Naturally leavened croissants
I have always wanted to make a naturally leavened croissant for no other reason than to see if I can do it. But most sourdough starter / levain croissant recipes I see on the internet have both commercial yeast and levain in the dough. I have nothing against using commercial yeast in croissant making or in any other bread for that matter. Whatever floats your (bread) boat is fine with me. Croissants and other laminated yeasted doughs are challenging enough without using sourdough starter / levain as the sole means of leavening.
When Michael (mwilson) recently posted his purely sourdough croissant formula, let's just say that I was more than excited to try it out. The day I made my croissants was one of the hottest days of the summer in San Francisco. 83 degrees F! And, yes, that is considered hot for SF. I did have some minor tearing while doing my folds and I didn't roll the dough thin enough during the shaping step, but I don't think that had anything to do with the weather. I just need to practice my lamination skills. I filled the croissants with chocolate because (1) I have a big box of Callebaut chocolate batons that I needed to use up and (2) uh, it's chocolate, so why not? :)
I deviated from Michael's recipe a little bit. I used more egg yolk and butter and I didn't add any flavorings to dough as suggested in his post. I didn't use a stiff levain nor did I double-feed my levain to temper the sour flavors. I built a 20% rye flour, 80% hydration levain which fermented for 12 hours. Even though I wasn't following the letter of the law, I hoped that I was honoring the spirit.
I think my croissants still turned out pretty well. These croissants seemed sweeter and less buttery than the typical French-style croissant. My crumb wasn't as lacey and honeycombed as I would have liked and the bottom crumb was slightly compressed, but that's because I overhandled the dough. They were still flaky and crisp and oh-so delicious! I admit to having more than one with my afternoon tea.
|Naturally Leavened Croissants
|Low-protein bread flour (~12% protein level)
|31.1% of final dough
(Recipe was adapted from mwilson's CORNETTI / CROISSANT SFOGLIATI CON LIEVITO NATURALE DI BEPPE ALLEGRETTA)
- Mix together all ingredients except the roll-in butter. (I used my KA stand mixer to mix the dough on speed 1 for 2 minutes and then on speed 2 for 2 minutes.)
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours. (I did it for 6 hours.)
- Enclose the roll-in butter in the dough. (I like the regular lock-in method, but any alternative lock-in is fine.)
- Do 3 folds with 1 hour rest in the refrigerator between each fold. (I used the single fold aka letter fold as opposed to the book fold, but that's just my personal preference.)
- Shape the croissants and let them proof for 16 hours at 72 degrees F. (I shape retarded mine at 40 degrees F for 16 hours and then let them sit at 72 degrees F for 3 hours before baking.)
- Gently brush with egg wash and bake at 375 degrees F until golden brown, about 20 minutes. (Baking time will depend on the size of your croissants.)