The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

20100306 My First Croissants

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Yippee's picture
Yippee

20100306 My First Croissants

This is a very exciting moment.  Many weeks of research and planning have paid off.  My dream of making elegantly curved, crescent-shaped croissants has finally come to fruition.  Along the research process, I’ve consulted sources from American, Chinese, French and Japanese professionals and reviewed several forum and blog entries at TFL about croissants.  If any of my procedures sounds familiar to you, it is probably inspired by your input and I thank you for sharing your experience with our community.


My procedures are a conglomerate of all the essence from different sources that I found helpful in achieving an effective workflow which produces quality results. This is a primary principle I’ve stood by in my day-to-day practice. There are numerous good croissant formulas out there.  It’s just a matter of settling down on the ones that best suit my needs.  For my first attempt, I was looking for a simple formula that doesn’t take forever to produce. After all, it’s merely a big lump of butter encased by bread dough.  It shouldn’t be that complicated to handle.  Luckily, I’ve been very familiar with the sweet dough used from making many loaves of Asian style breads. Therefore, once I understood the fundamentals of preparing a butter block and making turns, I was ready to tackle this part pastry, part bread challenge. 


I adapted the croissant formula from “Teacher Zhou’s Gourmet Classroom” (周老師的美食教室), a Taiwan based Chinese website dedicated to introducing foolproof recipes of a broad variety of foods. The host of this site is an author of three well-received cooking and pastry books in Chinese.  She currently lectures at a baking institute and is also a high school home economics teacher. The reliable recipes and formulae on her website are a guarantee of quality outcomes and I consider this Classroom the Chinese version of "the America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated". I particularly like her systematic approach of coaching and scientific approach of handling food.  I simply felt that our styles ‘clicked’.  Her croissant formula caught my attention because it was the easiest one I’ve seen and it only takes a few hours to complete.  With this formula, I won't end up having a full freezer of uneaten croissants.  The portion of flours called for is so small that I could even use my semi-retired Zojirushi to handle the job. 


The following is an outline of my formula and procedures:


 





I am very happy with my first croissants.  They look and taste like the real deal.  Next time, I’ll try the sourdough version.  The following are some pictures and photo credit goes to my husband.  Thank you, honey, for your help. 


 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/41705172@N04/sets/72157623822219114/show/


 




This post will be submitted to Wild Yeast Yeastspotting!

Comments

DonD's picture
DonD

They look fantastic especially the blistery skin and the flaky interior. Incredible for a first attempt.


Don

Yippee's picture
Yippee

It means a lot to me when it's coming from a croissant expert like you.


Yippee

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Very nice job and so artfully displayed. Well done. Your crumb looks exceptional, nice and well defined layers.


Eric

Yippee's picture
Yippee

for your kind words.


Yippee

JohnMich's picture
JohnMich

Hi Yippee!


I took one look at the photos and started to reach for the strawberry jam and cream! What a fantastic first effort - or any effort for that matter.


Congratulations, John


 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

for your compliments.


Yippee

amauer's picture
amauer

How many eggs is 60 grams? I have searched it it is varied...

ananda's picture
ananda

...is generally about 50g for a medium-sized egg.


Very large eggs are over 60g.   Small eggs nearer 40g


But, it's always best to weigh your eggs to the amount required, as it is with all materials used in any bread formula...water included.


Best wishes


Andy

JohnMich's picture
JohnMich

Amauer, in Australia eggs are sold in cartons of a dozen. The standard weights of a carton are 600, 700 & 800 grams.


Which means that the per egg weight is 50 (600), 58.3 (700) & 66.7(800) gms each although probably the most popular carton size, the 700, usually states that each egg is guaranteed to weigh 59 gms (go figure!)


All you can do is use eggs as close to the required weight as possible because getting 3 gms of an egg for example sounds like a very tricky operation.


Hope that helps


John

amauer's picture
amauer

Thank you so much. I usually use x large. I have a nice little scale, so that will be fine!

amauer's picture
amauer

My nickname is Andy (Andrea), so I had to read twice...


I think I will make Croissants today!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Andrea,


Have you seen this blog post I put up on croissants?


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


Happy reading...and croissant-making!


Best wishes


Andy

Handful's picture
Handful

These look WONDERFUL! So incredibly light and flaky. I know what I'M doing now today!


 


Thanks for sharing.