culinary quest: pain au chocolat

For quite a long time, perhaps since first tasting the melt-in-your-mouth-and-sometimes-choke-you layers of French flaky pastry Brandon has wanted to try to make it. It's an all-day and maybe even a couple days kind of project so we have never gotten around to actually doing it.

Enter Meghan. She came home for Christmas with the will, resolve, and tools to make PAIN AU CHOCOLAT! She had even scanned and printed the recipe out of a huge French pastry cook book and brought along her super cool French rolling pin.

So she and Brandon set themselves to the task and experiment. There was so much rolling, and kneading, and rolling again. They rolled out BUTTER, and chilled butter and rolled it into the dough, over and over, chilling for hours in between.

They baked the first batch and unfortunately they were a bit of a flop, but they didn't give up. People say that croissant dough is very difficult to make, and their first attempt certainly proved this to be true, but the second day they nailed it.

The flop:

The success:

It was quite impressive that it only took them two tries to make delicious buttery and flaky French pastries! Meghan even breathed in some flakes and choked, which in my mind is a huge testament to their authenticity.

The big surprise at the end of the process was that the rolling pin and the giant French pastry cook book were Meg's secret santa gifts to Brandon all along! Thanks, Meg!

At the end of the day(s) they decided that even though they tasted very good, they weren't enough better than pastries you can get from your local bakery to warrant the amount of effort they took. It was definitely a fun culinary quest, however, and a big culinary accomplishment to add to their baking resumes.

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