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Three croissant questions

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StuartG's picture
StuartG

Three croissant questions

Hello all,


Can you help with a few croissant questions? Thank you in advance


1) by my 3rd or 4th turn, the outer dough layer is getting thin and sticks to my stone tabletop.  I've read that a light dusting of fllour is needed but should not overdo it in order to not 'bread up' the dough.  Is it normal to lose layers while working?


2) when baking, the butter runs out and pools around the base of the croissant.  Is that normal? does it indicate not enough turns and folds so the butter's not well incorperated?


3) Some books/recipies I've read say you can leave the dough in the fridge for quite a bit of time in between fold/turns.  But I've also read you shouldn't leave it longer than 30 mins for the first 3 folds/turns because the butter is still massive enough that it will get cold and solid and risks breaking through your dough.  Does this sound right?  Due to kids, I often need to leave it in the fridge longer than specified and wonder if this is causing other issues for me.


Thanks,


Stuart

straylight6's picture
straylight6

Hey Stuart,


Funny you should post this - I ~just~ took a batch out of the oven (nothing better than Sunday morning croissants)!  I wouldn't say I am any where near an expert, but I have made them many times and have experienced the same as you (with the turn-sticking and butter-running that is) so I'll share my observations.


1.) Sticking: First, I use the recipe for croissants from the Cook's Illkustrated magazine.  The bit out making the butter square is to mix 2 Tbsps of flour and 24 Tbsps butter, wrap in plastic wrap, form into a 7-inch square and chill for an hour before folding into dough.  I then use the same buttery plastic wrap to wrap the dough in after the first turn which I find keep the dough from sticking to the plastic wrap during the chills.  I then take about 1 Tbsp of flour and sprinkle it on the surface of the counter before rolling out the dough for the turns.  I find this combo of the buttery wrap and this amount of flour keeps the dough from sticking to the counter when rolling it out (for turns and for final thinning before vutting and forming).


2.) Butter melting during baking: The first time I made them this happened to me as well - they were still good, it was just kind of gross to see after baking.  When I made them the second time I remembered that the first time I could see butter chucks in the dough and then second time I did not (the butter was flattened more uniformly).  I discovered the second time that I had not let the butted warm up enough before I folded it into the dough the first time which made the butter break up into chucks rather than spread out uniformly during the first rollout.  The second time I made them, I let the butter warm up for about 4-5 minutes before folding it into the dough.  This let the butter flatten out nicely inside the dough envelope and not form chunks.  I don't know if it's proper form or not, but I reckon that having chunks of butter in the dough causes the 'leaking' during baking.  Therefore, now I always let the butter warm a bit before folding it into the dough and I have not have butter leakage during baking since.


3.) Chill times: The Cook's Illustrated recipes says to chill at least an hour after each fold/turn bit.  I geberally don't have an entire day to devote to this process and thus I usually let my dough chill for many hours or even a day before I get back to it to do another turn.  Again, not sure if this is proper, but mine always seem to turn out pretty well so I reckon these long chills don't hurt.  To keep the dough from rising a lot during these times I wrap the dough pretty tightly in the buttery plastic wrap and then put it in a ziplock bag as well.


Hope this helps and enjoy!!  --Andrew


 


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Stuart,


You may want to look here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16082/laminated-yeasted-dough-construction


Best wishes


Andy

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

Some notes.


txfarmer wrote two helpful entries on croissants.


thefreshloaf.com/node/23342/croissant-sourdough-starter-txfarmer-vs-tx-summer


There's another link in that entry.


1. The dough needs a light dusting of flour. Just don't over do it. Lightly dust and brush off the excess from the dough and counter. You don't want to roll in too much flour in the layers, or you'll end up with crunchy, instead of flaky, layers.


Loss of layers can be due to too many turns. From what I read, three turns are enough. A thickness of 1/8" to 1/4" is fine. Any thinner, the layers end up being crushed. And you definitely don't want butter to melt, or it will just melt into the dough.


2. Butter melting during baking means that the dough weren't proofed enough. They were underproofed. They need to get to the puffy stage. You'll see that the cut edges should be puffy. 


3.  Leaving the dough in the fridge more than 30 minutes if fine. 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

1) No, it's not normal to lose layers during lamination. In fact, what we are trying to accomplish is to create even layers of butter and dough, without any of the butter leaking. Yes, flour the counter and rolling pin liberally, so nothing sticks. Before rolling/folding, use a soft brush to brush off excess flour.


