What is this heat going to ruin next?
Since the New Year, Sydney's blistering heat has left Woolloomooloo bakery Flour & Stone a little deflated as their croissants struggle to rise to their usual picture-perfect condition.
It's a repeat issue each year during summer's peak, when temperatures in the bakery regularly reach over 40 degrees. While larger outfits like Melbourne's Lune Croissanterie have temperature-controlled environments, Flour & Stone don't - they're smaller than what you'd expect of the bakery behind Sydney's much-loved lemon dream cake and those famous panna cotta lamingtons.
Owner Nadine Ingram took to Instagram recently to express her frustrations on how some days up to 30 croissants - au chocolat and almond included - won't make it to sale, and says those that do "aren't looking their best," remaining more compact than usual.
"They're over-proofing," says Ingram. "The yeast [in the dough] spends a certain amount of activity or life expelling the heat that by the time we're making the croissant, the yeast is damaged. Then when it's baked in the oven, it doesn't have much left to give - it puffs at first, and then deflates."
Ingram explains that the air-conditioner she installed last year only takes the edge off. While in previous years Flour & Stone have kept their croissants consistently fluffy and flaky by baking during twilight hours, it's currently a smaller team, and Ingram wants people to sleep.
As summer is winding down, Ingram promises in a few weeks the pastries will be back to their airy, buttery selves. In the meantime, you could always take the chance to branch out with a salted caramel chocolate éclair, or bite-sized baci - even better, watch the video above while you wait for a cool change.
Flour & Stone, 53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo, NSW, (02) 8068 8818, open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 8am-4pm, flourandstone.com.au