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Croissants tear while proofing

shrutik13's picture

Croissants tear while proofing


I have been having this strange problem with croissants.....they tear and misshape while proofing. My croissants have turned good only twice in the last 50 days! I make a small batch every single day and now I have no clue what is happening and hence the SOS.


Recipe :

All Purpose Flour (~10 - 11% protein) : 250 g (100%)

Milk : 50 g (20%)

Water : 70 g (28%)

Total Hydration : 48%

Fresh Yeast : 10 g (4%)

Vital Wheat Gluten : 2 g (0.8%)

Sugar : 30 g (12%)

Salt : 6 g (2.4%)

Extra Dry Pastry Butter (84%) : 63 g (~25%)

Lamination Butter (Extra Dry 84%) : 125 g

I am based out of a tropical country and hence I have reduced the quantity of fresh yeast a bit, else the dough starts fermenting during the folds itself (despite keeping in the fridge and freezer for long time)

I mix the dough on my kitchenaid Speed 2 for 1 min and then speed 5 - 6 for another 6-8 minutes. Or until I have moderate gluten formation (I get a cloudy membrane, but will tear easily if stretched any further)

After mixing the dough temperature is around 24-26 deg C. I immediately wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and keep it in the coolest part of the fridge (appx 3-4 deg C) overnight.

The next day, I proceed with the lamination. I have done all kinds of folds, sometimes 3 x Letter Folds, 2 x Double folds and 1 x Letter and 1 x double fold. 

As far as the lamination goes, I have perfected it...I see even layers of butter and dough throughout (I have access to a professional dough sheeter).

I rest the dough in the freezer for 15 mins and 45 mins in the fridge and then procced for the final rollout.

I have tried rolling out the final dough to 3.5 mm, 4 mm, 4.5 mm, 5 mm and 5.5 mm too

After the final rollout, depending on the humidity and room temperature, I rest the dough for 10 mins either on the bench or in the fridge.

I, then proceed to cut out my triangle, 30 cm x 9 cm (or sometime 25 cm x 10 cm).

I then stretch the triangles to ~35 cm (0r ~30 cm) and shape them. I have tried to give a small cut at the base before shaping out. I have even done it without the slit and stretching out the corners. I used to roll them very tightly at first, but now I roll them just about tight enough so that the coils would stick together.

I immediately milk wash the croissants and put them in the proofer. The temperature and humidity in my proofer fluctuates a bit.....the temperature range is between 25 deg C to 28 deg C and sometimes the Humidity climbs up to even 99%.

Although whenever that happens I make sure that the proofer is opened and excess humidity is driven out.

The croissants are generally done proofing after 2.5 to 2.45 hours at the above mentioned temperature and humidity range.

At appx 2 hours mark, when the croissants are visibly swollen, the croissants start to tear.....there are days when they tear only at the base (dont know how to put it, but its not only the last coil that tears, but all the coils at the base tear) and sometimes they start tearing throughout.

No matter where they tear they maintain their  general shape in the oven...the spindle shape. Its just that due to the tears they spread sideways and do not have enough volume.

I have tried under mixing the dough, mixing just enough, mixing till the dough passes the windowpane test. Have tried fermenting the dough at room temperature for 40 minutes before retarding it over night.

I have even tried using locally milled flour (~10% protein), T55 alone, a combination of T45 and T65, a combination of T55 and T44

I think I have tried everything under the sun, but to no avail.

My conclusion here...

1. The humidity rising inside the proofer to 99% can cause an issue???? (not really sure about this)

2. I need to increase the hydration just a tiny wee bit (probably 1-2% max).

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!!



happycat's picture

No bulk fermentation time after mixing?

At that cold fridge temp, does the dough ferment or grow much beyond the short time it is cooling after mixing?


shrutik13's picture

It does rise a wee bit....not much though....

happycat's picture

Just a guess, but I think you might need some bulk fermentation to ferment, develop dough strength etc. before moving on to shaping. A really cold fridge after mixing won't really let that happen much.

I leave my croissants out for awhile to let them bulk ferment and get things rolling, then put them in the fridge on a higher shelf (my fridge is warmer at top, colder at the bottom) after that if I want to continue with a slower/retarded fermentation overnight for flavour development.

In principle, the idea of slowing things down by keeping them cool makes sense, but I'm not sure your dough is developed enough before you slow it down and move on to shaping.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven



They tear because the dough is too weak to withstand the stretching during proofing.


You can fix this by:

using higher protein flour.

Developing more gluten by mixing longer 

Rolling them more loosely.