Do Baking with Love, General Manager Israel Benyair Goes into the Kitchen
While General Manager Israel Benyair has spent nearly a decade behind the scenes managing top hotels throughout the world, his passion for baking has remained constant. Growing up as the son of a Chef in Europe, the food and beverage industry has always been a part of Israel’s DNA. When living in Geneva, Switzerland, he was introduced to famous baker Rocco Guerrazzi and he began working overnight shifts at the age of 17 to learn the art of baking.
There is one thing that Israel’s past homes have all had in common – the comforting smell of home cooked meals – and most recently, the buttery aroma of freshly baked flaky croissants, which Israel has been baking for over a year and a half.
“I remember many fun stories when baking,” Israel recalls. “Baking with other people creates special bonding; it’s part of creating something from scratch that guests enjoy. I find that experience very similar to the hospitality industry today.”
Israel’s best kept secret is the butter that he incorporates into his croissant recipe. The key to creating the delicious layers that make-up the pastry lies within the type of butter and flour selected.
The origin of the croissant dates back to Austria in the 13th century and was initially coined kipferl. When the pastry came to France and the recipes were adjusted to incorporate more aeration, the croissant was born.
While Israel is happy to teach others how to make this delicious treat, he warns that a professional recipe can be quite time consuming, with the détrempe and laminating process taking up to two days. Given the complexity, Israel often refers to Gourmétier online to read up on tips and tricks.
For the croissant initial dough (détrempe)
300 g strong flour (Lievitati from Molino Pasini) (100%)
80 g cold water (26.6%)
79 g cold semi-skimmed milk (26.4%)
45 g sugar (15%)
30 g unsalted butter (softened) (10%)
6 g salt (2%)
9 g fresh yeast (3%)
2 g malted barley (0.6%)
171 g butter (31% of the total détrempe weight)
When Israel takes a step back from his desk, he heads into the kitchen to begin the process of creating something truly unique from scratch. Baking is a skill and gift that has stuck with him throughout his life, and is something he is excited to share with guests who escape to the countryside at Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection.