My name is Rebecca and I’m just pleased as punch to be the July 15th host baker. Thanks Kelly, for setting up this group. It’s a fantastic idea and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
A bit about me. I am a freelance digital marketing consultant, copywriter and food blogger. I started a baking blog, Of Batter and Dough, in 2013 as an excuse to bake beautiful food and write about it, and it’s become my driving passion.
When it comes to baking and cooking, my philosophy is pretty simple: Life is too short to eat crappy food. I tend to favor quality over quantity in pretty much every area of my life and am increasingly aware that more is often actually less. Give me one bite of something decadent and amazing over 10 bites of something mediocre any day.
On a more personal level, I’ve been married for nearly 23 years to my high school sweetheart. We are both Colorado natives, and while we love to travel, we can’t really imagine calling anywhere else “home”. We have three beautiful kids who, at the ages of 21, 19 and 16, aren’t really kids any more.
I’m a bit obsessed with audiobooks and cookbooks, and believe that every evening should include at least one glass of wine. My husband and I spend as much time as we can riding around the country on our motorcycle. We are currently preparing for a 19-day motorcycle trip that will include stops in Memphis, Nashville, Maryland, St. Louis, Chicago, Wisconsin, and anywhere else we feel like going, until the demands of real life require us to point the bike towards home.
Ever since Kelly announced that I was the July host baker, I’ve been having quite the argument with myself. I’ve made homemade croissants many times over the years and let me tell you, friends, when they turn out there’s nothing like them. Soft, warm, buttery, tender and flaky all at the same time… a well-made, fresh from the oven croissant is a work of art.
But… croissants can be challenging to make, are somewhat labor intensive, and haven’t always worked out well for me in the past. Plus, it’s July and keeping all those layers of butter cold despite 90-degree heat will not be easy. (Sorry. Please don’t hate me.)
In the end, it was the objections that caused me to commit to baking amazing homemade croissants in July. Because, it’s supposed to be a challenge, yes? So, here’s our chance to prove that we can have homemade croissants any time we fancy them, even in the middle of July.
The recipe I’m using is a modified version of one in Baking with Julia, one of my most dog-eared, tattered, batter-splattered-well-loved cookbooks. The recipe in the book uses fresh, compressed yeast, which is superior to active dry yeast in some ways, but difficult to find. I have used it, but I had to order it from a bakery in NYC. To make homemade croissants more accessible, I’ve modified the recipe to use active dry yeast instead.
Also, please note that making croissants requires some planning. The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for several hours at various points of the process. I usually spread this out over the course of 2 days.
I’m excited to take on this challenge because I’ve only made croissants once. But I’ve eaten them in Paris, so that has to count for something, doesn’t it? And speaking of Paris — or any other city in which temperatures soar each summer, as Rebecca mentioned, using butter in warm weather can be quite challenging, yet bakers do this every day. I’m planning on getting a start in the evening and finishing up early in the morning with a liberal supply of iced tea to sustain me!
Happy baking, everyone!