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Can't get roll-in butter smooth for laminated doughs

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've noticed that lately I can't get a uniform butter block for laminated doughs.  I add 10% flour to unsalted butter and a splash of lemon juice and use a dough hook to make a pliable mixture, but some of the butter remains in solid chips and, therefore, doesn't laminate nicely.  Anyone else have this problem?  Any suggestions?  Thanks.

post #2 of 5



Did you just copy and paste Nancy Silverton's recipe without source or attribution?  Let me guess: 


Say it isn't so,


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/15/10 at 7:15pm
post #3 of 5

im by no means a professional, but if i can make a recommendation?


try a paddle instead of a dough hook.  the dough hook would be useful for the actual dough, not the butter.  also, ive found that placing the butter, once mixed, between parchment and then rolling it out with a rolling pin and refrigerating or freezing after, helps keep it consistant, as well as help you be able to size the dough when you roll it out. 


one warning about freezing the butter.  let it sit out for a minute before you go to use it.  it will help keep the block from shattering.


i hope this helps.  good luck

post #4 of 5



You neither need nor should use a dough hook to mix croissant dough.  It will get plenty of stretching as part of the lamination process.  All you need is a good mix of wets and dries, then an autolysis in the fridge.


The key to making these sorts of multi-layer laminates is having the butter and dough at the same pliability and roughly the same temperatures during the roll outs and turns.  Everything else, including weird flecks of butter that will ultimately left in the bowl, is way down the list.


You don't want to start with the butter too rolled out.  Each roll-out should begin with the dough and butter formed into a tidy package.  For successive roll-outs the package is created by the turns (aka French folds), but the first package is just dough wrapped around a block -- not a sheet -- of butter. I'm all in favor of beating, rolling and otherwise working the butter into an appropriate level of submission, but it's worth pointing out, that it must be reformed into a geometric block in order that the baker may be assured that at the first rolling, it will spread at a consistent thickness.


As I said earlier, you want the dough and butter at very similar levels of pliability and temperatures.


Moreover, neither dough nor butter can be too warm or too cold.  If the butter is too cold, it will tear the dough.  If too warm, it may squeeze out the sides and will certainly prevent the pastry from ever getting super flaky and light.  If the dough is too warm it will be sticky, stick to itself, and prevent the butter from spreading evenly.  If too cold, it will crack.  All of this is a long winded way of saying the appropriate temperature is cool but warmer than right from the fridge.


Even at the first stage of working the butter -- before it's wrapped in dough -- it should be cool, but warmer than fridge temp; and should certainly not be frozen.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/16/10 at 9:15am
post #5 of 5

If you use butter cut from a 25kg block as we do,then cut one large slice of butter, (we use 1kg butter to 3kg dough and after a while it is easy to guage with the eye the approximate thickness of 1kg) -weigh the slices and cut off excess accordingly.


The slices should not be too thick -they should be able to pass through the laminoir/doughsheeter.  Wrap the butter in cling film (not too tightly)-you can dust with flour if you like.  Refrigerate if necessary.  When cold, pass the butter through the laminoir, we stop on setting '10'.  The butter will now be the right consistency, shape and thickness.  Refrigerate until ready to laminate dough and be sure to remove all cling film before folding!


Here's photos, just incase I didn't explain properly. 

Image050.jpg25kg butter


Image032.jpgbutter passed through laminoir

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