October 5, 2008 - 7:11pm
Croissants and Pain au Chocolat
For any who might be interested, I've detailed my latest foray into croissants and pain au chocolat here:
Please note that the post is video intensive, so it might take a while to load.
Once again you have set the bar very high with your presentation and videos. You make it look easy, and I know it hasn't been for me. Your method of folding the dough over the butter in the first layer is very effective. I haven't done like that and I think I like your way better. Next time.
One thing on the final shape. I have read or seen I think it was at the sfbi video at camp bread that the shaping into a crescent shape is the indication margarine was used and straight indicates butter. Does that sound familiar to you?
BTW I bought a pound of the SAF Gold (Osmotolerant) IDY and love it for this use. I find you can interchange the use of Gold and Red where it won't matter but I get much better performance in sweet breads and sour doughs. The rye with caraway in particular seems to like the Gold.
Very nice Steve. They look perfect!
Thanks Eric. You are quite right! My understanding is that in Paris, to distinguish between butter and margarine croissants, a butter-based croissant is traditionally shaped straight across while a margarine-based one is shaped as a crescent. Do I have that right, Jane? Since I never have to worry about margarine making it into my house, I decided to have some fun and go with the crescent shape. :)
I've never used SAF Gold but plan on picking some up the next time I'm up in Vermont at King Arthur Flour.
I took a breadmaking class earlier this year that I loved. A whole week of making different breads all day long. One of the items I got to make was a batch of croissants. I loved making them even with the lousy kitchen partner I had. Your video on the fold looks much less complicated than the one we were shown. I think rolling out the butter in the thinner sheet is the big key. We used a smaller piece, but it was MUCH thicker. Incorporating the butter involved beating the dough with the rolling pin after the butter had been enfolded. Talk about working up a sweat. I haven't tried making croissants since the class as I just don't have the counter space available, but I just got word that the apartment I have been waiting for is now available and I will be moving just before Christmas to an apartment with the kitchen of my dreams. Tons of countertop space to spread out on and cover with dough. Until then I am sticking with smaller bread bakes.
Anne (dreaming of homemade croissants)
Anne, I've seen the method you describe where the butter is pounded AFTER it is incorporated into the dough. To me, this makes no sense. It is far easier to shape the butter before it is incorporated. Besides, pounding the butter after it is incorporated has the undesired effect of overworking the dough and making it harder to roll out.