Yet another Croissant help post
Hey there! I'm a die-hard coffee snob that's just been introduced to a new hobby of baking things! Within the past 4 months, I've started attempting croissants.. I still am not quite there.
I've used a lot of different recipes, but the last few batches I've used the iconic Tartine recipe (From the original book, the one in Tartine Bread is slightly different, kind of similar to TxFarmer's). For whatever reason, my croissants are turning out dense inside, I've heard this can be attributed to kneading excessively, I mix with a dough hook on low until the dough comes together, then mix for a few more minutes on medium until smooth, I then put the dough in the fridge and form a butter block. After formed into a rectangle (10"x5" roughly) I chill until malleable and cold, but not rock hard. I roll the dough out and place the butter inside and perform a tri-fold (producing two layers of butter and 3 layers of dough. I roll out, then perform another tri fold and chill for one hour and repeat. twice. After the third tri-fold I place it into the fridge overnight, then roll out to 32" x 12" and shape the croissants (about 2.5-3 inches at the base). I let them proof for 2-3 hours at about 68 degrees. After they puff up and become really flexible, I egg wash them then place them into a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes rotating halfway through. When I pull them out (they smell great) I let them cool for about half an hour. They're beautiful on the outside, and crisp but when I cut into them they look like bread you would buy at the store, there's no airy crumb (Or honeycomb design) at all. When you pull them apart you can see where there are supposed to be layers, but it's not as satisfying as those open airy croissants we all know and love.. they taste great when they're still slightly warm, but after a day in a sealed container they just taste like yeasted butter rolls.
So some things I've noticed that might be worth noting:
When I cut into the dough, before baking or shaping, I don't see butter and dough, I see some hollowness where butter should be. Just to be clear, this is what I'm talking about (saw this on Instagram, don't recall the user):
I'm thinking perhaps the butter is getting too warm and being absorbed by the dough, if that's the case does anyone know of ways to help keep the dough cool? (I have the kitchen at 70 degrees, and it's pretty chilly this time of year).
Another visual, when I pull the croissants out they don't have that beautiful layering on the outside either (like below)
Mine look rather flat, and don't have much definition.
Thanks for taking the time to look at this I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say! :)