Do you agree that Tea and freshly baked croissants make a beautiful pairing?
I woke up early this morning delighted to begin making my croissant dough. And, I have confirmed that croissant making is a metaphor for living life, and here is why…
Assembling my ingredients, cooking equipment, and adorning my apron, I turned on “French” music to inspire my creations.
Allow me to say I have gained insight into the French way of living and cooking. I presumed much work goes into making the delicate croissants. In fact, it is amazing how much care and conscious attention croissant making requires to yield an amazing, delicious outcome. In other words, a lot of work for a small treasure which is meant to be eaten, savored, and enjoyed. Consumed much like our favorite moments in life!
Another staple of French life is wine. I understand that too. Following my trip to the store to purchase more ingredients for my third attempt at starting the dough, I decided to open a bottle of French white.
After internally consulting my “rules about when to begin drinking during the day,” at 12:15 pm, I enthusiastically uncorked a lovely, fruity white. Low and behold, my third attempt with wine, music, and, surrendering my perfection parts, I had magnificent success in turning out my dough, lovingly and appreciatively kneading it and placing it in the refrigerator to proof!
Drinking more wine, (Tea will come when my croissants cool from the oven), I moved onto the Beurre Block creating phase of my croissant making. I knew there was butter in croissants, but until tossing almost a pound of unsalted butter in flour, I now know what “a lot” of butter is, another learning! This combination enables the croissants to reach their ultimate flavorful flakiness in the end. I am equating butter with Love in Life, the more the better and the result is like nothing else ever experienced!
I also understand the French “invention” of the sous chef, as there is constant dish washing and cleaning up of flour, butter, yeast, and utensils! Having a friend, someone to work with while creating is a lovely benefit in life as well! The process may also be conducted alone, which allows more time to dwell within and savor creativity and milestone successes achieved with sovereignty!
Did I mention the yeast? Bringing active yeast to life is a delicate process, much like raising our children, or caring for loved ones. With milk warmed to the exquisite temperature of 100-110 degrees, a little sugar, (sweetness) is added to ignite the yeast. Whisking the live yeast, then allowing it to rest undisturbed at warm room temperature, it begins to “bubble” and come alive. Like a soulful smile, it beautifully blooms into a wonderful entity all its own which enables the croissants (others) to proof and grow.
Next is the exciting process of rolling out the dough to precise dimensions, then layering the butter block onto and into the dough. The butter layers make the croissant flaky; give it texture and substance, making the flavor unique. Unconditional love does just that, n’est-ce pas?
Rolling out the dough, folding it exactly, measuring, cutting, and stuffing the unbaked pastries with more goodness such as dark chocolate, almond paste, cinnamon, and sugar, are metaphors for all the wonderful surprises in life! The final step is baking the croissants to a beautiful golden brown, promising sublime joy!
So, croissant making, as life, is about nurturing creativity and beauty, resting, which may take longer than we would like. Croissant making is a two-day process and requires perseverance, lots of love, and pure joy in each step! Such as life!
Now, for savoring the croissants with a lovely tea pairing, of one of your favorites?