The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need help with 10th Wedding Anniversary

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Need help with 10th Wedding Anniversary

Next Sunday, will be our 10th Wedding anniversay! 


I've been thinking of making something special for our breakfast, and the idea of croissants popped in my mind, as we met in France and croissants (as well as pain au chocolat) were always part of our Sunday morning, right after a nice run


So, why would I need your help?   Because I would like to make them as a surprise - now, of course, it's not easy to pull a surprise like this, but I think there is a high probability that my beloved will be playing golf the day before.  That leaves me with the afternoon of Saturday to make the dough, and shape them


 


Is there a tried and true method to make croissants that could be refrigerated overnight and baked in the morning? (I don't mind waking up at 4am to warm them up at room temperature for a couple of hours, it is all for a great cause!)


 


we both wake up at 5am every day, so I don't have the luxury of a few hours alone in the kitchen making them while hubby sleeps  :-)


 


Any advice?

Ford's picture
Ford

Knock yourself out!  This is time consuming, but you may retard at any point.


PUFF DOUGH

This laminated yeast dough is the version of puff pastry found in France at the boulangerie, or bakery, as opposed the classic puff pastry (see chapter 07. Desserts) made at the pâtisserie or pastry shop.  Sometimes it is sweet, as for a Danish pastry or coffee cake, and sometimes it is not, as for plain croissants or for croissants with a savory filling.  For me this was easier and produced a lighter roll than did the puff pastry.  Though, making this is time consuming, I found the final result well worth the effort and superior to the croissants one finds in the grocery store or even at most bakeries.  As with most yeast doughs, this dough may be retarded by storing it in the refrigerator at any point.

 
for the dough
2 large eggs plus enough water (or scalded low fat milk cooled to 90°F) to make 2 cups (16 oz.)
1 tspn sugar for unsweetened dough; 1/4 to 1/3 cup (1.8 to 2 oz.) sugar (for sweet dough),.
5 1/2 to 6 cups (23.3 to 25.5 oz.) all purpose unbleached flour
2 1/4 tspn (1 envelope, 0.3 oz, 7 g) instant yeast
1/2 cup (2/5 oz.) nonfat dry milk (omit, if using milk instead of water)
1 tspn (0.2 oz.) salt (2 tspn if using unsalted butter)
1 tspn. vanilla extract (for sweet dough)
2 Tbs. (1 oz.) melted butter

for the butter
1 7/8 cup (3 3/4 sticks, 15 oz.) butter
1/2 cup (2.1 oz.) unbleached flour
flour for sprinkling
 

  Beat the eggs and water (or milk) and 1 tspn of sugar.  Beat in the yeast and 3 cups of flour until all is well blended.  Cover and let stand at room temperature for an hour or so.  In a separate bowl blend the dry milk, the rest of the sugar (sweet dough), the salt, and 2 1/2 cup of flour.  Hold until the yeast mixture has doubled in size.
  Blend the 3 3/4 sticks of butter and the 1/2  cup of flour.  Lightly flour a piece of plastic wrap and place the butter mixture on it.  Shape the butter into an 8” x 8” square.  Wrap it and place it into the refrigerator until the dough is ready.
  Back to the dough, add the optional vanilla extract (sweet dough) and the melted butter and beat well.  Add in the flour mixture and mix well to form a rough ball, then knead for 8 to 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or knead in an electric mixer, using a dough hook.  After kneading, cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator for an hour.
Rolling & Folding: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and put it on a lightly floured surface.  Gently roll it into a square about 12 inches on a side.  You don't have to be obsessive about the dimensions but be pretty close.
Put the butter square in the center of the dough square but turn it so that the corners of the butter square point toward the sides of the dough square.  Fold the corners of the dough over the butter until they meet in the middle.  Pinch and seal the edges of the dough together.
  Turn the square over and tap it gently with your rolling pin or by hand into a rectangular shape.  Make sure everything is still completely, but lightly, floured.  Begin rolling the dough from the center, away from and towards you, into a larger rectangle 20 inches long and 10 inches wide.  Puncture any air bubble with a toothpick.
  As you work, keep the dough, the work surface, and the rolling pin well dusted with flour.  Although the dough will absorb some of the flour, it is relatively soft at start, so the dusting flour isn't enough to worry about.
Turn the dough over from time to time.  As you roll, you tend to stretch the top layers more than the bottom.  By turning it over, it becomes more uniformly stretched.
  When the dough is the right size, fold the bottom third of the dough up beyond the center and the top third over (like a business letter) and turn the dough package a quarter turn to the right so it looks like a book ready to be opened.  If the dough is still cold and still relaxed, do another rolling and turning as before.  If it begins to feel too soft or wants to resist being rolled, cover it, put it on a small baking sheet, and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or longer (even a day) to chill and relax.
  If you've successfully rolled it out and folded it twice, you've completed two turns.  Classic puff pastry gets six; and puffed dough gets four.  Continue refrigerating it after each two turns, or more often if necessary, until four turns are completed.  This will give you 34 or 81 layers of butter, each between a layer of dough, not as many as for the classic puff pastry (pâte feuilletée), but this has yeast to make it rise.
  Make a checklist somewhere so you know how many turns or layers you've made.  Pastry chefs commonly put fingerprints in a corner of the pastry to indicate the numbers of turns.  If you try this, be careful you don't break through with your fingernails, since the layers are very thin.
  Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours or preferably overnight.  One recipe is adequate for two dozen croissants or two filled coffeecakes.


