Sunday, 3 June 2012

French pastry making

Handmade 2012 is on in Wellington this long weekend. It is an annual festival that boasts a feast of events for creative folk. Yesterday, a friend and I tried our hands at French pastry making. The same recipe can be used to bake croissants, pain au chocolat and other French treats dear to our hearts. I knew that the process involved layering butter and dough but little else.

The delightful Sebastien Lambert was our tutor and prefaced his two-hour session with a disclaimer that the process of croissant pastry making usually takes 6 or more hours. He also told us not to be disappointed with our first batch as it took him 4 months of practising every day to get to a high standard. I heeded his warning; this is what they were supposed to look like.

I can see why we buy croissants (and why they cost so much) instead of making them ourselves; this is quite a process. However, pounding butter with a rolling pin into a similar texture to the dough looks remarkably therapeutic and is something I will look forward to doing when I try making croissants again. ;-) In the meantime, I have just taken six pain au chocolate and an assortment of croissant-shaped pastries out of the oven, all at pancake height. I'm not brave enough to post my own pics but take comfort in the knowledge that (thankfully) they smell good and taste ok! It's now back to the kitchen for more practice ...

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