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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I've been scrolling through some posts in this forum, but I don't seem to find the answer to my problem. I attached a few photos to this post, hoping it might help spot the issue(s).

Here's the recipe I follow:
560 grams bread flour
200 grams water (room temperature)
70 grams levain (I feed it every day for the past month, 50% bread flour, 50% water ... sidenote: it's quite active)
12 grams dry instant yeast (SAF gold label)
30 grams of 84% fat unsalted butter (softened)
1 large egg
15 grams heavy cream
10 grams kosher salt

1) Activate the yeast in the water for about 5 minutes.
2) Combine the flour, butter, sugar, egg, cream, salt, levain, and yeast mixture in a stand mixer with a dough hook.
3) Start mixing at low speed and then at medium speed for about 4 minutes until the dough is just combined.
4) Proof the dough in a warm spot until doubled in size (1.5 hours in my kitchen).
5) Make a butter block (280 grams of 84% fat unsalted butter).
6) Once the dough and the butter block have rested in the fridge for about 2 hours, start the lamination (more on the lamination process below).
7) Roll the dough until a 3 millimeters thickness is reached, trim the sides, and cut triangles (gives me isosceles triangles of 8 x 25 centimeters).
8) Place the triangles in the fridge for about one hour.
9) Stretch the triangles a bit before rolling them into croissants.
10) Place the croissants in the fridge overnight.
11) Remove the croissants from the fridge for proofing. Wait until doubled in size before baking.
12) Oven at 350 degrees (convection) and bake for 15-18 minutes until golden.

A few comments:
  • The butter didn't feel like it melted as I kept the room cold (72 degrees with AC constantly on) and added ice pads to the counter for 5 minutes before rolling and folding the dough.
  • I used the levain 20 hours after the last feeding.
  • I used Kerrygold butter for this recipe.
  • For the lamination process, I go through 3 letter folds (dough rests in the fridge for an hour between each fold).
  • The proofing before baking didn't seem too successful: the croissant didn't double in size, maybe 50% only.
  • I put very small pressure when rolling the croissant.

Thank you for your help in advance and here are some photos that might help troubleshoot this:

1) After rolling the croissants and before resting in the fridge overnight.
Food Tableware Ingredient Wood Recipe


2) Once baked:
Food Ingredient Wood Baked goods Cuisine

Food Staple food Ingredient Baked goods Wood
 

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I'm not the most experienced baker of laminated dough, but suggest you re-consider steps 11 and 12. Temperature, both refrigerator and room, could make proofing a bit variable. If you only saw a 50% increase during proofing thenn more proofing time might be required. The picture looks like the croissant is a bit under-baked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not the most experienced baker of laminated dough, but suggest you re-consider steps 11 and 12. Temperature, both refrigerator and room, could make proofing a bit variable. If you only saw a 50% increase during proofing thenn more proofing time might be required. The picture looks like the croissant is a bit under-baked.
Good point. I'm trying the next batch now and will proof these two croissants for a bit longer until it doubles in size. And yeah, I agree about the under-baked look, which is funny because I'm already baking the croissants for longer than the recipe asks for, and I'm very confident about the oven temperature since I have a thermometer in it. I'll try to bake them longer too. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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You aren't exactly getting any proofing out of your Levain.
(I call them Sourdough starters)

As the Sourdough starter begins to grow its going to stop the yeast from being active because of the lactic acid it produces. Meanwhile the levain bacteria (lactobaccilli) begins looking about for sugars and starches to consume...but many have been consumed by the yeast. But they still find plenty and begin to produce lactic acids.

These lactic acids stop the yeast....but lactobaccilli are slower than yeast and still working in their own acids. Needing a full 24 hours (as you have trained your levain to be) to fully rise.

The yeast gives you an initial rise...but it's the Sourdough starter that provide flavor (sour) and further rising.

Also...the timing of feeding and time of drawing out of the levain to be used in bread is crucial.

