Lessons in Reading – Pretzel Croissants (BBB April 2014)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Pretzel Croissants; adapting to time constraints; Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting and Bake Your Own Bread; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) April 2014

Sigh. I was GOING to post on time. I really was!

pretzel croissants Last month we simply paddled in our pools. This month we’re with the big kids getting complicated.

Yup. Heather (girlichef) thinks we’ve been taking it too easy.

You must read ahead. I’m serious, give yourself time to prepare. It’s not difficult, but it isn’t a “bang-it-out-quickly” type of challenge. […] It’s actually not one, but TWO of my favorite things rolled into one package: soft pretzels and croissants. Two things that I find utterly irresistible. […] I couldn’t get past the thought of combining the two. […]

I love the process, and the resulting feeling of accomplishment, of making a laminated dough; multiple folds…extra care…nurturing. You just can’t help but feel like a rockstar when you pull flaky, buttery croissants that you made from scratch from a hot oven. Just try be modest. […]

Now, the pretzel-half – do they really taste like pretzels? Sadly, not so much. Slightly, at best. But the beautiful burnished outside definitely resembles a pretzel. […]

Are they worth making? Heck yeah, they are.

-Heather, Pretzel Croissants {Bread Baking Babes}

But really, Heather didn’t need to sell ME on these. She had me at the word “croissants”.

I confess that I didn’t really take notice of the imperative note to read ahead. Not even when Heather said:

I’m serious, give yourself time to prepare.

Pfffft!! I don’ need no stinkin’ time to prepare! I’m ready now! I’m ALWAYS ready!

Heh. Read on (if you dare) through my voluminous diary to see the proof:

BBB Pretzel Croissants diary:

Monday 3 March 2014 01:50

Read the whole recipe through, just to give yourself an idea of where all the time fits in. And Elizabeth, if you don’t want to oil the bowl, that is entirely up to you {snickers}.
 
-Heather, in email to BBBabes

Read the whole recipe through first? Are you mad? (excuse me while I laugh hysterically for a moment or two)

I love soft pretzels though, so I’m sure I’ll love pretzel croissants. And you’re right, Heather. I’m NOT going to oil the rising bowl.

Oh wait. This is April’s bread, isn’t it? The reading through everything first is an April Fool’s joke, right? {snort}

Tuesday 18 March 18:24 I’m a freak. I know I am: I LOVE measuring! Even though Heather’s recipe has most ingredients in volume and weight, I’ve added the few things that are not by weight. This, of course, doesn’t mean that I’ve actually read any of the instructions. Although I did notice the “baked (see notes) baking soda”. Remind me to look at those notes.

Incidentally, I hope nobody imagines that I’ll manage to bake these early. That might set a terrible precedent.

Friday 4 April 2014 15:12 I’m starting to think seriously about beginning to read next month’s pretzel croissant recipe – just STARTING to think about this month’s bread… Then I looked at the calendar and decided I don’t need to think so much yet; there’s still plenty of time at noon. :-D

Sunday 13 April 2014 23:22 I just got home after driving on foggy roads. At least all the snow is gone (I sure hope I didn’t jinx anything by saying that!)

And okay okay!! I’ll read the recipe all the way through! …better late than never, right?

Monday 14 April 2014 00:13 Good thing I did that reading. I imagined that I was going to mix and bake these all in one day. :lalala:

Steam Whistle It’s also a good thing that the others reminded me that these croissants call for beer. On the way to my rehearsal yesterday afternoon, I snuck into the liquor store and grabbed a can of Steam Whistle Pilsner. I have no idea if it’s any good but I can’t imagine it will ruin the croissants. Personally, I can’t stand any of the light coloured beers.

I toyed with the idea of getting some apple cider but then nixed it. In the recent past, we’ve tried two new (to us) different allegedly dry and crisp apple ciders. Both have been exceedingly disappointing. They were cloyingly sweet and taste like cheap tinned apple juice.

What’s left of the tin of pilsner has a piece of plastic wrap jammed in the hole at the top and is sitting in the fridge.

1/2 cup (120 ml) cold pilsner-style beer
 
-BBB pretzel croissant recipe

Oh yeah. And about that. The beer was in the trunk of the car for most of the day and I’d say it’s not exactly cold but it’s cool at least. I think the outside temperature didn’t go much above 15C. It was beautiful outside though – soft and gently overcast.

