Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was fun and delicious, thanks to a croissant workshop at Muddy Fork Bakery.
Muddy Fork sells delicious breads and pastries that are baked in a wood-fired oven at the Farmers’ Market every Saturday. It’s a stand we always stop at because James is a huge fan of their breakfast pizza and I can’t resist their delicious pretzel croissants. I took a sourdough class at Muddy Fork last year and had a blast learning about baking bread. So, when I saw the croissant class was among their upcoming workshops, I convinced my friend Andrea to sign up with me.
The class starts at 10 a.m. at the bakery with warm coffee waiting. We immediately got started on our croissants. Bakery owner Eric made the dough for the croissants the night before and let it chill overnight. It was our job to do the laminating, which is the process of folding butter into the dough. This is what gives croissants their flaky, buttery texture. We pounded out the butter, placed it in the middle of the dough, then folded it and rolled it out with a rolling pin. We repeated that process a total of three times throughout the day.
Eric also spent some time telling us about the different grains he uses to make his breads. He mills many of them himself and it was interesting to hear what grain combinations work best for different types of breads and pastries. I definitely want to try using some kamut in my next pie crust because of the amazing flavor it has.
While the dough rested before our next fold, we got to work on making some chocolate-dipped espresso cookies. We all took turns mixing the dough with our hands, then cut out heart-shaped cookies to throw into the wood-fired oven. Later in the afternoon we dipped them in melted chocolate. The end product was delicious! I loved the hint of espresso flavor in the shortbread.
We also made five different pizzas to eat for lunch, which were absolutely delicious. My favorite slice was topped with peppers, sausage and onion. We ate outside because it was a beautiful, unseasonably warm November afternoon. It was a fun break from the kitchen and a great opportunity to get to know the other participants.
After enjoying our lunch al fresco, we headed back inside to fold and roll our dough one more time. We then cut the croissants out and rolled them up. I decided to make a couple of classic, chocolate and pretzel croissants. The pretzel variety are my favorite! They get their flavor from being dipped in lye, which you can buy online. You have to try one of the pretzel croissants at the Farmers’ Market if you haven’t before.
We left the class with a half dozen croissants and some cookies, armed with the recipes to recreate the treats at home. I enjoyed the croissant workshop even more than the sourdough class. It made the laminating process seem much less intimidating and I can definitely see myself making batches of croissants at home for special occasions. I was surprised how easy it was!
I enjoyed the class so much I’m considering taking it again and dragging my husband or mom along — it’s such a fun experience! I would recommend the workshops to anyone who likes to cook. The next open class Muddy Fork is offering is a holiday baking workshop on Dec. 23 that sounds amazing. Unfortunately, I’ve got to work that day. But what a great way to stock your kitchen just before a busy couple of days celebrating the season!