We were heading out the back door at Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop recently when we spotted Rachel Saul (co-owner) busy at the sheeting machine. This machine gets used for croissant dough, shortbread cookies, and various other pastries for which flatness is essential.
Rachel and Astrid the pastry chef were working on a batch of ham and cheese croissants. I fired off questions and Rachel lobbed back answers:
How many layers in this dough? "Several dozen layers of butter and flour."
What's the difference between this and puff pastry? "This is yeasted."
The next morning I stopped back by to try one (Jim got the ham). They were as good as they look -- flaky, moist with butter, complex with the mix of whole wheat and white flour, and bit of egg that go into dough.
Fire Island has been offering classes this year, and just finished a croissant class (also known as "Viennoiserie" dough). It was popular, and it's likely that they'll be offering it again -- check the website. [http://fireislandbread.com/classes].