Shhhhhh. Please don’t tell Heather about my reading problems.

A short time ago, instead of waiting til the morning, I happily weighed out ingredients, mixed and kneaded, a few more than 8 times, in the bowl. But I don’t think I over-mixed it. The covered dough bowl (yes, Heather, you know me well; I did NOT grease it) is sitting on the counter now. It just doesn’t seem to make sense to put it in the fridge overnight when you consider that our kitchen is at around 15C and I’m already letting the dough rise for a shorter rather than longer time.

As I was about to measure the flour, I wondered whether it was supposed to be bread flour and double-checked my reading retention one more time. How relieved was I to see that it was all-purpose? I wasn’t wild about the idea of rooting through the freezer in search of our little bag of vital wheat gluten.

I’ll just double-check that I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do before hitting the sack:

Turn the dough out onto an unfloured work surface and knead eight to ten times, until all of the flour is just incorporated. You don’t want to over work it, because you don’t want the butter to melt too much. The dough will not be a smooth mass; you will see some flecks of butter. It should be soft and tacky, but not sticky. Adjust as needed with flour or water.
 
-BBB pretzel croissant recipe

Oh oh. Not a smooth mass? Flecks of Butter? Soft and tacky?

Well, it looks like dough and all the flour is encorporated and it’s not smooth and elastic. I’m sure that’s close enough to being correct… Yes, that’s it. Let’s say it’s correct.

Reading more: To make the baked baking soda, spread 1/4 cup (~70 grams) of baking soda out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper […] Slide it into an oven that has been preheated to 250° F/120° C and bake for 1 hour.
 
-BBB

But the oven is in use right now! Only the light is turned on because the butter (in a pyrex bowl) is in there to soften enough so I can get the flour into it in the morning. (I know. The butter isn’t supposed to be soft. Shhh! Don’t bother me with that detail now; I’ll deal with it later.)

With the butter in the oven, I’m not quite sure when I’m going to bake the baking soda….

plan ahead Hahahahaha It’s always good to plan ahead

Monday 14 April 2014 08:44 The dough has hardly moved! Is that normal? Eeeeeek! I’m pretty sure that the yeast is alive. I’m going to pretend it doesn’t matter and that’s how it’s supposed to look.

(Suddenly I can’t help thinking of the conversation I had with my colleague yesterday when we stopped at the liquor store to buy the can of beer. When I told him (he is also an avid bread baker) what it was for, he said, “But won’t that kill the yeast?” I glibly replied that of course it wouldn’t – because I’m such an expert, you know – but now I’m wondering. Might the beer have killed the yeast?

Anyway, to continue with my transgressions, I took the now nicely soft butter out of the oven and creamed the flour into it. I spread it out onto a piece of parchment paper; it is now in the fridge firming up.

So. No problem at all for when to bake the baking soda. I can do that pretty much any time today! Silly me for being all worried that there would be no opportunity; I was thinking about the fact that the oven was busy because the butter was in it (only the light turned on) to get soft so I could cream the flour in easily.

Now, of course, the butter is back in the fridge to firm up. (That sure is a LOT of butter!) So the oven is completely available for baking soda baking! (Duh. This is what comes of doing required reading really late at night.)

13:37 About half an hour ago, I looked resignedly at the dough that hadn’t really moved much over the course of the morning and I decided that as this is essentially puff pastry, I’d just go ahead. I’ve now done the first turn, placing a rock solid piece of butter on the dough that I had to snap in two to get it to fold.

I decided against putting it all back in the fridge and covered it with a piece of parchment paper, followed by a tea towel, followed by a large plastic grocery bag. I decided to leave it on the counter in our 15C kitchen. If I put it in the fridge, I’ll NEVER be able to do the second turn!

14:44 Second turn done. Am I ever glad that I left the dough out on the counter. As it was, it was still rock solid. I thwacked at it a little. But that was too loud. So I switched to resting the rolling pin on the dough and leaning on it. That did the trick.

15:34 Third (and final) turn done. Again, I am congratulating myself for leaving the dough on the counter to rest. The wind is howling outside and the outdoor temperature is beginning to plunge. (Mercifully, there is no more snow but I probably shouldn’t speak too soon.)

