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smasty's picture

Ever since MerryBaker posted this recipe (from Baking with Julia) in Helend's blog, I've been waiting to try it.  Here it is!  It is really lovely.  I added 1 packet of stevia to up the sweetness w/o additional sugar (I did use the 1/3 c specified).  I made 3 loaves, as directed.  The recipe called for "1 can" of raisins, I used about 3/4 cup.  The loaves are really small.  Next time I'll only make 2 loaves from the batch so each is a little bigger.  It's an incredible holiday it!!

gothicgirl's picture

Posted on on 11/25/2009 here

Ready for something a tad more advanced?  It takes time to make, but it is SO worth it.

Butter Croissants

I fell in love with croissant making a few semesters ago in my Laminated Dough class.  Bread making is among my favorite things to do in the kitchen, but making laminated doughs (doughs with butter sandwiched between the layers) tops that.  It takes time to make laminated dough and the process has taught me a lot about being patient in the kitchen.  Some things can't be rushed.

Butter Croissants

Making croissants at home is not a hard thing to do.  Yes, it will seem intimidating the first time when you see all the steps all at once, but  it is really just three stages, which makes the whole process less intimidating for me.

Stage 1 - Mixing the dough and making the butter block

Stage 2 - Marrying the butter with the dough and doing your three turns (folding the dough into thirds, like a letter, and turning 90 degrees)

Stage 3 - Make-up and baking

Butter Croissants

A few things to note:

I proof these croissants in the refrigerator overnight then allow them to set, at room temperature, for an hour before baking. The long, cold proof gives the dough more flavor and allows the butter to chill completely before the final proof at room temperature.

The oven gets a spritz of water from a spray bottle before the croissants go in, and another when I put them in the oven.  The steam helps the croissants get nice and big.  You want that.

Give yourself two or three days to make these.  If I do not have a full day to make the dough and do the turns, about 6 hours for stage one and two,  I make the dough and make the butter block the first day, do the turns and make up the croissants the second and bake the third.

Cook the croissants until they are well past golden brown. The edges should be quite dark and the tops a robust brown color.  This does two things, it gives the croissants more flavor and it ensures they are done all the way through.

Once made up into croissants you can freeze the dough and store it for as long as two months.  Just put the frozen croissants in the refrigerator overnight to defrost and let stand for an hour and a half before baking.

This dough can also be used for some pretty awesome danish!

Butter Croissants

Roll your sleeves up, get out your butter and remember, no fear!  You CAN do this!!

Butter Croissants   Yield 5 pounds of dough (about 48 croissants)
Adapted from Professional Baking, 4th Edition by Wayne Glisslen

For the pre-ferment:
7 ounces water, warmed to 110F
1/2 ounce dry active yeast
5 ounces bread flour

For the dough:
2.5 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces whole milk
1 1/2 ounces water
2 pounds bread flour

For the butter block:
1 pound 4 ounces butter (I use salted for croissants, but unsalted is also good)

Egg wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon cream
2 teaspoons water


Butter Croissants Butter Croissants

Begin by preparing the pre-ferment.  In the bowl of a mixer, or in a large bowl, mix the water, yeast, and bread flour.  Mix until it forms a very wet dough.  Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.

While the pre-ferment sits prepare the butter block.

Butter Croissants Butter Croissants

Between two sheets of parchment paper arrange 5 sticks of cold butter into a rough square.  Using a rolling pin press and pound the butter until it forms a rectangle about 1/4″ thick.  Place this in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Butter Croissants Butter Croissants

Once the pre-ferment is rested add the ingredients for the dough and mix on low speed for three minutes.  Increase the speed to medium for two minutes.  You do not want to form gluten, you are just trying to form a rough ball of dough.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until it forms a relatively smooth ball.

Butter Croissants Butter CroissantsButter Croissants

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover until it is double in bulk, about 50 minutes.  Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and, using the palm of your hand, press out the air bubbles.  Form another ball and return to the bowl.  Refrigerate for an hour.

Butter Croissants Butter Croissants

Once the dough has rested for an hour remove it and the butter block from the refrigerator.  Turn the dough out on a a lightly floured surface and press out the air.  Using a rolling pin form a large rectangle roughly  12″ x 24″.

Butter Croissants

Take the butter block still wrapped in parchment and see if it covers 2/3 of the rolled out dough.  If it is too small roll it out until it fits, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges.  You can use your fingers to spread the butter if needed, just make sure that the butter does not develop any holes.

