Intro

Croissant Loaf // Not Without Salt

* The winners have been selected. Thanks to all who commented. I’ve read every single one and am completely in awe of the kindness in this space. You all encourage me when I need it the most. Thank you. And thanks again to Cinnamon Hill for hosting the giveaway. If you didn’t happen to win you can still order a grater of your own from their site.

She follows me into to the bathroom and reaches into my silver and stained make-up bag just as I do. First she watches as I brush a light powder on my nose, by my eyes and wherever else needs a little glow. “I do it all by myself.” She says grabbing the brush from my hands. She brushes away loopy brown curls to make way for the soft bristles that carry with them a fine pink powder. Some fall from the brush and dance around her with the light coming from the window behind. For her eyeshadow goes on cheeks, mascara on eyelids and lipstick everywhere.

On the couch we’re tangled up together watching a movie and a burst of gushy love overwhelms as I have one of those, “this is MY girl” moments that happens approximately 3,728 times a day. I cusp her cheeks in my hands and kiss her face a dozen times. Then she turns to me and puts her little fingers on my face and kisses me again and again.

“I love you.” I say.

“I wub woo too.” She says.

In the kitchen I pull my apron off the hook and just as I’m tying it tightly around my waist I hear her bounding up next to me. “Me too?” She asks pointing to her apron that is similar to mine in color and pattern but not size. I attach the velcro strap then she shimmies the stool to the counter eager to help dump and stir.

Croissant Loaf // Not Without Salt

“Gentle.” I say telling her about all the butter tucked into the layers of the croissant dough.

She watches me roll the dough then repeats the action with a little less finesse but with just as much joy. When it seems like I’m not watching, little fingers rip at the corner of the dough to get a taste of butter, flour and yeast. Smiling, I say nothing.

Together we crouch at the oven, peering into the dirty glass window hoping to get a peak at the rising dough. She sees my excitement and mirrors it with more vigor, a goofy grin and inhaling sharply with anticipation. I laugh at her enthusiasm and my own as we both return our glances to the oven.

Sometimes I notice that Ivy sneezes when I sneeze even though she doesn’t have the allergies I do. She wants to change her clothes if she sees me in a dress and she’s wearing pants. Her adeptness in wearing high heels at 2 1/2 is shocking. As I flip through my copy of Food & Wine and all the glowing food photos pop up she can hardly contain her excitement. “Oohhh, dat looks good.”

Even with all her independence she mirrors me and looks to me for how she should act and react. Often this goes unnoticed but the other night as she lay with me in bed and pretended to act interested in watching the Dust Bowl documentary and wiped her nose just as I did and sighed when I did, the weight of this fell on me pretty hard.

Croissant Loaf // Not Without Salt

So to my daughter who sees my every move, I want to say;

Ivy, my love, may I live a life that’s worth copying and be the sort of woman that’s worthy of being mirrored. May I humbling admit to you my errors so you can see that real strength shows itself in vulnerability. I hope you see me growing, changing and evolving too. Learn from my mistakes and learn from yours too. Accept them and be, dare I say happy with them because without mistakes there aren’t the lessons learned that are really worth learning.

Ivy, I hope you figure out quickly that I don’t have all the answers and I will try not to pretend that I do. I do however, have enough love, wisdom and strength to be your mama and I know that because you are here and you are mine and Someone thinks I’m fit for this position.

Thanks for watching me so that I can be accountable to my words. So that I’ll pinch at the cushy layer around my hips less, and quit trying to deny the things I need – like quiet and a little space – because I want you to not be afraid to ask for what you need. And along those same lines I hope you see me asking for help. I’m just learning how to do that and goodness, I hope you figure that lesson out more quickly than me because it’s amazing to be feel loved and those who love you are just aching to help you. Watch your dad and I work intentionally on our marriage. Forget what you heard Cinderella say the other night, because even though you may indeed experience the grace of finding “the one” you need to know that “the one” will disappoint you at times and make mistakes but, little girl, it’s still a fairy tale and real life fairy tales are so much prettier than the movies. Because scabs, wounds and trials just make us shinier. And they give us stories worth telling.

Also, don’t ever let the magic of a butter, flour, salt and yeast transforming into a luxurious loaf that we then slather with sticky and tart apricot jam not impress you. Stand at the window of the oven with your daughter, someday, and show her that magic. It’s little things like this that add up to a big life.

And finally, thank you. I’m such a better woman because of you, my little girl.

Croissant Loaf // Not Without Salt Croissant Loaf // Not Without Salt

 

 

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Croissant Loaf

Disclaimer: This is in no way related to the “cronut” (the extremely popular and hyped croissant/ donut hybrid) although Sarah has lovingly referred to it as the “croloaf”. I simply refer to it as the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time.

