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Poofing laminated dough

swordams's picture

Poofing laminated dough

Hello all,

I made laminated danish dough in my baking class years ago, and I remember it worked well all but one time. The one time, during the proofing stage, all of the butter melted out. Today I tried to make cinnamon rolls at home. The dough was working perfectly until the proofing stage, at which time a lot of butter melted out (I proofed at about 85 degrees, definately warm enough to melt butter). The rolls still looked fine (not over proofed), so I baked them. The resulting rolls are limp and flat. Should I have proofed them at less than room temperature?




xaipete's picture

I don't normally make danish--probably haven't made any for 15 years--, but I do make croissants. I proof at room temperature. Butter will melt at 85 degrees--probably even in the upper 70s, so I'm pretty sure that was the problem. You can even proof overnight in the fridge, but then you have to allow for some wake up time before baking. I'm no expert on this topic, but I can't see how you could do a warm proof with this type of dough.

Mark makes croissants and he's a professional baker. I'm sure he knows the answer.


baltochef's picture

Laminated doughs made at home are generally refrigerated between each rolling out and folding session in order to preserve the integrity of the butter (fat) layers..

Step 1 = Make dough, knead dough, allow to rise until doubled in volume at room temperature, 70F-80F..

Step 2 = Scale dough (if batch is large enough), degas dough, roll out in a rectangle to 3X the size of the sheet pan(s) being used to handle and refrigerate  the dough..Using a 3-fold technique apply the two layers of butter and flour mixture..Place the dough and butter layers in the sheet pan..Refrigerate, covered, to allow dough to relax and to chill so that the butter layers remain cold, and thus are separate from the dough layers..The dough now has 3 distinct layers..

Step 3 = Remove from refrigerator, roll the dough out in a rectangle to 4X the size of the sheet pans being used..Using a 4-fold technique fold the ends of the short sides into the center, reducing the dough in size by 1/2..Fold the dough in 1/2 again creating a piece of dough the size of the sheet pan..Place the dough in the sheet pan..Refrigerate covered, until the dough is relaxed and cold again..The dough now has 12 distinct layers..The butter layers are not generally counted as when the dough bakes at high heat the water in the butter flashes into steam, the butter melts, and becomes incorporated into the layers on either side..

Step 4 = Repeat Step 3---48 layers..

Step 5 = Repeat Step 3---192 layers

Step 6 = Repeat Step 3---768 layers---A lot of baker's elect to stop at this stage

Step 7 = Repeat Step 3---3072 layers--Top pastry chefs will usually take Danish dough to this level

Step 8 = Retard dough, covered, over night to finish proofing and to develop flavors

Step 9 = Remove from refrigerator the following day and roll out to form pastries

The key to success with laminated doughs is to never allow the fat layer to soften to the point where it becomes a part of the dough layers..In professional pastry shops these doughs are often made and worked in rooms that are kept cold enough that the chef's need to wear wool hats on their heads, and sweaters under their chef's coats..In a home environment the easiest way to success is to work very quickly to shorten the time that the fat layers in the dough spend at room temperature, and to chill the dough thoroughly between each rolling out and folding session..Unless, that is, one has a very cold room at 50F-60F to work in..Then several steps can be accomplished between the time that the dough spends in the fridge..


xaipete's picture

How do you generate this stuff so fast? --Pamela

swordams's picture

Thank you all for your responses! What I tried to make are maple bacon cinnamon rolls (for a nose to tail dinner tonight), and now I'm excited to try them again.


I'm using the danish recipe from "On Baking", my old textbook. In the chapter opening, the steps for making croissant and danish dough are listed exactly as you have them. The book even says that procedure is for both croissant dough and danish pastry. However, the book's danish recipe only calls for one proofing, after shaping. It also only calls for two fold-ins, though the croissant recipe has 4 fold-ins and two proofings. Do you reccomend two proofings and 4 or more fold-ins for both types of dough?



baltochef's picture


The majority of my experience in making laminated doughs from scratch has been with Danish doughs..I have limited experience with making croissant doughs from scratch..I made four full-sized sheet pans of Danish dough 5 days a week for six months in my first bakery job that I held while attending culinary school..I have, of course, handled puff pastry a lot, but almost exclusively in the shaping and baking stages; very, very little in the dough making stage..

I posted my recipe here at TFL that I got directly from the Master Pastry Chef that gave the recipe to me at that first bakery..He did not call himself a Master Pastry Chef, but he was one, nonetheless..Just search for Danish dough and my name to locate the recipe..

In reality, the Danish dough that I make is proofing constantly from the time the dough is finished kneading until one takes the dough out of the refrigerator the following day to divide into suitably-sized pieces to roll out into pastries..Its initial proof is at room temperature in the oiled mixing bowl..After that the dough is constantly being subjected to periods of cold refrigeration, and exposure to room temperatures as the dough is rolled out to make the book folds..The action of the rolling pin, and the downward force that the baker exerts on the pin to flatten, and roll out the dough; also heats the dough up causing the yeast to speed up their feeding..

So, the yeast in the Danish dough is constantly being speeded up, and slowed down from the time it is made until it is baked off as a pastry..

Make (knead), proof, roll out dough for 3-fold = speed up yeast's growth

Refrigerate (retard) = slow down yeast's growth

Roll out for 1st book fold = heat up = speed up

Refrigerate = slow down

Roll out for 2nd book fold = heat up = speed up

Refrigerate = slow down

Roll out for 3rd book fold = heat up = speed up

Refrigerate = slow down

Roll out for 4th book fold = heat up = slow down

Refrigerate = slow down

Roll out for 5th book fold = heat up = speed up

Refrigerate overnight = gradually slow way down

Roll out to make pastries the following day, place in proof box = heat up = speed up

Bake in 450F oven = kill yeast = permanent slow down


I hope this helps..Feel free to ask for any further clarifications..


mcs's picture

The usual temp for proofing laminated doughs is 75-78 degrees.  As Bruce mentioned, the time in the fridge between your folds might also be considered a slow proof since the dough is continuing to grow (slowly). 

You may find it more helpful to use the freezer rather than the fridge to slow down the rising in between folds.  Here's an abbreviated tri-fold example:

1.  Mix dough, proof at room temp for 2 hours, DDT 78.
2.  Roll into a slab twice the size of your butter slab, cover and put in the freezer for 60 minutes.
3.  Move to the fridge overnight.
4.  Place in freezer for 30 minutes, remove butter slab from the fridge for 30 minutes.
5.  Butter lock in, then roll out and 1 tri-fold.
6.  Freezer for 30 minutes.
7.  Tri-fold, then freezer for 30 minutes...

And so on.
The time in the freezer on step 2 slows down the growth, as does the time in the freezer later.  Any time you have to degass the dough during your lamination process, you risk compromising the layers and destroying the dough.  It would be like over proofing your bread dough and continuing to punch it down every hour. 
Keeping it very cold (in the freezer) eliminates this problem.

After it's all done and shaped, proof at around 78 for 1-3 hours depending on the shape.  I proof my croissants for 3 hours, but they're very cold when they're shaped.