The wife has been asking for chocolate croissants for months now, and I’ve continually put her off. Well, I can do so no longer. But it’s not easy to find a good online recipe for chocolate croissants to link to. My favorite croissant dough recipe is from the contemporary classic Baking with Julia. I did find it online at Recipe Source, though the presentation is rather primitive, I warn you. The recipe is complete, however, lengthy text and all. If you can bear with it, you won’t be sorry:
Breadwise, I think it’s about time we got into some peasant-style breads and for that we’re going to need starter. And since I’m a do-it-yourself, local-is-best sort of fellow, I thought we’d make our own. It’s a startlingly easy thing to do.
1. Find a quart-sized glass jar, crock, or tupperware container (one with a loose-fitting lid or hole in the lid to allow gas to escape).
2. Stir together a mixture of 50% flour and 50% water (by weight of course, say 8 ounces of water and eight ounces of water). Bottled water is best here since we don’t want any purifying chemicals to ruin the culture.
3. Put the mixture in your container. Cover the top with a cloth or paper towel (leave off the lid, in other words) and leave it in a fairly warm place (at least 70 degrees) for 24 hours.
4. For the next five-to-seven days, feed your starter once a day. Scoop out half the starter and discard it. Substitute it with a fresh cup of the 50-50 flour-water mixture.
That’s it! As the days go by you should start seeing bubbles appear, and the mixture should start to darken to a light tan. It will also very likely smell bad, like stale stanky beer, this is actually a good thing. Ideally, it will get very bubbly indeed, and the whole thing may rise somewhat (a very good thing). At some point a dark liquid may rise to the top. Don’t worry about that, just stir it back in. Only throw it away if “off” colors start to appear (any oranges, say, or blue colors, which means you’ve caught something odd).
Odds are, however, everything will go according to plan. Once the starter is bubbly, you can either build it up and start using it right away (keep adding 100% of its weight in fresh slurry every day until you have what you need for a given recipe), or put it in the refrigerator where it will keep indefinitely as long as you feed it every so often (once a week or so). More on how to use your starter as the week progresses. Have fun!