We have begun product rotation in Baking and Pastry Techniques, which means that we are assigned, as teams, to a new station every week and have a list of products that we are expected to make. For example the cut-in station will work on scones, pie dough, biscuits, things of that nature, and my team, consisting of three other lovely souls, got to do croissants, apple strip, pan au chocolate (chocolate filled croissants) and palmiers.
The term lamination, in baking, refers to rolling and folding a fat into your dough in order to incorporate layers. It makes all of those decadently flakey-pull-apart pieces of heaven that you think of when someone says "croissant". They are labor intensive and take hours to make, but for someone like me, it is nothing but a labor of love. It is so much fun to tend to your dough, and by the end it is your little baby, because of all the time you invested in it.
Lamination is really not hard at all, it just takes time and care. While you're rolling out your dough it is very important to keep track of which fold you are on, and as our Chef says, your dough must always be cold and relaxed before the next step.
Lamination is definitely my favorite station so far, I love love love working with doughs, they really have a mind of their own sometimes! And the final product is simply divine, I get such a sense of accomplishment after the hours invested in my dough have come to a close.
These little devils are called palmiers, and they are the bane of my healthy existence. Sitting in an air of feigned innocence, they bat their eyelashes at me from across the room, tempting the healthy snack right from my mind. And I simply can not resist. But these little buggers are worse than potato chips in their "can't possibly eat just one" allure. I have a large sized zip lock baggie completely stuffed with them, let's see how long that lasts. Part of their charm is also how easy and fun they are to make. These guys are puff pastry, which means no yeast, just layers and layers of butter to give them their "puff". After giving them their folds, you completely douse them in sanding sugar, we used sugar in the raw, because it is a gorgeous color and has a molasses-y taste that is divine. Then you simply press in the sugar and roll these suckers up before slicing and baking. They are up to absolutely no good, do not let them fool you.
Last week I was on the cut-in station, I made a chai-almond variety that were so perfectly tasty with a big mug of black tea.
Oh apple strip! I can not believe that I have forgotten to take a picture of it to show you!
It is a beautiful little guy, I will be posting pictures soon.
I have a very, very exciting tidbit to share, which will be told in great detail shortly, but first allow me to conjure up some curiosity!
Until then, how do you feel about scones, have a favorite kind?
Love and lamination,