The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Butter Block for Croissant Production

Steve Knight's picture
Steve Knight

Butter Block for Croissant Production

Hi, Everybody,

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



julie99nl's picture

Sheet it between two pieces of baking parchment. I generally fold it a couple of times (makes it pliable) and bring it into shape by sheeting it. I don't generally like it to get to room temperature.

MichaelLily's picture

I mix my butter in the mixer. You can do 72 lbs in a Hobart 60 qt with the hook on 1.

We use what is called the English lock in, so the butter is actually a rectangle covering 2/3 of the rectangle of dough for the first step of locking in.

We take oversized parchment and portion the dough on half sheet pans (6 lbs per sheet). Chill as long as needed to get correct consistency. For our bakery, the dimensions of a half sheet is a near perfect fit for what we need.

The easiest way for you is to get square pans of the right size. Or use ones you already have and cut the butter out of it to the right size.