Butter Block for Croissant Production
How do you shape the butter block for your croissants?
In culinary school, where the quantity of production was smaller, we shaped the butter into rectangles formed by folding a piece of parchment paper to the appropriate size for the baton.
The bakery where I work, of course, has much larger production: our batons are 3600 grams and the butter block is three pounds--easy to calculate because it's three one-pound pieces of butter. We use what is clearly a difficult method: the baker stretches out plastic wrap large enough to cover a three pound mound of butter that has been shaped into the 13-inch square marked with a Sharpie on the table, and then folds the bottom and top over the middle, overlapping, and folds the sides in slightly to (one hopes) seal the rectangle. The room temperature butter is then squished into a 13-inch square shape that, one hopes, is not only pretty darrn close to square and of even thickness, but doesn't have any butter squishing out the sides. I'm only adequate on the square/flat part, and I tend to squish occassionally. Plus, the plastic wrap tends of fly up off the table, although marking the corners with a small smudge of butter help holds it down.
Who knows of a better way? What do you do at your bakery in a production environment?
Thanks very much. I look forward to all sorts of insightful replies.
Steve Knight, Seattle