The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bought a scale, made a couple starters, Croissants as my first bake

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SeaCur's picture
SeaCur

Bought a scale, made a couple starters, Croissants as my first bake

So I'm 26, soon to be 27 and for work have traveled to Europe a few times.  I love how they always have fresh bread, GOOD breads to eat with dinner/lunch/breakfast.  I decided I want to learn to bake breads.  I have an Escali Arti scale, been using a pizza stone for pizza crusts for quite some time too.

Before this I've been working on making a good pizza crust with some difficulty, we like it to be thin, but airy and I have only once in the past couple months of eating pizza every week gotten the results I want.  I have some ideas of why this is happening but I won't know until I try again this week to get it right.  (I think what we prefer is classified as the neopolitain pizza crust)

 

This weekend I tried my hand at croissants.  The wife loves them, her mother just bought a dozen from Williams Sonoma for $40.  After reasearching thouroughly as I do with everything, sometimes overly so.. this is what I came up with.

 

The wife wanted chocolate in some of them and I should have taken a picture of one without but they are all pretty similar you're looking at a chocolate chip inside that one though.  Things I did wrong. 1) didn't use enough/any flour when rolling the dough out the second time, caused a couple tears/butter leaks. 2) Rolled the dough out to 44"and didn't let it relax before cutting into triangles, so they all shrank right up.  Also, the wife decided mid croissant rolling that she wanted to bake banana bread so it was probably too warm to be rolling as I was.  

Edit: Butter was Plugru (sp?), recipe was http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/classic-croissants.aspx

I'm open all critiques and pointers you have for me.

 

TLDR - Hello!

 

 

SeaCur's picture
SeaCur

Forgot to mention the starters.  Started one with WW flour, split it into two and have been maintaining one with AP flour, the other with WW 2:1:1 (60g:30g:30g) once daily.  They're not a week and a half/two weeks old now and both take a few hours to double.

I think my first loaf will be this one I found online (http://www.northwestsourdough.com/techniques/first-loaf/), where I'll feed the white starter tonight to bring it up to weight, this morning I upped the weight to 240G (120:60:60) and will feed again tonight so I have enough left over for the loaf and bake tomorrow.

yy's picture
yy

Hi Seacur!

Those croissants look great, and I'm sure you have officially put Williams Sonoma out of business (at least in your family). You chose the right kind of butter. Plugra rolls out well if you keep it at the right temperature. I think your observations at the end are right on - avoiding leakage, allowing sufficient rest time between turns (at least 30 min each time, in the fridge), and maintaining a good temperature window will all help you improve your result.

One pointer I've found helpful is to only mix the dough until it is uniform. Don't worry about making it smooth or elastic. Gluten will develop through the overnight fridge rest and all of the folding and rolling out steps. When I made the dough too strong from the beginning, it really resisted my attempts to roll it out. While I got a nice tricep workout, the layers also came out thicker than I would have liked.

Good luck, and share photos of your next batch with us!