This post is a somewhat cathartic reflection on dusting oneself down following a knock-back and “getting back on the horse”.
I recently had something of a baking knock-back: well maybe that is a touch melodramatic, (and after all nobody died and the world is still turning!), but more on that knock-back shortly.
Now I have had plenty of baking disasters over the years:
- many macaron-making sessions while getting to grips with them, resulting in countless poor macarons
- dealing with sourdoughs that collapse to a flat doughy mass after turning them out for baking
- sponges that collapse in on themselves……….
And on to croissants…..
…..Croissants, and bakes using croissant dough, are usually one of my stronger bakes, and they are certainly one of my favourite things to make. I have even been fortunate to have had my croissant tips and my recipes using croissant dough, among others, published in several food magazines.
Ok, they might the easiest thing in the world to make but they are one of the most rewarding things to make.
Yet I had something of a disaster recently using croissant dough for a competition: one of my bakes I had prepared, using the dough as the key component, had not worked out as well as it usually does: these things happen, but talk about a bad timing!
Now the critique was fair enough, and criticisms are an important part of developing one’s skills, but boy was I beyond disappointed in myself at the failure of an otherwise “reliable” bake: a bake I am so proud to serve to others.
It was also alarming how my confidence went crashing through the floor at that moment: you know those times when all of a sudden everything stops around you, you can barely take anything in and you have doubts galore………?
Getting back on that horse!
Once I got over a bit of self-pity, followed by the inevitable going over everything in minute detail (how I wish there was an “off” button in the mind to prevent those “oh I wish I had done that…..” thoughts!), my first bake back home had to be with croissant dough.
This was certainly a mental challenge, as for the first time ever I was not brimming with love for them! But it had to be done to push this episode behind me, for I was absolutely determined not to let this disappointment hang over me.
I made a batch of croissant dough the very next day, using some of the dough for croissants and some for cherry pains au chocolat. Fortunately this batch (in the photos in this post) turned out absolutely as I would have wanted, and so my baking confidence is climbing up off the floor……
But re-visiting it and making another batch was absolutely what I needed to do to prevent negative baking feelings take over.
And I suppose in life, you can either wallow and let things take over your live in an unhealthy manner or summon up the strength to face issues head-on as a way of moving forward.
And would I re-apply another time? Yes definitely: not least to prove to myself that I can do it……..
My croissant making post (one of my earliest blog posts) is here: I am so glad I did not have a hissy fit and delete it while wallowing in my disappointment!