Big hole inside pain au chocolat and croissants
After making 20 batches of croissants with all sorts of issues, this is the second time I’m seeing this particular problem: giant holes inside the crumb.
I brushed off dusting flour as good as possible. Lamination looked alright, as I can see the layers. Yet, the inner structure collapses after baking and glues together. The croissants look okay out of the oven, but then settle and the rolled layers separate.
Mix of bread flour and high-gluten flour (Swiss/German: Halbweissmehl (750) and Ruchmehl (1100))
→ This was an experiment because my previous problems never showed a strong inner structure. That’s why I wanted to try flour with more protein. But I had the same issue using only bread flour the previous time. I had great results with bread flour only.
270g @ 500g flour
60% (50-50 water-milk)
Yolk mixed with milk, rather liquid
17min @ 200 °C with fan (400 F)
- 8 h bulk ferment (@ 2–3 °C)
- 8 h cold retard after shaping (@ 2 °C)
- 2–3 h final proof (@24 °C, 85%)
I realised only the next day how cold my fridge actually was (set to 4 °C but the lower rack is 2 °C). I usually tune it cold to make chilling in between folds faster.
The problem happened to all pain au chocolat and all croissants. Two different laminations. So I have a hard time thinking it’s lamination. Flour, mixing, proofing, baking? What went wrong?