Croissant Success (FINALLY!)
I've been going after croissants for the last couple months.. wow there are SO many variables to potentially screw up!
I'm using essentially txfarmer's croissant with poolish recipe.
These are all tips that she (and many others) have shared, but here are the most important things that got me to success this time.
1. Don't overmix the dough up front. Similarly, don't allow it to bulk at room temp. (I've even seen some recipes go as far as putting the dough right into the freezer for an hour or so before putting it in the fridge)
2. Trim that dough when you're laminating! Really really try not to trap dough. I know it's hard cause it's potentially wasteful, but it really will help you achieve a more perfect end result.
This time instead of a pure 'fold', I actually cut the dough into 3 pieces and stacked them for the last turn. I've seen various other people do different versions of this from a cut on the outside of the fold to a cut all the way through. (Basically just trapping less dough)
3. Proof them long enough!! I can't tell you how many batches of croissants I screwed up by not proofing long enough. Even at the correct temperature (around 78 F), it can take hours - these took 3.
Other random tips:
- Try not to use a ton of flour when rolling out, and at the very least, brush all excess flour off when folding.
- Similarly, it's super important not to have excess flour on the triangles when you do the final shape. If you do, you can end up with wonky big holes inside the crumb.
- If your dough is fighting back while rolling, STOP and rest it (in the fridge)
- I scalded the milk this time. Does this actually matter? Who knows
- To keep the croissants from drying out while in the cabinet for the long final proof, I misted them with water a couple of times
Lastly, the most frustrating thing (for me) to troubleshoot is the oven times/temps. I've tried so many with my dumb gas oven. I now bake one tray at a time, and halfway through the bake, I nest another (cool) baking tray directly underneath the croissant tray in an attempt to mitigate the scorched bottoms. This.. sorta works. Will still try to play around more with different times and temps.