Croissants, needs work

I made croissants and pain au chocolat about 10 years ago and got an itch recently to give it another go. It's basically an enriched dough, plus a bunch of butter folded in carefully and made into funny shapes, a little like a multi-layered biscuit only leavened with yeast instead of dough - and more layers. My enriched dough was a straight dough (everything mixed together and allowed to rise): milk (300 g), butter (38 g), salt (9 g), sugar (15 g), yeast (instant active, 7 g), and Montana Sapphire unbleached white (500 g) and mixed into a stiff dough with a bread machine. It did it's first rise at room temp for a few hours. Then I rolled it into a 10 x 15" rectangle and that's where the images begin.

Above is the dough rolled out and I'm unwrapping my 300 g of butter prepared about a week ago using my spiffy trick to get the butter into a 10" square.

The square rested on 2/3 of the rectangle (above) and the dough flapped over in thirds.

First flap...

Second flap to make the first 3 layers.  The rectangle is now about 5" x 10" and placed in the refrigerator to chill.  Then it is removed and rolled out to a 10" x 15" rectangle and folded in thirds.  Repeat this until you get to 81 layers of butter. (3 to the 4th).

Roll 1/2 of that rectangle while keeping the other half in the fridge into a 20" x 10" rectangle, cut into 5" x 5" squares and cut the squares diagonally and roll 'em up.  Let rise about 20 minutes, they're chilly to start but still proof only about 20 minutes.  If this stuff warms up, it'll get ugly.  You're going to rely on the oven spring to get the volume in them.

Bake on a piece of parchment that is placed on a cookie sheet in a preheated 425F oven and glaze with a whole egg wash.

I wasn't thrilled with them.  They were ok, but the middle was a tad dense, maybe the proof was too short.  Anyway, there they are.  Because of the butter trick, they were pretty easy.  After all the folds to get the 81 layers, the rectangle sat in the fridge overnight and the final rolling was done the next morning (at 4 am, ugh).  But it was still pretty fun.  I look forward to making them again, just have to change some: final rising times and/or baking conditions, still thinking about it.

Recipe for these from Wayne Gisslen.


Rachel Tayse Baillieul said...

That butter trick is brilliant. I've yet to try my hand at croissants. I wonder if you started them at the high temp and the lowered for a little bit (how long did you bake?) maybe that would get the inside cooked more thoroughly?

Dave said...

Thanks for the kind words Rachel, I am pretty happy with the butter thing, makes the croissant much more approachable.  As far as the inside texture, not sure if it's undercooked, it's hard to describe, but I will keep a two temp baking thing in mind.  I may also make non standard shapes, like little pillows instead, inherently less complicated that may cook more evenly.

Andrew Martin said...

Loving this topic-busy week at work this week, but next week I've got to give this a try!!