The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

my croissants, level up?

freerk's picture
freerk

my croissants, level up?

Help! Somebody stop me from churning out more bread than even my freezer can handle... or... wait a minute.. I NEED A BIGGER FREEZER!!!!

I had my first try at croissants. We won't talk about that. Not at all.

The second attempt though was much more satisfactory. I made them too small, in retrospect, and by doing so I think I restricted the layers from really fully developing, but everything was there; the crunch, the slightly chewy core, a nice taste and flavor; subtle buttersweet. I'll put on some pics of the crumb later, and for now; here's how I did it.

By the way; what is the best technique to get the butter on the dough as evenly and hasslefree (for the dough)  as possible? I came up with my own way, working with two sheets of baking paper. My first attempt (the one we won't talk about in public) I tried to do it by cutting it to 4 mm pieces and layering it on..... well....

Intuitively I think the way it's done in the famous Julia Child-video has to be the best way. But I'm a bit hesitant about wacking my dough still.. hey, I'm a novice! Keeping the butter in one piece between those sheets of baking paper did the trick though :-)

Comments

Jaydot's picture
Jaydot

You're really good at making video's, they are a pleasure to watch! 

And you make this whole laminating with butter thing look quite simple, so simple I might even try it myself one day. Your croissants look gorgeous.

Well done!!

freerk's picture
freerk

Thank you :-) It's a real joy to make them too!

We share a favorite recipe I see; the cream cheese braid is a real winner here. It's such a "looker" that bread, and so simple to make, wonderfull!

mmm, that celtic sourdough looks wonderful, I might have a go at that one! Did you make that one?

keep baking!

 

freerk

breadinquito's picture
breadinquito

I had  seriuous problems following your recipe...I understand your mother tongue is dutch, but most of us would prefer english even if it 's not our mother tounge...hope you understand and not to offend you...cheers from quito

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey quito!

I completely understand your problem. I am trying to make my video's as visual as possible, but target them specifically on the Dutch market, because there seems to be so little out there. Rest assured I am in no way offended by your remark :-)

The only consolation I can offer you is that currently I'm in the proces of putting the written version of each tutorial in the remarks on Youtube in English as well as Dutch. Maybe that wil help you where the visuals fail.

Hope this will help

 

Candango's picture
Candango

Kudos to you and your videographer.  An absolutely super job of showing all the steps, and with fast motion where necessary to show that the process continued, but at high speed so as not to lose the viewer's attention.  Great selection of background music. 

The only sugestion I might make to make it easier for you would be to use a cut-up plastic market bag (with the inside, not the print side, in contact with the butter), instead of the parchment.  You will find the thin plastic more flexible and it does not crinkle, and the chilled butter will release very easily.  The only other comment would be to suggest cutting two rows of croissants instead of three, in order to make them a bit larger.

Again, a super job.

Bob

freerk's picture
freerk

super! that is it! a plastic grocery bag! great idea!

Now I'm tempted.... I was going to use the "Julia Child"-method on my next batch (my dough and butter are ready and sitting in the fridge as we speak) but somehow I think it will be total disaster to try and whack that butter into place :-/

Cutting in two is exactly what I thought. I might just get myself one of those cutters to get the right size, I always seem to be a bit on the optimistic side when it comes to my oven spring  (i so love that word)

Thanks for the wonderful compliments! Be sure to watch the next episode; I wil be baking with dangerous ingredients! it's going to be about  a strange Dutch-German rising agent used in tradional baking goods the name of "hertshoornzout" Chemistry!!!!

How about that for a cliff hanger :-)

thanks for the feedback bob!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

is indeed a traditional German Christmas baking leavener, it's ammonium bicarbonate, used for making flat cookies or baked goods like Lebkuchen, Pfefferkuchen or Honigkuchen (or the Dutch equivalents).

I wonder whether it was really made of stag antlers in the olden days...

Karin

 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_bicarbonate

Note the safety comment... 

Also not used in thicker baked goods because the amonia taste can remain.  Cookies ok, cakes and bread, no.

I was baking Lebkuchen last week and needed it.  I used crumbled walnut rye altus into the dough hoping to get some lift and body!  Came out wonderful!   When the going gets tough, the tough...   gotta run!

freerk's picture
freerk

I did it! It was a little scary, because upon opening the can, I could really smell the ammonia, and that's not a particularly pleasing smell when you're baking :-) I made the famous (well, here in the Netherlands at least) "pepernoten", they roughly translate to small round pieces of lebkuchen. The oven spring (if one is allowed to call it that if it's not bread) was impressive to say the least. Upon opening the oven door after about half the baking time there was a very distinct whiff of ammonia. It got me worried, but after taking them out and letting them cool, there was not a trace of the odor left. And that was what the (quite old and traditional) recipe promised, so I'm happy. Just for the fun of it I also made a small batch of "pepernoten" using ordinary baking powder. They came out okay, but were nowhere near the perfect half domes that were created with the ammonium carbonate. I'll post a video of the whole process later and will try to put it into cultural context.