You can "train" it to be more active....it just needs feeding twice a day. Religiously.
And I prefer feeding with whole rye flour...(light or dark) rye introduces more lactobaccilli than regular wheat flour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You aren't exactly getting any proofing out of your Levain.
(I call them Sourdough starters)

As the Sourdough starter begins to grow its going to stop the yeast from being active because of the lactic acid it produces. Meanwhile the levain bacteria (lactobaccilli) begins looking about for sugars and starches to consume...but many have been consumed by the yeast. But they still find plenty and begin to produce lactic acids.

These lactic acids stop the yeast....but lactobaccilli are slower than yeast and still working in their own acids. Needing a full 24 hours (as you have trained your levain to be) to fully rise.

The yeast gives you an initial rise...but it's the Sourdough starter that provide flavor (sour) and further rising.

Also...the timing of feeding and time of drawing out of the levain to be used in bread is crucial.

You can "train" it to be more active....it just needs feeding twice a day. Religiously.
And I prefer feeding with whole rye flour...(light or dark) rye introduces more lactobaccilli than regular wheat flour.
That makes sense. Thanks for sharing this and I'll make sure I use the levain at its peak. I'll post an update in a day or two here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Same dough, but proofed for 6 hours the croissants before baking (I know this is ridiculous) and they looked SO MUCH BETTER. This makes me believe you're right @JohnDB and I should revisit how I work with my sourdough starter for the next batch. I'll keep this thread updated.

I don't have a photo of cut through but look how much more happy this batch looked like:

Food Ingredient Recipe Staple food Cuisine
 

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Ok. For those of us with no clue, would one of you please point out the flaws in the croissants pictured. Never having made them, I would be quite happy if mine ended up looking like these. I can kind of see the difference between the first batch and second but the details escape me.
 

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Ok. For those of us with no clue, would one of you please point out the flaws in the croissants pictured. Never having made them, I would be quite happy if mine ended up looking like these. I can kind of see the difference between the first batch and second but the details escape me.
The first one is massively underproofed.
It is too small and will taste like it is really underbaked...like raw.

The next one is better but instead of even layers there are huge air gaps instead of a more homogeneous bread.

The last one looks the best as they are more full sized for the size of croissant dough portion he started with.
A 6 hr proof time is a nothing using Sourdough starter to leaven the croissant with. If he actually baked the croissants for 6 hrs instead of proofing for 6 hrs it's a crouton and not bread. But I'm thinking that it's a typo from language barrier of the two countries.

A half size sheet pan can only hold 5 full sized croissants maximum. A full sheet pan 10 maybe 12 by squeezing.

If he is able to fit 9 fully baked croissants on a half sheetpan....that's a massive problem. (Which is why he has asked for help)

Baking is organic chemistry/ lab experiment that is edible. Lots of people have followed carefully written proportioned recipes with lousy written methodology....mine are even more mysterious unless you are a baker. They are all percentages with no methodology. And those proportions are not clear unless you really know baking.

I know that often assistants are almost grunt labor. But then they often aren't handed the tasks of mixing....folding on a sheeter is OK for mid entry level that has demonstrated some ability....
10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.

The ability to know all the science behind baking is common enough...but to apply it and write a recipe and troubleshoot problems? Not so common anymore.
I'm sure that this gentleman asking is working his butt off most days. And he obviously is learning quickly and understanding what is being explained. He is just new to this stuff. He's going to be just fine. He actually cares about the product he puts out....that fact alone makes him two steps above so many in the field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good morning everyone!

Look at this beauty I got this morning. Thank you so much for the feedback you provided here, it means a lot. Especially you @JohnDB… so silly of me to not focus on the starter and use it at peak time.

To future readers of this thread, if you’re attempting sourdough croissants, do not give up, you’ll learn a lot with each batch. My 4th batch was finally up to the standards I wanted to reach… at least for the honeycomb structure. My kitchen was a bit too warm last night during the lamination and I didn’t get the most perfect laminated dough and ended up with croissants that were not as well rolled as my previous batch… but hey… we learn!

Food Sourdough Staple food Ingredient Recipe
 

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Good morning everyone!

Look at this beauty I got this morning. Thank you so much for the feedback you provided here, it means a lot. Especially you @JohnDB… so silly of me to not focus on the starter and use it at peak time.

