my first encounter with authentic croissants happened in Paris. it sounds typical, but the hype about French croissants exists for a reason in my opinion. my most favorite version is pain au chocolat, which is basically a croissant with chocolate inside. dough and chocolate = my favorite things. i’ve been to Paris only a few times, but each time i was able to enjoy a few of the pastries fresh from a bakery. i love the bakery culture that exists here in Europe. you can have fresh pastries any time of day, and you can actually find a bakery on every corner. the pastries are cheap too! in Germany, i find so many for under 1 euro! apfeltasche is a really good one by the way. back to the story i was telling, i think i have formed a lifelong romance with pain au chocolat. i tend to eat them very slowly to make them last as long as possible, and i wish i could have one everyday. i live in Germany now, and while they are not quite the same as in Paris, the chocolate croissants here will happily suffice. i ate some a few weekends ago in Dresden when i was visiting a friend. you can see in the picture how cute they look.
well, it inspired me to try and make my own croissants. i’ve tried once before back in February when i was baking props for my semester design project presentation. for some reason, in my head i think of accomplishing the “perfect croissant” equal with being an accomplished baker. it seems so daunting, and i expect it’s not something i will successfully master for years to come, hopefully i’m wrong. but practicing is so tasty. i get to make one of my favorite pastries and perfect my skills at the same time. making croissants takes a long time too, but for me baking has always been a way to relax and spend free time, so when i do have the time i don’t mind at all. i really love working with dough too. i’ll start to sound like a weirdo again and mention that i love the texture and smell of fresh dough. it makes me happy. the recipe i used back in February was quite easy and the pastries turned out pretty delicious, but the texture wasn’t the true texture i’ve had from bakeries in France. my goal is to eventually recreate that. i’m on a continuous search for the best croissant dough recipe, but this one i tried out last week. the results were again delicious, and i was very excited to see the texture resembling the croissants from European bakeries that i know so well. i made some normal croissants, and also experimented by filling some with dark chocolate. they were really lovely to wake up to in the morning and have with coffee. i haven’t perfected any specific recipe of my own yet for these, so i won’t retype the one i used from the website. i’ll keep looking for more techniques and tips, and i love croissants so much that i will use a cheesy cliché… but in this case practice makes perfect and my tummy happy.