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. Fazila Patel

    What a lovely idea! This is something that I will definitely try baking at home. Also, I think the cinnamon grater is great! I never knew they made one. Fresh cinnamon! :)

    Reply
  2. Bernice

    I am definitely tackling this recipe! I have never made croissant dough, but am game to give it a go if I can have this lovely loaf in the end. Ivy is a lucky lass to have you as a mum.

    Reply
  3. Kristiina Watt

    This looks absolutely delicious, here’s a reason to whip up a double batch of croissant dough the next time I make croissants. It’s amazing how the shape of bread can be almost exciting as the taste and texture of it, dainty little croissants are lovely by themselves but the thought of cutting into a croissant loaf and hear the crust crackling and crumbling itself makes me want to try it out now! :)

    Reply
  4. Isabella

    Thank you for such a beautiful post! Can’t wait to cook and bake with my kids one day! :)) (LOVE your blog, so glad David Lebovitz shared the link :))

    Reply
  5. Gadia Zrihan

    Just discovered your blog and don’t plan to leave any time soon.
    Lovely. And the cinnamon grater is a thing of beauty in itself.

    Reply
  6. Effie

    What a loving legacy you are giving your daughter. And this recipe? It may just be the perfect incentive to give croissant dough a try. Just so I can make a blt with it. Can’t you just imagine it with some thick sliced, pepper encrusted bacon? Yum.

    Reply
  7. scake

    I’m here ’cause Lebovitz shared your post. Love this space of yours. Now I’m having breakfast with a rhubarb crumble, but for tomorrow morning this loaf is my goal!
    Lovely girl…<3

    Reply
  8. Jane

    Your post is gorgeous and comforting, it made me smile. Thought
    you might like this:

    Baking with My Daughter
    by
    Joseph Robert Mills
    I want to do it, she says at each step
    of the recipe, and I try to let her
    even if it means broken eggs on the counter,
    too much salt, and too little flour.

    She splays the dough onto the cookie sheet,
    using the wooden spoon as if it’s a combination
    snow shovel and mallet. When she turns away,
    I try to perform a kind of cookie triage,
    finding those blobs with a chance at survival
    and nudging them into a vague roundness.

    After they’re finished, she holds one aloft
    like a medal and tells her mother,
    I did these all by myself, right Daddy?
    I nod, saying nothing, and, for the first time,
    wonder how many of my own victories
    were smoothed into shape behind my back.

    From Love and Other Collisions (Press 53, 2010).

    Reply
  9. Sandra Henderson

    Lovely story. It reminds me so much of my own “this is MY girl” moments my daughter … but as she is approaching 2nd grade and becoming more and more independent, I have to be so much more intentional about our time together now.

    Reply
  10. Leah

    You write beautifully (and you must be something of a genius to create a croissant loaf). Mmm.

    Reply
  11. Celeste

    Wow! I have some croissant dough in the freezer! I’ll have to try this!

    Reply
  12. Bat

    Why haven’t I’ve tought of something like this before? Must be because I haven’t got extra croissant dough lying around. Being a big fan of things like pull apard bread and everything with a crusty and flaky dough, I think I’ll give this a try after the heathwave passes us over.

    Reply
  13. manisha

    i love what you have written to Ivy!!!! so important and right….may both of you find more reasons to love each other more and more…..

    Reply
  14. Sanaa

    Do you have a recipe for croissant dough? I didn’t want to follow from another site cause I have had disasters trying to combine diff elements of a recipe from different sources. Help pretty please? I would love to bake this tmrw.

    Reply
  15. Richelle de Wit

    Oh, would love to have one of those cinnamon graters to get my sweet baking to a next level!! Richelle

    Reply
  16. susan

    Love it!! My 3 year old son loves to cook with me and nibble the edges off raw dough too! Looks like a great team project!

    Reply
  17. nicole

    Gorgeous post about your daughter. Wow. I have two sons so it’s a little different, but then again not. I still want to be a good, honest model for them. Thank you.

    Reply
  18. Laura

    How beautiful! I’m sharing this with one of my friends who has a year-old daughter. Isn’t it funny, we’re the ones who are supposed to be teaching our kids, yet they teach us so much! Thank you!

    Reply
  19. Susan

    This looks like a special loaf sold by our local grocery store when I was growing up. It was absolutely incredible toasted and I’ve barely tasted anything as delicious since, outside of France.

    You can also sprinkle the layers with sliced almonds and a bit of sugar.

    Lovely, lovely reflections about your daughter.

    Reply
  20. Shreyas

    This is very beautiful, and a wonderful story about cooking with family. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  21. Joyce T

    Lovely post about family time and growing up…..and I love that you call them “the cinnamon people”.

    Reply
  22. natalie @ wee eats

    this bread looks like heaven! and it makes the idea of making croissant dough less daunting, because you don’t have to cut and roll for individual croissants! love it!

    Reply
  23. Marlene

    Simply awesome recipe. I too am dreaming of some kind of prosciutto sandwich between the slices of this loaf. Thanks so much for keeping up all the great recipes!

    Reply
  24. Katie

    This has reminded me of two things- 1, to be less critical of myself because my little girl is also watching every move that I make, and 2, that I need to make croissant dough. It’s been on my list for a long time, but your “croloaf” has given me that little push. Can’t wait!

    Reply
  25. Sally

    Recipe? What recipe? Those little hands caught my heart and then the words… I had to get up to get tissues before I even was able to finish. Beautiful words from a mama’s heart. <3

    Reply
  26. Susy Slais

    What a lovely post about your daughter!!! It reminds me of the times when my older niece was growing up and she always wanted to help me in the kitchen, specially if I was making lasagna from scratch! The Croissant Loaf recipe sounds very tempting! :)

    Reply
  27. Shaheen

    This croissant load is such an excellent idea! I can’t wait for a cooler day to get on with my lamination.

    Reply
  28. Leah

    I’ve never seen this little tool before! So fun to see the gadgets that can so enhance flavor and experience.

    Reply
  29. Noell Rathbun-Cook

    This was the most wonderful food blog post I’ve ever read! (perhaps because I love to cook and am pregnant with my first child–so the storytelling of your relationship with Ivy made me swoon). Thank you!

    Reply
  30. karen

    such a beautifully written post. i’m inspired to live wholesomely enough and deeply enough to share similarly precious moments with my children in the future :) thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply
  31. Ariane Pelletier

    Beautiful post :) I just discovered your blog and I’d love to try this recipe!!

    Reply
  32. Bernadette

    What a sweet story! I have an 8 year old and she loves to bake as well and try to help. This loaf looks scrumptious! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  33. BreAnna

    Your blog is a great inspiration. I’m currently in my first year of marriage and have started “dating” my husband; it really does work. Thank you.

    Reply

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