The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Quest for the Absolute PERFECT Croissant!

  • Pin It
YBMHP's picture
YBMHP

Quest for the Absolute PERFECT Croissant!

Hi everyone!!!

   I'm new to this site and haven't read through all the post so please bear with me if this post is similar to a previous one. Like my title says I'm on the quest for the absolute perfect croissant recipe. I've been playing around with Peter Reinharts croissant recipe (Artisan Everyday) but would love to hear how everyone else makes croissants and what shortcuts/tips you have. I've been mixing my butter (3 sticks) with a few tablespoons of flour before shaping into a 6-inch square but I've seem some tutorials (youtube) that lay out the butter (not sure how many sticks here probably 4 or 5??) on a peice of parchment then pound it until it's 1/2-inch. Has anyone tried this method??? I'm very intrigued by it because it seems so much easier and cleaner but I'm not sure if there are any other tips to it. Also, PR's recipe calls for the dough to be rolled out 24" x 9" and to cut each peice 4" x 9" and roll it approx. 7 turns, I've seem a video (also on youtube) where the triangles where cut and then rolled out even more with the rolling pin so that they where very long before rolling them up. Is there any harm in doing this? Another question I have is, is it absolutely neccessary to rest the dough 15 minutes between each turn? What steps can I cut out and what should I follow to the T??? Thanks everyone I hope to hear from you guys with tips and recipes on your absolute perfect croissants!!!

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

Here are some links that were posted on here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22677/poolish-croissant-pursuit-perfection

http://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/wkb-2012-croissant-making-log/

Elongation of the triangles is fine as long as the butter doesn't melt.  Fifteen minutes is too short. Since I put the dough in the freezer, I wait for 30 minutes. Usually if the dough is left in the fridge, it's an hour. Enough time helps the butter to firm a bit and the gluten to relax in order to roll out easily.

 

YBMHP's picture
YBMHP

Thanks lazybaker, I'll try to freeze the dough for about 30 minutes the next time I make a new batch. Do you find that your dough resists being rolled out for the final roll to be shaped? I find that my dough needs a little prodding. It tends to not wanna' go and shrinks back so I have to wait a little more before I try to elongate it to about 28" or 32" x 9". Sometimes I feel as if I'm pushing it a little to hard (doqnwards and outwards) to get it to where I want it to be, maybe I'm breaking the layer I so painstakingly have been trying to create? I donno'.

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

Yes, I do find it difficult to do the final roll before cutting because of the gluten. I just put the dough back on a tray, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and return it to the fridge or freezer to relax the gluten for 30 minutes or so. Then I try rolling the dough out again. Sometimes after cutting the triangles, the gluten in the dough might make it hard to stretch and elongate the triangles. Just place the triangles on the tray, cover with plastic wrap, and return to the fridge to relax the gluten. Don't try to stretch the triangles when the gluten is strong. I had triangle tips break off before because I was too impatient. I like the thickness of the triangles to be a bit thicker than 1/4" thick.

I wouldn't worry about breaking the butter layers if the butter is cold. I would worry about melting butter. 

I prefer kneading and laminating the dough when the room temperature is 65 to 70 degrees F. The ideal temperature for proofing is between 75 degrees and 80 degrees F. 

YBMHP's picture
YBMHP

You know that's interesting, because PR's recipe does not emphasize resting/chilling the dough. he only says to rest 15-20 minutes at room temp, and to only chill if it looks like it's melting. I didn't 'chill' the dough once in all three times that I've made croissants/danish. I did notice that at the end while I was stretching the dough to shape them the tips were really sticky and greasy, maybe the butter melted??? It looks like I need to make another 'test' batch, this time 'll probably use Hamelman's or TXfarmer's recipe insteadand make sure I chill them good. Thanks again for the tips!