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Good o'Croissants advice

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi All,


My Croissant did not turn out to be what to be a proper Croissant. The texture is different and did not rise as much from when it was shaped, however I get the layered crisp that a Croissant should have.


My main ingredients used were fresh yeast, western start butter, west wing plain flour. Was it the flour that caused the texture? Or the butter? Should I used lighthouse cake-pastry flour (that can be bought from Coles and Woolworths) and as well as using Les'cure/Le'secret butter?


Considering I adapt the recipe and method from Michel Roux pastry cookbook. I rest my dough for 1 hour in the fridge after the butter has gone in, then fold it again after another hour of rest and follow by third fold the next hour. Leave it to rest in the fridge overnight, shape into croissant, leave it to rise at room temp but it did not rise as much.


Other recipes state 1st fold then rest overnight, 2nd fold on 2nd day, 3rd fold on the third day...is this method leads to a better croissant?


All help would be appreciated greatly.

post #2 of 23

It's been many years since I've made croissants, but I remember the tension between enough warmth to get the yeast active before baking, and enough chilling to keep the dough tractable and the butter from melting during the rolling and shaping.  


It sounds from your account like the main problem was not enough rising after shaping and before baking -- in that case you still get the layers -- because you've done your turns and rolling well -- but the croissants are a bit dense.


The recipe I remember using, Julia Child's, specified a dough using milk, for softness, and lowish-gluten four, mainly for ease in rolling out. 


How was the dough before you incorporated the butter?  Did it get an initial rise?  While not all recipes call for this, I would get a good doubling in volume before chilling the dough to receive the butter, and be sure it had good texture -- it will be on the soft side, but it should still have that elastic spongy character of a happy bread dough.

post #3 of 23

I agree with Colin, get a good rise before adding the butter-it slows down the proving process-and it is important to get a good first prove.


Try this:


  • Make the dough, leave to prove overnight in the fridge covered with cling film or wrapped in a plastic bag.
  • Then the next day add the butter and follow straight away with book turn. wrap in a bag again and
  • Return to the fridge for about 45minutes (or approx 15 minutes in the freezer)
  • Follow with a single turn and wrap in a bag again and return to fridge ( 45minutes) or freezer (15 minutes approx)
  • Then roll out to desired thickness and cut into shapes
  • Place on trays and leave until double in size


Good luck

Edited by cakeface - 1/22/12 at 5:02am
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you Colin and Cakeface for your reply. I really appreciated it.


I have the initial rise but probably added the butter too quickly. And once shaped, I leave it to rise for more than 3 hours but it did not rise well. I will give it a try in the next few weeks with milk and leaving it in the fridge over night before adding a slab of butter.


Colin: When you said using lowish-gluten four, I assume it is the cake flour? However I read online who suggest to use high protein flour (bread flour) instead of low protein flour (plain flour). I am puzzled. High protein flour rise better and hold the shaped better and low protein flour doesn't; with yeast in the mixture. What do you suggest?


Cakeface: Does rolling the dough matter with the rolling pin? I have a wooden rolling pin and it sort of give it a bit of grey tinge to it. I could be just imagining it.


Just wondering if you have heard of this:-

Once the butter have added to the dough, fold the dough 3 times per day for 3 days.

post #5 of 23

The low-gluten route Julia Child suggests is a combination of pastry flour and all-purpose.  She does this mainly to ease the rolling-out process, because the gluten will fight you.  My experience is that small breads in general don't need high gluten content, so long as there's enough kneading to get you a good smooth elastic dough.


OTOH, here's Txfarmer at The Fresh Loaf using bread flour and doing lots of kneading and showing great-looking results, though acknowledging that rolling was tougher.  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/25291/julia-child039s-croissant-major-overhaul


Standard unbleached flour should work well enough, though.  This is fine-tuning, and the flour is not the source of your trouble. 


My guess is that the shorter the time between the first rise pre-butter, and baking, the better for the liveliness of the yeast.  Notice that Cakeface is not chilling any longer than is necessary to soften the dough for the next roll-out.  


How many turns?  Julia Child calls for four bookfolds (3^4, or 81 layers of butter).  Txfarmer's revamp does three (3^3 or 27 layers); Cakeface suggests even fewer.  So I think nine turns is overkill.  





post #6 of 23

PS Bernard Clayton, who I've always found reliable, calls for all-purpose flour and does three bookturns.  


_Bernard Clayton's Book of Small Breads_ is available used for a few dollars on Amazon and describes the method in detail.  

post #7 of 23
hi, your rolling pin shouldn't make any difference-maybe its become a little stained over time and maybe giving a tinge to the dough
Dont roll the dough over 3days as colin said the yeast will have no rise in it leftafter you've shaped them.

Re: the flour. You often see recipes for the flour colin suggests-t55 we'd call it. Strong/bread flour ie t65 can be used too but the dough can tear on the surface during cooking sometimes. You're less likely to get this with t55 but you can use a recipe with some butter in the base dough when using t65 and it shouldn't tear.

I made croissants etc everyday for years in my bakery i used the double and single turn because it gives great results and is less time consuming
If you want my recipe let me know
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks Colin. I will try making this croissant tomorrow.