Butter Croissants Butter Croissants

Fold the dough with out butter over the center of the dough.  Fold the buttered side in.   At this point check to see of the butter is getting soft.  You want the butter cool and firm, but if it is starting to melt let the dough chill, covered, for twenty minutes before you make the first turn. ( If you work quickly you can incorporate the butter and do your first turn before you have to chill.  Your first time you may not be able to.  That is completely ok.)

Butter CroissantsButter Croissants Butter Croissants Butter Croissants

Turn the dough 90 degrees, or with the long seam facing horizontal to you.  Dust the board and the dough well with flour and roll out the dough into a rectangle that is about 12″ by 20″.  Dust all the flour from the dough and fold one third of the dough in.  Dust the top of the dough again to remove any flour and then fold the other third over the top.  Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.

Repeat this process two more times.

Once you have completed three turns, and the dough has rested for an hour, you are ready to roll out and make up your croissants.

Divide the dough in half.  Wrap the half you are not using and return to the refrigerator.

Butter Croissants Butter Croissants

On a well floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/8″ thick.  You may need to let the dough rest during this process if it starts to spring back.  If so, cover with plastic and return to the refrigerator for ten minutes.  Once rolled out cut the dough in half lengthwise with a pizza cutter.  Now, holding your cutter at an angle cut triangles from the strips of dough that are about 4″ wide at the base.  Cut one strip at a time.

Butter Croissants Butter Croissants Butter Croissants

Working with a few triangles at a time, chilling the rest, stretch the dough gently at the base until it is about 5″ to 6″ wide, then stretch the dough lengthwise so it forms a long triangle.  Working from the base, roll the dough onto itself, stopping to stretch the unrolled dough half way through.  Place the dough with the point on the bottom and tuck the edges in to form a crescent shape.  Place on a parchment lined sheet pan.

Cover with plastic and chill for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.

Heat the oven to 400 F, prepare the egg wash, and fill a spray bottle with water.  Set the dough out to proof for an hour at room temperature while the oven heats.

When you are ready to bake spritz the inside of the oven with water.  Close the door and wait thirty seconds.  Brush the croissants with egg wash, then put the pan in the oven and spritz again and quickly close the door.

Butter Croissants

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes for medium sized croissants, or until the tops are very brown and they sound hollow when tapped on the side.  Rest on the pan for five minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool slightly.

Butter Croissants

Serve warm.

Butter Croissants


Shiao-Ping's picture

It was my son's birthday last week.  We threw him a surprise party (the ribbons in the pictures below were from his party).  When I made my daughter's 17th birthday cake, I had a feeling that the next time when a birthday comes around, I would not want to make another sponge cake.  I asked my son after his party what I could make him.  In his true color, he said Chocolate Sourdough!  Out of all my baking, this was the one that he commented "epic."  Don't you just love the boy's choice of words?  When you get a supportive family member like that, you just want to bake more.  Anyway, with this levain bread, I made two variations from my last try:

  1. I didn't use cocoa powder, so the crumb color was not the usual cocoa color.  On hindsight, it would have been better to use it; the chocolate sourdough doesn't look as decadent without it.  (If you do put cocoa powder in your chocolate sourdough, give it the same hydration as you would your flour.)  And,

  2. I added Australia-made praline almonds for crunchiness texture.






My formula

  • 330 g starter @ 75% hydration

  • 825 g bread flour (replace up to 8% of flour with cocoa powder if you wish)

  • 240 g chocolate chips (24% total flour, which is quite a high ratio)

  • 200 g praline almonds (20% total flour)

  • 570 g water

  • 30 g honey

  • 20 g salt

Total dough weight 2.2 kg; overall dough hydration 73%


                                                  dough proving on a thick face towel to absorb moisture


You will need to line your dough with baking paper when the shaped dough is loaded onto the baking stone or the chocolate will stain the stone.  Expensive chocolate or good quality chocolate chips are not necessary as they melt too easily; cheap cooking chocolate from supermarket works better.  If you are interested in my procedure, please see here.










                                                         My son reluctantly gave one away as present.


dmsnyder's picture

Jewish Sour Rye, eh?

Hmmmm ....

Say, this isn't bad!

You did say there's more, didn't you?

Who asked why I bake?


doublelift08's picture

First Blog entry!!!


Starting of with PR's Multigrain Extraordinaire from BBA.


A few Modifications in this batch from the book.


