when i joined the daring bakers i had visions of exotic baked goods that would help me hone specific skills or just be so different from the usual baked goods that they would be fun to make. i hoped for challenges that would teach me as well as entertain me. so far, that hasn’t been the case. the only one that was even close was the lasagna challenge with home made pasta and i still say that isn’t baking but let’s not go there now. when i saw this month’s challenge, i wasn’t thrilled. another item that i really didn’t think was something that i would enjoy making because it was too much like jobs i’ve held in the past.
the september 2009 daring bakers’ challenge was hosted by steph of a whisk and a spoon. she chose the french treat vols-auvent based on the puff pastry recipe by michel richard from the cookbook baking with julia by dorie greenspan.
so there i was in the kitchen rolling and folding and rolling and folding and all the while thinking of anything but vols au vent. i recalled making puff paste for the first time in new york city when i worked in building #3 of the world trade center. yes #3, it was a hotel that sat between the towers and that is where i had my first real job after graduation from the CIA. we made such a large batch of dough that we would fold in 10# of butter at a time, all by hand with rolling pins and while standing on milk crates because both myself and the woman who was teaching me were too short to have the proper leverage with the pin if we stood at the table.
but if i am honest, all i really wanted to make with the dough was turnovers, full of apples or other fruits. or maybe some pinwheels, elephant ears or cheese pastries. anything but little cups that i would have to fill so that my family could only eat some of them and then i would be left looking at the rest…needless to say, i made the dough and ended up putting it in the freezer for another day and that is why there aren’t any nifty pictures to admire.
thanks to steph at a whisk and a spoon, she also gets all of my apologies. it’s been a little hectic and after two solid weeks of rain there just wasn’t an opportunity to finish the job!