One of the many things I told myself I would do WIR (When I Retire) is yeast baking. I have always had a conflicted history with yeast (and pie crusts, but that’s another WIR and blog entry…). So I signed up for a course on making croissants and cinnamon rolls (with croissant dough) at our local Lake Mills coffee shop and bakery – Water House Foods.
Shawn Rediske, owner and baker/chef extraordinaire, taught the class to 15 of us fledgling pastry chefs. He showed us how to make the intricate, buttery croissant dough, which layers an entire brick of butter within the yeast/flour dough – folded over several times – cooled to rise – then rolled out and folded again. Repeat 1-3 more times (depending on how much time you have – but the more you roll and rise and fold the dough, the flakier and buttery-er it will taste.)
Once the dough was prepared, we divided it into three sections, and Shawn demonstrated how to make crescent-shaped croissants (savory and plain) with one portion, almond bear claws with another portion of the buttery dough, and finally the showstopper – cinnamon rolls.
OMG, the SMELLS in that kitchen! Even a pinch of the yeasty dough smelled terrific (and yes, TASTED terrific, because of course we all sneaked a taste or two throughout the afternoon). We worked in teams of three, and we all got to take home the items we made. What a fun afternoon! If you live near Lake Mills, Wisconsin (conveniently situated between Madison and Milwaukee on the I94 corridor), I highly recommend one of the many cooking classes offered by Water House Foods!