The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Croissant help

Lady_C's picture
Lady_C

Croissant help

Hi there,

 

I've recently taken a baking course at Bread Ahead in London and we learnt to make croissants. I came back to Jakarta and made a batch with a friend. I'm pretty pleased with how they've come out although realise there is always room for improvement. I've done some reading and I think that I need to prove my croissants longer before I cook them. What do you think? Is there something else I can do to help get a more open crumb? 

Oh the other thing that I need to mention is that my oven only goes up to max 180 deg C. I don't get much oven spring at all and have to cook them for between 25 and 30 minutes. 

Thanks! 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

But even with that they came up pretty well - as for proofing that deep,ds a lot on how much yeast you started with as well as the temperature. One thing you can try is making a batch of lets say 6, then bake some early and some later. For example maybe bake 2 at hour 1, 2 and hour 2 and and the ladt two at the third hour. I have seen instructions that suggest 1.5 hours and other that suggest many hours and each recipe has a slight variance in how much sugar is used. One great thing about home made croissants is even if they don't fully pop, they always taste great !

Lady_C's picture
Lady_C

I agree that despite the low temperature they haven't done badly at all. The recipe I used calls for 30g of fresh yeast. Temperature for proofing would have been around 75F I imagine. What I forgot to mention in my first post is that they proved overnight on the counter (as I had frozen most of the batch I made) - for maybe 7.5 hours. Would a longer prove be more beneficial? 

The recipe is: 

500g strong bread flour (I can't get strong bread flour so I used bread flour which I think has 13% protein here) 

12g sea salt

55g sugar

40g softened unsalted butter

30g fresh yeast

140g full fat milk

140g water

250g butter

1 egg for the eggwash 

Lady_C's picture
Lady_C

According to my instant read thermometer the temperature in the kitchen is nearer to 80F (and it's 5.20am here) so proving between 75 and 80F as it would be a little cooler during the night. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

That's what I have heard - proof overnight of frozen but I have never done that and also don't like the idea of just waiting a long time because the dough must defrost first - theres a whole lot more assumptions going on such as how cold,the freezer was and it just seems better to know what temp you started with so you can best judge the final proof.  I like to gobavoyt 1.5 hours at around 72f and btw any longer and they collapse (usually) 

Lady_C's picture
Lady_C

I had another attempt at making croissants this weekend. I was worried that they wouldn't cook correctly as the butter looked like it was going to leak. They've turned out looking great though so I'm really pleased. The insides aren't quite as airy as I'd like but they taste fantastic and are very light to eat. Croissants attempt 2

Croissants attempt 2

I think I need to take more care with the initial lock in of the butter and the first fold. The butter broke up and it looked like it was going to break through the dough. I also did tear the dough in a couple of places. I'm sure I'll keep practicing!!! 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I really like the consistent shaping you have there.  Butter breaking through can be a pain one thing to consider trying is putting the douch in the freezer for about 5 minutes just before any folding - while the dough is getting a extra blast of cold, take the butter slab from the fridge and let it warm up just a bit - this at least for me gets the butter and dough to the most similar malleability and really helps the lamination a lot (very low chance of bursting this way) 

Lady_C's picture
Lady_C

I've just been having a look at yours and admiring how lovely yours look. One day hopefully my croissants will be a bit more airy. Your laminating looks so good - the butter seems to all stay as one piece!

 Thanks for the tip about putting the butter on the counter and the dough in the freezer. I'll try this next time. I also need to handle my dough a bit more gently. it's a fun process though and I'm enjoying learning. 

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Try rolling your butter thinner. Once I started rolling my butter quite thin, I no longer had trouble with breakage.

I roll my butter  ( I also use 250g usually) into a 24cm x 24 cm block. With the butter that thin, I can use the freezer to rest the dough instead of the fridge, everything stays cooler, less chance the dough gets warm enough to tear.

Lady_C's picture
Lady_C

I tried rolling the butter thinner but it didn't make much difference. The croissants were very bready. I'm now wondering whether becuase it was thinner it may have been easier to be absorbed by the dough if it got too warm? 

I tried another batch today and they were better than the earlier batch but not as good as a previous batch. I've blogged about it here in case you're interested. 

kellyon's picture
kellyon

Thanks for the useful tips! I'm going to try new recipe today, I already ordered food containers at https://allinpackaging.co.uk/ to take my baking to work tomorrow. Hope coworkers will like the new recips of croissants too.