Croissant Proof and Baking Issue?
Hi. This is the second time I've made laminated dough from scratch, and thought I ended up with beautiful dough and rolled croissants. I used the Weekend Bakery 3-day recipe. I let proof for about 2.5 hours at about 73-75 degrees F, and the croissants don't really look like they have risen any at all. I certainly can't see any layers showing. Not wanting to over-proof (and let the butter melt - which I've done before), I went ahead and baked them.
The recipe didn't give a time for baking in a conventional oven, so I settled on trying a mini batch at 425F for about 18min. I ended up taking the croissants out after 13 minutes, because they looked as though they were burning and the outer crust looked like it was getting dry. I saw no butter leak out during the cooking. The exterior crust was perfectly crispy and flaky, as it should be. When I cut one, the interior dough had not risen into layers. You could see the layers, but they were still clumped together in a buttery mass of dough. So I put the others back in for an extra 5 minutes at 400F (the exterior was getting really dry and burned), and cut another. This time, the center showed more layering and separation than before, and you could tell the layers were all there, but many of them just didn't separate as much as they should have. I also noticed they are much heavier/denser than some bakery-made croissants. I'm trying to understand what went wrong. My first thought is it didn't proof enough, and therefore there wasn't enough separation prior to baking. I wondered whether the baking time/temp is off. I wondered whether the yeast is bad (brand new Fleichman's Instant, months from expiration date), or the flour is the wrong type (all-purpose), or too much pressure was applied while rolling out with the effect of compressing the layers too much (didn't think so, but possible) - and due to one or many of these things, the whole batch could be ruined. This lack of an appreciable rise (and resulting long proof times) has happened before with other doughs I've made, and I don't really understand why sometimes things seem to proof and other times they don't.
Since I have the rest of the batch yet to be proofed/baked, I thought I'd ask and see if there are any suggestions that may help salvage this. Ultimately, I plan on freezing some of the rolled/unbaked croissants for a week or so, and proof and bake the rest then - but with the lack of rise when fresh, I'm a bit nervous to do this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!