The Fresh Loaf

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I am so happy. A year later, naturally leavened croissants.

PorridgeBoy's picture

I am so happy. A year later, naturally leavened croissants.

This did take a long time.  But in the end the literature from apiece was correct, starter maintenance was super crucial to me accomplishing this.  I feel a block has been lifted off my head, this was something that I wanted to do for such a long time, that I could not move on until I did it.  The taste, fantastic.  The structure...amazing once I switched flours to a organic more local brand (used store bought until I could replicate it enough times to not be wasting flour during experimentation).  It so weird how it proofs during the flour change.  The organic one actually doubled in size for proofing, whereas the store bought....well it looked like it was trying to proof.  It filled out but definitely looked like too much sausage in a casing rather than proper expansion.  The organic also felt more extendible and needed less flour during the mixing process to pull away from the side of the bowl.

I did a few changes and I felt that was made the difference for me.  Over the year I read a lot, watched a lot and decided to give a go by following the procedures to a T but knew where I could tweak actions.  I autolysed for 30 min and then added leaven for instance.  Overall I am super happy and thankful for the people who helped me along the way of accomplishing this. 


Shaped croissantShaped Croissant

Proofed at 24°C for 12 hours.

Proofed at 24°C @ 12 hours.

Baked at 440°F for 11 minutes then 350°F for 13 more.

Baked at 450°F for 12 minutes and then 350°F for 13 minutes more.


All important crumbshot

All important Crumb shot.

barryvabeach's picture

Those do look great.  

BethJ's picture

They are beautiful!

DanAyo's picture

Please post or link your formula and method.

PorridgeBoy's picture

It is from the apiecedropbox but I will post what I had adjusted below.

IngredientsReg feed (12 hrs)Build #1 (4-6hrs)Build #2 (4-6hrs)Sweet Build (12hrs)
Sugar   59g

 FDT of starters should be at 28°C



811.71g AP flour

202.90g Sweet Starter

269.3g Water

135.5g Cream (warmed through/hot to denature anything that might interfere with ferment)

120.3g sugar

18g Salt


Butter block: 600g

1. Mix flour, water(~36°C), salt, sugar, on speed 1 for 5 minutes.  Autolyse 30 minutes.I chose to autolyse because I always had problems when I mixed the leaven into the water first. Now that I maintained my starter better, I might experiment with doing that. Also since cream does have things that can interfere with fermentation, it helps to bring it up to a simmer before adding.
2. Add sweet starter and mix on second speed for 6-8 minutes or until dough pulls away from side of the bowl.You may need to add some flour to help with the pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Depending on how your flour is, it can be anywhere to a few pinches to 1/4 of a cup.
3. Bulk ferment 3-4 hours.  FDT 28°C 
4. lock in butter, perform either a letter fold or book fold. Continue with lamination as usual 2 more times. I like doing a book fold and then two letter folds, but whatever your preference is. Flour choice was a huge help in lamination because I found the local organic one that I had was more extendable and required less times for me to let the dough relax to roll out.
5. Roll out dough to a width of 28"-30" and a thickness of 5mm. Cut into shapes, shape, cover and proof in 24 ° C temp for 12 hours. The weight of each croissant should be approx 80g if you are to follow the baking procedure below. Yield for this recipe is approx 18-19 croissant. I used as base of triangle shape at 9" and shaped accordingly.
6. Egg wash, bake in 450 ° F oven for 11 minutes and finishing at 350 ° F for 12-15 minutes. Steam the first few minutes of baking.My egg wash was a combo of whole egg and cream. Flour again can determine the end product's lightness and proofing. I found store bought flour resulted in a tight proof, as if a skin was restraining it. It oven springed 3x the size (surprisingly) and the definition sort of went all football shaped. However with the organic flour, everything actually proofed double in side, oven springed 2x and definition of the shaping was retained. It goes to show despite a disappointing proof size for the regular flour, it can still expand during the baking process because the fermentation is still strong.
DanAyo's picture

Is there a reason to make 526 levain when only 203g is used?

I may use this as my first attempt at Croissants.

PorridgeBoy's picture

I think there is no reason for it. I'm just doing it out of pattern and fear that I might mess it up. 

mwilson's picture

They do look really good!

Your perseverance is certainly paying dividends!