This week was different. On Monday night I had a “spare” 30 minutes before putting Emery to bed and decided that the little dude and I could whip up a small batch of croissant dough to test out the red wheat flour that vexed me in batch two. The version of this email that I drafted in the back of my head while rolling the dough into a block, had two bakes. The throw away testing bake I was making at the time and a real bake I’d make later in the week. But then I got the flu, and what was supposed to be my throw away bake turned into the only bake. And wow, does it show.
Below is the dried out dough (I used dough on Saturday I made on Monday) as I wrapped it around whipped honey butter.
Expert rating and review
I normally have Caitlin write this as part of her edit, but she has fallen asleep. Lets just say this: she agrees these are the worst ones yet.
For the next couple of weeks I plan to take something from the base recipe and shake it up to see what happens. This week it was switching out normal butter for honey butter. To do this I supplemented 50 grams of honey to the 150 grams of butter the recipe called for. I then used an electric mixer to beat the butter and honey together, taking care to keep the butter cool enough that it didn’t melt. Once the honey was well incorporated into the butter, I formed it into a block and let it cool.
The turn out wasn’t great. Once the butter was cooled I started rolling it into the dough, but the seams of honey created fault lines for the butter to shatter on and quickly the butter ripped out of the sides of the dough.
I pushed on by adding copious amounts flour so the dough/butter wouldn’t sticking to the counter which gave the final product a gritty taste. Something that would have been easy enough to over look if I had tasted any honey at all. If/when I experiment with adding honey into the recipe again, I’ll be using it to augment the egg wash rather than the butter. Oh, also, I forgot to add the egg wash…
Why am I baking croissants and writing to you about them?
People have asked this question more than a few times since I sent the first email at the start of the year. Some of you, more than once. A quick way to tell the story would be to say that a newsletter I read suggested more people should write a newsletter and Caitlin suggested I could write one about learning to make croissants. Case closed. But this leaves out months of me talking Caitlin’s ear off about Digital minimalism and The world beyond your head and it ignores the deep satisfaction I’ve felt running a whiskey club with many of you and it doesn’t require me to grapple with a oddly life altering comment the CEO of Meetup.com made to me once, and so the longer story might be needed. That said, I have now spent at least four hours trying to put this all into words and I’m pooped.
So rather than barrel though for a few more hours and send out a rambling rant about leisure, I’m going to share what might be the opening paragraph of a future email and then go to bed.
Here goes nothing:
A series of events spreading over more than ten years has led me to belief that as a society we should be spending more time making things with our hands in the physical world that can be shared with friends we see face to face without needing to justify the work via money.
Some more pictures