baking croissants at home

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by raycnyit, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. raycnyit

    raycnyit

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    Hi I've tried baking croissants many times at home following instructions from a french culinary institute book and they've come out very poorly. Don't see all the layers. the butter is just oozing out as i'm trying to do the lamination(folding the dough and rolling). I'm not sure if it's because the yeast hasn't activated properly and the dough hasn't risen or if it's my technique or if it's the butter oozing out when it bakes. But i've really made messed up croissants multiple times and i'm trying to figure what i'm doing wrong. is it the lack of equipment, the temperature in my kitchen or is my kitchen just too small. I don't know. i'm clueless on this.
     
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Firstly, if your butter is oozing out when folding, the dough is too warm.
    If you are not seeing the layers, are you doing the correct amount of folds correctly?
     
  3. raycnyit

    raycnyit

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    Do you recommend freezing the dough overnight? Cause based on what i've read through the french culinary institute book, it seems that they do it all in one shot. And that the dough and the butter have to be the same consistency. It has to be "malleable" if i am using the correct term. the dough and butter have to be equally hard or soft. i think i see some layers, but it doesn't have the hole or honeycomb structure i'm looking for in a croissant's interior if you know what i mean. I fold it once, then i put it in the fridge(not freezer) for 30 minutes, then take it out , do another book fold, and put in the fridge for another 30 minutes, i do this for 2 more turns likewise, then i roll it out and slice it up for proofing. it is way too hot or warm as you say. and it also seems to be cracking in the middle whenever i bake it. some of them turn out decent looking, but in no way do they taste like croissants or look like them. I have to bake it much longer than prescribed in the book, just to get it to brown properly. is my egg wash an issue? It's so confusing.
     
  4. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Suspect it is a combination of ... dough/butter too warm... not enuf folds... oven running lower than you think.
    The first two can be corrected with a cooler kitchen and a different recipe calling for more folds.
    About your oven...go out and get 2 or 3 oven thermometers and place in different areas of the box.
    Turn it on when empty and see if it is hitting the target temps.
    Not unusual to have hot and cold spots but the overall temp should be as close as you can get it by adjusting the control.
    Maybe Mr @rpooley will weigh in...he is quite fond of making this type pastry dough at home.

    mimi
     
  5. raycnyit

    raycnyit

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    Should i use a really heavy rolling pin on this type of dough? Would it help make it easier?
    My kitchen counter is marble and it's fairly small. But i thought i rolled it out to the proper length.
    It's just the butter keeps breaking through the dough when i fold it the 3rd or 4th time. up to 2 folds, i don't see any problem.
    But up to 4 folds, i definitely see an issue with the butter seeping through. The oven i have right now, pretty much sucks. i can't even bake decent pizza in it. It only goes up to 500. The croissant always has cracks in it and even though i use an egg wash on it, it looks pretty pale in color though it bakes for the prescribed amount of time. Only when i keep it in there for like twice the amount of time prescribed does the croissant start to brown. Is there ideal positioning rack wise for the croissants? What's the ideal temperature? and how long should these be proofed for? Got any images of how ideally i should do the folds? When i eat this bread, i feel like i'm eating butter. That's the problem. The dough that i make that i'm supposed to wrap the butter in. This dough never really rose to dough the size. It just grew maybe a little bit in the fridge. But i only put it in there for like 30 minutes i think each time.
     
  6. Benney25

    Benney25

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    If it is a problem of getting the right oven temp, it's usually necessary to get a good oven thermometer and place it on each side of the oven hanging from the center rack so you can get a good idea of your hotspots and actual oven temp. That is if you're using a conventional oven. If you're using a convection oven, not only will the temperature required be different (typically 25 degrees farenheit lower than a conventional oven) but you will not have to worry about hot spots quite so much as the flow of air over and around the pastry. You still want at least one thermometer to ensure that the temp is what the oven says. Ovens, grills, griddles and broilers can all lose calibration over time. I'm not an appliance repair man, so I couldn't tell you how to fix it, but I'm assuming the reason is the rise and fall of heat, slowly over time changing the structure of the parts that affect accurate heat generation and transfer.
     