I realize that it’s not fair to assume that many, if any, of you have extra croissant dough lying around as I did but my hope is that this loaf will entice you enough to tackle the wonderful beast that is croissant dough. It’s really not as fussy as you may think. I’ve found a couple of great sources here and here for you to see the recipe and process. It just takes time – wait time, but in the waiting flavor is developing, gluten is relaxing and all around good things are happening. 

This loaf was born out of scraps and then the second one came because I loved the first so much. I adore croissants, of course I do, but the loaf version gives more surface for jam and then think of the possibilities – a blt served between two slices, french toast, eaten alone straight from the pan. 

So what I have is more idea then straight recipe BUT I also come bearing gifts. 10 to be exact. I was sent the cinnamon grater you see in the photo above from the folks at Cinnamon Hill. I’ve tried grating my cinnamon on a microplane and in a spice grinder with not much luck. This little grater gives you the fluffiest little specks of the most fragrant cinnamon I’ve ever had. It’s so potent that when I let my kids smell it one little monkey bumped the other monkey who then inhaled the cinnamon. There were tears – now that’s fresh. 

I asked the cinnamon people if they’d let me give out a grater and they responded by saying, “let’s give 10!” Awesome. So comment here and you’re entered. Simple. I’ll randomly choose 10 when I get back from a little vacation next week and then 10 of you will get a lovely little cinnamon grater too.

Now, a recipe of sorts.

 

2 pounds croissant dough

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons or so, freshly grated cinnamon

 

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon water

 

Using the scraps from the croissant dough or just cut strips of the dough, lay a few strips in the bottom of a buttered loaf pan. Sprinkle the layer with a bit of sugar and cinnamon. Continue the layering until the pan is 2/3 full.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a cloth. Let the dough rise for 1 hour. If the dough was cold this may take longer. Press gently on the dough and when it springs back after you press in it’s ready for baking. It should look puffed but still a bit tight.

In a small bowl combine the egg yolk and water and brush on top of the loaf then finish with a bit more sugar.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake for 1 – 1 hour 15 minutes. If the loaf begins to brown too quickly turn down the oven a bit. It takes this loaf quite a while to bake through.

Let cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting and finish cooling.

 

613 Responses to “Croissant Loaf + giveaway”

  1. Vi Nguyen

    This “croloaf” looks DELICIOUS!!! I can’t wait to try the recipe this weekend.

    Reply
  2. Jenice

    Having a little girl has drastically changed the way I view myself and women. What beautiful words to your sweet girl.

    Reply
  3. Jill_R

    I have never seen a cinnamon grater before, it looks really cool!

    Lovely story as well, sweetly written. Thank you for the great giveaway!

    Reply
  4. Amber

    You have such a unique way with words. I am currently in Panama for the next 4 months far removed from those I love and reading your blog has become something reminiscent of comfort food to me, reminding me both of my loved ones and the foods, produce and kitchen gadgets that I love. Thank you for this thoughtful and beautiful post.

    Reply
  5. Michelle

    I’m in tears too, sitting at my desk at work…wanting to drive home to give my two girls a hug! I’m too impatient with my girls and at times in my frustration I don’t know if my daughters look up to me and want to emulate me and that saddens me. As you wrote above I need “quiet and a little space – because I want you to not be afraid to ask for what you need.”
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!
    This bread looks amazing!!

    Reply
  6. Lily Sheng

    I’m obsessed over the cronut (reading about it all over the internet, that is, since I live in the midwest, no chance of tasting that in the near future), your recipe seems like something I would actually do (no frying needed!). And I’ve never seen a cinnamon grater before, so thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  7. Heather

    Wow, that sounds delicious. I *DO* happen to have some croissant dough laying around, and will try this soon.

    Love your comments to your daughter. It’s easy to forget they do what we do, not what we say. :)

    Reply
  8. Kim b

    What a treat for my eyes and heart. Thank you for the delightful read, the stunning bread and passionate story. Also, that cinna-grater looks something kinda nice.

    Reply
  9. Steph Lawrence

    This is the loveliest post (as was your last). I am getting married in a month and I cannot wait to be a mama and I will remember and hold dear these words. Thank you for your beautiful writing. (And the cinnamon giveaway, too. But mostly the beautiful writing).

    Reply
  10. Janine

    Well, THIS recipe is certainly going in my end-of-wheat-break file. Probably at the front, between “Persian Love Cake” and “Grilled Pizza”. YUM. Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Ali

    Your photographs and epigrams are simply beautiful! I always look forward to reading your new posts :)

    Reply
  12. Shana

    Beautiful recipe. This is my first time finding your blog and it’s already a favorite!

    Reply
  13. Karen Fiedler

    That looks so delicious! I’ve always wanted to try making croissant dough but have never gotten around to it. This looks worth the effort though!

