The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Inside the Factory: Croissants

albacore's picture
albacore

Inside the Factory: Croissants

An interesting episode of BBC2's "Inside the Factory" tonight.

Greg Wallace visits an Industrial scale croissant making facility in France and Cherry does some experiments in the best number of layers to use (12 apparently).

Worth a watch for those with access to BBC iplayer.

Lance

Cellarvie's picture
Cellarvie

I agree Lance, it was interesting and I learned lots, like making the dough with crushed ice to keep the dough cool, using high fat butter so that it preserves the layers and doesn't melt, creating the optimum number of layers, using a high heat oven etc.  And I plan to put it all in to practice as soon as I can source concentrated butter, any ideas where?

albacore's picture
albacore

about the conc. butter - I'm not sure it's necessary for making great croissants. Perhaps better for an industrial process, but not in the home or craft bakery.

  • increased plasticity & flexibility
  • higher melting point, ideal for warm factory
  • more turns at once, so time and hence money saved
  • never mentioned, but perhaps reduced cost because you're saving transporting 15% water.

I did wonder whether it would puff up as well, because the moisture in the butter is supposed to turn to steam and create the "puff", but it seems it does - maybe the water in the dough is what does the puffing.

As with many things on TFL, Conc B. has been discussed before and here is an enlightening discussion I found:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/49750/999-milk-fat-butter-suitable-laminating-dough

I think the last post is probably the most telling!

Lance

 

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

I flipped through the channels last night and it was on here.


Dry butter is actually better (If you can get it) for hand rolling because it has a higher melting point and when hand rolling we simply work much slower and much less efficient than any factory sheeter. I also like it because I've found proofing at  higher temperature makes for a better bake. However, it's not easy to source and more expensive. Some chefs add a little flour to their butter to achieve a similar effect.

I tested several of our supermarket butters in comparison and found one that had a similar feel as dry butter after it's been pounded and rolled into the size for a butter block for laminating.  So, that might be something to do.

I'm able to get Isigny Ste Mere here in Amsterdam.
http://www.isigny-ste-mere.com/en/our-butters/our-pastrymaking-isigny-pdo-butter/

Cellarvie's picture
Cellarvie

That's an interesting Link Lance, thank you.  And thanks Julie for reminding me about the flour in the butter trick which I now recall I tried once to good effect.  The usual UK supermarkets don't offer much choice or information on butter fat content so instead I have to use my (very unscientific) prod test to measure resistance. If it squidges it fails, if it withstands - it's bought!  So if you see dented butter on the supermarket shelf you'll know who's been round your way.

Happy baking!

albacore's picture
albacore

If you look on the Ocado site, they list the fat contents of most of the butters they sell. There again, they all come in at about 82g/100g.

Lance

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

All of our butters in the netherlands are also the same fat content, but I have tested them myself and found a couple that feel closer to the texture of dry butter and hold their plasticity longer.  That's what I meant by testing. Take several home and find one which at normal room temperature feels harder...that's the one you want to use.