Irony of Terrible French Pastry School

or a story How I went to hone my croissant baking skills in Terrible French Pastry School

I know it sounds confusing and you might wonder, why I wanted to learn how to make terrible French pastry or how it is possible to hone ones skills in pastry school that promises by its name to teach you to make awful pastry. But I promise that everything will make perfect sense if you follow along :). 

So the backstory for this experience started some time ago, where I have tried with some trial and error to teach myself via different books, recipes and online courses the art of croissant making. I like flaky butterly crispy croissants, and who wouldn't ?. But often the croissants that are available are not measuring up for these expectations, and the whole croissant experience ends up being rather dull (I know, I might have bit high standards, but thats the life). So the solution to this problem in my mind, was to learn how to make a proper croissants, and as I love baking, how hard it could be? Well, it turns out that mastering croissants, can be little tricky and you can produce many silly little mistakes that affect the end result. (More about that another time). So after gaining some croissant baking knowledge from this different resources, I mentioned before, I decided it is time to sign myself up to croissant baking course and hone my skills more hands on. So thats how I ended up attending Terrible French Pastry School croissant class :). 

Hmm, but if I wanted to hone my croissant baking skills and learn how to make better croissants, why I went to school that should by its name teach people how to make awful French pastry :S ? 

Well, there is the funny irony in the story. The Terrible French Pastry School has gotten its name from its founder Frederic Terrible, who is French pastry chef and instructor in this school (and yes, it is his actual name and he is rather fun), and school actually is teaching, how to make some amazing pastry creations rather than awful one (Check out their sugar swan making courses. Amazing, isn't it?). Anyway, thats the short story about school name and I think it is fun :). (Definitely a good talking point during the dinner party- Btw I went to Terrible French Pastry School to hone my baking skills. What have you lately been up to? :D) 

So here is a little photo summary on what went on in this 4.5 hour course and as you can see in the end results were not bad at all :).

 

Our instructor Frederic Terrible cutting for us some laminated dough for croissant rolling. (Our course started backwards as we started with rolling/folding the dough and putting the croissants to proof for 3 hours and then laminated croissant dough by ourselves.)

Our instructor Frederic Terrible cutting for us some laminated dough for croissant rolling. (Our course started backwards as we started with rolling/folding the dough and putting the croissants to proof for 3 hours and then laminated croissant dough by ourselves.)

Thats how the layers should look. hmm expectations are high

Thats how the layers should look. hmm expectations are high

Preparing laminated dough for cutting and rolling/folding

Preparing laminated dough for cutting and rolling/folding

Cutting some triangles. Every croissants starts its life as a triangle :)

Cutting some triangles. Every croissants starts its life as a triangle :)

No we are not folding "dough planes"- How to fold/roll croissant step-by-step. (Btw this middle cut is extremely important ;))

No we are not folding "dough planes"- How to fold/roll croissant step-by-step. (Btw this middle cut is extremely important ;))

My half-moon shaped croissants ready for proofing

My half-moon shaped croissants ready for proofing

"Dough blob" destined to become a croissant ;)

"Dough blob" destined to become a croissant ;)

"How to put butter into dough in perfect layers"- While our croissants are proofing (3 h) we start to laminate our dough

"How to put butter into dough in perfect layers"- While our croissants are proofing (3 h) we start to laminate our dough

"Where all the butter went?" Butter envelope ready for some rolling

"Where all the butter went?" Butter envelope ready for some rolling

It is resting time before next turn. (Layering the dough with butter takes some time)

It is resting time before next turn. (Layering the dough with butter takes some time)

While our dough is resting and croissants are proofing, we sample the commercial croissants (Had some interesting results)

While our dough is resting and croissants are proofing, we sample the commercial croissants (Had some interesting results)

After proofing it is time to get some color to our croissants

After proofing it is time to get some color to our croissants

Croissants getting some color

Croissants getting some color

and finally they are ready :)

and finally they are ready :)

And now I need to practice, practice and practice to master this skill. I am not sure, I will need 10 000 hours, but definitely I need some hours, kilos of butter, flour and "croissant volunteers" to hone and master croissant making skill :).