The community bread group was in today and they were attempting croissants. Considering that the group has only been going for eighteen months and some of them were not confident bakers when we started they have come a long way. We have diverged over that time and I mainly deal with school parties now – pizzas. soda bread and scones. The bread group is an altogether more sophisticated affair where they produce lovingly crafted continental breads, sourdoughs and, today, croissants.
I felt I just had to come along and record it with a few photographs. I wasn’t going to miss this, if there’s one thing I like better than warm croissants it’s people struggling with exotic bread recipes.
It was much quieter than a normal session as there was more concentrating to be done. I’d never thought of it, but there was more measuring to be done too. As you laminate the dough you have to work to certain sizes and then you have to use atemplate. You don’t get that with the sort of things I do. I’d assumed that you made a shhet of dough and carved out a load of freehand triangles. That is not the case – there is no room for free spirits in the world of the croissant and my deplorable slack ways with triangular scones were not welcome here.
We’ve always said that the secret with bread at any level is that if it doesn’t look perfect at the end you can call it rustic or artisan – a couple of catch-all terms that cover a multitude of imperfections. That’s why they call me an artisan baker – it isn’t a statement of competence, it’s because I’m lumpy and not quite symmetrical.
In the end we had plenty of croissants to show for the day and though they may not have looked like shop bought croissants there was nothing wrong with the taste and everyone went home happy.
I you want to join the group they meet on alternate Thursdays at the farm.
Sadly, by the nature of the internet, most of you reading this won’t be close enough, but if you ever find yourself in Nottinghamshire we normally have something on every week.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I have an appointment with a warm croissant.