The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

croissant

Doughtagnan's picture
Doughtagnan

As I had a long weekend off I decided to make my 1st ever Croissants using my  Bourke St Bakery cookbook. The results were pretty impressive and I subbed Doves farm dried yeast for the fresh with no problems. I made half of their recipe and here are the results!


 



 



wally's picture
wally

                                


This week I found time to come up for air and play with some of my Christmas toys, so I tried a little experimentation where I haven't been before, and also revisited familiar places where my skills can always improve.  The result is an interesting, but somewhat perplexing, apple-walnut sourdough, and more practice with croissants and my favorite poolish baguettes.


I've wanted to try an apple-walnut bread for some time, but frankly, I'm too lazy to either dry apples or buy dried apples.  So, my thought was this: why not puree an apple, make allowances for its hydration, and see what would result.  I used Hamelman's Vermont sourdough as my 'base' recipe.  To this I added a pureed Macintosh apple.  Now, according to my Google explorations, apples are about 85% water. Armed with this information, I adjusted the flour and water weights and mixed the dough, having built my levain over a 12 hour period.  The first thing I found is that even pureed, the apple has not released all of its water during the mix, so I ended up adding a small additional amount of water to reach a dough that felt right (Hamelman's Vermont sourdough is at 65% hydration, so I figure I upped it to about 68% - no big deal).


I mixed all ingredients except salt, did a 40 minute autolyse, and then added the salt and mixed for 3 minutes on speed 3 of my Hamilton Beach.  After, I added chopped walnuts and mixed on speed 1 for an additional minute.  Bulk fermentation was for 2 1/2 hours with two folds at 50 minute intervals.


The initial thing I noticed about this dough was that it was very slow in rising during the bulk fermentation.  After dividing and shaping, I left it for final proof downstairs where the temperature is a chilly 60 degrees F.  After 5 hours I was not satisfied with its progress and brought it upstairs to a more hospitable 68 degrees where it proofed for an additional 2 hours before baking.


Now, if this were simply Hamelman's Vermont sourdough both the fermentation and final proof would have been accomplished much sooner (unless I opted to retard overnight).  But with the addition of the apple and walnuts, the levain worked much, much more slowly.


The bake was fine - there was noticeable though not spectacular oven spring.  The profile, as you can see, is not bad, but not what I am used to when baking this recipe without additions.


    


Good things: instead of pieces of apple in the finished product, there are flecks of the peel and a nice, but not overwhelming flavor of apple, with some additional sweetness it brings.  The walnuts are a perfect complement.  The bread is surprisingly moist and has stayed fresh much longer than a straight sourdough.


I do wonder if there is something in the pureed apple that inhibits the levain (cue for anyone to offer opinions, or better yet, definitive answers).


Following the sourdough experiment I decided that, it being wintry and cold - outside and in my kitchen - it was a good time to revisit croissants.  Lately I've spent some time with our pastry bakers at work rolling out croissants, so I've developed some confidence in my shaping and overall in the feel, texture and thickness of the dough.  The results, shown below, were accomplished using a recipe adapted from Dan DiMuzio's excellent textbook, Bread Baking.  I laminated the dough using two single-folds and one double (book) fold.  I'm pretty pleased with the outcome and the crumb.  As with everything in baking, I'm finding that the 'secret' is pretty simple: practice, practice, practice.


    


Finally, I wanted to bake something for my friends at my local pub (which also supplies me with Sir Galahad flour in 50# bags), so I did a bake of poolish baguettes taken from Hamelman's recipe.  I've tweaked his to up the 68% hydration slightly via the poolish, but when I did the poolish mix last night, his recipe was closer to me than my spreadsheet, so this is straight from Bread.  I like it particularly because it demonstrates the openness of crumb that's attainable with a hydration that is not overly high.


