The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Croissants (Hamelman)

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Croissants (Hamelman)

We just returned from vacation and our resort had a great breakfast buffet each morning.  We all ate at least one croissant every day.  They were pretty good, but they were quite small and never fully baked IMHO.  When it comes to baking laminated doughs my advice always is that when you think it's done, bake it some more.  I find most home bakers seem afraid to fully bake tarts and pastries and they end up with pallid results, then wonder why their attempts are not as good as what they get at fine bakeries and restaurants.  It's particularly important to fully bake laminated doughs because they have so many layers of dough and butter.


When we returned home, after unpacking I immediately fed my sourdough starter, but instead of baking bread I decided it had been too long since I last made croissants.  I remembered that Jeffery Hamelman did a croissant article for Fine Cooking magazine some years ago so I dug out the issue and got started.  I used KA AP flour and Plugra unsalted butter.  I find the European style butters give much better results in baking.  Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the lamination process, but I did manage to take pictures right after I formed the croissants.


After First Egg Wash


After first egg wash and start of final proofing


 


Formed and start proofing


Un-proofed


 


Fully Proofed


Fully proofed two hours later


 


Second Egg Wash


Applying second egg wash right before baking


 


Straight from the Oven


20 minutes on convection at 400 F


 


Close-Up


Fully Baked Crumb


Fully baked :)


 


These are the best croissants I've ever baked.


 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Those are lovely.

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Those look perfect.  Nice job!


Glenn

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Thanks for the compliments. In the past I've made Julia Child's, Jacques Torres' and Nick Malgieri's versions. All good, but I must say these are the best. And the shaping method for these resulted in the most consistent results, at least by my hands.

stevenkvamme's picture
stevenkvamme
Onceuponamac's picture
Onceuponamac

Those look great - I wish I had seen this post a couple of days ago.. I just made the recipe out of tartine - i'd seen the lamination method described in this recipe also in Cooks Illustrated - I think this method is probably better than the one in tartine.. I'd never made croissants before - they turned out ok - but not the level of detail of layers in yours.  The dough didn't seem that pliable when I shaped them :/

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

I actually debated between Hamelman's and Tartine's. I bake breads out of both of their books with great results. Maybe next time I'll try Tartine's recipe.

Don't be too hard on yourself with your first attempt. Precision is important for good results. Keep all of your sides straight and your corners tight. Sort of like making up a bunk in the Army!

Try again.

autopi's picture
autopi

did you stick with hamelman's recipe, or did you convert it to sourdough? (only asking b/c you mention feeding your sourdough starter, but the recipe is for regular yeast.)

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Sorry for any confusion. I followed the recipe (i.e., used instant yeast). I only mentioned feeding my starter because I originally intended to make a sourdough bread.