Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Latest Recipe Testing

I suppose it was only a matter of time until my kitchen gadgets began dancing off the counter because my singing voice is just that atrocious.

But before we get to that story, welcome back to another recipe testing post! A little behind-the-scenes look into my recipe adventures before the recipes make their way onto my blog. Curious about previous testing posts?

My entire baking life has been consumed by croissants lately, so that’s where all the focus is today.

MY DANCING MIXER

It was a Monday morning, naturally. I was testing chocolate croissants, a recipe I’m publishing in a couple days. I usually hover over my mixer as it mixes dough, but I stepped over to the sink to clean a silicone baking mat so I could use it. The dough wasn’t too heavy, so the mixer would be fine. Surely the mixer wouldn’t unplug itself and fall off the counter, right?

Wrong I was! That really happened! The piercing bang on the floor jolted through my body. I screamed at the unexpected sound, which startled the dogs, who began barking, which woke up Noelle from her nap. It all happened in about 2 seconds. I looked down at my shattered glass bowl, a direct representation of my heart because I had to begin all over again. Croissants, man, croissants.

Seriously though, it wasn’t that big of a deal. After I blockaded the pups from the kitchen and catered to my girl, I cleaned up the mess and started over again later that day. My mixer miraculously still works, but I’m left with a gnarly dent in my kitchen floor. I’ll just call it my croissant scar. I’ll show it off proudly. 😉

I thank my lucky stars that sweet Jude wasn’t laying there because he’s usually by my side in the kitchen. Though if he was, I likely wouldn’t have walked away from the mixer. Regardless, I learned a lesson: stand by the mixer at all times or place the whole thing on a silicone baking mat so it doesn’t dance away. Do you do that?

RECIPE TESTING

Like I mention above, croissants have been my main focus in the kitchen. I studied a couple recipes, tested them, tweaked what I found necessary, and played with recipes for weeks. I was really happy with the croissant dough and lamination process, but I kept facing hurdles when it came to shaping and proofing. My croissants always flattened out.

I began rolling the croissants a little tighter, which helped them stay raveled as they baked. Additionally, I took a second look at my proofing process. Proofing, the process of rising, allows the shaped croissants to puff up before baking. I was proofing them at room temperature for 2 hours, which I concluded was too much time out of the refrigerator. Croissant dough, as you learned, loves being cold.

I began proofing the shaped croissants at room temperature for 30 minutes, then in the refrigerator for some time before baking. This gives the shaped croissants time to puff up in warmer air, then finish proofing in a cold environment. A lot of bakers do this the other way around (fridge then room temperature), but I found the croissants flatten out too much.

After several success batches, I moved on to chocolate croissants.

What a mess.

I don’t know which sight is worse: my mixer on the kitchen floor or these deformed chocolate croissants. My problem here is that (1) the dough rectangles rolled around the chocolate were too skinny and (2) I didn’t roll them up tight enough. They unraveled and/or toppled over. Both easy fixes.

Luckily I still had dough leftover in this particular batch. I shaped it a little differently and rolled each chocolate croissant up suuuuuper tight. Success!

After another test batch, I was ready to photograph them.

Can you spot a Jude? ↓

Croissants have been a baking bucket list item for years, so I feel like an absolute rockstar for tackling this delicate pastry!!! Worth all the time and mess in my kitchen. Chocolate croissants are coming Monday!

Chocolate croissants on sallysbakingaddiction.com

TWO QUESTIONS

  1. Cheesecake. Nothing fancy, just simple cheesecake. Do you like it?
  2. Baked goods with rhubarb. Thoughts?

Have a great weekend!

213 comments

  1. Glad your mixer survived & that no bystanders were injured. Your oak floors are so pretty – a little “distressing” adds character. I LOVE cheesecake! When I owned a deli I made different flavors – my favorite is pina colada. And YES rhubarb rocks!

  2. KitchenAid mixers are incredibly durable like that

  3. Hi, Cheesecake is my favorite dessert. You are a rockstar to me, not only because you ‘conquered’ croissants, but because you shared about your falllen mixer! Love your blog– Thank you! xo

  4. Love recipes with baked rhubarb, and simple cheesecake

  5. Sally, I need to buy a new cheesecake pan. I had the pampered chef one, but in our move, lost the glass bottom! any suggestions? I looked on Amazon.com & many say they leak after just a couple uses, or the spring gives out on the closure of the side of the pan. Thanks for any recommendations you may have. I already bought your suggested bundt pan which worked PERFECTLY the first use, and also the steel cookie sheets you suggested. Thanks for all your help!
    Lolly

    • I’m glad you took my suggestions on the baking sheets and bundt pan. I LOVE that bundt pan!! For a springform pan, I own and love love love this one from Nordic Ware.

      • Thank you for this recommendation. I’ve been looking for a springform pan that probably won’t leak, so I just bought this one.

        My stomach is still tied up in knots from seeing that picture of your mixer on the floor. I’m glad for you that the mixer still works! I usually put something non-breakable in front of the mixer if I’m going to step away for a moment, so I’ll be alerted if the mixer starts moving to the counter edge and pushes off the non-breakable item. I don’t think I’ll even do that anymore.

  6. Simple cheesecake, YEEESSSS!
    Rhubarb, YEP! YUM!
    Chocolate croissants, CANNOT WAIT.

  7. Anything with rhubarb and possibly strawberries too??

  8. Hi Sally what a mess . Thanks for sharing your trainning process just as it comes . I’m glad that no one got hurted. I will try your chocolate croissants and yes cheesecake please. My family says that you are my favourite imaginary friend because I’m always saying this is my friend Sally’s receipe. I know you are a great profesional and  marvellous woman and yes why not my best bloggee-baker friend ! All the best for you, your family and team !

  9. I have never made a real cheesecake before but one of these years ill try one! 🙂 And YES to Rhubarb! I get lots of it in the summer and am always looking for yummy recipes to bake! Thank you for sharing your real life with us even when its not so pretty, glad everyone is OK!

  10. I couldn’t believe it when I saw your poor mixer on your Insta story!

    Yes to simple cheesecake and yes to rhubarb baked goods. Although I will say yes to any dessert so I might not be the best person to ask! 🙂

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