2) No, it's not normal to have butter leaking out during baking - we fold the butter inside to create an open honeycomb crumb, not to have it pool under the croissants. Usually excessive butter leakage during baking is a sign of underproofing. Croissants need to be fully proofed before baking. They need to be very expanded and jiggly.


3)The time span to leave in fridge depends on how much yeast is in your formula. I live in a hot area, have a small kitchen with no marble slab, and have a job, so I picked a formula with less yeast, which allows me to give enough rest time between rolling/folding. My current process takes at least 24 hours between first mixing up the dough to have them out of the oven.


Here's a post I wrote earlier about croissant making: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22677/poolish-croissant-pursuit-perfection - just some personal experiences, maybe it will be useful to you .

StuartG's picture
StuartG

Thank you all for your advice.  I think one of the nicest things about croissants is that just as soon as you're getting them nearly OK, then everyone thinks you're a wonder baker. 


I know I have a long way to go but with great help from you all I will do much more.


Thanks for the quick replies and thanks for the link to your Poolish Croissant TXFarmer.  I picked up several ideas I'd like to try next time I do this.  In particular it's always nice to get concrete answers to questions.  Given the variables we have in baking, sometimes it's tempting to reply to posts on TFL with 'just experiment and see' however you've all given me a lot to go on.


One thing I feared last time I was making the croissants (where they baked pooling in a smaller but equally gross puddle of butter - thanks Andrew for the excellent sense of how that really looks) they did come out quite ok but I felt like I had been working with a slightly too wet dough.  As such, it didn't surprise me when I started having layers sticking to the bench but due to the abundance of comments about 'dont add too much flour else you'll end up with croissant-buns instead' it is proving to be a difficult balance.


Thank you again,


Stuart

CONDEDATEUZZTOP's picture
CONDEDATEUZZTOP

I give you my two recipes that I make croissants according to my mood.

This crescent, made by a method not common, has a nice pace and is pretty well developed and laminated. It melts in the mouth and keeps well. So a growing particularly successful: beautiful to look at, and irresistibly good enough to eat!
Advantages of the method This method of working, unusual, brings many advantages: - very good dough extensibility which favors the layering - a very good development for cooking - a very good pastry

350 g flour porridge (gruau).
350 g flour 55 T
400 g cold water
220 g Softened butter
10 g of fresh yeast.

All the ingredients are placed initially in a mixer, 5 minutes in the first 15 h speed and pointing at room temperature.
Ingredients for the dough:

1250 g flour porridge
375 g flour 55 T
260 g cold milk
1000 g Layering butter
80 g of fresh yeast.
60 g of salt.

All the ingredients are put at the beginning except the butter, 5 minutes frasage the drummer in the first speed, very strong at the beginning of frasage. Then 10 minutes of kneading in 2nd gear.Dough temperature 24/25 ° C. Train 2 lumps of 2 kgs. Scoring: To lower them and let cool 15 minutes in the freezer. Entrench the butter, then give 2 doubles, 3 singles or a double turn, followed immediately by a single turn.
Let the dough rest 15 minutes up to ¾ hour before shaping. Roll out the dough. Triangles to 9 / 10 cm base of 24/25 cm. Format.Leave point at 2:30 26/27 ° C. Brown. Then cook to 200 ° C. 20 minutes.
 Normally you should have excellent results.

I dissected my recipe for 19 years of work.
9 kg of flour
450g sugar
Salt 170G
100g of milk powder
270G yeast
5.4 L of water
750g butter tourrage

If you have time the crescent is a pastry dough, that is to say that you just do your soaking the night before to the tower the next day, it leaves him time to develop its flavors and your dough is not elastic or too hard.

30 grams of yeast per kilogram is more than enough even to negative cold days, salt 20 g kg also, no milk powder or 1 liter of milk in fact, according to taste. quality of your next meal 55% or slightly less that the fact too.
It's 750 grams of butter 2.7 kg. block the dough in the fridge you wrap in plastic wrap so that it does not crust and gives you the towers the next day (cold butter with cold dough doubles and two laps off the cold and 30/60 minutes detailing can be frozen or refrigerated or direct push
.