses, but it is something I feel every Pastry Chef should know how to do even if they are not required to do it on a weekly basis. The process is one that can be applied to many products, and puff pastry itself can be made into many products as well with very simple changes to the fillings, shapes or coating. We went the traditional route and made croissants and pain au chocolat from our puff dough. (Another fun fact: if a croissant is straight when baked, that means it was made with just butter, if it is a crescent shape then another fat was used as well such as shortening or margarine.) With our Danish dough we then made an array of products from a cherry filled “basket” to a blueberry “pillow”, both are in quotations because I never learned what they were really called, our Chef just referred to them by their shapes. Maybe they don’t even have an actual name, I do not know. My favorite was the pain au chocolat. I had never had one before making them and I have no good justification for this. I didn’t even try one when I was in Paris, I simply just never thought about trying one. They are the best when they are still warm, and the chocolate is soft but even after a couple of days they were still delicious as a breakfast on-the-go. Take a look below to see some of what I made!
~Remember to smile :)