120 gram micro scale pastry baking project.

I love dessert, but given the caloric density of carbohydrate snacks, I like them better if it's only a bite or two.  So, I've been doing a few small scale activities last couple nights making a very small batch of croissant dough.

My lean dough for this, before butter incorporation, is unbleached white flour (300 g), salt (5 g) water (175 g) and instant active yeast (Fleischmann's, 7 g).  This dough is mixed and tossed in the fridge.  After the first rise, I took 100 grams of it and rolled it into a 4" x 6" rectangle, similar (but smaller) to the folding procedure used in this post, and based on Gisseln's text.  I used 20 grams of softened butter and proceeded to fold it into 34 or 81 layers.  After each fold, the dough went into the fridge to chill, not freezer - fridge.  This time, I wasn't going crazy to keep it arctic cold, that was the expt tonight.  Just chilled enough for the butter not to ooze and penetrate other layers.

The final dough was rolled to about 8 x 8" and divided.  I rolled in some apples sauteed in butter and sugar in the middle, pain au chocolat style (kinda). I gave them a long proof (another part of this expt), about an hour - thus relying less on oven spring for volume, and glazed with yolk (whole egg is a good glaze, but yolk is decadent).  They were baked on parchment at 375°F for about 25 minutes.

It's fun to be able to make a dessert like this in about 20 minutes plus baking. The rest of the lean dough is in the fridge and should be good for days.

Final Notes:
  • I like this dough, it's acceptable and just about puffy enough with great texture.
  • After my class at LaChatelaine and my practice, what's the "trick?" None, practice.  So far, I think the most significant part of the entire process is the final proof.  It needs to be pretty close to the final size before baking rather than underproofed and relying on the oven spring to take care of the volume.  
  • The temperature of the dough during rolling is also a big deal. Moving in and out of the freezer is crazy hard to keep track of, using the fridge only, in my hands, seems more manageable.  Maybe when the dough gets to be a kg at a time, I might need greater cooling capacity, we'll see.