The alarm went off shortly after eight in the morning. Eight isn’t so very early to get out of bed on a Monday, but this wasn’t just any Monday, and it wasn’t just any alarm clock. It was a holiday weekend, and it was our smoke detector that was blaring and bleeping at me. When I had hopped out of bed to preheat the oven I had forgotten to put a fan in the kitchen window. This wouldn’t be so terrible of a scenario if all of the smoke detectors of all of the apartments in our building weren’t connected to each other, but when one goes off, they all start making noise to alert the neighbors.
The forecast for Labor-Day weekend promised a drop in temperatures that would convince any home baker to turn on their oven. While at the grocery store on Friday, I had foregone purchasing a tube of cresent roll dough, with the idea that I would try my hand at from-scratch croissants. While the laminating process took patience and quite a bit of rolling (the palms of my hands feel a bit sore), it was the proofing stage that killed me. Rather than being satisfied to bake one item, I had gone into multi-task mode and worked on chicken soup and a few tart shells between rolling, chilling, and folding pastry dough. The warm stove top and oven heated up the kitchen space so that “room temperature, perfect for proofing croissant dough” was hot enough to melt the butter before the yeast had time to do it’s magic. You can see the layers, but the inside is still raw.
So, half of the dough was “wasted” on the first attempt. The other half rested in the freezer on Sunday, then thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Monday morning, I hopped out of bed eager to roll out my dough before the cool morning air dissappeared. And so, focused on my task, I forgot to put the box fan in the window.
This time I didn’t bother to try to proof the dough. Instead, I rolled it out quite thin and just wrapped it around the cold filling. Two separate brushes of egg wash before and mid-bake gave the pastry a somewhat crisp crust (although the bottom was a bit tough).