My sister enrolled herself in a baking program shortly after graduating from high school. I remember questioning at the time if we shared the same genetics, as I’m hopeless where baking is concerned.
I wish baking was my thing, but it’s simply not. However, I’m actually really good at eating baked goods. So I guess there’s that.
What’s funny is that learning to make croissants has always been high on my list of life goals. Not a basic dinner roll or similar. No, no.. the multi-step highly involved croissant.
So when I booked my most recent trip to Paris I decided it was time to step up to the challenge, and I registered for an half-day baking class. Learning to make croissants in Paris was the perfect plan.
I joined 7 other participants for Le Croissant & Breakfast Pastries at Le Cuisine Paris early one morning.
Because the process for making croissants is long, we actually started the dough for the next morning’s class – and finished the dough from the previous morning’s class.
We began by creating a flour well to add our liquids, and the square of yeast that you can see in this photo.
It smelled like beer, and looked like an eraser. Once the dough was formed into a ball it was off to proof. Or rise. Or something that I can’t remember at the moment.
Here’s our instructor, Eline, later demonstrating the gentle stretch and pull we’d do to the triangles of dough that would form the croissants.
Eline was a lot of fun and very knowledgeable, having spent some time working for prestigious pastry chefs in France. She immediately put everyone at ease.
Here I am glazing the croissants before they head to the oven. I liked how the class was set up; we each took turns to complete each step.
The smell in the kitchen became tortuous as the croissants baked in the ovens. After what felt like 17 years they finally came out of the oven and we could enjoy our tasty handiwork.
Behind the croissants are the famous Pain aux Raisin. I’m not normally a fan of raisins but those were delicious.
We also made almost everyone’s favourite, Pain au Chocolat.
There were also cute little pastries filled with apricot or chocolate and raspberry preserves.
And something I’ve never seen before, pastries with pastry cream and little chocolate chips.
At the end of class, we were given paper bags to fill with the leftovers that weren’t immediately inhaled. I considered offering mine to the guys working the front desk of my hotel, who I’ve come to know over the years. But then I decided they would be better in my own stomach and didn’t whisper a word of their existence as I stepped into the elevator.
Zero regrets, folks. Zero.