17:48 Eeeeeek!!! I just remembered about the baking soda. I guess I’d better bake it, eh?

18:09 I. Am. An. Idiot. As I was measuring the baking soda and thinking what a smarty pants I am for deciding to baking only half the amount of baking soda because it seems ridiculous to dip the shaped and risen croissants in 8 cups of water (do we even have a container that will hold 8 cups and still have room for expansion when honking big croissants are added??) I suddenly noticed exactly how long I am supposed to let the shaped croissants rise:

Cover the croissants with damp, clean kitchen towels and allow to rise at cool room temperature until they have almost doubled in size and feel spongy, ~2 hours.
 
-BBB

2 hours!! Let’s see now… It’s just after 6 o’clock now. It will take me at least half an hour to comprehend the paragraph on how to cut the dough for the final shaping. Which means they won’t be going into the oven until 8:30 IF the kitchen were actually warm. Which it isn’t. Even while dinner is being prepared. So. That means it will be at least 9:30 before I can even put the croissants in the oven. And it won’t be until 10 that they’re done.

That’s past my bedtime!

I have taken a sudden change in direction. I will bake them tomorrow. I’m not exactly sure when. Fiddle-dee-dee. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I can stare at the final shaping section a little longer to see if I can understand it.

18:24 I have now done a 4th (and final, crossed and stamped, no erasees) turn and put the covered dough envelope into the fridge til tomorrow. Ha! In spite of myself, I’m managing to turn this into a three day event.

(Oh yes, the baking soda is still baking. Remind me not to forget about it.)

Tuesday 15 April 2014 06:23 Really? Snow again? Will it never stop?

But of COURSE it’s snowing now. I don’t know why I’m surprised. The weather office said it was going to and their forecasts are invariably correct… :lalala:

17:53 I got home at around 17:00 and took the dough out of the fridge and shaped the croissants.

Is! The! Dough! Ever! Hard! To! Roll! When! Cold!

Pretzel Croissants After cutting the triangles, they looked exceedingly thick. So I rolled them out more before coiling them. They’re in the oven with only the light turned on.

I know. The recipe says to let them rise at cool room temperature for 2 hours. I reckon that our oven is pretty much at cool room temperature. Even if the light is on.

I sure hope it won’t be too late when they’re ready for baking!

It’s really been bugging me that the triangles were so fat. So I re-read the recipe:
Lightly dust your work surface and top of your dough with flour. Roll out into a 15″x18″ rectangle that is ~1/4″ thick. […] Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, creating two 15″x9″ sheets of dough.
 
-BBB

Duh! This is what’s wrong with reading and not memorizing. After struggling with the cold dough, I glanced at the recipe to see if I had to continue struggling. I looked at the printed recipe somewhere near the part that said “Final Shaping” and saw 15″x9″. I took out the tape measure and that I was close. So, exhausted, I stopped rolling.

The resulting croissants were too large to fit onto 2 pans, so they’re on 3. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage baking 3 pans in our oven… I’ll think about it later. :stomp: :stomp:

21:45 [by candle-light, handwriting on paper] Shriek!!! About half an hour ago, I went to check on the croissants with the intention of dipping them in their bath, milk washing (I’m NOT using one of our precious expensive eggs!), coarse salting them and baking them.

But it was not to be. The croissants on two of the trays had hardly moved. They looked pretty much the same as they had a few hours ago when I rolled them up. :stomp: :stomp:

Inexplicably, three of the croissants on one of the trays had risen as predicted. A fourth had gone mad and over-risen, losing its shape almost entirely.

I really didn’t want to wait all night for the other 8 to rise so, I turned the oven on, put the two unbudging croissants trays in the fridge and started bathing the 4 risen croissants.

And the oven decided to take its sweet time to heat up. I was thinking it MUST be ready and just as I was about to put 4 shaped, risen, dipped, salted croissants into the oven, POOF!! The lights went out. Everywhere. No streetlights anywhere all to the south and north of us. OF COURSE, the line of house just east of us were still lit up like Christmas trees. They’re on a different grid… But there was virtually no light from the CN tower further east. Clearly, we were in it for the long haul.

I got the flashlight, turned off the oven, put the croissant tray in the fridge, then grabbed a couple of candles and T went to find his trusty shortwave radio that he had carried with him everywhere on his travels to listen to the BBC world service news – the radio that was his friend whenever he was in places where the power outages were frequent.