CROISSANTS DE BOULANGER


The croissants found in a bakery shop (boulangerie) in France are made from laminated yeast dough those from a pastry shop (pâtisserie) have no yeast and are called croissants de pâtissier.  Either of them may be plain and shaped into crescents or filled and folded into a rectangle.

 
one recipe of Puff Dough, (not sweet, see above)
egg wash made from one large egg plus a tablespoon of water.
any filling that is desired, or none
 

  Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  Cut the chilled puff dough in half.  On a lightly floured surface, roll one half of the dough to a 12” x 18” rectangle.  Trim the edges, using a very sharp knife or a pizza-cutting wheel.  This removes the folded edges that would inhibit the puffing of the dough.  (These edge pieces may be gently rolled up and baked separately.)
  Cut the dough into three strips lengthwise, 4” x 18”.  Then cut these strips in half to give six rectangles 4” x 9”.  Make a diagonal cut on each of these rectangles to give a total of twelve triangles.  Make a 1” cut in the 4” base of one of the triangle.  If you desire to fill the croissant, place  a small amount of filling along the base before rolling it.  Pull this base slightly stretching it, and then roll the dough toward the apex.  Tuck the point on the bottom and bend the ends to make a crescent.  Repeat with the other eleven triangles.
  Place the croissants on a lightly greased, parchment-lined baking sheet about a half-inch apart.  Cover with a greased plastic sheet, and allow to rise until doubled.
  When fully proofed, about 45 to 60 minutes, brush the croissants with the egg wash.  Bake in the 400°F oven until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.  The interior temperature should be 195 to 200°F.  Cool the rolls on a wire rack, before eating or storing.
  Repeat with the other half of the dough, or make something else, or store it in the refrigerator for later
   (Alternate Shaping.  Cut the dough in half along the length and into thirds across the length.  This gives six squares of about 6” x 6”.  Cut these squares diagonally.  Arrange the triangle with the long side (hypotenuse) toward you.  Cut a half-inch notch in the middle of this side.  Roll this end toward the point, stretching the dough slightly as you go.  Tuck the point under the bottom and push the outside edges toward the center to make the crescent.)


        modified from King Arthur Flour, The Baker’s Companion, 2003

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

This is exactly what I was looking for!


 


I will make this version - I remember reading about the method of mixing butter with flour and using that instead of pieces of butter.  I only made croissants twice, the second time using Julia Child's recipe, and I thought it ended up too greasy.  Of course, it's hard to say if it was the 'baker's fault"  :-)


 


Thanks a million, this  should be a lot of fun!

Ford's picture
Ford

Yes it is fun, but the greatest enjoyment is seeing and eating the finished product and knowing, "YOU DID IT!"


Ford

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

You are a chemist!


 


Well, nice to "meet" you!  I am a bio-chemist, so we are basically twins!  ;-)

Ford's picture
Ford

The operative word is retired.  Since I have been making sourdough bread, I have learned a little micro-biology.


Ford

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I have the dough ready after the last fold (I did six) - I've got two options:  leave it in the fridge overnight, tomorrow very early roll it out, cut the croissants, allow to rise and bake them


 


or.... do it today around 5:30pm, shape them, and stick in the fridge - tomorrow remove them, allow to rise and bake.


 


I just want to make sure that if they are shaped today and stay in the fridge the whole night they won't be overproofed


 


Suggestions? Advice?

mcs's picture
mcs

...then stick them immediately in the freezer to hold them overnight.  In the morning let them thaw, egg wash, proof, egg wash, bake.


-Mark

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

WIll do!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Well, I got a lesson in humility - something went terribly, terribly wrong.  They did not rise at all, turned out very small and dense.  I think I made a few mistakes in the technique, my shaping was probably not the best either.


