The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour, butter, and cream cheese - How does this expand?

  • Pin It
Bread Breaddington's picture
Bread Breaddington

Flour, butter, and cream cheese - How does this expand?

During Christmas I made a pastry which has a dough made of the things listed, with a filling of jams or whatever. What surprised me is that, though the dough is only those things and has no leavening in any form, they rise considerably. As much a 4 times the original width, when laid flat and unobstructed.

What in the world is causing this reaction?

The dough did sit overnight in the refrigerator. Could there be yeast floating around in my kitchen from all my bread baking which got in there? Can that even happen? 

GrapevineTexas's picture
GrapevineTexas

Criossants have no leavening agent, but they expand, quite nicely, due to the folding of the dough multiple times.  Air is trapped between buttery, floured layers.  When baked, POOF!

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

Are we talking criossants or croissants?  The croissants that I've made have yeast as a leavening agent..

GrapevineTexas's picture
GrapevineTexas

croissants...

 

;)

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

More precisely, moisture is trapped between the layers of dough and fat, and this moisture turns to steam and expands, due to the oven heat.

GrapevineTexas's picture
GrapevineTexas

and allow only the experts to advise.

Or better yet, I need to add this disclaimer:

Heed caution.  I am known to answer using my own understanding.  

I'm no chemist, I'm just here for the bake-off.

;)

Elagins's picture
Elagins

it expands as a result of  (a) steam, (b) the hydration, swelling and cooking of the flour grains and the setting of their starches/proteins, and (c) the heat coagulation of the proteins in the cream cheese, which also form a matrix that captures steam generated during baking.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com
www.insidethejewishbakery.com

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

...that when you whip soft but not liquid butter with flour, air pockets are formed in the dough and these expand in baking.

I noticed the nice light (considering the amount of fat) texture of the ITJB cream cheese short dough when I made the mini-schneckens.

BTW, croissants without leavening would be something other than croissants.

Glenn

Elagins's picture
Elagins

it's mixed to combine, and generally speaking you can either whip fat and sugar (creamed cake) or eggs and sugar (sponge cake) to incorporate air.  the flour (well-sifted) is normally combined after the aeration takes place and after beaten egg (creamed cake) and flavorings have been incorporated into the  mass. flour is really too dense to aerate with fat. woof! woof!

Stan

 

Bread Breaddington's picture
Bread Breaddington

Hello again, no, the dough that I made was not laminated, simply mixed. Not a pariticularly light or airy dough, either.

But it seems that Elagins has already answered my question. I never would have expected it would have these results. It is interesting.

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

I wonder if the pH could have something to do with leavening, too? I've used a dough made with flour, sour cream and butter, and that expanded too, although not four-fold. From what I remember, it came out with small air pockets, somewhat larger than in shortbread. Both cream cheese and sour cream will have some lactic acid in them, would thatreact with something or decompose with heat to produce a bit of gas?