A few words on complacency and excellence with James Beard-nominated pastry chef Jeb Breakell

You’ve had a croissant. When you had it, though, did you really consider it? Did you consider how it is that it’s lighter than a dry honeycomb but richer than a butter bog? Or that the unique process of rolling and baking dough with fat comes with about 100 opportunities to drive the proverbial car off the cliff? Or that when you do it at altitude, 100 turns to 200? Or that as the dough rises, the butter fat melts, most of its water turns to steam, and in a process still unresolved by the sciences, air pockets are formed both in the dough and the liquid fat that create wormholes through the dough and stress the browning crust enough to fracture, while the remaining water releases through the pastry’s capillaries and pores?

Did you consider that to have your hands on a perfect unbaked croissant is to have your hands on something as divinely crafted as the soft and stretched skin of a chubby piglet, and that to touch it once baked is to have your hands on the simple indulgence of a chicharrón?

Or did you just pull it apart and brush flakes from your lap like dandruff?

If you’ve had Jeb Breakell’s croissants at Emmerson, you’ve given it some thought. In a world where reheated croissants stock the shelves of nearly half of the patisseries in France — France — Breakell’s croissant is provocative. It asks really uncomfortable questions, like, “Am I as committed to my craft as Breakell is to his?” and, “If we hadn’t gotten a croissant right until now, what other foods are we missing in Boulder?”

It’s a croissant that challenges complacency. Are you doing enough to get by? Are you committed to perfecting the croissant of your life? Is Boulder committed to finding the equivalently perfect bao bun, carbonara and Dover sole?

Or are we just brushing Pillsbury flakes from our laps?

Read more: https://www.boulderweekly.com/cuisine/bake-perfect-croissant/

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