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OF CROISSANTS AND SISIG

Updated: Aug 15, 2020


Photos above:

8/09/2020- First batch of croissants, 8/10/2020- Second batch and 8/14/2020 - Third batch


There are several reasons why I have put off baking my first croissant. First, if I may say so, I am a self-proclaimed croissant snob. I do not know how or when that came about but, I just am. Perhaps, because of living in the San Francisco Bay Area with access to some of the best bakeries (Arsicault, Tartine, and b Patisserie are personal favorites), or from travels both local and abroad--- I am a croissant snob. Much as I am a Sisig snob--- like, please do not call it Sisig if you are serving the dish with fried egg and/or mayonnaise. I know my pork Sisig--- cooked with pig ears and pig cheeks. Like I know my croissant.

Airy and light. Flaky and crispy. Buttery in flavor. That is how I like my croissant. And by way of telling my children what to look for in a croissant, “If it doesn’t flake, it’s fake.”


400 grams of butter, diced and ready to be pounded flat.

Add to that the daunting process of preparing the poolish, the sourdough starter, the dough, the lamination process, and the waiting period--- because, well, time is gold. And patience is a virtue, right? Plus, I had surgery on my right shoulder back in 2016 which makes kneading or rolling a little tougher on my right upper limb (my right hand is my dominant hand).


First of three folds. Butter laminated in between sheets of dough.


But I love croissants, and I must admit to date, they are my ultimate baking challenge. My thought process is, if I can bake croissants and they meet my standards--- as a self-proclaimed croissant snob, then I can bake anything.

I prepped myself. Read books. Read blogs. Watched various techniques from different baking gurus. I even stalked my friend Ravy’s Facebook page as I adored a picture of his freshly baked croissants and attempted to count the number of layers in the laminated dough of the croissants. Ravy works as a Senior Pastry Sous Chef at Aubaine Restaurants, and has worked at TWG Tea London and Harrods; he holds a Diploma in Culinary Arts, Patisserie and Confectionary from Westminster Kingsway.


To top it off, I bought myself a sheeter--- as rolling takes a toll on my right shoulder. It arrived 5 weeks after I ordered it! You can imagine how much patience I have invested into this croissant baking adventure.


Final proof of my croissants.


And so today Sunday, August 9th, 2020, I baked my first batch of croissants--- from a dough I prepared the day prior.

I followed a recipe which I found in one of my baking books, Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. I swear by this book! In my quest to improve my Sourdough baking skills, this book reinforced all the learning I have acquired from classes and tutorials, vlogs and blogs. Although the method and technique gave me nice looking croissants, the taste was a little off. “It lacks butter,” my son said. “Needs more butter,” the daughter commented. "Plus, needs to be more airy," she added. Admittedly, the latter may be due to some faults in my techniques.


My first batch of croissants.


That said, as I am typing this, 500 grams of butter has been pounded flat, wrapped in parchment paper and is chilling in the fridge. A dough is autolyzing. And I will be baking my second batch of croissants tomorrow hoping they come out looking and tasting better because, well, I just sort of snubbed by croissants.


I will keep you posted!

8/14/2020 - As you can see from the photos below, I have been baking croissants lately and slowly have improved on my skills and techniques to come up with better tasting and better looking croissants.

8/09/2020- First batch of croissants, 8/10/2020- Second batch and 8/14/2020 - Third batch

Getting more air in each croissant with each new batch.


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