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Croissant timing help

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bakingleigh's picture
bakingleigh

Croissant timing help

Hello,

I am not new to croissants but am in no way an expert.  I have recently been using Tartine's recipe (the pastry version) with reasonable success at home.  In the past, I have used other recipes at my work where the un-lamenated dough is refrigerated overnight (3 day process). I would like to use the Tartine recipe at work however do not have enough hours to mix the dough, bench rest for an hour, retard it for 4-6 hours and laminate it in one shift (as instructed by the recipe).  I would like to retard the dough overnight (16 hours unfortunately) before laminating and am wondering if this is possible since the recipe only calls for 4-6 hours before laminating.  If it is possible, does the recipe need modifying to accommodate this long break? I use 1 Tbsp of instant yeast in the preferment and 1 Tbsp in the dough to 975 g flour (175 g preferment; 800g dough).  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

mcs's picture
mcs

bakingleigh,
I've never used the tartine method for making croissants, but I'm going to take a stab at your timing issue anyway. 

I'm guessing (and it sounds like you're guessing the same thing) that if the recipe calls for 4-6 hours and you're thinking of pushing it to 16 hours, you're going to end up with overproofing without adjustments. 

One method is to reduce the yeast, another is to cool the dough quickly (before it goes in the fridge) so it doesn't overproof in the fridge.  I would try method number 2 (cooling quickly) first, then if that doesn't do the trick, try reducing the yeast the next time.

This is how I would do it.  After you mix the dough and it bench rests for 1 hour, roll it to the approximate size that you will need it to be the next day.  In other words, don't retard it as a big ball of dough, but instead as a dough slab.  Then cover it and stick it in your freezer for between 1 hour and 90 minutes.  It shouldn't grow during this time.  You want it to get very cold and tough, but not frozen.  Flex your bicep and feel that - that's about what it should feel like :)  Then put it in your fridge for the next 15 hours and it should be good.

If on day 2 your dough is fat like a balloon, then either leave it in the freezer a little longer next time, reduce the yeast next time, or both.

Hope that helps.

-Mark

PS, by retarding it for 16 hours instead of the called for 4-6 hours, you will end up with a more flavorful croissant in addition to it fitting your baking schedule:  win/win

bakingleigh's picture
bakingleigh

Thank you so much for your reply Mark, I really appreciate it!  I am going to try your recommendation using the freezer, it is a great idea. I am wondering now if I should skip the bench rest all together and put the dough directly in the freezer after mixing because of the extended time in the fridge.  I read in another forum posting by txfarmer that she does not recommend a bench rest (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22677/poolish-croissant-pursuit-perfection) because of gluten development.  I do not have a sheeter so do all the rolling by hand.

Thank you so much. 

mcs's picture
mcs

Generally speaking, the purpose of the bench rest for dough that's going to be refrigerated anyway (like brioche for instance) is to give the dough a little growth head start before it goes into that slow-down cold environment in the fridge (or freezer). 

In the case of croissants however, the bench rest also lets the dough relax since it's going to be manipulated into a 'preshape' or rectangle.

When I make croissants, after the dough comes out of the mixer, it's too difficult (tough) to manipulate into the shape of a slab.  So the 60-90 minute covered bench rest that I use, serves to relax the dough enough so that I can roll it into a rectangular shape.  During this time, the dough grows a little, but not double (as a result of my mix temperature DDT being 75F).  The purpose of rolling it into a rectangular shape before is goes into the freezer is so that it can cool much more quickly and evenly.  Also, on day 2, it's much easier to work with dough that's already in a rectangular shape since it's refrigerator cold. 

Whether you're using a sheeter or rolling it by hand, the technique is the same.  The main difference with the sheeter is that you can work with colder dough without working up a sweat.  :)

-Mark

bakingleigh's picture
bakingleigh

Thank you so much.  I am going to give your freezer suggestion a try next week.  Thank you for your responses and for your explanations - very helpful!