The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best Croissants

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Blueladder's picture
Blueladder

Hi Everybody,

It's about eight weeks since I posted my easy white bread recipe - thanks for all your help and suggestions with that!!!  I put your link on Squidoo saying how great you are and people have been clicking out so I hope you got some new members?!

I've now, after holding off for about twenty years!!! (and eight weeks) had a couple of goes at croissants and been delighted with the result.  I got the confidence after making so much ordinary bread - and when I paid an extortionate amount for a croissant at 4am at an airport when I missed my flight!!

However... even though I've read loads and tried to incorporate everything in my recipe - and they taste heavenly!!  I'm sure there are things you could improve!  So if any of you guys (and gals!) could have a look and give me some tips that would be awsome!!!

My aim is to help people save money and reconnect with their food - if you've made it you know what's in it!

Here's the link: Homemade Bread: Croissant Recipe.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I've made croissants before now, twice: once during a King Arthur baking class, and, shortly after, at home, a bit more than two years ago.  I was nominally satisfied with both attempts, but in that same time frame my focus was elsewhere: sourdough and baguettes. With due humility I've been satisfied with my consistent successes with both baguettes, and a handful of sourdough formulae that I've felt the urge to try a new challenge: croissants--high on my "enjoy eating" list.

While studying the subject, and formulating an approach, I frequently reminded myself that it took nearly three years to reach satisfaction with my sourdoughs, and more than two in regard to baguettes. And I'm still learning. Nonetheless, it's time to stretch.

Over that last two days I've begun a new goal: consistently produce satisfactory croissants. Satisfactory means good flavor, wonderfully flaky crumb, and eye appeal, in that order. Examining those criteria I decided flaky crumb, i.e., building properly laminated dough was, initially the most challenging. My thinking was flavor was determined by ingredients, and relatively passive techniques: fermentation; poolish or natural levain vs. straight dough; and quality of ingredients. Eye appeal is primarily manual techniques, which equates to practice, practice, practice. For my first "real" home attempt at croissants I decided to focus intensely on dough lamination.

I used a straight dough formula--the same formula used in the KA classroom, a straight dough, with two modifications. Guided by Michael Saus' Advanced Bread and Pastry: a professional approach, I lowered the baking temperature to 385°F. I found the KA and SFBI straight dough formulae differed only in 2% hydration and malt powder, and baking temperature. I opted for the lower, SFBI, temperature. Additonally, I added malt powder to the mix, ala SFBI. I also used osmotolerent yeast prescribed by SFBI, although neither the sugar nor fat content in the dough demand its use.

Results: I made four basic croissants and two pain au chocolat. One can see I need practice, practice, practice.

Crumb. I had intial difficulty with the lamination. During the first turn the dough tore, and exposed the butter layer in a small area. I attribute the mistake to too much aggression rolling the first turn. Despite the dough's wound, I contined doing two more turns as prescribed.

Needless to say, I'm satisfied with the crumb, although we did find a "doughy" spot in one croissant.  I'm fairly sure it was caused by the dough rupture mentioned.

Flavorwise, I'm statisfied; more importantly, so is my wife. I used KA AP flour, and Vermont Creamery cultured butter: the primary flavor contributors.

Next effort, will include the same ingredients and techniques, but will incorporate a poolish ala SFBI's formula.

David G

 

 

Moris's picture
Moris

Hi Everyone,  Thanks for stopping by !


You may be one of the lucky ones to have recently baked some of my fresh hand made croissants from Frozen.


I've created this blog as an extra resource for you to ensure that your croissants are the flakiest, tastiest & lightest croissants that you've ever had !


Let's get started shall we ?  :)


Step 1:  Remove your frozen croissants from the freezer bag and place on a baking sheet.  Chocolate ones should be placed seam side down.


Frozen Croissants


 Step 2:  Let them raise overnight or for approx 9-10 hours.


For best results, they should be in a slightly warmer than room temp place (75F - 80F)


A trick to achieve this warm & humid atmosphere that will allow the yeast to really work is to add a tin pan at the bottom of your oven and pour some boiling water in it when you first start the rising process.  This added steam & heat will really assist in ensuring best results possible.



Here's an action shot.  Special Thanks to Katie for being a wonderful arm model.  Please Contact us for future bookings :)


 


 


 After 9-10 Hours the croissants should be fully proofed and be double to triple in size and slightly jiggly if you wiggle the pan. 


Proofed Croissants


 


 


These ones actually proofed for 10 hours.  If yours don't look like this, you can try some things to set the mood for the yeast to really start working.


Tip 1:  Give them another steam bath & Let them sit for another hour


Tip 2:  Give them a little blast of heat.  Set your oven for only 200F and let it heat up for one minute (it won't actually get to 200F) for a quick shot of heat.  The point here is just to warm the surrounding air up a little bit and not make it too warm where the butter starts to melt out. 


After this heat blast - Sit back for a while and let the yeast do its thing ;)





Step 4:  Preheat your oven to 400F if using convection or 425F if not convection


Step 5:  Prior to baking brush with egg wash.  This will ensure a nice golden colour.


Egg Wash


 


It really comes down to personal preference here.  If you have no eggs, milk or cream is fine.  No milk ?  Use water, or even nothing at all.


 


My personal favorite is to use just the egg yolk with a little bit of water.  This will make a nice dark & crispy coating - egg yolk is always the prettiest in my opinion.


 


 Tip:  At this point while your oven is heating, you can refridgerate the croissants.  What this does is set the butter even more.  This will ensure optimum flakiness ;~)


Step 6:  Bake for 20 minutes or until you have a deep golden brown.  Don't be afraid to go too dark here.. the darker the better and it sets them nicely. 


Baked


 


These ones baked the full 20 minutes.


 


 


 


 


 


Close upLet Them rest on the pan for about 5 minutes.  The extra time lets the steam from the butter do its final setting.


Best served warm !


ENJOY !!!!


 


Cheers,


Moris.

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