Flavorful, Flaky, French - A Croissant Craze by Pedigree
Most fathers recant their fantastical endeavors to their children, often subjecting them to recollections of transient glimpses of glory, be it "that one time when..." or the figurative - or sometimes literal - "Big Fish".
My father instead opted to describe his affection for croissants.
My early childhood was dotted with early-bird endeavors to donut shops both dingy and dainty to find my father's favorite breakfast food: the infamous ham and cheese croissant, a savory symphony of swine and swiss, surreptitiously surrounded by a sterling shell that shone with such brilliance that naught but the finest of flavors could possibly be hidden within.
Being a Taiwanese man whose diet consisted of the constant companionship of rice, the presence of croissants in my father's dietary staples bewildered me. It was a stark deviation from his general principle of pairing any and all foods with Asia's staple starches. Only later in life did I realize that a croissant, in all its guilt-inducing, buttery glory, bore more mystic power than any love potion. If such a pastry could bewitch a man so, truly a frightening beast it be.
And now it was time to tame it.
My first attempt at making croissants produced woefully undersized pastries, a product of my own unfamiliarity with the general properties of proofing the croissants. I was satisfied with the layering, however, and strove to recreate them in a larger size.
As Fate, the fickle mistress she may be, would have it, my second attempt at croissants were wildly large - almost to a degree where I, in a panicked state, was frightened that they may overwhelm my oven.
As Luck, Fate's amiable assistant, would have it, they were released from their convection confinement unscathed, and they were indeed a sight to behold.
With a crispy crust and an open crumb, my father was ecstatic, to say the least.
In lieu of both ham and cheese, the only suitable sandwich condiment I had was egg salad, and though the pairing sounds mighty peculiar, a mighty fine pairing it was indeed.
Though not as aesthetically pleasing, the second set of croissants - a laminated brioche instead of a typical dough - were ultimately my father's favorite.
Note: With the dead dough from the croissant rolling process, I also received a round brioche as a byproduct of this endeavor: a buttery surprise, to say the least.
And oh-so brief in its time in the bread basket.