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Croissant help - flour/butter

Hello,

I just came upon all of your very detailed and very helpful instructions for croissant. I have made them when I lived in Britain with great great success. The layers, the flavor. The butter/flours are different in Britain compared to my home (Canada).

I have been trying without success to re-created those fabulous flaky and oh so tender interior croissants.

I have tried strong (hard) flour, all purpose, combination strong and pastry flour. I've tried a local mill's strong (bread) flour but it seemed too weak. So far the all purpose produces the best in terms of structure.

I am careful to chill everything. I proof correctly but the end result is a heavier croissant that tastes wonderful but is more of a roll with layers but not distinct enough to be called a true croissant if that makes sense. The next day they are too dense.

I've done doughs that are prepared the day before and refrigerated over night as well as same day dough which incorporated a small amount of butter in the initial mix with the majority of butter rolled in after chilling the dough.

Anyways, the long and short is I would love to try your recipe using a poolish (pre-ferment). I am familiar with a poolish as I make baguettes often. Just not sure the ratio of poolish to the croissant recipe.

Thank you very much for your time.

Kind regards,
Leah

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  1. it'll be interesting to follow this thread

    1 Reply
    1. re: iL Divo

      I'll post photos as I progress.

    2. I like to use a cultured high fat butter. I think it makes for a more tender croissant. If cultured is not available, I add a tablespoon of yogurt to the milk when proofing the yeast. All purpose flour works for me.

      1. I think using a strong flour is the issue...these are pastry, and so lighter, *softer* flour will allow them to climb far higher.

        1. Strong White Flour is what you should be using.
          I would not add Butter to the Dough. You want a clean separation between the Butter and the Dough. I think that adding Butter to the Dough would be counter productive. It would inhibit Gluten development making it less elastic and allow the layers to meld into one another more easily. Both of which would reduce the Rise
          Here is a Recipe using Poolish
          http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2267...

          1. My apologies if this doesn't make sense. I found the thread about croissant and was responding to Adagio's comments but did not figure out how to make a new comment on that same thread so I started a new discussion.

            1. Have you tried using Sterling high-fat butter, made in Ontario?

              1. I bumped this thread for you. Read and pay strict attention to what Ralph Adagio says. He is the expert. If you follow his directions you will be rewarded with perfect croissants.

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/338441

                1. Hi Chef:

                  Well...the all purpose flour is the one to use! Hi gluten flour will make way too much gluten.

                  Right off...you may be mixing too long. Remember, all the gluten you need will come from the roll out process.

                  Mix the dough JUST until it comes together, then roll it out, cover it and in the fridge over night!

                  When in the mixer, if the dough looks like it needs more mixing...it doesn't.

                  Also, over night in the fridge will form gluten. Gluten starts as soon as moisture hits the flour and the mixing process, in this case does not help.

                  Let's start there...baby steps...and see where that goes.

                  I'm here for you!

                  RJ
                  Adagio Bakery

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Adagio

                    Good Morning Ralph,

                    Success from BakerABC. (see pictures attached!)

                    Thank you so much for your wonderfully detailed instructions.

                    I cannot believe how delicious my croissants are. They are golden, crispy outside and tender inside. These are just as good as the ones I made in Britain.

                    I thought it was all about the butterfat content and not having access to the European flour.

                    In fact it was my technique that was failing me. Thanks to your superb directions I was able to perfect the croissant and pain au chocolat.

                    A question on the trimmings; by adding them to the new dough batch would that not toughen it up? I was thinking of saving the trimmings for a week and using for pain d'amandes. After I rolled and cut the dough, filled with pastry cream & frangipan I would bake and then upon removal, a quick soak in a rum syrup, dust with icing sugar and sprinkle sliced almonds on top and re-bake a further 5 minutes. What do you think?

                    Have you ever tried the following? I had to clarify a couple of pounds of butter. I thought, why not use the milk solids as part of the milk in the croissant recipe (plus there was about 30-40g of solidified butter on top from refrigerating it). I had about 170g milk liquid needed for the recipe (coincidence?) Well, it worked so no waste when clarifying butter plus there was extra butter in the croissant which is always good.

                    Thank you again.

                    PS I just noticed in a post (Mar 15) about bulk fermenting for 2 hours after the first 2 turns then do the 3rd turn. Is that for croissant or puff?

                    I make the dough day 1, day 2 I do two turns (chilling in between) and then leave overnight (not 2 hours) and do the 3rd turn the next morning followed chilling then cutting, chilling rolling, eggwash, proof, eggwash & bake.

                     
                     
                    1. re: BakerABC

                      Very nicely done...!!!!!!!!

                      The amount of trimmings is so small that the gluten developed there will not matter in the next batch.

                      The trick in using fat in croissant or puff pastry is to trap the steam caused by baking. Think of the fat as a sealant. If Milk solids work, and I don't know why they wouldn't...great. I'm guessing the only difference there "may" be is on is taste but I'm not so sure of that either.

                      I'll have to go find the March 15 posting. However, your schedule sounds just fine.

                      Great job!!!!!

                      RJ

                      1. re: Adagio

                        Think of the scraps in the next day's dough as a pre-ferment...like Pate Fermente.

                        Ciao