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Whole Wheat Croissant with Sourdough Starter - add savoury fillings in case it's not rich enough

txfarmer's picture

Whole Wheat Croissant with Sourdough Starter - add savoury fillings in case it's not rich enough

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

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This is inspired by the ww croissant formula from "AB&P", but I used sourdough starter to make a levain, rather than the original sponge. Also adjusted the liquid ratio (as well as a lot of other things), the original formula was a bit too wet, the dough was too soft and went "faster" than the butter block when rolled out. Yolk and milk in the formula do a good job of tenderising the ww dough,croissants were beyond delicate. Gotta say the ww flavor went perfectly with the the rich buttery taste, add sourdough on top, it's my favorite croissant dough so far! "AB&P" suggests that it would go well with savoury fillings, and they are right. I used some for sandwich, also made a few ham/cheddar & spinach/feta croissants, both were heavenly.

WW Croissant with Natural Starter (adapted from "AB&P")

Note: makes 12 croissants

Note: for details and tips, please see this post

Note: for more tips on making croissants in warm weather, see here


100% starter, 30g

water, 48g

bread flour, 89g

1. mix and let mature for 12 hours.

-Final Dough

bread flour (KAF), 309g

ww flour (KAF), 103g

milk, 187g (before adjustment, it was 195g of water)

egg yolk, 43g

sugar, 53g

salt, 7g

osmotolerant instant yeast (SAF gold), 4g, 1tsp+1/4tsp

butter, 25g, softened

levain, all

roll-in butter, 287g

1. Mix everything but the roll-in butter, knead until gluten starts to form. In my KA mixer, 3min at first speed, 5 min at 3rd speed.

2. Then following the procedure illustrated here to make normal ones. For ham/cheese, spinach cheese ones, cut dough into 5.25inchX9inch pieces, lay ham and cheese(or spinach and cheese) on top near bottom, roll along the short edge twice with seam on the bottom. Cut the roll into 3 pieces, each 3inch wide.

First batch, before adjusting liquid, the dough was a tad too soft. Crumb was still nice and open, but a little "messy", walls of the "holes" were not crisp.

After adjusting the liquid, structure was more crisp. The difference was not huge, probably just obvious to my own picky eyes.

With liquid amount adjusted, but rolled out a bit thinner than usual to get more layers. The "holes" are clean and separated, however, a bit too small, I probably won't roll the dough out so thin next time, even though some of my tasters liked this version.

Makes a GREAT sandwich, I love how this cut surface looks. It shows a different perspective on the crumb structure.

Of course the ones with filling rolled in were super yummy too, look at the leaking cheese

However you make them, I highly recommend this formula!


ananda's picture

Hi txfarmer,

Beautiful laminated pastry and exemplary skill.

Personally, I don't understand the use of sugar at 10% in the formula when you are making savoury products.   I admit I will avoid sugar any chance I can get away with it, but surely there is no need for it here?

A joy to behold

Best wishes


lumos's picture

Savory filling in slightly sweet dough works very well, too, Andy.  Gives an extra dimention in flavour when they mingle in your mouth. There are lots of filled bread like that in Japan and very popular.Welcome to the new world of multi-storey flavours! :p


Great looking croissants, txfarmer, as usual!  Can't believe you achieved such a beutifully delicate layers with the combinatin of levain and WW flour.   What's the cheese you used? Looks a bit like Red Leicester,  but not sure if you have it in US.


txfarmer's picture

I knew you would understand, I guess this savoury+sweet thing is an Asian thing? That's why it's often seen in Asian cooking/baking... Come to think of it, traditional European hearth breads don't usually mix the two flavors.

I used aged cheddar cheese with ham.

lumos's picture

hehehe, yeah, we share the same genes.....:p

I have known some English people who don't like the idea of mixing sweet and savoury,  but no, I don't think sweet/savory combi is unique to Asia. For example, there're lots of sweet condiments to go with savory meat dishes in Europe, like fruit-based sauce or chutneys.  Or what about very mature (=sweet) balsamic vinegar with meat or even seafood, sometimes?    Also, my local French boulangerie has croissants with savoury filling in (cheese, onion, ham, etc...just like yours) and their dough is slightly sweet; exactly the same dough as they use for thier plain croissants. And adding salt to caramel or chocolate is quite fashionable these days, too. 

Never seen cheddar with such a bright orange colour....except for a 'new-generation' funcitonaly-diet style, new cheddar in Japan, called 'Red Cheddar.' It contains carotene and they think it's good for your body....whatever..... Our cheddar on this side of pond is always yellow, whatever the age is.   But croissant with aged cheddar certainly sounds very yummy....and even more dangerous!



txfarmer's picture

Hey Andy, glad that you dropped by!

I didn't change the sugar ratio in the "AB&P" formula mostly because these batches are "multi-purpose": I used some for savoury fillings, and the rest for eating straight/with jam. Even for the ones with savoury fillings, I tend to like the dough to be slightly sweet. I love ham, Asian style BBQ sauce, etc, and these are all savoury dishes with a sweet note. Actually I am from Shanghai, where local savoury dishes are known for being "sweet", so I think it's purely personal preference. I agree that you can reduce or entirely eliminate sugar in the formula according to your own tastes, however - I love desserts with a pinch of salt in them, so I think a bit of sugar in the dough would help most savoury pastries too.

lumos's picture

LOL we share the Far Eastern taste buds....:D

selenaw's picture

Hi Txfarmer,

not sure whether you are still active. I have made HK style soft buns for a while and just started on croissants recently .You blog is extremely helpful. 

I resonate with your comment that sweet and savory is an Asian thing. I used a "sweet and sour" (the Shanghainese sugar and vinegar spare rib) sauce to cook shredded pork, and then stuff it into a soft bun dough. All my American friends like that. 



wassisname's picture

Another spectacular result that is making me very, very hungry.  Thank you for sharing.


txfarmer's picture

Thanks Marcus!

Syd's picture

Beautiful baking txsfarmer.  Outstanding skill and beautifully photographed.  My favourite is the sandwich with ham and lettuce.



txfarmer's picture

It was actually spinach, but yummy indeed!

SylviaH's picture

I do very much enjoy savory and sweet together...does mango and jalapeno,  count? I love salsa's.



txfarmer's picture

Very true, salsa is a fine example of sweet/savoury combo.

Mebake's picture

Beautiful Results, Txfarmer! Wholewheat + levain ina croissant... lovely, lovely flavor i'am sure. you've excelled at Croissants, Txfarmer, time to move on :P

txfarmer's picture

Thanks Mebake, still lots of variations I want to try, not moving on just yet. :)

GSnyde's picture

I love the idea of a ham and cheese croissant with some whole wheat flour.  I'll have to try that.  Beautifully made croissants, txfarmer!


ahuitt's picture

Would I make too weak a dough if were to use KAF AP flour? I'm eager to measure and mix my levain this evening without going to the store for bread flour, but maybe I need to make the time! :)

txfarmer's picture

AP would indeed make the dough too weak for perfect result.

ahuitt's picture

Off to the store I go!!

ahuitt's picture

I've had good success with my first two batches. I'm going to mix my third batch tonight. I read a suggestion somewhere about making 4 batches in a row to get the hang of it. I'm hoping I'll improve my rolling technique a little more next time, but the results I've already achieved are great. Thanks for a great recipe and post, txfarmer!