The New Bakers Dozen

The The Bakers Dozen: Croissants
By d. on Monday, January 15, 2001 - 11:36 pm: Edit

When mixing/kneading the croissant dough, I have read and been taught conflicting theories. Do you develop the dough until it "windowpanes" or do you just mix the dough until it comes together, because gluten development will happen when you roll in the butter? I have been making them for some time but wish to improve my croissant/danish skills. I don't have a sheeter, so i'm doing these by hand, using all-purpose flour. Panini, maybe you could give me some pointers on as to how to schedule production in the shop? Thanks.

By Ardis (Ardis) on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 - 12:09 pm: Edit

What I have been taught is that it depends on the type of finished product that you want. If you want a breadlike croissant, then knead. If you want a flaky one, don't knead.

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 - 03:46 pm: Edit

Your using APF for your bench flour or your croissants? How big is your shop, how big is your staff and when do you do your yeast products.

By d. on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 - 04:10 pm: Edit

Using AP, or a mix of bread and pastry since I have had the problem of the dough toughening up on me while doing the last 2 turns. I'm still confused on how far do I have to knead the dough. And regarding the finished baked product, sometimes the layers separate from each other making the croissant look flat instead of plump and full. I place bits of scrap dough in the center of the triangle before rolling up and shaping the crescent, which helps a bit. I may be rolling up the dough too loose? Since our catering co. takes up to the minute orders, I'd like to keep croissant dough in the freezer. I don't have to make them everyday, maybe 2-3 times a week. I have one assistant whom I could probably teach. But I would like to know for future info. on how a bakery schedules making fresh croissants everyday. Do you make a batch of dough everyday or only a couple times a week and freeze?

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 - 05:14 pm: Edit

Ardis gives you the correct info. If you want a flackier product than don't knead. If you want it plump like milk dough than knead.
Making fresh croissant daily is a whole different ball game. When you put the dough to sleep at first you will let it go,double, than go from there.
I would go with frozen. I have not found a differance in the two. I pull directly out of the freezer and into the proof box. pastry flour is usually a mix of bread and cake flour. You might want to try using cake flour instead of pastry it's softer. Are you using milk?fresh or dry yeast?amount of turns?2 singles 2 book?

By d. on Tuesday, January 16, 2001 - 05:37 pm: Edit

Panini, thanks. The reason I don't want too much gluten development is because I don't want my arms falling off when making big batches. I will try it with straight bread flour to compare. I use cold water and milk powder(that way I don't have to scald and cool), fresh yeast, 3-letter turns 30 min. apart. Can you get good product just doing 2 book turns? By the way, do you add 25% more yeast if freezing or does that depend on the type of yeast you use? The amount of fresh yeast in my recipe is 5% in relation to flour(or 2.5% if using dry yeast).

By Panini (Panini) on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 07:01 pm: Edit

I don't change the yeast % for freezing product.
I do bump up a little if I can't get them frozen in a short period of time.
I think that going all bread flour will really kill you.
I was suggesting cake flour to soften it. We use instant dry yeast.saf-t.
It's nice to see that scratch is still out there.Good luck.
ps The layers seperating. I'm sure you know but slow rolling, drying on top, not brushing flour completely of before cutting, loose rolling,working them to cold,not stretching, can all contribute to seperating.
If they are falling a little after baking, I would make sure your not proofing to hot. This will cause the butter to leave causing seperation
and activate your yeast to quickly causing them not to kick in the oven.

By d. on Saturday, January 20, 2001 - 08:25 am: Edit

Thanks Panini!!!Problem solved , tried out my recipe 3 times and came out with a wonderful product. I rolled them a little tighter and proofed them at a cooler temp. Nice and fluffy but still woderfully buttery. I make them 2 oz.
A lot of people where advicing me on using 1/2 butter 1/2 margarine for easier rolling, but I really didn,t have a problem using all butter. There ia a really good recipe in Fine Cooking some months back with an article by Robert Jorin, a CIA instructor and master baker. His recipe is very similar to mine except I don't use a preferment in my dough, though I will try it soon.

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