Gougères and Canapés
The transition from making your own puff pastry to croissant dough is a simple one, with croissants adding yeast to the mix. The butter is flattened the same way, the folds are the same, just a different number. The addition of yeast yields a different flavor and consistency altogether, along with the need to consider temperature not just for the butter, but also how it plays in the development of the yeast. The slower it rises, the better it tastes. Last week I had a student sign up for several classes in a row. On Friday we made croissants and on Saturday, after visiting the market and fromagerie together, we went back to the kitchen to do one last multi-course meal. One of the delights in being able to cook over the course of several days together is that it opens doors for projects, one very important one being putting together a reception's worth of canapés and gougères. They freeze well, baking straight from their frozen state into quick savory appetizers. Whenever I do a croissant workshop, I always take some time to roll out some of that extra dough that we always have at the end and tuck in fresh green herbs and minced leafy aromatics with sausage meat or fresh farmer's cheese, seasonal wild mushroom duxelles and dabs of sauces we've whipped up over the course of the week, so that at any time, when the weather gets warm, friends can pop in for a drink or supper and we can get things off to a good start. It is a nice habit to get into.