The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Croissant dough trouble in heat - professional setting

Janedo's picture

Croissant dough trouble in heat - professional setting


I've got a question regarding croissant dough in a hot climate. I'm in Africa and the bakers keep the dough temperature down by using part water and part ice in the dough. The dough is made with 60kg of flour. I'm wondering if the ice can cause problems with the dough development or is it actually a good idea. We made some dough with very cold water but within minutes, the dough was 34°C when it shouldn't go over 26°C during mixing. Had to portion very quickly and get it into an almost freezer fridge asap because it started to rise too quickly.

Any advice for hot country baking would be very welcome! Thanks.


Portus's picture

I recently had a similar challenge trying to develop the preferment for Hamelman’s Rustic Bread at 20oC constant for 12–16 hours whilst the ambient temperature here was mid- to late 30oC.

I attempted a solution by placing the preferment bowl inside another bowl, which I placed inside yet a third bowl.  I then chilled the space between the latter two bowls with ice and water that I replenished according to need.  Each bowl had its own fitted lid, so the contents of each was reasonably insulated from external elements.  The structure ultimately resembled Russian nesting or Matryoshka dolls!

I resorted to using three rather than two bowls as iced water in direct contact with the inner bowl dropped the preferment temperature to about 12oC, which was much too low.  The preferment mass was only 800g, but maybe you can devise something similar for your 60kg, where dry ice may be more appropriate, and less messy, for your industrial-sized portions.


Janedo's picture

Thanks for your reply. The size of the mixer bowl is huge and I can't see being able to create an environment around the mixer like that. The easiest way would be with the ice in the water, but I'm concerned about the effect on the dough.

It's really difficult to make top quality viennoiseries over here and we have to limit the production costs because the price per product is so low. Dry ice is a luxury item here. The ice we use is a cheap but I'm not even sure it's made with proper drinking water! It's frustrating.

andythebaker's picture

two thoughts:

refrigerate/freeze the flour?  cool down the other factors that go into calculating the DDT?


cool down the mixing bowl somehow?

(and i don't think that ice should hinder gluten development unless it's physically still ice when you're done mixing)

kendalm's picture

Hi there, arent you a veteran tfler from france - i think i recall reading a flour swap post from many years ago.  As for laminating and proofing in the heat, well ive done it on occassion during heat wavea here in california and find it really challenging but mostly with lamination part and amazes me how fast the dough and butter start to soften.  So that part (the lamination) it just comes down to speed - i will also put ice bags on the work bench and cool the pin, however i am sure you are using a sheeter so not sure that helps.  As for keeping the dough cold, i will roll it a bit thinner to make for more surface area when each stage goes back to the refridgerator to try and cool it faster.  Of your dough gets that warm during mixing i would be inclined to figure out the fastest way to bring it down again and the only thought is not refridgerating a huge lump but rather a spread out shape that would quickly cool off - how hot is the kitchen its gotta be swealtering in there for that much dough to reach 34c during mixing - wow ! 

Janedo's picture

I checked out the dough today while mixing (I don't make it). They used ice this time and the dough is cold. I'm going to see about putting the flour in the cold storage. We have a freezer space problem, so that's not an option but by cooling the flour, we could limit the amount of ice to water. A BIG issue here is speed. I was telling my staff today that all of our work is hindered because of the slowness of everything they do. I told them that they would never be able to keep up in Europe where restaurants and bakeries are very intense places to work. I really don't know how to change that. But they don't count their hours. They'll work long days, but at slow speed. But I have to change that quickly because of hygene and quality of preparations. It's a HUGE challenge.