Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Days 25 and 26: Viennoiserie

Apple turnovers
This week we started on Viennoisserie - croissants, puff pastries, brioche. Mmm. Lots and lots of butter.

Monday was spent making the doughs - as they need to rest overnight, there was no baking that day. Croissant dough has yeast and puff pastry does not, but both need to have butter incorporated within them and then they go through a series of "turns" to make all those layers. First we had to start the croissant dough and let it ferment. After that we divided each batch in half so we will have some to make croissants with next week as well. For the batch we were using, we started to incorporate the butter. We took the dough (detrempe) and rolled it out and then folded it over the butter, creating the paton. Then we rolled it out and folded it into thirds. One turn. Wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. The croissant dough was turned 3 times over the course of the day.

The puff pastry dough was similar except did not require fermentation. We did let the dough rest and then did the same thing. Roll. Fold over the butter and seal. Roll and fold. Puff pastry needs six turns; we did five on Monday. Then it was wrapped and chilled overnight. Lastly, we made brioche dough, one batch was enough for all of us. Instead of letting that dough ferment at room temperature it went right into the refrigerator and fermented slowly there. We also made pastry cream and almond cream so we would have that ready for the croissants.
Raisin Croissant

Yesterday was baking day. First we took out our eight patons of croissant dough, in stages. We made plain croissants out of three patons. Chocolate croissants with two patons, almond croissants (almond cream as the filling) with two patons, and cinnamon raisin croissants with the last paton. That last one was mine, it'd broken while I was rolling it on Monday and since it didn't need to be as pretty it was used for the raisin croissants. We took the scraps from making the croissants so I could make some mini plain ones for my project presentation last night; I set aside eight or nine and let everyone eat the rest. We saved more scraps to make monkey bread but completely forgot about it until the end of the day. There were plenty of baked goods to go around without adding anything else!

The brioches were made into brioche a tête, in the little fluted molds. I'd tried this at home and didn't realize the little ball on top (the tête) was still attached. Now I know. They're adorable.

For the puff pastry, we used three patons to make pithiviers, which are rounds of puff pastry with almond cream inside and the top scored so the whole thing looks like a cake. Two patons became apple turnovers with a filling of apples sautéed with sugar and calvados. Lastly, the last three patons became palmiers, or elephant ears. For those, the last turn was in sugar instead of flour, which incorporates sugar between the layers and it's really wonderful.

So, after coming home empty handed on Monday, I now have baked goods all over the house!

Lastly, after our presentations at seminar last night, Chef taught us a bit about champagne and sparkling wine and showed us how to open a champagne bottle with a sword. "The dramatic way," he said. So true! My name was pulled out of a bowl so I got to open the second bottle with a really old German sword. Crazy fun!


  1. I would love to see a picture of you opening a bottle with a sword!

  2. There is a movie. Too long for the blog, but I'll show it to you.


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