No matter what recipe I follow, my dough always comes out bad

4
1
Joined Jul 13, 2018
I think I have a problem with understanding flour and gluten and dough kneading.
Currently I am trying to make croissants dough (But the problem exists for all types of dough I'm trying to make).
I've followed multiple recipes and I am using a scale to be precise with the ingredients measurements, but my dough always turns out bad in the following ways:
1) The dough is never shiny and smooth like you see on the images/videos viewed on the recipe website (or YouTube) - instead of being shiny and white, it's more of a yellowish and dull.
2) It doesn't stick to itself, so for example when I try to shape it to a ball, the bottom of the dough is opened up and doesn't stick.
3) It has cracks and bumps in it - when I am kneading it by hand, it keeps cracking, and having bulges on it instead of being smooth.

What is the problem? Is it too much liquid(water, milk)? Too much flour? Is it over-kneading? Is there a way to fix it while making it?

Here are some photos:



Thanks!
 
1,905
579
Joined Jan 8, 2010
First of all, croissant dough is tricky because of the amount of butter. Start with something simple
Can you send us the recipe you are using for something like white bread or so, assuming you have a problem there as well?
Also, where do you live? As temperature has an influence and altitude may have an influence as well.

I am sure more experienced bakers will pitch in with more remarks, but as a standard you would be looking at 60-65 % hydration, meaning per 1 kg of flour you use 600-650 ml of water and around 1.5% of salt.
Yeast depends on temperature and duration of the fermentation.
Don't forget the salt! If you do, you end up with an impossible dough !!
 
4
1
Joined Jul 13, 2018
The other dough I was making (more basic) was a pizza dough, but I can't find the recipe. These are the 2 recipes I followed for the croissant dough:
First recipe:
250g bread flour
130g water @ 100 degrees Fahrenheit
30g granulated sugar
25g unsalted butter, melted
6g active dry yeast
5g fine sea salt
1 egg yolk (about 18g)

Second recipe:
500 g French Type 55 flour or unbleached all-purpose flour / plain flour (extra for dusting)
140 g water
140 g whole milk (you can take it straight from the fridge)
55 g sugar
40 g soft unsalted butter
11 g instant yeast
12 g salt

These recipes are fairly similiar in the liquids-to-solids ratio (the first one is half the amount of flour)

I followed both of these exactly. the dough is just.. I don't know how to explain but it's not stretchy, it's hard with chunks, it never gets smooth, never sticks to itself. (Although it does not fall apart).

The weather here is around 28C (82F) with 20% humidity. But I dont think that's the problem, because the it occurs at the very beginning, when making the dough, not when adding the giant butter cube.
 
715
218
Joined May 4, 2005
I've made croissant dough that does not stick to itself but it does end up getting smooth. Maybe you just aren't mixing it enough?
 
2,992
529
Joined May 5, 2010
Okay, I see that your recipe is VERY flawed.
The butter, for instance, is not melted and incorporated into the dough, but rather flattened into a rectangular piece while cold that is folded into the dough and rolled several times to get those layers. The butter steams, taking the layers of dough with it to form those wonderful, flaky, puffy, and scrumptious croissants.
Your dough pictures are not in any way Croissant looking.
Please You Tube is not going to give you a descent recipe. Use a bread baking book.
May I ask where the recipe you used came from please?
 
4
1
Joined Jul 13, 2018
Don't worry, the recipes also have the big rectangular cold butter piece you need to fold in the dough. They just also have a small amount of melted butter inside the dough. I just didn't post this part of the butter cube because I didn't even get to this part, I'm stuck at the dough making part.
This is the link to the first recipe: How To Make Proper Croissants Completely By Hand
This is the link to the second recipe: Classic French croissant recipe

You can see that these recipes look good. It's just that my dough is always bad, no matter what I do.

**Update: I just realised I did a very obvious and basic mistake and that's what caused my dough to look like it does in the pictures: I didn't knead the dough enough!
I was afraid to "over knead" my dough so I only turned the electric kneader for about 3 minutes. Now I tried to do it again, now letting the kneader do its job for a longer time. It took about 10 minutes, and the kneader made an awesome looking dough, shining, smooth, white, almost like in the videos/pictures!
 
2,992
529
Joined May 5, 2010
Okay, I see that your recipe is VERY flawed.
The butter, for instance, is not melted and incorporated into the dough, but rather flattened into a rectangular piece while cold that is folded into the dough and rolled several times to get those layers. The butter steams, taking the layers of dough with it to form those wonderful, flaky, puffy, and scrumptious croissants.
Your dough pictures are not in any way Croissant looking.
Please You Tube is not going to give you a descent recipe. Use a bread baking book.
May I ask where the recipe you used came from please?

No worries. I was only responding to what you wrote. Leaving out details can change a question.
Glad you were able to work it out.
 

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