And we listened to Toronto’s 680 All News station to find out what was happening. Nothing apparently. At first there was no mention at all of it.

But then about ten minutes into the power failure, the announcer started talking about the number of calls about power outages received from all over Toronto. And no news about why or when the power might come on.

We got tired of hearing the repetition and started to look around the dial for a vintage radio drama. One of the stations plays them around this time of night. Or perhaps some good music that we both li…

22:02 POOF! Let there be light!!

22:45 Baking the croissants was a breeze. They took 20 minutes and contrary to warnings from some of the others, there were not swimming in a butter bath. We let them cool for their prerequisite 10 minutes, then got some red currant jelly out of the fridge and sat down to the most wonderful dessert! (And feeling just a little badly about the few neighbourhoods still without power.)

Wednesday 16 April 2014 07:31 I just took the rest of the croissants out of the fridge and plan to bake them this morning.

10:44 Really?? They’re not risen yet?! Phooey!! So much for having way too many croissants for elevences. We’ll have to make do and really savour the two left from last night. :lalala:

Pretzel Croissant Thank you, Heather!! We LOVE these croissants!!

Sure, they’re labour intensive. I’m not the biggest fan of a recipe that spans two pages printed in a very small font. But they’re definitely worth the aggravation! Just make sure you a.) read through (and retain what you’ve read) the whole recipe first and b.) bake them on a day that there is no blackout.

Here is the BBB April 2014 Pretzel Croissant recipe. And here is what I did to it:

BBB Pretzel Croissants
Heather’s recipe slightly adapted from “Pretzel Making at Home” by Andrea Slonecker

dough

  • 9g (10 tsp) instant skim milk powder ¹
  • 120g/120ml (0.5 c) water at 100F ²
  • 7g (2.25 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 41g (3 Tbsp) firmly packed demerrara sugar (brown sugar)
  • 410g (3.25 c) unbleached all-purpose flour
       »300 gm (~2.5 c) unbleached all-purpose
       »110 gm (~0.75 c) whole wheat
  • 12g Kosher salt (2 tsp fine salt)
  • 28g (2 Tbsp) salted butter, grated ³
  • 120g/120 ml (0.5 c) pilsner-style beer
  • more flour for rolling out the dough

butter block

  • 340g (1.5 c) cold unsalted butter 4
  • 16g (2 Tbsp) unbleached all-purpose flour

