The rise and fall of my croissants
TLDR; I might be missing out on trying the most obvious thing: a different flour. Essentially looking for hints how to get back to the honeycomb of batch #5. :)
I’m looking for some advice on my latest baking endeavour: Croissants.
I’m getting better at folding and shaping and also figured out my preferred way of egg washing. They taste great but tend to flatten in the oven or even while proofing.
I’m trying not to vary heavily with the recipe as I’ve had good results with it already (#5). I’ve checked many recipes and more or less they all end up in a similar range.
The only thing I haven’t tried is to add eggs to the dough (also I don’t really want to try it).
Hydration between 50–56%. Milk + Water. 8% butter.
White flour (~ T45, unknown protein…), Half White Flour (~ T65, 12g protein), Spelt Flour
82% butter fat
3.9% milk fat
0–2 hours bench proof / bulk ferment
16 hour cold ferment in the fridge
French lock-in, double fold, single fold
Size range from 10x20 cm to 8x28 cm
[1, 2, 3] started at room temperature (22 °C), rolled rather thick, nice layer separation
[4, 5, 6] in the oven with lights on (25–30 °C, too warm I know but didn’t hurt the honey comb interestingly), still thick and puffy
[7, 8, 9] in the oven with water bowl, 75–85% moisture @ 25–28 °C (I think this is too moist), flat, layers merge into flat layers, no build up, … I blame the humidity while proofing. Or...?
#1 – #6 baking at 200° convection and turned the tray after 6 minutes because of uneven colouring in the back of the oven (where the heat comes out). Baking 17min total.
After #6 I’ve started baking at the recommended rack of my convection oven. I think that since then the flattening after 10 minutes got worse but it may also have to do with other factors.
10 x Proofing, Shape, Crumb
First attempt, I had no idea what I was doing, 350g butter. Forgot final proofing. All white flour.
A bit dense, but not so bad, still rolled out too thick. 300g butter. All white flour.
Bread-like crumb. 300g butter. All white flour.
A hint of honeycomb. 300g butter. All white flour + 10% spelt. 30 minute poolish.
Honeycomb! At least with a dough that had no butter in it. Only time the vertical expansion was good. 300g butter. All white flour + 10% spelt. Super warm proof (> 30° with butter leaks) 30 minute poolish.
Not so bad either, but a bit more flat. 300g butter. All white flour + 10% spelt.
Used a 16h poolish, no added yeast to main dough, didn’t get puffy while proofing, proofed for 7h, fell completely flat. 250g butter. All white flour + 10% spelt. Too much humidity while proofing? (75–85%)
Used a 16h poolish, forgot to add yeast to main dough, didn’t get puffy while proofing, proofed for 7h, fell completely flat. 280g butter. 50% white flour + 50% half-white flour (T65)
Getting better, but still rather flat and rather thick layers of crust (almost fried?). 280g butter. 45% white flour + 45% half-white flour (T65) + 10% spelt
I haven’t tried many different flours.
The one I’m using is the best quality organic flour but it of course might be that it is too weak. Unfortunately there is no info on the protein… which seems to be so important…
It seems like an obvious potential issue and is going to be the next thing that I will try to vary.
If someone could confirm from the photos that it might be a flour issue that would be interesting :D
But I also think I might have been over proofing (7, 8) or have an issue with baking?
Also, I’m trying to do "7 segments", thus trying to cut longer triangles. I have a feeling this hinders expansion or needs more proofing time? But then again, I feel like over proofing?