The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

A Cold Front in the Rockies, and…

proth5's picture

A Cold Front in the Rockies, and…

…triticale croissants.

Who didn’t see this coming? Hands? Ah, well.

Triticale is my baking nemesis, my bête noir, and unfortunately my favorite grain. A cross between wheat and rye, it is very high in protein, but its gluten is of low quality. If you have ever heard a discussion about milling, you will hear that the protein content of wheat is higher as you get to the outside of the endosperm, but higher in ash and lower in quality. What does this really mean?

Well, if you’ve worked with triticale as much as I have, you know. In a 100% triticale mix, you will get some gluten formation (not like what you’d get in wheat) but it will not endure prolonged mixing (it will break down shortly after you think “It’s still pretty weak, I should mix a bit more.”) and certainly will not support lengthy fermentations and proofing. That is lower quality gluten.

But what I have found that if you use triticale at no more than 30 or 40% of the total flour in combination with a higher protein wheat flour, you can essentially treat the dough like a wheat dough. Anything more than that and you are working with something even more fragile than soft wheat.

The thing is triticale is delicious. And it was mentioned in Star Trek (the original series and DS9). So I keep baking with it.

Since I’m having fun with whole grain vienoisseries, I went for triticale croissants. I used the formula for hand mixed, hand laminated croissants from Advanced Bread and Pastry, and used freshly ground triticale for 30% of the total flour and a liquid levain of the wheat flour rather than the poolish.

The first time I tried this (well there’s a sure and certain indicator that perhaps success was not the result) I used my standard practice of putting the shaped croissants in the refrigerator for six hours or so, and then proofing and baking them. This proved too much for the delicate gluten, which puffed up nicely in the oven but gave out before the thing was fully baked. Delicious, but somewhat flat.

This time, I proofed and baked immediately after shaping. Got some nice shoulders and the lamination isn’t all bad, either. Here you go:

Triticale Croissants

They really are extra delicious and, of course have all the crispy qualities of their wheaty cousins. I know they are extra delicious because I can’t resist the smell and must eat them – with most white flour croissants, I can send them off to my fans without even a taste. Triticale is used primarily for animal feed. Yeah, those cows get all the good stuff…

Until the next cold front - Happy Laminating!


Janetcook's picture

Hi Pat,

I can't believe you got triticale to work in croissants with all of the handling involved.  I am way impressed and I think Spock and Captain Kirk would be too! (How many folding/rolling repetitions?)

Working with triticale sounds a lot like working with spelt - one minute all is well, next minute all is water :( but me thinks triticale is trickier because 100% spelt loaves turn out rather nicely as long as mixing is gentle and kept to a minimum…different gluten properties.

Why do you refrigerate your shaped croissants prior to proofing and baking?  Time constraints, structural differences or flavor profile???

Must say your photograph is coming along nicely too.  I am impressed!

Take Care,


P.S.  You need to fix up your garage, it really is a perfect space, so you can bake all summer and not have to wait for cold spells to push their way over the mountains. I can't imagine that Miata would object to sharing her space with an oven or two.  :*)  

proth5's picture

is just over the wall from pure wheat relatives. The cross with rye gives it a greater rowing range and much higher yields, but beat the heck out of the gluten quality. The University of Colorado had been working on various varieties of triticale to improve its baking qualities, but that seems to have been dropped.

I did standard lamination - lock in, then three single folds, then finale roll-out and shaping. Proofing took a little over two hours. On the final roll out, the dough seemed very delicate - I'm not sure it would have taken much more.

I normally refrigerate my croissants so I can do the lamination during the day and then bake them off in the morning so they are ready for breakfast. I could stay up all night and laminate, but I don't want to...

I've already moved the water bath canner to the garage and in the past weeks have been contemplating what oven I would get and where, exactly would I put it. Of course, this whole "can't sell it" stuff slows me down.

Photography - juggling - it has been a breakthrough summer. Knew I had a little extra in me if I didn't have to work for a living.

