Tagged: ‘croissants’

Coffee and Cake

I remember being turned on to freshly roasted specialty coffee in the early 1970s. It is was in San Francisco’s North Beach at the bohemian Cafe Trieste, a bustling coffee house opened in 1956 by an Italian fisherman’s son to serve cappucinos and those decadent, delicious Italian pastries that are so flakey when fresh and scatter crumbs all over the table after every bite. Shortly after, Peet’s opened in Berkeley and Menlo Park and people lined up to buy their coffee beans every day of the week. I traveled in Guatemala and the mountains were planted with coffee. But every food stall and restaurant table had a jar of Nescafe instant coffee. I would walk on the beach in Champerico after traveling at Lake Atitlan and watch the boats be loaded with the sacks of beans.

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The Universal Crescent: Croissants

Long the domain of the professional baker, croissants are made by following a logical set of simple instructions to create a dough with over 150 layers, the same technique used in creating Danish pastries, another Viennese invention. When I review my past baking class schedules, I find that making croissants has been a top request from students for years; I have taught this workshop dozens of times with great success. This recipe not only makes fabulous croissants, but the stuffed variations are worth the time. This is a skill to be practiced many times, so if you feel gawky in the beginning, be assured you are on the right track.

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