Especially croissant dough, into which butter is rolled.
And folded, and turned, and rolled some more.
When it stretches just right and doesn't break, it makes me smile. I just MUST stop and admire it's elasticity and strength.
Today's objective was pain au chocolat. Laminated croissant dough wrapped around a baton de chocolat.
So here is the process...
First you make the dough. It contains flour, milk, butter, yeast and salt. Then you let it sit overnight in the fridge. When it comes out, it looks like this.
If you are fortunate enough to have a dough sheeter, which is a big electric rolling pin, the rest is easy. Otherwise, muscle-up with the rolling pin. Roll out the dough and flatten a pound of butter.
This is when you admire. How nice and smooth, with layers upon layers of laminated dough and butter. Put the dough back in the fridge for a bit to rest some more until you're ready to turn this baby into pastries.
Admire again how smooth and soft these pastries are. At this point you can store them in the freezer until you're ready to proof and bake them. We take out about six each evening and let them thaw in the fridge, then proof and bake them in the morning for absolutely fresh pains au chocolat!
And THIS is what inspires and encourages me.