The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Croissants and lamination

Hayalshamsi's picture
Hayalshamsi

Croissants and lamination

Hi guys! I’ve been trying out laminated doughs  recently, more specifically croissants, and I’m going after the famed open honey comb crumb, but I’m not quite there yet :( ! I feel like my lamination process is good, but when it comes to shaping the dough, I think the issue is that I’m pressing the butter into the dough when tugging it, could that be what is causing the crumb situation? Thanks again for your help! 

 
kendalm's picture
kendalm

Hi, I dont think tugging (assuming mean stretching the pointy end and elongating before rolling) is likely going to destroy the lam.  So long as the dough is sufficiently cold and you've laminated well it should be pretty resilient. I think either its wanrmed up too much before rolling or the lamination is not keeping separate layers.  

Here's a progression from bottom to top.  After the last fold if you slice your brick of dough you should see the butter and dough distinctly separated (the top of this pic has a plug of dough as filler so it's not totally clear but I can assure you all layers here are like the bottom section).  Then after you roll you should see the micro layers and from there the final product.

Generally it's just a matter of repetition - the result you got to is pretty typical of the 4th or 5th shot.  Just keep going and remember to keep the dough cold but not too cold or else the butter will crack ;) 

 

 

 

 

 

Hayalshamsi's picture
Hayalshamsi

Thank you so much! I actually squished/pressed the middle part of the triangles when I shaped, but you’re spit on, it is my 5th try! I know I might seem impatient, but if I keep practicing, how many more times approximately  will I have to do this to reach your beautiful croissant 😍? 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

It took me maybe 10 bakes to start feeling satisfied.  Looks like you're getting nice bulbous rise so I wouldn't change your oven temps.  I would suggest maybe spritzing with water very lightly the surface of your triangle cut outs immediately prior to rolling in order to avoid that separation you're seeing.  Also avoid squishing and consider some bakers dont even elongate, they just roll them.  The amount of pressure is subtle because you want to rolls to adhere to each other.  You're on a good track so who knows maybe the 6th ! 

Hayalshamsi's picture
Hayalshamsi

I hope so! I’ll definitely try again soon . Thank you again so much!

semolina_man's picture
semolina_man

Bruno Albouze has several excellent croissant videos on YouTube.  He is a French born, French trained pastry chef. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

He also has a great canele tutorial.  The best part is when he says he used to work at a fancy restaurant in france and 'I kept the recipe' as if to say he swiped it in the way out ! 

Hayalshamsi's picture
Hayalshamsi

Hi again :) 

I hope you’re well! I watched Bruno’s video, and it was superrrrr helpful! Thank you :)  Also, yes, it’s soo funny how he says that!

I tried again and this is my result:

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Starting to see some structure.  Keep in mind that learning this just takes repeating and repeating.  It's really critical to get the lamination process down pat.  A few pointers in that area.  First (supposing your dough and butter slab have been chiling overnight). 

 

1. I usually take the dough and roll it out to about 18 × 7 inches.  It should be avout a cm thick at this point.  Put the dough in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes.

2. Shortly thereafter I pull the slab from the fridge and art it on my granite counter top.  See at this point usually the dough is too soft and the butter too hard.  At this point wait 5 mins and check the butter to ensure its neither brittle nor too soft.  Check by pressing it with your finger.  It might take a few times to know just the perfect softness.  At this point the dough has been firming up in the freezer.

3. Make the first layer by one fold of the dough over the butter and roll out enough to create the 'double fold'.  The butter should now be evenly spread.  No cracks, no gooshing butter at the seems.  

4. Refrigerate 30 mins.

5. Pull the now thick brick of double folded dough and roll out again then do a simple fold.  Then back to the refrigerator for 30 mins again.

6. Pull it again and roll out to about 4mm thickness.

 

At this point you should have really nicely laminated sheets to work with.  From here you need to figure you vest proofing times of the final loaves.  I think you might be over proofing based on the somewhat flat shape of you cross section so suggesting reducing proof time.

How long are you final proofing and how hot are baking these ? 

 

 

 

 

Hayalshamsi's picture
Hayalshamsi

To be frank, this one in particular, I rolled as a pain au chocolat but I used white chocolate instead, so the doughy looking bit in the middle is actually chocolate. I followed Bruno’s method exactly so all steps were completed in one day. I proofed them for around 2 hours ( the layers were visibly separated). As to the baking method, I baked them at 200C fan for 10 mins. I’m going to bake the plain ones tomorrow so we’ll see how that goes. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

That you rolled pain au chocolate. Ok makes more sense now ! 

Hayalshamsi's picture
Hayalshamsi

Also, with regards to the flatness, this croissant is really tiny so might that account for it?

kendalm's picture
kendalm

That would make sense on the cross section shape.  You should be looking for a bulb shape with the croissant shape.  That is to say when you cut it, you should see a cross section that is more round like a light bulb. 

Hayalshamsi's picture
Hayalshamsi

I’ll keep an eye out for that! And I’ll post a pic tomorrow hopefully!

Hayalshamsi's picture
Hayalshamsi

Hello! So I baked them today, and thought I’d show you my result: 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Congrats and keep going.  Making croissants is a lot of fun - vest thing is just keep making them (and keep posting) 

Hayalshamsi's picture
Hayalshamsi

I hope you’re doing well! I’ve recently started trying to make croissants again and I think I’ve finally got it down. Thought I’d show you since you were with me from the very start of my croissant journey 

 

Hi again! 
kendalm's picture
kendalm

The interior here looks incredible.  When you cut them and see this kind of crumb its a real buzz right.  That top pic especially is fantastic.  its been a while for me to make ceoisaants since I'm laser focused on tuning a new bread oven plus the heat where I am is up in the record digits making laminatuon very challenging.  Once it cools down maybe we can compare and share ;) 

Timothy Wilson's picture
Timothy Wilson

How the dough behaves is highly dependent on the quality of the products used for it. For example, on bad flour, the dough can blur, bad yeast does not allow the dough to come up. And of course it also depends on the baking conditions, how evenly the oven heats up the dough. For example, if you have a gas oven, then the temperature in it will still depend on the heat capacity of the natural gas that is supplied. Electric ovens are more reliable in this regard, they keep an even temperature well. Well, also the temperature in the room and the presence of drafts. Not every dough tolerates cold, draft, heat well.