I've been out of the loop for sometime now, and indeed, this may be a brief 'coming up for air.' I have a new job baking at a restaurant which provides the breads for itself, its sister restaurant, and another adjacent restaurant. Right now we mix and bake about 600 - 800 lbs of dough per day, but that will increase as summer nears. In addition, our restaurant group is planning on opening two new locations in the area between now and September, so our production requirements will increase substantially in the coming months.
Our major doughs are ciabatta (we'll bake 250- 300 lbs of 1 lb loaves per day, plus a couple hundred small 'ciabattinis'); pain au lait which is used for hamburger, slider and lobster rolls; English muffins; loaf breads (rye, white, multigrain), and a line of hearth breads we're just in the process of rolling out for retail sale at the restaurant. And then there's homemade biscuits and cinnamon buns for Sunday brunch.
So I'm finding myself both overjoyed at the opportunity (we may be getting our own bakery built toward year's end) and overwhelmed by all that's happening.
Today, on my day off I practiced a bake of a new biscuit recipe. And then decided to keep some long-neglected promises to provide croissants and pain au chocolat to my doctor's office (which has, over many years, provided 'no charge' treatment and advice on occasion) and the head chef at my local pub who provided my last 50# of KA Sir Galahad gratis. It is a good thing to repay debts - particularly debts of kindness.
The recipe I used can be found here. It's an adaptation of Dan DiMuzio's in his excellent textbook (as opposed to cookbook), Bread Baking. My only deviation was to up the butter content by 5% (it was convenience, not conviction).
The dough I made last night, and this morning I incorporated the butter block. I gave the dough two series of single-folds, followed by a double-fold. It was refrigerated for 20 minutes between the butter block incorporation, two-single folds and double (book) fold. I then placed it in the refrigerator for 3 hours to chill well, before my final manipulation.
After 3 hours I removed the dough, which measured about 7"x 16" and cut it in two unequal parts, leaving me with one piece 7" x 10" long and one 7" x 6" approximately. One I returned the the fridge and the other I proceeded to roll out to a rectangle about 14" high by 21" long. After lightly flouring the surface I folded the dough top to bottom, to form a rectangle 7" x 21". From this I cut out triangles of 4 1/2" width.
The first batch of dough yielded 14 croissants. The second piece I rolled out to a height of 8" and a length of 18". I again folded it width-wise and cut in into 3 1/2" lengths, yielding 10 rectangles for the pain au chocolat.
Proofing was 3 1/2 hours, which is fairly lengthy, but my house temperature was at about 70 degrees F, so I allowed it to proceed at its own pace. I covered the croissants and pain au chocolats with plastic wrap during final proof, but did not apply eggwash until just before placing them in the oven.
Bake was, following DonD's recommendation, 15 minutes: 5 min at 425F, 5 min at 400F, and 5 min at 375F.
In future bakes, I want to up the recipe amount: I think my current dough yields croissants that are a wee bit smaller than I'd like them to be.
Ok, bedtime at 8pm for risetime at 3am.
Best to all-