to finish

  • 30g (2 Tbsp) baked baking soda 5
  • 500ml (2 c) cold water
  • milk wash 5
  • coarse seasalt
  1. mixing: On the evening before you are going to bakd the croissants, pour the warm (100F) water into a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the milk powder and yeast to dissolve them. Set aside.
  2. Whisk flours, brown sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Using your finger-tips (or a pastry cutter if you have very warm hands), rub the salted butter into the flour until it is the size of small lentils.
  3. Dump in the yeast mixture and the beer and using a wooden spoon, stir to encorporate all the flour. It doesn’t have to be smooth. You may well see flecks of butter. This is no problem. You just want to make sure that all the flour is mixed in.
  4. Kneading If there is any flour still lingering in the bowl, use your hands to knead it in. You can do this in the bowl. Note that you do not want to add any more flour.
  5. When all the flour is in the dough, cover the bowl with a plate and leave it in a no-draft area of the kitchen overnight. (Note that you do NOT have to wash the bowl, nor is it necessary to oil it first.) If your kitchen is warm, put the bowl in the fridge.
  6. Put the butter into a covered bowl and place it in the oven with only the light turned on to soften overnight.
  7. Butter Block In the morning of the day you hope to bake the croissants, cream 2 Tbsp flour into the butter until it’s smooth. Slather the butter onto a piece of parchment into a rectangle about 20×22 cm. Place the butter on a cookie sheet, cover it with another piece of parchment paper and stick it in the fridge to firm up.
  8. 1st Turn Lightly dust the board with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Don’t freak out that the dough has only barely doubled. Remember that this is essentially puff pastry. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle that is roughly 25x38cm and .5cm thick. Lay the rectangle so the long edge is at the bottom. Envision dividing the dough equally into thirds as if folding like a letter and place the butter block on two thirds of the dough, leaving the left third empty and a small border of dough around the right edge of the butter block. Fold the empty third overtop of the half the butter block. Fold the right-hand third of dough (with its portion of butter) overtop. Pinch the seams together. Cover with a clean tea towel followed by a large plastic grocery bag and place it in the oven with only the light turned on for 1 hour. (If your kitchen is warm, put the dough package in the fridge.)
  9. 2nd Turn Lightly dust the board with flour and turn the dough package out onto it. Roll it out into a rectangle that is roughly 25x38cm and .5cm thick. Place the rectangle long side down. This time, fold it as if it were going to be a book cover: fold the left side almost to the center. Fold the right side to almost meet the edge in the middle. Fold the whole thing in half. Pinch the edges together. Cover with a clean tea towel followed by a large plastic grocery bag and place it in the oven with only the light turned on for 1 hour. (Again, if your kitchen is warm, put the dough package in the fridge.)
  10. 3rd Turn Lightly dust the board with flour and turn the dough package out onto it. Roll it out into a rectangle that is roughly 25x38cm and .5cm thick. Place the rectangle long side down. Fold the dough into thirds as on the 1st turn. This time, after covering with the teatowel and plastic, leave it on the counter for at least 2 hours. (Again, if your kitchen is warm, put the dough package in the fridge.)
  11. 4th Turn After about 2 hours have gone by, realize that there is not a hope that you will be baking the croissants until the following day. Roll the dough out again into a rectangle and fold it in thirds. Cover it with a tea towel and plastic and place it in the fridge overnight.
  12. Shaping The following morning, remove the dough package from the fridge and bash at it and/or lean on it with the rolling pin to create a 38x45cm rectangle. Using a pizza wheel, cut it in half lengthwise and in three widthwise. Cut each resulting rectangle in half diagonally to created triangles.
  13. Stretch one corner of the triangle away from the base to create an isoceles triangle. Starting at the base, coil the dough. Press the tip into the dough so it will stay. Curve the ends upwards to create a crescent. Lay the croissant on a parchment paper lined cookie tray. Repeat with the remaining triangles. Cover the trays with a tea towel followed by a plastic grocery bag and put them in the oven with only the light turned on to rise until they are “almost doubled in size and feel spongy”. In Heather’s kitchen, this takes about 2 hours. In our kitchen it takes eons.
  14. Baked Baking Soda Suddenly remember about the baked baking soda. Measure it out into a parchment paper lined cake pan. Put it into a 250F oven for an hour. Allow to cool completely before putting it into an airtight container.
  15. dipping and baking: Make sure there is a rack on an upper shelf of the oven and preheat to 400F. Pour 2 cups of cold water into a bowl and whisk 1 Tbsp baked baking soda into the water until it is completely dissolved.
  16. One by one, carefully lift each risen croissant into the baking soda water. Place each on back on its parchment covered baking sheet. Brush the croissants liberally with milk. Sprinkle coarse sea salt (I used Brittany Grey seasalt) over top. Bake on the top shelf of the oven (to prevent them from burning on the bottom) for 15-20 minutes, turning the trays around once half way through baking, to account for uneven oven heat until, as Heather says, they “feel light and airy if you pick them up”.
  17. Put the baked croissants on a footed rack to allow them to cool completely before breaking them apart or cutting into them. They’re still baking inside! If the croissants are sitting in a pool of butter, leave them on the tray. They will soak the butter up as they cool. 6

Notes:

1.) Milk: Milk The BBB recipe calls for half a cup of warm milk. I find it much easier to use powdered milk and add it to water.

2.) Water: I feel like if I say this enough times, people will change their ways. Heat up water that you have gotten from the cold water tap. Eventually I feel certain that the other BBBabes will jump over to my side of the fence on this… (How old are your pipes? How old is the solder? When is the last time you flushed the sediment from the hot water tank? How many toxins want to leach out? Do you really want those in your bread?) Use a kettle or microwave. Please note that before the yeast is added, the water temperature must be BELOW 120F (49C) because yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.

3.) Salted Butter The BBB recipe calls for unsalted butter. I decided to use salted, just because it’s less expensive that the unsalted butter and I didn’t think that amount of extra salt would make a difference.

4.) Unsalted Butter The BBB recipe calls for quite a lot of butter. It’s my feeling that less could be used and the resulting croissants would be just as successful.