Cakeface: I can't really get T55 flour here. The supermarket here sells Bread Flour and Cake Flour/Pastry Flour. I am thinking of using half half. Would that be wise?


I really appreciate your (being Colin and Cakeface) help and suggestion. I am looking forward to start making this today or tomorrow and will let you know what the outcomes are.



post #9 of 23

Sounds good, Shin L, and the flour mix sounds reasonable.  You'll get a feel for how much rolling you can do before it needs to rest.  Whereabouts are you?  (Thinking about flour sources.)

post #10 of 23
hi, sent you a pm. Let us know how this batch turn out
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

Colin: I am at Australia


Cakeface: I got your PM


Chocbutton: Yea I had the same issue when I bake the second time. I think I used soft flour for that.


Thanks to Colin and Cakeface, my croissant turn out to be much much better than last attempt. It taste like it the inside tears like it but the outside was not as flaky as a croissant I get from the shop.


Fold 3 times and rest 30 mins in the fridge between each fold. Start off with 4 leaves fold - then book folds.


I let it rise for 2 hours after shaping it then bake for 10-15 mins at 200 degrees (fan-force oven). Is it not enough butter? Or the last rise after shaping was not enough? Or my rolling skills is not up to scratch?


Best croissant yet. Happy with the outcome.

post #12 of 23

Great news!


If you're near an urban area in Australia you should be able to find more flours.  My Granny lived in Sydney and baked up a storm.


Re flakiness you might try slightly higher temperatures.  If you're using a standard recipe there's probably enough butter ... but cakeface will have better advice.


Have you tried brioche yet?  A nice addition to the repertoire of buttery little breads, and much easier than croissants.  

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

@Colin: Yes I found more flours the other day. But comes in a 5 kg bag! I will buy it and make some brioche as well as croissant maybe this weekend or next. Yes I have tried brioche and work like a wonder.


@Chochbutton: I am using a fan forced oven and I am pretty sure that my oven is not up to scratch! It burnt too quickly. I have a little portable electric oven (no fan force). I might try using it for my next batch. Because it is a small oven, I will have to reduce the temp? Will do a trial and error.


Will let you guys know about my next batch :-) Keep posting I would like to know how you guys did it so well! Sounds like it anyway to me :-)

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

One thing I notice when on my recent trial was that my butter was too soft (room temperature). I should have left them in the fridge a bit longer before adding to the dough and fold.


Thanks ChocButton. I will post my next batch onto my blog.

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Australia. My first attempt I flatten the butter and rolled at a correct temperature. But the last time I did I totally forgot to do so. :-)

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys! My croissant turn out really good! Except it is probably my oven...it doesn't look exactly the same from the cafe! hehehe Maybe I am just a perfectionist! boo but all good. I enjoyed my croissant!

post #17 of 23

Edit: it looks like the comment I was responding to has disappeared. Someone asked for a chocolate croissant recipe.




The basic idea is a standard croissant dough wrapped around the chocolate of your choice -- I don't know if it needs an extra recipe.  Once you have the croissant dough ready to shape, you can make bear claws or anything else your imagination can come up with.  


You could try a version with less butter, though ...  for me, FWIW YMMV etc., a full-butter croissant PLUS chocolate is way too much fat, and I'm not even talking about health concerns -- it's unbalanced in terms of taste and texture.  Elizabeth David has a petit pains au chocolat recipe that just uses a simple, light, partly whole wheat bread dough that I used to make around sticks of Mexican chocolate.  Fresh whole wheat goes well with chocolate, and the Mexican stuff has a nice funky texture.  That way you get the full blast of the warm chocolate against a more subdued background, rather than dealing with both the intense buttery flakiness of a croissant and the melty chocolate experience at the same time.

Edited by Colin - 2/7/12 at 7:52am
post #18 of 23

I would be greatful if you could send me your recipe.

post #19 of 23

best to use cake and pastry flour , and also resting for to long does not help, we are in quite a warm climate here in aus. when i make croissant or danish pastry i make it over an 8 hour period make the dough chill it for 1-2 hr then roll out and fold in butter--( thinly sliced unsalted block butter) 1st and 2nd i do book folds  with approx 1-2 hr rest in-between each fold then 3rd just a single then rest 40 min- 1 hr and roll out to desired thickness!   i find that getting the butter and the dough to an equal consistency helps alot! and also using chilled water for the dough,--- basically ya gotta keep it cool because if it gets above 4-6 degrees the yeast begins to activate and youll loose the kick that your looking for. once the product is made place them on the baking  tray let rest covered for about a hour to get full proof of them, then when placing in the oven place a small oven proof dish with some water in the oven to help create steam which will again ive some kick and help with the crust. bake at approx 180-190 deg for upto 25 minutes depending on oven but definately check after 15.  hopefully this might help you!

post #20 of 23

I am looking for a good croissant recipe. Can anyone help me please? 

post #21 of 23

please send me your croissant recipe.

post #22 of 23

I will like to add that the yeast that you are using may be source of the problem. Try a different yeast and see how that works.

post #23 of 23

Question... I put my dough in the fridge overnight and it didnt rise or double at all in size, is that ok? Should i be usinf fresh yeast instead of active dry? In school we always used fresh but its hard to finf. Thanks in advance. 

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