To future readers of this thread, if you’re attempting sourdough croissants, do not give up, you’ll learn a lot with each batch. My 4th batch was finally up to the standards I wanted to reach… at least for the honeycomb structure. My kitchen was a bit too warm last night during the lamination and I didn’t get the most perfect laminated dough and ended up with croissants that were not as well rolled as my previous batch… but hey… we learn!

View attachment 116160
Compared with where you started this one looks amazing.
The laminations are readily visible on the exterior and the interior looks good.

That "perfect loaf" is a very elusive creature....I've never discovered it yet. I've found some good ones but none are "perfect" .

As long as we keep searching and reaching for that perfect loaf of bread I think that we will at least achieve some measure of success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Compared with where you started this one looks amazing.
The laminations are readily visible on the exterior and the interior looks good.

That "perfect loaf" is a very elusive creature....I've never discovered it yet. I've found some good ones but none are "perfect" .

As long as we keep searching and reaching for that perfect loaf of bread I think that we will at least achieve some measure of success.
I like your way of thinking 😆 I’m a true virgo and nothing is ever perfect. And even if something is perfect, it’s only for a second. I was truly happy and satisfied of the result and within 10 minutes already listed issues and things I should do to improve the next batch haha. Oh, and this isn’t my job, I’m just doing that for fun as a home cook. My partner thinks I’m crazy at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Compared with where you started this one looks amazing.
The laminations are readily visible on the exterior and the interior looks good.

That "perfect loaf" is a very elusive creature....I've never discovered it yet. I've found some good ones but none are "perfect" .

As long as we keep searching and reaching for that perfect loaf of bread I think that we will at least achieve some measure of success.
Also, please let me know any comments you have about the last batch. I love feedback.
 

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Hello,

I've been scrolling through some posts in this forum, but I don't seem to find the answer to my problem. I attached a few photos to this post, hoping it might help spot the issue(s).

Here's the recipe I follow:
560 grams bread flour
200 grams water (room temperature)
70 grams levain (I feed it every day for the past month, 50% bread flour, 50% water ... sidenote: it's quite active)
12 grams dry instant yeast (SAF gold label)
30 grams of 84% fat unsalted butter (softened)
1 large egg
15 grams heavy cream
10 grams kosher salt

1) Activate the yeast in the water for about 5 minutes.
2) Combine the flour, butter, sugar, egg, cream, salt, levain, and yeast mixture in a stand mixer with a dough hook.
3) Start mixing at low speed and then at medium speed for about 4 minutes until the dough is just combined.
4) Proof the dough in a warm spot until doubled in size (1.5 hours in my kitchen).
5) Make a butter block (280 grams of 84% fat unsalted butter).
6) Once the dough and the butter block have rested in the fridge for about 2 hours, start the lamination (more on the lamination process below).
7) Roll the dough until a 3 millimeters thickness is reached, trim the sides, and cut triangles (gives me isosceles triangles of 8 x 25 centimeters).
8) Place the triangles in the fridge for about one hour.
9) Stretch the triangles a bit before rolling them into croissants.
10) Place the croissants in the fridge overnight.
11) Remove the croissants from the fridge for proofing. Wait until doubled in size before baking.
12) Oven at 350 degrees (convection) and bake for 15-18 minutes until golden.

A few comments:
  • The butter didn't feel like it melted as I kept the room cold (72 degrees with AC constantly on) and added ice pads to the counter for 5 minutes before rolling and folding the dough.
  • I used the levain 20 hours after the last feeding.
  • I used Kerrygold butter for this recipe.
  • For the lamination process, I go through 3 letter folds (dough rests in the fridge for an hour between each fold).
  • The proofing before baking didn't seem too successful: the croissant didn't double in size, maybe 50% only.
  • I put very small pressure when rolling the croissant.

Thank you for your help in advance and here are some photos that might help troubleshoot this:

1) After rolling the croissants and before resting in the fridge overnight.
View attachment 116149

2) Once baked:
View attachment 116151
View attachment 116150
Dry yeast is no good for croissant, you need fresh cake yeast, make the dough with ice water.
Don't relax it on the table if using fresh yeast, it will burn out. Chill for 30 minutes.
Bread flour is ok but high gluten flour is better.
If you roll the croissants and retard overnite they are doomed.
So you have those 3 things working against you to start with.
 
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