I'm including a picture below of the ripened poolish for the benefit of anyone who is not familiar with what this should look like.  What I'd like to call attention to are the small rivulets of bubbles that have formed, displacing for the most part larger bubbles that dominate under-ripened poolishes. (And actually, this could have ripened for probably another 20 minutes or so, but my schedule pronounced it 'done' - and in any event I'd prefer a slightly under-ripened poolish to an over-ripened one).



Here are the 10 oz 17" baguettes (mini baguettes really) that emerged from my new FibraMent baking stone after 23 minutes at a temp of about 450 degrees F.


    


Aside from the few slices shown here, the rest was quickly devoured by patrons and kitchen staff at the Old Brogue Irish Pub.


    


Larry


 


 

cor's picture

need help rolling croissant dough

November 15, 2010 - 9:27pm -- cor
Forums: 

Hi everyone,


 


This is my first post to the site.  I am having a HUGE problem with rolling out my croissant dough.  I'll give you some background info on it:


 


1) Last night I made the dough (similar to the CIA's recipe), let it proof until it doubled on the counter, and put it in the fridge for about 18 hours.  Last night I also prepared the butter slab to be locked in.

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

 After the first failed attempt at croissant making, it caused me a long hesitation before attempting it second time around. It also made me thinking that croissant was probably just too hard to make and I should leave them to the professional. However, some recent TFL posts kind of encourage me into believing that I can also do it.


So, here goes my second attempt. 


My second attempt went reasonably okay. I applied what I learnt from my first attempt. The dough needs to be strong and extensible enough to withstand the rolling, folding and stretching during the lamination process. I learned this first hand as  I didn't work my dough enough first time and it got torn and butter was leaking out. It was a disaster and totally put me off making it for a long while.


So, with my strong dough, my laminating process went smoothly, had no problem. The croissants were shaped nicely and I thought .... Umm, this wasn't so hard after all and I might be up to something nice:-)



Then, here comes the proofing process. I forgot and probably having a blonde moment, that croissant is a buttered-dough. It can't be proofed in the same environment as bread is. I proofed my croissant on a tray and I place the tray in the off-oven. I also put a bowl of hot water underneath the proofing tray. As, you might have guessed it. The butter melted and here comes the minor disaster!!!


 


I continued with my bake anyway. The croissants turned out all right. They're not perfect but they tasted okay.


 


Something I learnt from this bake and/or something I'd like to try for my next bake....



  • Never proof the dough at warm and humid temperature as the recipe suggested.

  • Will only proof the croissant at room temperature

  • Will try baking croissants at higher temperature. I baked them at 170c (convection) this time but I will try baking them at 200c (convection) next time. Baking at 170c didn't give me the brownish tone and crisps that I would like.


Also, some by-products from the croissant dough, pain-au-raisins, or snails as Aussie calls it.....


vincenttalleu's picture
vincenttalleu

Hi there, I had this video on Youtube for a while already but I though I'd share it here.


Video was made in a bakery south of France where I used to work last year. I doesn't really help for home bakers to see this because I got all the tools and machinery (especially pastry break) But I know some are interested to see how we manage to make lots of those in average size bakery.


This bakery has average of 150 croissants 150 pain au chocolat per day which is a bit more than average typical french bakery.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhpxkGB1OyY


The Pestifarian's picture

Retarding Croissants?

September 6, 2009 - 2:39am -- The Pestifarian
Forums: 

Hi


I wonder if any of you can help me, I'd like to make croissants for breakfast but we are not morning people so I was wondering if it was possible to make the croissants then leave them in the fridge overnight?


I have two recipes the proportions are slightly different but more importantly the rise times are different so:-


Recipe 1 goes Mix proof 1hr in warm, knock back chill 1hr, do folds and resting etc. then shape and rise 1hr in warm.

rhag's picture
rhag

This weekend I decided to get in touch with my sweet side. I made cinnamon buns on sat and croissants, chocolate hazelnut danish and an apricot basket ( unglazed in pictures). I used the recipe out of artisan baking by ciril hitz. My assistant was also helping me out with the weekend bake.



 



 


Assistant below:



 



 



 


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