If you have some other interesting recipes that involve this rising agent, I would love to know! Thanks for your feedback

Freerk

freerk's picture
freerk

chemically it is called ammonium carbonate, not bicarbonate. But you are right, there is ammonium bicarbonate in it as well. It is in fact the old fashioned smelling salt they used when some one fainted in the old days!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_carbonate

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Was in my baking goodies and stumbled upon an unopened paper package of Kohlensaures Ammonium and it's flat and empty.  It once contained 60g back in 2002.  I opened it and there is about 1/8 tsp of white dust in the bottom corner and weighs less than half of one tenth of a gram (under 0.04g) and tastes like...  (light drum roll for getting brave here)  like nix.    What does that mean other than it evaporates and doesn't keep well in paper?  I don't know. 

The powder means it was diluted with something...  what?  No idea.  It clouded a teaspoon of water and didn't blend without stirring  but still no taste that I can sense.  No need to stay tuned, I probably won't turn purple or something.  The package paper says it can go into normal recycle paper. 

freerk's picture
freerk

Hihi, so I guess I need to make sure my ammonium carbonate is all used before 2020 :-), which will be no problem whatsoever, 'cause we celebrated "Sinterklaas" here yesterday-night, and all of my pepernoten (even though they had a VERY old fashioned crunch to it) were eaten and were a total success!!!

 

greetz

 

Freerk

Candango's picture
Candango

Freerk, I just saw the Julia Child video, the first half, anyway, on making the dough for croissants.  Now I understand your comment on whacking the butter.  I don't have such a large or heavy "housewife's weapon" (rolling pin).  I have a small, light one made of wood and purchased in a bazaar in Moldova, and also use a full or empty wine bottle to roll out dough.  Neither would work very well in beating the chilled butter.  I think I prefer to roll it closer to the final desired shape using the plastic bag technique and then putting it in the fridge, as you did, but the plastic removes more easily than parchment.

Bob

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey Bob,

Too late!; I whacked the butter today, and I failed miserably.... :-/

I'm sure it's a real simple and handy way going about business, but for now I prefer, like you do, to roll out the butter to the desired measurements, gently put it on the dough and work it in.

Maybe in a later stage I will get the feel for this technique, but this time was a small disaster. The Julia Child dough is perfect though!

At first I thought I was flying high. The butter spread under my whacking (I do own a heavy rolling pin) and the folding didn't show any leaks.

Upon rolling after the first fold and chill I noticed that my dough was resisting. It seemed overworked, but that's virtually impossible cause there is almost no kneading involved....

So I really had to work the dough, let it rest, roll a little more, and all the time my butter and dough were warming up of course.

Eventually, in the middle of cutting and shaping I had to abort and put 70 % of the triangles back in the fridge....

The dough had a wonderful oven spring, and that's where it started to go belly up. Whether I have been shaping the wrong way, or the whacking DID make some leaks I didn't notice: either way, the butter was leaking out of my baking croissants.

The result is a batch of very nice looking croissants, wonderfully layered and all, nice crust, but......lacking the fluffyness inside, and too little of the buttery taste that French croissants need....



croissant crumb and crust

On the positive side; there is a whole lot of butter in this recipe, so I guess I made poor mans croissants. They do taste wonderful!

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

Don't let the dough rise before rolling. Mix the dough and knead a bit until it's not sticky but not dry.  As for the butter, I cut the cold butter into thin slices. Some other people shred the cold butter. 

Because the dough isn't so wet, you don't use so much flour when rolling. Actually, don't use too much flour when you roll because it makes the croissants crunchy. I use a pinch of flour on the dough and then brush the flour off the dough and table. Use flour little as possible. 

I roll the dough thinly and do 3 double book fold. Let it rest in between folds for an hour or so. After the third double book fold, I let it rest for an hour. Then I roll and cut the triangles. I stretch the triangles and roll.

I let them proof for 2 to 3 hours in a cool or slightly warm area. Don't let them proof quickly in a warm or hot area because the butter melts.

I pre-heat the oven at about 246 C. I use two pans on top of each other to prevent the bottoms from burning. I bake at middle rack for 5 minutes. Then turn down the temperature like 218 C and bake 5 minutes. Turn down to 190 C and bake until golden brown.

 

freerk's picture
freerk

hey lazybaker; you were so right; I made a new batch yesterday with almost no kneading, and the dough turned out very "willing", and by Jove, I like my dough willing ;-)

 

Thanx for the tip!

 

Freerk

Candango's picture
Candango

Freerk,

     While they may not be as soft and fluffy on the inside as you might want, the positive side is that you can still eat the "mistakes" and enjoy them.  There is nothing wrong with that.

Bob