Thanks for the kind words.


clazar123's picture

I have not baked with triticale but it sounds very interesting to me. I have done some baking with 100% Khorasan (Kamut) and it sounds like it has similar properties-a very delicate structure that needs structural support to hold its shape and the difference between proof and overproof (deflation) is about 5 seconds. But so delicious!

But croissants! That I have never attempted but so lovely! Than you for the lovely pictures and writeup!

proth5's picture

for the kind words.

I did some work with wheat that was local to Vermont, and those required gentle handling, but again, triticale is just on the other side.

The unfortunate part with triticale is that because it is primarily considered to be cattle feed (this was not always the case I hear from long time westerners that they used to buy triticale bread in the supermarket) that it is hard to know the variety and find out its baking qualities. Yes, I could send it to the lab - but then the next batch comes and ???

Again, thanks.


hanseata's picture

I have seen only triticale flakes around, but never flour or grains. I can imagine that your croissants taste wonderful.

Happy Baking,


proth5's picture

They are gone, and no cool weather predicted in the near future.

Bob's Red Mill (purveyor of everything grainy, it seems) has the grain and the flour. I bought my grains from Pleasant Hill Grain (in a 40 lb lot).

Around here, I haven't even seen the flakes - although I'll produce some myself.

Thanks for your kind words.


golgi70's picture

Those look great and now I'm inspired to find some trtiticale to play with in something.  I've heard of and had it in muesli's but never had it on its own.  You completely hand made croissant thing down.  What method do you use for laminating?  And how many turns?



proth5's picture

for triticale sources. It's a tricky little beast. I have made 100% triticale bread - which acts and looks a lot like rye. When Fall is upon us, I'm going to really knuckle down.

For lamination, for 12 oz of roll in, I make a butter block in a sheet of parchment (half sheet pan size) by folding it the long way into slightly overlapping thirds and an inch or so on each edge. I do take a cold block of butter and pound it out until flexible and then trim the edges and patch it into the parchment paper frame. This I roll until it is flat. I worked with a baker who felt that using one piece of butter and pounding it out created a better block, so that's what I do, although I am not sure if this is true or just folklore. This gets chilled overnight.

The dough is mixed and chilled for two hours. I put it in a Cambro quarter sheet square container. I do carefully shape the dough into a rectangle before chilling. This gets distorted when I remove it from the container, but I think this helps in creating an even surface for the lock in.

I lock in by placing the butter on a rectangle of dough and then bringing up the edges like an envelope and totally encasing the dough. I have tried the other method where the edges of the butter are left exposed and found it did not work well for me.

Immediately after lock in, I do a single fold. and chill for an hour. Two more single folds, chilling one hour after each, and then final roll out.

When I roll, I really try to pretend that I am a sheeter - rolling evenly from one end to another, maintaining constant pressure. This is facilitated by my many, many years of rolling out pie and cookie dough. Also by my favorite rolling pin - the big Matfer non-stick thing. People chortle about my affinity for high priced toys, but I love that thing. If I were starting out with no baking equipment whatsoever, I would say "Buy that and then you will be one and done." I've had rolling pins A-Z (hand turned, antique, improvised, French...) and that one is all I use since the day I bought it. I've also used those large metal ones to laminate and I like those, too.

That's about it.

I hope you do try some triticale in your baking. It is a delicious grain and people always comment on the baked goods where I've snuck it in and how good they taste. I have made scones with 100% whole grain triticale and they vanish without a trace (must be tribbles).

Thanks for your kind words and I hope this helps!



Janetcook's picture

My affinity for baking toys just noticed your mention of a rolling pin that I have not noticed before.

Is this the one your are talking about?  Or this one?




proth5's picture

neither. Mine is a straight pin covered with blue non-stick material with metal caps on the end. Hmmm - just searched the Matfer site - seems they don't make it any more.  Too bad.

But it does save you buying a toy! :>)

Janetcook's picture

Thanks - saves me drawer space too.