The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Lumpy butter in my croissant dough... Help!

Jump_Into_My_Kitchen's picture
Jump_Into_My_Kitchen

Lumpy butter in my croissant dough... Help!

Hello everyone! I'm new here, and new at making croissants... my dough seems really nice and springy, but after 3 rounds, each time in the fridge for an hour, the butter is now looking lumpy... too cold? 
Perhaps I should leave it out for a while before I roll it again?
Help please! 

ds99303's picture
ds99303

Don't worry about getting perfect lamination.  You're not trying to make Pillsbury Grands biscuits.  However, if you want an answer to your question, then yes, the butter got too cold and re-hardened.  Will it affect the taste of the croissant? No.  Will it affect the lamination?  Not enough that's it's going to make a difference.  You'll still get the flakiness and the expansion when the dough bakes.  It just won't peel off in whole layers   I'd worry more about the butter getting too warm and blending into the dough.  That's when you lose lamination and you end up making a crescent shaped dinner roll rather than a croissant.  There's a picture of a croissant, probably on this site, from some famous baker who's known for doing perfect lamination.  Everybody oohed and aahed over it but I thought it looked fake and unappetizing.  To me it looked like thin sheets of plywood.

Jump_Into_My_Kitchen's picture
Jump_Into_My_Kitchen

THANK YOU so much ds99303!!!
I hadn't read your message until now, so I just went with my instincts: I left the butter as is, thinking the dough needs to be cold. Rolled, folded, etc. then shaped. Froze them in batches, leaving one small batch in the fridge. Took that batch out at 3am to let them proof on the counter until breakfast (7am)

They're not the prettiest croissants I've seen, but I will say they taste exactly like some really good ones I've had in France, and they're lovely and flaky, crispy. My recipe called for baking at 400F, another said 375, and yet another said 350... I started them out at 400, which I realized was too hot, then reduced to 350. Not cooked enough. (See last picture)

As a self critic: (1) I should put the dough on a higher shelf in the fridge? (Its set at 39o which is 1o higher than recommended); (2) I need to roll the dough thinner - had a hard time doing that yesterday as I faced A LOT of resistance (??) and (3) Need to practise the shape, finally (4) Bake at 350 the whole time so they bake through but don't dry out. All in all: for a first try, not as bad as I would have thought ;-) 

What do you think? And, thanks again!!

Lynn


ds99303's picture
ds99303

Not perfect?  Those look absolutely delicious.  I do wonder about the baking temperature though.  350°F. sounds a little low.  Do your croissants have a lot of sugar in them that would cause them to brown quickly?  Are you sure your oven thermostat is accurate?  I bake my croissants at 425°F. for 12-13 minutes.  For a comparison, the ingredients are as follows:

Dough:

1 1/4 cups milk

1 pkg. active dry yeast

2 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 7/8 cups all purpose flour (359 grams)

Butter roll-in:

1 1/4 cups butter

3 tbsp. flour

The standard yield is 16 croissants.  Of course one could always make them bigger and make only twelve.  The baking time would be longer though.  Then of course one could do the opposite and make them smaller and get 20 and bake them for a shorter period of time. 

 

Jump_Into_My_Kitchen's picture
Jump_Into_My_Kitchen

Actually, they were absolutely delicious and thank you for the compliment! I can still smell the buttery aroma from yesterday in my nostrils LOL!
My recipe came from the Larousse Book of Bread, and is a little different than yours. Seems like all my quantities are higher, see below. No milk, which I did find odd.. Not much sugar. 
My oven is brand new, so I doubt it's wrong... however, I have a double oven: smaller one on top of a normal sized one and I used the small one since I only baked 6. I think the upper oven heat is higher since it's smaller? 


You're very kind for responding and help me with this - thank you! If ever you need help with anything, especially in the cooking department, please don't hesitate!

The recipe below makes 20 small croissants. Next time I'll try yours though! ( The book is written by Éric Kayser)

4 cups all purpose flour

scant 1 cup water at 10c

3 1/3 tbsp liquid starter (I have my own)

5 g instant yeast

2 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg, plus 1 egg beaten for glaze

generous 1 cup butter, plus 2 tbsp softened butter

ds99303's picture
ds99303

For the recipe I use, I mix the dough, cover the bowl, and set the bowl in the refrigerator while I make the butter block. I encase the butter in the dough and then give the dough 2 single turns.  I refrigerate the dough for about an hour and then give it a third turn and put it back in the refrigerator.  One hour later I give it a fourth turn and refrigerate it for 10 to 12 hours.  That last part is important because it allows the dough to develop flavor.  Be sure the dough is securely wrapped so it doesn't dry out.  Roll the dough into a 10"x20" rectangle.  Cut the dough into 8 squares.  Cut each square into two triangles.  Stretch the triangles so that two of the sides are the same length.  Roll up and curve into a crescent shape.  Place on sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  I can fit 8 on a half sheet pan.  Cover with wet paper towels that have been wrung out completely.  Then cover with a tea towel.  Let rise at room temperature 4 to 4 1/2 hours.  Brush with beaten egg mixed with a teaspoon of water and bake about 12 to 13 minutes at 425.

Jump_Into_My_Kitchen's picture
Jump_Into_My_Kitchen

Hi,

Oh my, I can't thank you enough! I will definitely give your recipe a try, probably in a couple of weeks since I now have 12 of my own in the freezer. Or maybe I'll do yours sooner and of course will let you know how they turn out!!!

By what name can I call you? I think you already know mine, which is Lynn.