The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Weekend Bakery/ Hamelman Croissants

yy's picture

Weekend Bakery/ Hamelman Croissants

Thanks to Weekend Bakery's extremely helpful Croissant Making Log, I finally made a batch of croissants that I'm happy with (see link for formula and tips). I made a couple of changes to the Hamelman formula used in the Weekend Bakery log: I used 4 grams of SAF gold osmotolerant yeast instead of 11 g of regular instant yeast (11 g is a huge amount of yeast, which I don't think is necessary if you use a yeast that can stand up to the sugar content in the dough), and I added a teaspoon of barley malt syrup for flavor.  Last time I made croissants was about a year ago, and the attempt was not so successful. I feel like I learned a lot from comparing that bake to this one:

1. Last time: the dough was mixed for too long and got too developed. This made it impossible to roll out the layers. It was like wrestling with a rubber band. Not only did this make the process hard on the arms, it also resulted in thicker, doughier layers because the dough could not relax enough to be rolled out thinly. 

This time: I mixed the dough until uniform and gluten formation had barely begun. As Ciril Hitz says in Baking Artisan Bread, gluten development should happen in the course of being rolled out (stretched) during the lamination steps. There is no need to fully develop the gluten in the beginning. 

2. Last time: The butter layer shattered into several small pieces instead of spreading out uniformly, due to being too cold. A number of authors advise you to freeze the dough between lamination steps for about 20-30 minutes, arguing that this will make the butter and dough the right consistency to roll out. 

This time: I just used the fridge instead of the freezer. I used Kerrygold butter, which has fat content equivalent to typical European butters, so at 38 degrees, it is stiff yet pliable. I guess this depends on how cold your freezer is. Mine is kept at a frosty -2 Fahrenheit. 

3. Last time: Croissants were underproofed, so the butter leaked out very badly during baking.

This time: I proofed until the croissants were "jiggly" and very puffy. While there was still a tiny bit of butter meltage, it was not nearly as bad as last time.  

Here were the results from today:

The crust was so light and the crumb was so tender that they started shattering under the slight pressure of my fingers while being transferred to the cooling rack. The croissants are shatteringly crisp on the outside and moist and light on the inside. The crumb shreds into transparent sheets. I highly recommend the Weekend Bakery tutorial.

I've frozen half the batch, so it'll be interesting to see whether this affects the taste and texture. Happy Sunday, everyone!



varda's picture

Your croissants are so beautiful.    And give vicarious enjoyment to those of us who need to stay away from the real thing.  -Varda

dabrownman's picture

you could possibly get a better crumb on a croissant and thanks for using Kerrigold butter - a very wise choice indeed.  It is not just the fat in the butter but the taste is just great too.  What ever Emerald Isle green grass those cows eat, and what is in that grass, cannot be duplicated anywhere else on earth. 

Very nice bake indeed.

isand66's picture

First, I love your photo with your 2 cats watching your bread.

Secondly, your croissants look exceptional.

Thanks for sharing with us.

I have yet to attempt a laminated dough due to my fear of gaining even more weight but I think I will have to give this a try sooner than later.


P.S. if you're a cat lover you can check out my other blog at:

I just adopted another member of the family today.  We're trying to coax her out from hiding as I type this!

GSnyde's picture

Those are beautiful croissants. Your lessons are good ones.


hansjoakim's picture

Wow, very nice croissants, yy! Wonderful crumb and lovely crust colour! I haven't seen the Hamelman croissant formula before, so thanks so much for posting it.

SylviaH's picture

Thanks for the post and the link.  Nicely done!


breadsong's picture

Hello yy,
I am very impressed with your croissants and have added your post to my favorites.
Thank you for sharing what you learned with this bake.
:^) breadsong

Syd's picture

They look stunning yy!  Beautifully crafted.  Well done.


yy's picture

Thanks for everyone's kind compliments. Good luck on all of your buttery bakes in the future. Can't wait to read about them :-)

yy's picture

Hi Rachelle

When you say "single fold," is that like a letter fold that makes three layers? And does the "book fold" make 4 layers? If so, that gives you 3x4=12 layers, and you might want to do another fold on top of that. I do 3 letter folds, which makes 3x3x3=27 layers.