Saturday, March 21, 2009


Chef Pino Ficara at work.

Until this year I haven't been comfortable making anything with the word "dough" on the ingredient list.

What better way to learn how to make pie crust, pastries, and pizza dough than from a French pastry chef?

See the dough below? Those are slabs of butter on top of the dough. This is why croissants and pain au chocolat are so delicious.....

Linda and I took a baking class offered by Cook'n With Class. Chef Pino Ficara taught three of us (me, Linda, and Leah from Toronto) to make pizza, croissants, pain au chocolat, and pate brisee (pie crust). We had a great time and I am now more comfortable with all sorts of dough. Of course, I haven't actually tried any of these recipes since I've been home, so we'll see.

Croissants with pure cane sugar sprinkled on top.

The croissants and pain au chocolat are a success when you can see those gorgeous flaky layers.

Pain au chocolat. I love these babies.

Pate brisee filled with apples, raisins, and toasted pine nuts.

Next time, I would make this with a brown sugar crumb topping instead of a top crust.

The pizza was classic tomato sauce and mozzarella--easy and delicious.

Pizza dough with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh rosemary, and French sea salt. I've become obsessed with sea salt. I'll post about it sometime (won't that be exciting).

I will soon be making the pizza dough and the pate brisee reporting back to you the results.

However, I do not plan on making the croissants or pain au chocolat. It is way too time consuming and I cannot imagine my Arizona kitchen ever being cold enough to have success with the dough. And you can see above the amount of butter used is obscene. But it was great fun learning the techniques.

My friend, Sarah, found out about this French cooking class. If you are planning on a European trip and are interested in any kind of classes, go to Shaw Guides for more information.


  1. Baking class in Paris-Amazing!

  2. The next time you and Jason are in Paris you should check into it--you would love it.

  3. YUM! I can't wait for you to make Pizza.

  4. Sweetie, if anyone COULD make sea salt exciting, it would be you. Can't wait!

  5. Looks like you had an amazing time, delicious too!