Anna and I went up to the 18th Arrondissement, the Monmartre area, this morning for a baking class offered by Cook'n With Class. We made croissants, pain au chocolat, pain raisin, and babas au rum. The recipes are simple so it's the techniques that must be mastered. This is the kind of cooking class that I still enjoy...those that teach techniques that are just about impossible to learn from a book.
Rolling croissants is very satisfying. Can't wait to try it at home.
Lovely little pastries just waiting for the oven.
This dough that we learned how to make today is comprised of 80 layers as you can see plainly in these fresh out of the oven pain au chocolats. The chef explained to us that the French like their pastries to be baked until quite dark. They like the burnt caramel flavor as in Creme Caramel and Creme Brulee. He said that baking this way signifies that this is something to be eaten right away, not saved for later and reheated. According to him, Americans eat baked goods that are undercooked, "blond" and that uncooked gluten is hard to digest even for those who are not gluten sensitive. In other words, no more snacking on raw cookie dough. Don't know if all this is fact, just passing along the advice of our french pastry chef friend.