Key West Bakeries

I’m in Key West for the weekend! The island is beautiful, but unfortunately the air is a bit chilly. It’s ok though, now I have an excuse to find nice warm bakeries to dip into.
I’m sitting at Island Joes’s right now which is located on Fleming Street. It has the island feel, with a laid back owner sporting his long pony tail and khaki shorts and the counter boy with dreads. I got here right as they opened and right as their delectible puff pastries were coming out of the oven! There are so many flavors to choose from: chocolate, white chocolate, apple, and everything in between. I chose the strawberry banana kiwi (just to stick with the island theme.)

The pastry was nice and flaky (and still warm!) The fruit was a bit tart and I’m thinking maybe a little sugar added when cooking the fruit would help. Of course I also ordered and chai latte, and I must say that it is up there on my list of best chai!

I definitely recommend this place to any out of towner visiting the island of Key West. I hear they are also known for their coffee!


Puff Pastry

So today we worked with more puff pastry dough. I find that working with dough is so theraputic. You get to start with something as simple as some flour, sugar, salt and some butter; then you add and slowly work in the water and watch these few ingredients form into one. Unity. Everything coming together, helping each other form this one tasty and delicious treat.
Beating the dough is even better. You can take out all the day’s agression on this thing. Fight with your friend: bang it out. Someone cut you off during our morning commute: give it a few more hits. Not only does your agression go away, but you get an amazing arm work out (too bad my left arm is going to be 5 times bigger than my right now.)
Finally, once all your anger is gone, you can start your therapy sessions with the dough. This skill requires you to sense how the dough’s feeling. It starts out as an ugly, shaggy dough and as you give it gentle pushes and start to roll it, it becomes smooth and soft. This is a quiet moment where you relax and use slight pressure with the rolling pin to stretch the dough.
With this beautiful creation that I started from some simple ingredients, I made mille fueille (translated: 1000 leaves) which is just like a napoleon and also a fruit strip (obviously they still haven’t found a better name for it.) I brought them to work and everyone raved about them. They came out so flakey and buttery. I have pics to post and will do so soon!

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