I've made it before and had ok results when following verbatim but this time i wanted to have some fun with grains, technique etc

The point of this recipe in the BBA seems to be to illustrate the technique of using a soaker. Great for heartier grains it seems but i also really dig making the dough with a poolish so I've done that to combining the soaker idea with a preferment. In addition i find the amt of water called for in the oaker rarely covers the grain so i usually double it. I don't decrease the liquid in the final dough tho cuz i don't mind the higher hydration. I've also doubled the recipe in the book cuz i wanted 2 loaves... more on that later.

here's what i did (i'm a metric guy. cup & tsp peeps... you're on your own lol)


48g amaranth

6g Stone ground grits

42g Rolled Oats

7g Wheat Bran

7g Oat Bran

228g Water

Soak overnite

Poolish: (14 hours or so)

340g Water

340g Bread Flour (KA)

.85g Instant Yeast


Final Dough:



154g KA Whole Wheat Flour

276g KA Bread Flour

22g Salt

15g Yeast

228 Buttermilk

Knead dough together.


Weigh dough and split in half. Into 1/2 of dough knead:

42g Brown sugar

28g Honey

      I did this because I wanted to try this bread as a lean dough and so took this as an opportunity to try em side by side.

Bulk rise the 2 doughs 90 min

shape into batards

Proof 90  min


Bake 40 min with steam in first 5 min at 375 (convection oven)





Marni's picture

My older son turned 14 yesterday.  It has become traditional for me to create a personalized cake for my children on their birthdays... but what to make for a teenager?  We have made fire engines, owls, and baseball diamonds in the past.   But his favorite thing now is his ipod - hence:

The ipod cake!

He loved it, and that is what it's all about.

lindasbread's picture

I baked some wonderful sourdough bread today.

How does one upload a photo? I would like to show you my creation.

I had some health issues and don't bake with white flour anymore. Whole grain is a must for me:)

JoeVa's picture

It's about two or three weeks I bake the same basic bread ... I had a short discussion with Dan DiMuzio and I'm following his suggestion: "mastering bread one variety at a time, great bread baking is all about mastering the process, etc.". So I'm baking only a basic sourdough bread, that is a "Pain au Levain" with small adjustment in the process. I hear a voice in my mind - learn from the dough - and I think I'm mad.

The only thing I play with is scoring, and this is what I define "smile scoring".


and this is the final effect:




Brother Juniper's picture
Brother Juniper

Thanksgiving seems like an excellent occasion to write my first post.

First let me share how grateful I am for The Fresh Loaf. It has been inspirational, educational, and invaluable in developing my enthusiasm for baking.  Thank you all who continue to post and share your ideas and expertise.  I really value what everyone has to share and I hope that we all never take this forum for granted.
I am a member of a spiritual community and religious order of about 100 people who keep me baking in bulk weekly and this last 4-day Thanksgiving weekend afforded me the opportunity to heartily indulge in my baking addiction.  I started on Wednesday getting dough ready for 150 "Zakai Challah Whole-Wheat Dinner Rolls" (The bread of innocence; named after the latest addition to my extended family, Zakai Michael, who was born a week before Thanksgiving.)  I joyfully arose at 4am to bake the rolls so that the turkeys could occupy the ovens by 6.  I took a quick nap on Thursday morning before preparing 100 pounds of mashed potatoes.  Boiled, riced, and seasoned for our Thanksgiving luncheon at 1 o'clock.  After feasting, I went to the kitchen and set out my whole-wheat sourdough starter, knowing that people where going to want bread with the next day's turkey soup.

I've been pining for some bannetons and decided to make a few from some #10 cans, but that is another post. 

By Friday evening I made a dozen loaves of whole-wheat sourdough rye to complement the soup and got my starter going for a half-dozen more loaves of straight sourdough (4 batards/3 boules in the new bannetons).  Saturday night I was up to the wee hours, finishing these last loaves; ruminating on dough and bread, spirit and flesh, God and man.  Baking gives me great joy, and most of the time gives others joy as well.  I have so much to be grateful for, but the opportunity to bake and break bread with friends and family is high on my list of blessings.  Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, ha‑motzi lehem min ha‑aretz. Amen.

turosdolci's picture

A Christmas double chocolate biscotti takes center stage on our Christmas biscotti tray. It is an old family recipe that is made only for holidays and special events. I could not imagine Christmas with out pizzette, it would be a very sad family gathering. The only problem is stopping everyone from eating them before our family dinner of speghetti with anchovy sauce and mixed fried fish.

Pizzetts are a double chocolate biscotti, scented with spices, roasted almonds, orange zest, coffee and chocolate chips. They are one of the biscotti attractions on our cookie trays for Christmas and every special event. You can make these cookies in advance and freeze them for up to 2 months unfrosted.



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