Thursday, April 16, 2009

Many, many excuses

Today is an amazing day.

You may remember last year - before October - I used to go to a Body Combat class on Thursdays, then eat, try to fit in a quick new thing, and then go to boxing later in the evening.

This stopped in September when my 6 p.m. class moved to 7 p.m.

Back in January, I stopped boxing on Thursday nights and started boxing on Fridays. I planned to start going to my class again.

However, there was:
- the bus strike
- a job hunting meeting
- a cold
- March break (this was grasping at straws, excuse-wise)
- the flu
- grocery shopping for camp
- whatever weird illness I had last Thursday

As a result, I made it back to class tonight, only 3.5 months later. It was really, really good to be back.

Because I've been sick so much, I haven't hit many combat classes at all this year. I noticed yesterday that there was so much tension in my back/shoulders that it hurt to move. (This is not usually a problem, but I haven't been to boxing in a month.) I went to my weight lifting class yesterday, which took care of some of the tension, but it took this class to really get rid of it.

Here's hoping I stay healthy for a while.

Changing the subject (which I can do, 'cause it's my blog), Sydney was asking how hard it is to make croissants. The answer is that it's quite easy, as long as using yeast doesn't scare you - but that's my opinion, it depends on how familiar you are with baking bread. Also, I made a group of 5 & 6 year olds make their own pizza dough a couple of weeks ago, so it's possible that my love for fresh bread products blinds me to the craziness of making the bread products.

Here's the recipe:
1 tbsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 egg yolks
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/3 cups flour
1 cup butter (do not substitute)

Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water and let stand 10 minutes (until it starts to grow). Separate your eggs, saving the whites in a sealed container for tomorrow. Beat the egg yolks, stir in the warm milk, sugar, salt, yeast mixture, and 2/3 cup flour. Beat until smooth and set aside.

In another bowl, use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the remaining flour. The goal here (and the reason for using a pastry blender) is to get the butter into pieces about pea-sized. Pour in the yeast mixutre and mix slightly with spatula just until the flour is moistened. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or foil (or, you know, put on the lid if you have a bowl with a lid). Chill at least 2 hours or until cold (up to 3 days). I usually make it the day before and let it chill overnight, 'cause I want them for breakfast.

When you are ready to bake them, turn out your mixture onto a floured board and knead lightly. Here your goal is to mix in the flour and make sure the whole thing is basically evenly moist (i.e. you don't want part of the dough really sticky and part a pile of flour). Flour on your hands works wonders here.

Divide the ball of dough into 3 parts. Roll each piece into a circle about 16 inches. (Again, flour the rolling pin). Cut the circle into 12 pie wedges. Starting at the widest part of each wedge, roll it up. Place the rolls point down on baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise at room temperature until double in size. (I'm not this patient. They're lucky if they get to rise much at all.)

Remember the egg white from yesterday? Take it out of the fridge and beat it until it's frothy. Brush the beaten egg white on each croissant.

Bake at 375 F oven for 20 minutes or until brown.

These will likely be much smaller than croissants you would get in a supermarket (especially if, like me, you're impatient waiting around for them to rise). They will, however, be much tastier.

Note that (in case the cup of butter didn't clue you in), these are very rich and are by no means health food.

1 comment:

  1. I fear no yeast - but this does look a little complicated. Here I thought all croissants were was butter and more butter! I might have to give this a try - I can't find any good croissants [I love cheese croissants] 'round here.