The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

croissant journey

shelstaj's picture

croissant journey

Hello fellow bakers! 

Ive been a fan on The Fresh Loaf for quite some time, and finally have decided to start posting some stuff!

I have been working in restaurants the last 2 1/2 years, the last year in pastry/bakeries. I currently work at a small startup bakery in San Francisco.  we are working on croissants at the moment, ive been practicing given that they are one of my favorite things to eat! I am relatively new to yeasted doughs, so here are some of the test runs so far!  

Ive started with the Pierre Herme base recipe and have been playing around with it.

the recipe calls for fresh yeast and ive been currently playing with fresh yeast vs osmotolerant yeast. The recipe also calls for the dough to be mixed, then left to rest for 24 hours in the fridge. I am currently trying to do bulk fermentation in hopes to avoid the 24 hours in the fridge enabling me to produce the croissants from mix to shape within a 8-10 hour shift.

here are the results between 2 of my recent batches. 

My current issues are that im looking for more of a crack and flake  as well as a bit more volume. ill be sure and snap some more pictures, i just mixed 2 batches earlier today which i am going to laminate and shape tonight! results to be posted soon! 

heres a picture of fresh yeast. the dough was mixed just to combine, then left to rest for 24 hours in the fridge before starting lamination.


here are pics from a batch which i used osmotolerant yeast , did a bulk fermentation for 1 hour, till the dough was about double in size, then punched it down, let chill in fridge then started lamination. 




Freudenberg's picture


I am sort of new to TFL. There is still alot for me to learn, so I am not posting as an expert.

However, you want more airy? My wife and I have been to France--your croissants look fantastic!

I would be proud to make them like yours, and I certainly would purchase yours if we lived in SF.



varda's picture

Those are really nice.   My husband, used to junk croissants, was surprised when I made them with crisp crust.   I'll have to show him your pictures.  -Varda

tabasco's picture

Your croissants look beautiful.  You'll have to share your bakery's address at some point so we can all do a (yummy) taste test!

And how did you like the Osmotolerant Yeast?  I bought a bag of SAF Gold yeast from King Arthur (which I think is 'osmotolerant' yeast) and have yet to use it.  Thought of using it for Christmas pastries (with high sugar and fruit content) but didn't think of using it for croissants.  If they would come out as beautiful and light as yours I surely must do so!

Thanks for posting your Croissant Journey notes.


shelstaj's picture

thanks all for the kind words.


still a long ways to go, its a been a fun challenge so far, it took me a few months just to find a base recipe which i was happy with, after a few months of playing with the recipe and making some adjustments im starting to see hope in a positive direction!

in regards to osmotolerant yeast. (SAF Gold). I love it. In high sugar doughs with sugar content starting at 10% and above. Its a specific type of yeast that according to Advanced bread and Pastry works well under high osmotic pressure. It really helps with fermentation and given you a more full end product.  

shelstaj's picture

So ive done a few more batches since I last posted. Here are some pics.  I increased the mixing time, as well as left the dough to bulk for 45min-1hour at room temp after mixing, punching it down, then throwing it in the fridge till firm, then starting lamination. The last few batches have been some of the most consistent back to back that I have made yet.  Good progress so far, Im hoping to get a bit more volume , as well as a bit more defined shoulders. The crumb structure and crust is pretty good, im havent altered the original amount of roll in fat so thats one of the next things im going to be looking at. 


basslakebaker's picture

I love the sourdough croissant recipe in Daniel Leader's Local Breads.  The levain adds a complex flavor to the croissants that I love.  You might try adapting it, too.....

ryanjs's picture

What recipe are you using if you dont mind me asking. There are two from Pierre, one from Secrets Gourmands and the other from Pastries. One soaks the yeast in milk the other is 100% water with milk powder. What flour have you been using?

shelstaj's picture

the recipe i have calls for a mixture of water+milk powder, as well as milk. it asks to mix the dough for just 5 minutes, and to not knead too much.  I havent looked at the original recipe in a while, but ill look at it again, I think if i remember correctly, the original recipe was using 37% roll in fat and hydration was around 48%..again those numbers are pretty different then most croissant recipes ive looked at and tested before.  I currently am using 55% hydration with the recipe and am using 30% roll in fat. im going to start playing around with 33% roll in fat but im still playing around with the base dough recipe a bit, playing with different flours.  


ryanjs's picture

Thanks for that. I had a go with the recipe. Dough came out at 25 Celsius but hardly moved. What is the final dough temp you take it out at and also the fermentation temp? Are you using a sheeter or just hand rolling it? I dont have access to osmo yeast over here in New Zealand so just normal instant yeast. Also how long do you rest between turns and do you rest in the chiller or refrigerator?

shelstaj's picture

Hey hows it goign. 


After mixing the dough, I try to have the dough temperature be between 74f-77f. let sit out at room temp for 1 hour. if the dough is cooler, i set it in a warm place. If the dough is hotter then 77f i place in the fridge for 1 hour.   After the dough has done the bulk fermentation, set in freezer till firm ( same consistency as your butter), I enclose the butter, then do 2 single book folds. Let rest 30 minutes, then do 1 single book fold. let rest 30 more minutes. sheet to desired thickness (3 1/4mm-3 1/2 mm) cut 4x8.5inches , let rest 30 minutes, then shape. I do have a dough sheeter, I am currently increasing the hydration, tonight im testing with 58% hydration, up from 55%. 

ryanjs's picture

Thank you very much for that. Full details! What a legend. Ill give it another go and let you know what happens


L'artisan's picture

Hey buddy, 

     GREAT looking croissants. Just wanted to ask you about your proofing method. Do you proof straight after to cut into shapes or proof after resting in the fridge?

Also, at what temp. and duration do you proof? assuming you have a proof box

shelstaj's picture

Hey hows it going! 


After doing the 3rd fold. I sheet the dough down to 3.25mm, then cut. relax in the fridge for 30mins-1 hr, shape then proof and bake.

I have not had a actual proof box, i have been using a broken one. It is a enclosed box with no power so I put a pot of boiling water in the bottom the the box and use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. Ideally id like to proof at around 80f with 80-85% humidity.   Proofing is normally around 2.5-3 hours.  


I no longer am working at a patisserie where I had access to a sheeter so im re working my recipe to hand roll the croissants.. I just made a batch today so tomorrow ill bake them off! 


Hope this helps!