5.) Milk wash The BBB recipe calls for 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon (15 ml/ 15 gm) to be mixed with milk. There is no way that I’m going to waste one of our precious (expensive) farm eggs for this. All that is required is a bit of protein to get the desired shine so I use only milk.

6.) But I LIKE warm croissants just out of the oven!! N.B. Of course you will want to serve warm croissants. Reheat them after they have cooled completely. (They are still baking when they first come out of the oven!) To reheat any UNsliced bread, turn the oven to 450F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.

And just when I thought the adventure must be over, it continued…

This morning, I STILL hadn’t baked 8 of the croissants. I took them out of the fridge at around 7:30 and stuck them in the oven with only the light turned on to rise.

We took the furry black fiend for his annual visit to the vet and got home around 10:30. I figured that I’d be turning the oven on to bake the croissants. Not a chance. They were still cold and pretty much the same size as they had been early this morning.

About 15 minutes before I reckoned it would be time to bake them, I went to check on the croissants to see if it was time to turn on the oven.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me for yelling… SHRIEK!!! In the meantime, a meddlesome knowitall had turned the oven on for a second to warm it up WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING and the croissants that were almost ready to be dipped in their baking soda solution were swimming in pools of butter. Apparently the oven was turned on because it would be a good idea to warm things up just a little and it was only turned “on for a second”.

Yes, it’s true. I yelled. And I tried to elicit a promise that this would never (ever) happen again. The only promise I managed to get was that there would be an attempt not to meddle. Sigh. It’s a good thing T knows how to cook dinner so well….

And let me tell you. Picking up fully risen, uncooked slightly crusty croissants (because they’ve been drying out in the fridge for several hours) that were already rolling around in melted butter and dipping them into a baking soda wash was no picnic.

Pretzel Croissants The good news is that the croissants baked nicely in spite of swimming in butter. The next piece of good news is that leaving them to cool for 10 minutes on the tray in their pool of butter allowed them to soak up virtually all of the butter.

(Because the croissants are so delicious – crispy and light, I’m almost laughing about the whole sordid affair now… almost.)

weather vane Believe it or not; this is a colour photo. It was taken around 8am on Tuesday. It’s too bad that I wasn’t able to pick up the lovely white flakes that were flying all around. I must say that I’m a little concerned about what kind of May flowers these April showers are going to bring.

But don’t let little inconveniences like rain, snow, a chilly kitchen, exceedingly slow proofing, power failure or unexpected par-cooking stop you from making these croissants! Sure, they don’t taste much like pretzels, but who cares? They’re fabulous.

Thank you again, Heather!


Pretzel Croissant (BBB April 2014)

Bread Baking Babes

Heather (girlichef) is the intrepid host of April 2014’s Bread Baking Babes’ challenge. She amalgamated her favourite recipes for croissants and pretzels and wrote:

I like to choose a bread that is one (or more) of these things:

a) a challenge – something that takes a while to make or introduces a new technique
b) a favorite – something that I already love and think that everybody should know how to make
c) new to me – ummmmm, self-explanatory

The bread that I chose this month is sort of a combination of all three of my self-imposed requirements.

[…] You must read ahead. I’m serious, give yourself time to prepare. It’s not difficult, but it isn’t a “bang-it-out-quickly” type of challenge. It rewards patience and (if you let it) relaxes you.

We know you’ll want to make pretzel croissants too! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make pretzel croissants (read the recipe through!!) in the next couple of weeks and post about them (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 April 2014. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ April bread:

YeastSpotting
Yeastspotting - every Friday (wordle.net image)

Each week, Susan (Wild Yeast) compiles a list of many bread-specific recipes from across the web. For complete details on how to be included in the YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:

Bake Your Own Bread (BYOB)
BYOB is a monthly event that was hosted by Heather (girlichef) and has now been taken over by Carola (Sweet and That’s It)

[BYOB] encourages you to start (or continue) getting comfortable baking bread in your own kitchen. Anything from simple quick breads to conquering that fear of yeast to making and nurturing your own sourdough starter. All levels of bakers are welcome to participate.

And Carola wrote:

Homemade bread is healthy! As healthy as you decide: choose the best ingredients (if you can afford it, organic and GMO free) and you’ll be surrounded by the most delicious scent and fascinated by the most delicious taste.

