After two months of croissant baking, I’ve come to realized that for me fewer layers result in better crumb structures
When I started my croissant journey, I did the French fold followed by three simple folds. While I’ve had occasional successes, my bakes didn’t consistently have well defined open crumb structures. After I read an article on King Arthur’s website about how fewer layers could actually produce better crumb structures in laminated doughs for the regular home baker, I decided to give it a try, by starting the lamination with the usual French fold, followed by one book fold and one simple fold. This not only reduces the time it takes to do lamination but also makes the final rollout much easier — the dough sheet doesn’t fight back as much due to the reduced tension. And because of this, I feel like it’s much less likely for the butter to fuse with the dough during the final rollout, hence producing better defined crumbs. Most importantly for me, I can more consistently produce decent results, whereas when I used to so 3 simple folds, it always felt like a gamble in terms of the quality of the final croissants.
Below, the three photos on the left are with three simple folds, and the ones on the left are one book fold followed by one simple fold. All of them used the overnight poolish croissant recipe by txfarmer. While I know she is no longer active here, I thank her for her croissant recipe. Out of the several I’ve tried, hers has been one that produces the best results!
What have your experiences been in terms of lamination and number of folds?
Makes sense. The outer crust sets and if there is too much dough inside the now-set crust, the inner layers will not be able to properly expand, or cook, without having burnt the outside. The outer crust needs to be properly cooked at the same time the inner layers have properly expanded. Similar analogy to using too much dough in a loaf pan, or too high oven temperature. Both examples can yield undercooked internals, overcooked crust, or both.
Nice looking croissants!