Guaranteed Failure

I Learnt How to Make Croissants…sorta

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They didn’t come out as expected.

The aesthetically pleasing continental breakfast I sought to achieve.
(Photo by reneereneee from Pexels)

I have been baking a little more lately due to the lack of comfort food available at the moment.

I miss you Greggs <3

I usually stick to what I know, but I decided to try something that may be considered an expert level product – croissants!

Some people may be thinking, “Croissants are easy af to make, what are you talking about?”, while others may say, “I thought croissants were the creation of a French wizard!” Either way, this was my first attempt, and I was ready to give it a good ol’ Ade try! An “Ade try” usually involves changing the recipe for some reason and storming off in frustration, but it’s a process that leads to new knowledge and great opportunities! …And more things to hate about myself, but that’s not as important.

The Journey Begins

For my first attempt at making croissants, I consulted this recipe from BBC Good Food. After reading it a million times and getting heavily confused, I finally got started on making my abominations.

My first mistake was attempting to halve the measurements. I was trying to save on flour, which is a rare commodity these days. I managed to find a very comprehensive converter for the measurements provided in the recipe. I only did this because I don’t have kitchen scales. I know, it should be the next thing on my infinite shopping list so I can avoid this mistake again. I put everything together in the bowl in half measurements until I got to the sugar. I proceed to add the full amount to the bowl. Oops.

Crap, what do I do? I guess these could be slightly sweet croissants! No problem, let’s soldier on!

“Add 300 ml of cold water…”

OK, 300 ml of cold water… with 2x 7g sachets of yeast. Let me check the converter…yep that’s added. Mixed aaaand in the bowl it goes…

Ah f***.

I’m actually pretty good at maths, but being stressed out about saving resources really messed me up. It was at this point I just made up the rest of the ingredients and continued through this hell of my own making.

I managed to make a really nice bread dough and left it to proof, as per the recipe. I skipped the butter slab part because I was going to use Stork anyway, so it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Almost a Slippery Defeat

Following the steps further, I added the butter and proceeded to fold inwards to seal it into the dough. Because of the consistency of butter spread, this process was unbelievably messy. Butter was, for lack of a better term, farting out of the dough and squelching in my hands. The butter was utilising its slippery properties to try and escape the tight hold of the dough. After struggling for what seemed like forever and a day, I was happy I couldn’t find any more pockets of demonic dairy.

I was to let the dough rest for 30 minutes in between each rolling/folding session, but I basically waited 45 minutes to an hour each time because I was getting more and more frustrated with the mess I was creating. I had to do this process 3 or 4 times just to incorporate the butter substitute enough. After 4 hours of fighting with my yet-to-be baked goods, I turned in for the night at 4:30 am.

Oh, did I forget to mention I stayed up all night trying to make this happen? To be fair, I started this dough at 8 pm, left it to proof for a few hours because I needed a break from my first load of mistakes, then proceeded to get ready for bed, only to realise I had to finish off the dough so I could use it the next day. *sigh*

At least I passed the time in between dough wrestling sessions with some YouTube videos.

Back into the Fray

So I woke up at 10 am to see what I could make from this mystery dough I had concocted. But first, I was curious to see if there was an easier way to make this dough and not want to throw it through a goddamn window. I easily found this video and I realised that I could have had a much easier ride than I did.

What a f***ing idiot!

When all is said and done, I work better from audio/video compared to written text. I already take a bit of time to read and understand things, before having to visualise what everything means. And the recipe in the video provides a much simpler way of applying the butter to the dough and ensuring that it creates layers of flaky pastry in the final product. I just wish I had tried to find a few different recipes before starting. I was much too eager to get going and shot myself in the foot.

But also, this was my first attempt at making croissants. My mistakes were completely acceptable. I’m still a novice at baking, even though I made muffins, cakes, and biscuits more often than most people BC (Before Corona). It was totally OK for it to not come out perfect because it was supposed to be a learning moment.

Let’s F***ing Do This!

I decided to roll out the dough, cut it into small triangles, roll them up into cute mini croissant shapes, make the egg wash, and brush it on. I could only fit half the dough onto my baking sheet, so in went the first batch.

Here goes nothing!

They actually came out all right, albeit with the wrong texture. I was right before when I said I made a nice bread dough. It was the best bread I had ever made. They just weren’t croissants. They were croissant-shaped bread rolls. Disappointed, but happy with the overall outcome, I decided to roll out the rest of the dough for the next batch…

Ping! A wild eureka moment appeared!

I figured that, “This dough could probably make some nice soft pretzels. Although they don’t exactly follow the right recipe for pretzels; bigger, fluffier bread shapes would be fun to try out!” I split the remaining dough and rolled it into strands, used the twisting technique shown in this recipe, and placed them on the baking sheet. Throw a little egg wash on them and a sprinkle of salt… hey presto, you got some pretzels!

In the End…

The final outcome of this arduous journey through baking hardship led me to this:

An array of assorted faux croissants.
Strongk little croissant!
Faux Pretzels, with the most beautiful one in the centre<3
(The super strongk boi in the top left though!)

I’m proud of myself for continuing till the end and managing to make some pretty tasty bread rolls. The resemblance to croissants and pretzels just made them more fun to eat, to be honest. My sibling and I almost finished everything before the end of the day. I also figured out that the products I created in the end pair really well with American yellow mustard. It might not sound like Flavourtown to you, but it was for me 🙂

Perseverance is a great trait to have. I really need to work on my skills in both baking and patience, but this experience definitely showed me that mistakes aren’t always mistakes… especially if you add in the rest of the ingredients before carrying on with the potential culinary disaster in your mixing bowl.


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By Ade

An aspiring creator in way too many areas, Ade loves to try something new, as long as it doesn't interfere with the balance of the universe too much. Trying to take each day as it comes, Ade edits videos for YouTube, occasionally records podcasts, and writes with strange mannerisms to entertain the world.