  7. raycnyit

    raycnyit

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    would you recommend getting a radar gun to check temperature of the oven? since that will probably be about the same price as buying multiple thermometers ? definitely is a conventional oven. i don't have a convection fan.
     
  8. Cdp

    Cdp

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    thermo gum we use alot at work and considerable signs of hot spots etc,
     
  9. PAdams2359

    PAdams2359

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    What?
    I finished puff pastry today that I started yesterday. I like to keep it on hand in the freezer. My recipe doesn't have any yeast. It is just flour, water, salt and butter. No yeast. I make it in the morning, and take it out every couple of hours, do about 4 fold and put it back in the fridge. I was amazed the first time that they puffed so much without any yeast. I tried it a couple of years ago, and had the same results you had. I do 4 cups bread flour, 2 tbls unsalted butter, 1 tsp salt in food processor. Then stream 1 1/4 cups cold water. When it comes together, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Then roll out and fold in 1 lb of butter and start the folds. It needs a lot of flour when working in the folds to keep it from sticking and the butter from coming through. I use the 1/4" bands on rolling pin when doing the folds and stop as soon as it is no longer cool to the touch.
     
  10. Benney25

    Benney25

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    Personally I don't use a radar gun, I never have before, so I'm not an authority on the subject, but since you're trying to measure air temperature and not surface temperature as with grills and griddles, I don't know that a radar gun would be as effective. Unless you're going to shoot it at the oven door...? ...that is also as long as the oven door isn't insulated.

    I guess you could use your preference as long as it's reliable, I just like the internal thermometer s, they just make sense to me. Despite of course being in the way sometimes when they're hanging from the rack. Which can be a problem in a packed oven full of cakes and delicate pastries as they hang over and rub against the pastries if they reach end to end in the oven.
     
  11. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Since you would have to open the oven door to shoot a temp .... well not very useful IMO.
    I don't hang my thermometers...since the test is with an empty oven just sit them down in a couple of places (I use three as my oven is large) at different elevations and locations and get the temps.
    Then adjust if needed, open the door and remove, allow a good 30 min to reheat and ...BAKE!
    Not rocket science. :confused:

    Oh and re the number of folds... if you have your heart set on the beautiful flakey honeycomb effect you will have to put in the effort to achieve that result.
    Sure the quickie method will be passable (for some) but there is a reason behind all those folds....not just to be a PITA and waste time but to end up with a product that you can be damn proud to serve.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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  12. morning glory

    morning glory

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    I made croissants not long ago. I was really pleased with the result. I’ve tried out various recipes but this time I used Paul Hollywood’s recipe: http://paulhollywood.com/recipes/croissants/ - which I followed slavishly. I have the book with the recipe and there are really useful photos showing the rolling and cutting sequence. They came out beautifully light and taste so much better than anything I've ever bought in a shop here. I could photograph the step by step photos from the book and post them here if people are interested.

    I do think the chilling in the fridge is very important - otherwise the fat melts and oozes before the dough has the chance to rise and make the layers.

    Here is how they turned out:

    IMGP1898.jpg
     
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  13. chefross

    chefross

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    I use Baking with Julia (as in Child) and the croissant recipe is very fussy. The traditional croissant must have 7 folds. It's very time consuming, and again, very fussy, but the results are amazing.
     
  14. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    There are many great recipes in that book. I've had good results with the brioche recipe.
     
  15. chefross

    chefross

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    I love that recipe too and use it often....
     
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  16. dueh

    dueh

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    I am a tad late to this party, but from your brief description, it sounds like you are rushing the process.

    Slow down a bit. Retard(refrigerate) your mixed dough overnight. The longer it ferments the more flavor it will develop.

    Cool down your butter till it becomes the same stiffness as your dough, then laminate/fold. If the butter is spilling out then your butter is too soft. If the dough is splitting, then your butter is too hard.

    Hopefully this helps t point you in the right direction
     
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