    Reply
  14. Evonne Reese

    Delectable sounding recipe! I must try it. Your posts are always such a feast for the eyes. Thank you.

    Reply
  15. Leanne

    Almost haiku: “more surface for jam / eaten alone / straight from the pan”

    Reply
  16. Talia

    I usually don’t find myself reading the journal parts of food blogs very often, but yours is charming and engaging. Thanks for the resources on croissant making!

    Reply
  17. purvi

    hi ,a lovely post have a 3 yr old hence can relate to what you said although am not so indulgent with him in the kitchen as you are……

    Reply
  18. Michelle W

    I tripped across your blog via Pinterest and have added your RSS feed to my reader. Loved your piece to/about your daughter. My four year old Ruby loves to need our Sunday morning biscuit dough. You brought tears to my eyes.

    Reply
  19. Michelle W

    I tripped across your blog via Pinterest and have added your RSS feed to my reader. Loved your piece to/about your daughter. My four year old Ruby loves to kneed our Sunday morning biscuit dough. You brought tears to my eyes.

    Reply
  20. Matty

    I am a mom of 2 young boys and already they share the same love for cooking as I do. My 3.5 year old loves making breakfast with me. His favorite is making biscuits. I’m super excited to try your croissant loaf because I know he’ll love the rolling and folding of the dough. Thank you for the beautiful inspiration.

    Reply
  21. Lauren Bellamy

    You’re writing is beautiful and the bread looks delicious. I would eat croissants for every meal if I could. Love the grater too!

    Reply
  22. Liss

    What a lovely story about you and your little girl. I’ve been realizing recently the ways in which I’ve copied my Mother without thinking about it. I don’t mean saying phrases she does, or “becoming my Mother” stuff, I mean like that I wear make up to go on a date or go to church (and only then) because that’s the only time my Mother did.
    Also. I love croissants. Ken’s Bakery makes really, really yummy ones; so much so I haven’t yet learned to make my own … maybe for croissant loaf.

    Reply
  23. Bella Mills

    I love the way you photograph your meals and the little moments in-between start to finish. I aspire to photograph with the same care, devotion, hard work and love you pour into each image. Anyone stumbling onto your pages can tell immediately that you are a woman who love her craft. The cinnamon grater is a lovely idea too, I hope your little monkey recovered soon afterwards.
    With love,
    Bella @ http://seaandsalt.com
    xx

    Reply
  24. Anna

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post… I don’t even have kids yet but this one is worthy of printing and saving, as a reminder. Well said and heartfelt and a great reminder of the little things we often miss. Thank you so much for sharing.

    ANd the recipe/loaf looks divine, I will have to find a way to have some dough left over to try it. Wish I had some for breakfast this morning lol.
    Anna

    Reply
  25. Kathleen

    My, oh my. A croissant loaf. I am dreaming of a warm cheese & prosciutto sandwich now.
    I also really loved your letter to your daughter. I am trying to embrace the idea that stating my needs and saying sorry are two of the most important things I can do as a mom.

    Reply
  26. Emma

    This is such beautiful, perfectly worded sentiment. Thank you for sharing this lovely, quiet reflection with us.

    Reply
  27. Gillian

    What a lovely post…makes you think about how much your everyday moods and acts can affect others, especially kids. And this is a yummy looking recipe for sure!

    Reply
  28. Jess S. @ Floptimism

    Hello! My name is Jess, and I run a food blog called Floptimism where every week I write a post called “Weekend Wrap Up.” Basically, it’s where I highlight some of my favorite web finds from the past week to share with my readers. I loved your idea for a croissant loaf so much that I featured it on this week’s wrap-up, and wanted to let you know. Thank you for such a great idea and blog post! I’ve included the link below in case you’re interested. I hope you had a great weekend!

    http://floptimism.blogspot.com/2013/07/weekend-wrap-up-short-sweet.html

    Reply
  29. Courtney Y

    What a gorgeous grater! My mouth is watering at the mere thought of a croissant loaf. Or twenty croissant loaves.

    Reply
  30. vicky tavitian

    Mmmm!!! looks amazing!! and sounds even better with the addition of cinnamon inside! ahh!! love cinnamon in my tea, and what better way to have it with a cinnamon infused croissant loaf as well!

    Reply
  31. Meghan Finley

    You’ve solved a problem I’ve had about all those scraps! Thanks!

    Reply
  32. kathleen

    What a lovely read and hearfelt read preparing for the new week. The visual of you and your daughter bring back warm memories. Thank you ever so much for that and thank you SO MUCH for the amazing loaf recipe. It is simply the perfection to my arsenal of persuasions! -Kathleen

    Reply
  33. Cara

    Such a heartfelt post. I love it. Tho i’m a big girl now, i still like following my mom around too! although she annoys me sometimes with her nagging haha…

    Reply

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