My first allergies started in my freshman year in high school, and these were the days before all the fancy allergy pills. Benadryl was your only choice, baby. You know what that means? The drowsiness from the Benadryl made me sleep through all my classes. That was when my grades started to slide too, surprise surprise. Anyway, I blame my allergies on all the processed foods I was fed throughout my youth, and in my parents’ defense it seemed to have been a thing in that generation when TV dinners were a novelty and a quick solution. Buying organic or eating healthy was not a widespread concern yet and there was no internet to have such information readily available.
Fast forward to several years later, I was living in NYC and I don’t know if it was the water or the pollution but I developed some terrible eczema and it seemed to be exacerbated by foods made with yeast. This was a serious blow because I love bread and beer. It came to the point where if I was handling bread dough, my hands would be red and in pain. These were also the days before I started baking bread with a sourdough starter.
Then I moved away from the city and decided to make my own wild yeast starter (check out my Amy’s Basics page to make your own!).
Who knows if it’s because I use commercial yeast very very occasionally now or because I don’t live in a city anymore, but my eczema cleared up in a matter of months and my allergies have gone away one by one. Either way, it’s great to be eating bread and drinking beer again, and baking with a sourdough starter gives me the opportunity to bake all kinds of bread because I have to feed it every week anyway. Since I don’t like repeating things over and over, I’m always trying different bread recipes. And this time, I was in the mood for croissants without using commercial yeast so I stumbled upon this Sourdough Croissants recipe by Robert King on his breadcalc.com website (the same recipe is also posted on the Shipton Mill website which has more pictures).
Watch the video to see it in action and don’t forget to subscribe below!
This wasn’t the first time I made croissants, but it was my first time making croissants with a sourdough starter. Working with a sourdough starter definitely takes more time as there is a lot of waiting time with slow rises. But slow rises make for a great tasting bread and I think it’s worth the wait. The rest of the process is pretty standard, but I feel like with croissants it is not like riding a bike…I can never remember how many folds, how long to wait, and all the other little details that go into making croissants. Which is why I liked this recipe because it was very step-by-step. The steps were separated by day and even time of day so it was easy to follow.
One thing I realized with croissants is that there seem to be two types. The fluffy bready kind and the flaky stretchy kind. I love the flaky stretchy kind, and to me that is what a traditional croissant is. I once made croissants using the recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol.2 and it was the bready kind. I was so disappointed. And I think with croissant fails, the disappointment is tripled that of a normal disappointment because it takes so long to make. But when you have a success, victory is so sweet!