The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Lamination question (to the croissanteurs)

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Lamination question (to the croissanteurs)

Decided to try out a 16 layer version of croissants today and unfortunately over proofed them (having realized no eggs and making a dash for the market of last minute eggwash) ... Note to self - be prepared ! Its really quite annoying having one step mess the entire bake. So unfortunately I ended up with fairly sunken croissants but the objective here was to see if 16 layers is better then 12. Typically most recipes call for a double fold followed by a simple fold - that's 4 layers from the double multiplied by 3 from the simple fold. Depending how you look at it you could call that 25 layers if you count both the butter and dough but it got me wondering as I do read articles where some bakers do two double turns for 16 (or 33 spending how you count). It seems the lower count version is more common in France and the higher count version is more of English spin on the traditional viennoise pastry. I tend to notice that my dough layers in the final product seem a bit thick and though it may be a good idea to try increasing and was wondering if anykne had an opinion on lamination ?

Comments

arlo's picture
arlo

This is as you said, an opinion on the topic. I have found all things are best through trial and error to result in the product that best fits your customer and production needs.

That being said...

At my wife and I's bakery, I run all croissant dough through with two double-folds after the lock-in. It started with singles, but as production grew for the daily needs of the store front, two double-folds shaved some time on the table, created a product with height we desired, but at a small sacrifice of crumb structure. We use strictly local butter with 83% fat, and a dough with higher moisture content and pre-ferment. These additions helped keep the crumb and texture at a desirable state for us and the customers happy with the product.

Last year alone I made over 6000 chocolate croissants, and I can't even imagine how many plain, almond, savory and sweet as well, but doing my accounting this week, I will come up with the numbers. During all these croissant folds and mixing, I figured out a few methods that seemed to benefit my work schedule and the quality of the product. Very short mixing, build strength through those two folds, et cetera.

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I also teach Culinary at the local school full time. Here, I have had the students do all different folding methods, mixing methods and the like. Simply because we can, and it pays to see the outcome from each style. Some students have made remarkable products from 3-single folds. But we all agree, if the product isn't looking for as much height (croissant for sandwich buffet, so-on), and we are looking for flaky, and tender, we often make the danish and savory/sweet with the 3-folds. Again, matter of opinion.

Roll away, and you will discover the product you enjoy the most!

 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

It usually comes down to personal experience., with croissants however there seems to be quite a few variations in techniques as well as recipe proofing times etc. So far I have found that a simple water based dough (ie no addition of milk or powdered milk) and omitting eggs in the dough seems to produce a more elastic dough. Then of course there's the lamjnation which can vary by number of folds and amount of butter thats folded in. So far I've gotten best results pushing the butter to 50% of flour weight and also find that president butter has about the right fat content as well as malleabiltuy (kerrygold is too soft and plugras a bit too stiff) and so having found a happy medium, laminating has become rather routine and leveraging the fridge and freezer to get dough and butter to very close level of softness. Other than that the proofing times I see on various instructionals can also vary a lot, as low as 1 hour to several. So far especially if using instant yeast 1.5 hours of final proof tends to result in caved, over-proofed croissants somehow I think that may be due to the weaker flour that I use but there's no way I can push 2 or 3 hours even with thawed really cold dough. Its really great though to get some feedback from someone who's pumping out thousands per year and will just have to keep baking and figure out the finer details. Latest bake today turned out rather nicely but still got a long way to go !