Let the adventure continue!

Sweet and That's it - BYOB For more information about BYOB, please read the following:

 

Undoubtedly housewives gave up bread-making and turned to baker’s bread because the job seemed so endless and tiring. But modern methods have cut the time; modern equipment has taken over the muscle work. Now with little or no trouble we can once again have the joy of baking day with its rich smells and its wonderful results. If you have a mixer to which you can attach a bread hook, baking bread is as easy as mashing potatoes or whipping cream.

-James Beard, The James Beard Cookbook, Da Capo Press, 2001, p. 37

Oh!! Now I get it! That’s why these pretzel croissants were somewhat labour intensive for me. I don’t have a mixer with a bread hook!


Pretzel Croissants (BBB April 2014)

 

 

This entry was posted in baking, BBBabes, bread - yeasted & unyeasted, bread recipe, food & drink, posts with recipes, whine on by .

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  • Well, I loved every single minute that it took me to read through your adventures! (Which is good, because I was so looking forward to it.) Can I say all’s well that ends well, or is that too cliche? But I’m happy that you did think they were worth it. Basically. ;) They certainly look big and gorgeous despite (or should I say because of) all they went through!

    Yes, you’re right, Heather. In the end, they WERE worth the aggravation. Thank you again! -Elizabeth

  • Well, reading ahead and being prepared – takes all the fun out, right? And the end result was good – despite the ‘help’ LOL

    Indeed it does, Katie! If I have nothing to complain about, life just seems empty. -Elizabeth

  • barbara

    Wow, they look fab! An excellent saga – you sure do have all the fun.

    Yes. That’s it, Barbara. It was fun! {snort} (The results certainly were delicious though, I have to admit.) -Elizabeth

  • Oh Elizabeth… can you imagine the mess we’d make if in the same kitchen at the same time? Golly and a good time we would have! Incredible the hardship you had to endure while making this month’s recipe and yet you survived winning! A hell of a job and croissants to nibble on while venting off steam. Great going!

    Yes!! That would be way too much fun, Karen! I can see it now – flour scattered everywhere (so much that the furry black fiend would have turned into the furry white fiend) and the glazed surprised looks as one of us said, “They’re supposed to contain [insert any ingredient from the recipe here]?!! Where does it say that?” When you come over, you might want to bring some candles and a book of matches. Just in case…. -Elizabeth

  • Why would beer kill the yeast? Isn’t it adding yeast?
    To make the butter block, I let my butter sit out and get really soft (not melted mind you) … after that it was pretty hard coming out of the fridge.
    As always, a wonderful read … epic even for you. Prepared is not usual operating procedure here either.
    Your end photo of the croissant may look over size but good grief I’m imagining all those wonderful crunches!
    Honestly, I know these took forever, but there wasn’t any one long time of labor … I fear the labor to make them still didn’t exceed the calories consumed in eating them.

          I wondered exactly the same thing, Tanna. Why would beer kill the yeast?? But I didn’t really have a good explanation at the time. I haven’t done enough reading about it. {cough}
          I did exactly the same thing with the butter. But I think I left it in the fridge too long before laying it on the dough to begin lamination. It was rock solid.
            -Elizabeth (You’re right! The labour to calories ratio isn’t in our favour at all! We have noticed having more difficulty getting waistbands done up since making these croissants.)

  • A dark and stormy night, power failure, memory failure and, in the end, perfect, buttery, flaky croissants. Who cares if you read with retention when your croissants are so beautiful!

    Well, I guess that’s one way to look at it, Elle. But I have to say that I really wish I’d learn how to read just a little better. The croissants would still have tasted just as wonderful (although… maybe all the extra refrigeration added flavour) -Elizabeth

  • Yes I had to do some additional rolling out to get the right shape too. Yours look real good in the end, even with all the struggle in between. Well done

    Thank you, Lien! I do keep wondering how they would have been if I’d left them thicker and just pulled on top of the triangle to stretch it out a little. Not enough to try making them again really soon though… :lalala: -Elizabeth

  • Elizabeth, reading your real time reenactment of the experience is always so much fun. =)

  • Next time, Elizabeth, we’ll have to use whisky instead of beer… and drink the rest of bottle to recover from such a challanging baking adventure! Cheers! LOL