I will need to face this challenge again in the near future....


 


Because we had to go out, I ended up having to leave the dough in the fridge overnight, so this morning I rolled it out, shaped the croissants and waited for them to rise for almost 2 hours.  NOt much action, so I went ahead and baked them.  Very little oven spring, no flakiness.    I do think I folded them in the wrong direction a couple of times maybe....


Oh, well - practice will have to make perfect at some point.....


 

Ford's picture
Ford

 


I can think of no reason for their not rising.  If you froze the dough, perhaps it did not thaw sufficiently.  If you simply refrigerated it (~40°F, 4°C), the rolls should have risen some in two hours.  Is the yeast fresh?


The lack of flakyness could be due to technique in layering the butter and the dough.


I hope your marriage will survive the croissant failure.  You tried and it was a beautiful thought.


Better luck on the eleventh anniversary.  Our marriage has survived sixty-one years with greater fiascos than that.


Ford


 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Oh, my marriage is not even slightly scratched!   We ended up laughing about it - I do think I made mistakes when I layered the butter and folded the dough


 


Don't laugh, but I have a very serious problem with "directions" - as in left, right, North, South - clockwise, counterclockwise....   Next time I attempt to make croissants, I will be a lot more careful


 


if all problems in the world were a batch of lousy croissants, our planet would be a much much better place!  :-)

Ford's picture
Ford

Well said!  I wasn't worried.  Anyone who would go to that much trouble for an anniversary doesn't have large marriage problems.  Practice on the croissants when there is not the pressure on you.


Regards to your great husband.


Ford

ladychef41's picture
ladychef41

A good way to remember which way you have turned the dough, is to make a small "slash" on the last side you turned. This is an old trick that lots of bakers still use. When you are ready to make the next turn, you know which way you will need to turn it. Also, at my shop, I freeze my dough and my shaped croissant. I take the dough out the night before I will be shaping and allow it to thaw in the cooler over night. For the shaped croissant, I take them out of the freezer the night before I will be baking them and allow them to thaw overnight. The following morning, they go in the proof box. I have never had any trouble with either the dough or the shaped croissant. So I'm thinking like the others that it could be a yeast issue or a folding issue.... Keep trying and eventually you will figure it out! That's part of the fun!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Thanks, ladychef....


 


I somehow missed your reply until now, but I'm glad I caught it - I am not giving up, and the idea of being able to freeze the shaped croissants is very appealing, as it's just the two of us, and all recipes make a ton of croissants (who would want to go through all the trouble to make only 4?   :-)


 


thanks again!

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Well,  it's the thought that counts....it is so sweet of you to do something special....and remembering wedding anniversary dates,  I usually waking up that morning and remember,  oh yeah,  I had my wedding day 14 years ago...haha...


keep trying....practise and practise......

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

practice and practice and practice....   ;-)

Ford's picture
Ford

Mike Avery says that patience is essential in bread making and patience squared is essential for sourdough.  I think it is essential for other breads including, but not limited to croissants!


Ford

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

So true!  I am a very impatient person by nature, baking bread sure teaches a good lesson!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Sorry to hear that it didn't turn out, but sounds like your anniversary didn't get affect at all. Let me know if you want to make croissants together. I made some a few weeks ago with pretty good results. We can work out arm strength together! Successful croissants are all about developing the dough strong enough but not too strong, so you can roll it out quickly and evenly without tearing, that's why they are super easy to make with professional sheeters in the bakeries.  Other than that it's just waiting  for it to rise and bake.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Sally,


I note you wrote this a while ago but it came to the top again because of a recent posting. Just wanted to pass on a good formula that can be baked at breakfast. This is Andy/ananda's post on laminated dough, that you may or may not have seen on 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16082/laminated-yeasted-dough-construction


Down in the notes on the formula it says:


A good trick is to chill the dough overnight. Give the dough 3 half turns, then bag and chill overnight. Waken up early the next morning, give the dough its last half turn and process from there. Bake off the croissants and serve straightaway for breakfast. You have just made yourself soooo popular with everyone in the house, forever!


which I guess is the effect you want? I've not yet tried retarding the dough in this way, although I hope to. However the croissants I made were my first ever and I found the formula very reliable.


I understand from some of your posts that you are now baking in a smaller oven but I found 12 baked up fine in a small space - evidence below!


With best wishes, Daisy_A


SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

thanks so much, I am saving this and will consider giving it a try in my small oven - could be a fun project, I guess


 


Thanks again!

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Sally,


Yes, I think it's a keeper! Hope it works out well if you do try it.


Kind regards, Daisy_A