The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with exterior of Croissants

Emmnemms's picture

Help with exterior of Croissants


first off sorry if this is in the wrong catogory, I didn't see a forum for laminate dough.


So I have been working at a bakery for the past 2 months working with laminate dough. I had absolutely no laminate dough experience though a fair amount of culinary training. I'm baking in Oregon, so it is not super warm but gets above 80 somewhat regularly. I seem to be able to deal with the heat well enough but I'm having a really rough time since the outside of my croissants are somewhat "tough." I have changed egg wash, going from egg and cream to egg and water (At bosses request) and it didn't fix anything. I'm very careful with the amount of flour that goes into the dough as well as the amount I use on the counter when I roll out. The crumb is beautiful, exactly as it should be. It's just that darn exterior. Here is my procedure:

  • Make Dough (I work with 25lb at a time) It is soft but still slightly tacky. 
  • Proof at room temp 2 hours
  • Store in Walk-in overnight

The next day

  • Roll out using Rondo in 4 batches, Rolling out 3 trifolds, Trifold a 4th time but not rolling out.
  • wrap in plastic wrap
  • Store overnight in walk-in

Day 3

  • Take pillow and flatten so it will fit in Rondo. (The marking is 30 on the machine, so probably 30mm high?)
  • Light dusting of flour on all sides. 
  • Roll through, reshaping as needed and flouring top and bottom once. Down to 2 3/4.


Once I have rolled it out, I move it to a wood bench LIGHTLY floured. Here is where I cut and shape them. Each pillow takes me around 10 minutes to get to this point, then 20ish to cut and shape.

After all the pastries are shaped (Croissants, Bear Claws and Pan Chocolate) They go into a proofer for 2 hours. We proof at 90 degrees with humidity at 60. I share the proofer with the bread baker, so this is not really changeable.

Once they have proofed for 2 hours they get egg washed then baked at 307 for 24 minutes, turning at halfway. 


It is ONLY the croissants that are tough on the outside, none of the other desserts  have this issue. They are not hard on the outside, which would indicate too much flour... I'm really stumped. I've tried alternating my egg wash thicker and thinner.... I'm wondering if I need to bake higher (one of the old croissant bakers baked at 315) so that the steam from the butter evaporates quicker?


The dough/procure really can't be altered much, it's the way this bakery has done it for 35 years. I'm assuming there is just something little that I am doing/not doing that needs to be changed. 

I know this is a long post, but let me know if you have any advice. Thank you!!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is coming after the proof.  I'm under the impression egg wash comes before and after the proof.  Something to check on... maybe the surface is drying out during proofing?

lazybaker's picture

Is the baking temperature 307 F? It seems really low for croissants. I usually see baking temperature for croissants range from 400 F to 475 F for the initial 10 minutes or so and then lowered at a lower temperature for the rest of the baking time to ensure thorough baking in the center.

I don't do large batches like yours. But whenever I make dough that is soft and slightly tacky, they never come out good. They always end up bread-y with a crunchy crust. But when I make dough that is firm (use less water) and not sticky, the crust comes out flaky. Weird. The amount of butter is the same for both kind of dough, but the dough that uses less liquid came out flakier.

I agree with the idea that the dough should be firm as, but not softer than, the butter.

Emmnemms's picture

It seems that this is the problem! Last night I baked at 315, which is probably not actual temp since the ovens are 35 year old convection ovens, and they turned out muuuuuch better! I haven't went in yet but got a text from my manager saying that it worked. Thanks for the help :)

lazybaker's picture

You're welcome. Glad that your croissants came out well! 

I have to use an oven thermometer at home because the number on the knob and inside temperature don't correspond. 

Yerffej's picture

"The dough/procure really can't be altered much, it's the way this bakery has done it for 35 years"

It would appear from your post that something needs to be altered no matter how long it has been done this way.  Something must have changed; ingredients? tools? oven?  Something !

My only comment from what you have posted is that I would eliminate one of the folds so that you have a total of 3 folds and not 4.  In the book Baking Artisan Pastries & Breads, author Ciril Hitz shows, on page 165, photo examples of  3 vs. 4 and explains that with 4 folds the final product will be "tough and chewy"


wally's picture

What lazybaker said. Try initiating your bake at 425 F for 5 min, then reducing to 400 for 5 min, then to 375 for another 5 minutes.  I think you'll find a flakier, crisper crust.

You might also reduce your initial proof from 2 hrs to 1 hr before refrigerating.