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Croissant Troubleshooting

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61 replies to this topic

#1 doughgirl

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 01:29 PM

I've decided to try my hand at Nick Malgeri's (sp?) croissants and I managed to make it all the way the folds and turns without screwing up (I think...I hope) and just as I was trying to very carefully lift the dough onto a sheet pan to chill in the fridge before I shape them, I tore just a little bit of the dough. I know that is BAD and they will leak butter when they get warm....the tear is fairly close to the edge of the shorter end of the rectangle...should I just cut it off? Would that be bad? Is there another way to fix it?

I'm planning on turning it all into chocolate croissants if that makes any difference.

Thanks for your help.

#2 rickster

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 03:04 PM

If you factor this tear into the way you cut the croissant dough into individual pieces, wouldn't this just affect one of them? I wouldn't worry about it too much. Remember, you're going to cut through all the lamination layers anyway for each croissant.

Edited by rickster, 15 October 2008 - 03:04 PM.

#3 gfron1

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 04:57 PM

I'm by no means a croissant expert, but I wouldn't worry about it either. I've had tears that haven't caused any troubles on numerous occassions. The other option, if its a possibility, is to make sure that the edge with a tear ends up inside. For example, when I cut my shapes, I always put a 1" cut on the non-point end which then rolls up to become the inside (the cut allows me to curve the croissant better). So, if I can do a cut that large, surely you can do the same with your tear.

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#4 LizD518

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 05:54 AM

I'm sure the collective wisdom of this board can help me figure out what I am doing wrong here.

I am using a frozen, un-par-baked croissant for morning meetings at my place of business. I cannot, for the life of me, get them to bake properly. They are supposed to be fool-proof, and other colleagues of mine (at different properties)have no problem with them, so I have concluded it must be me!

The directions are two-fold and I am not sure if they are two different directions for different methods, or a two-part process. First, the box says to thaw them at room temp for 45min - 1 hour or overnight.

Then, it says to proof to 1.5 times thier size, 2-3 hours.

baking times for convection oven: 320*, 11-14 minutes.

Now, I must confess, unless I arrived at work at 4am this morning, I was not going to be able to follow the instructions to the letter. And I'm not just the baker, I'm the general manager and sales manager of this account. The only reason I'm baking the damn croissants is because my cook cannot get into work prior to 8am. 95% of the time, that isn't an issue, so when it is, I pick up the slack.

Yesterday I put the frozen croissants on sheet pans and into the fridge to thaw overnight. This morning I took them out at 6am and let them sit at room temp until 7:30am. when I baked them it was like all the butter just leaked out and the top got crispy, but they did not puff up. The inside was under-cooked. I even left them in a little longer, honing that the insides woould get cooked propoerly, even if they weren't puffy. No such luck. Did I just not leave them out long enough, or am I doing something wrong?

I have some sitting in the kitchen right now, and I am following the directions to the letter, but it will be too late for the group that is here today. I can't bake them off until 11am, at the earliest. I will report back on those when they are done.

Edited by LizD518, 25 September 2009 - 05:55 AM.

#5 sng sling

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 06:17 AM

We buy the Williams-Sonoma frozen croissants for home. If I recall properly, the thaw and proof time for them is 6-8 hours at room temperature. We usually leave them out at bedtime and bake them off in the morning. They increase in size by about 3x. Never had any trouble. Hope this helps.

Edited by sng sling, 25 September 2009 - 06:18 AM.

#6 Blether

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:47 AM

Thawing overnight in the fridge, then 1.5 hours out of the fridge, won't get you close to the equivalent of 2-3 hours proofing at room temperature. It might take 30 minutes for the croissants even to reach room temperature.

In my experience, pizza dough will develop at fridge temperature, in about two days, as far as it will in 3-4 hours at room temperature. You can freeze your dough (stops completely), refrigerate it (develops slowly) or keep it at room temperature (develops fastest near 98 degrees, slower in colder rooms) - it will eventually reach the point where it can be baked.

Would you get better results by bringing the croissants from freezer to fridge one or two days beforehand ?

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#7 Marmish

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 09:26 AM

We buy the Williams-Sonoma frozen croissants for home. If I recall properly, the thaw and proof time for them is 6-8 hours at room temperature. We usually leave them out at bedtime and bake them off in the morning. They increase in size by about 3x. Never had any trouble. Hope this helps.

The Trader Joe's are the same, leave out overnight and bake in the morning.

#8 LizD518

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 10:20 AM

I think next time I will leave them out overnight. I did a test with a few by folllowing the directions exactly - thaw time of 45 minutes, then leaving them another 3 hours (all at room temp). They came out marginally better, but still undercooked. I'll leave some out overnight tonight and then bake them tomorrow morning and see how those come out.

Thanks for the input!

#9 fooey

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 11:18 AM

Butter leaks out if the temperature is too low.

320 F (I assume you mean F) is too low for croissant. That said, I don't have a convection oven, but 320 F still sounds too low.

If you open and close the oven several times (to put several pans in), the temp in your oven is probably a lot lower than it should be to start, especially if you've only preheated to 320 F. I'd imagine it be 150 F if you open/close several times.

For my non-convection oven, I preheat to 475 F for at least 30 minutes, turn down to 400 F, put the croissants in the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes. I don't open the oven for the first 10 minutes, as they tend to deflate. I rotate after 10 minutes, but you probably won't have to do so with a convection oven.

I agree with the above re:proofing times: When I make them from scratch, they take 3-4 hours (sometimes more) to proof, so I'd imagine frozen would take twice that.

Edited by fooey, 25 September 2009 - 11:23 AM.

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#10 chefpeon

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 08:27 PM

Croissants do better in proof boxes; if you have one, use it.
If you don't, then investing in a good plastic rack cover is a good way to go.

Croissants are properly proofed when they've increased in size significantly, about 2-3x, and you can
begin to see the layering of the dough at the edges. Then give them a quick egg wash, and stick them
in a well heated oven (375-400 F).

#11 sugarseattle

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 11:37 AM

Both croissants are from the same batch, and we're trying to isolate the problem? Too cold butter?

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#12 HQAntithesis

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:47 PM

How even is the lamination? How square is it (do the folds run very close to the edges of the pastry when laminating? When you cut your triangles, do you go close to the edge?

#13 sugarseattle

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 09:20 PM

hmm. interesting. I guess that makes sense, so I will try to mark those when we prep them?
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#14 HQAntithesis

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 02:59 PM

Those were the only possibilities I could think of, and even then I'm not so sure the blowout would be to that degree. Now I think about it, maybe there are some other possibilities:
- Do you put much/any of the offcuts into the belly of the croissant?
- Do you stretch the tails of the croissants a lot before rolling them (to get more revolutions in the croissant)?

#15 roosterchef21

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:35 AM

Was there a small crack/thin piece in the pastry you didn't see? Might have cooked quicker then the rest or didn't have the strength to hold the insides errrmmm... inside?

#16 frannyfran

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 04:16 AM

I have had the exact same problem, and from your previous posts Sugarseattle, I think we're basing our croissants on the same recipe and technique. (Tartine).

I am wondering if it has something to do with ovenspring, in our case.

We're shaping the croissants the night before, and letting them proof slowly in the fridge. The flavor is awesome. But -- I'm only taking them out of the fridge 10 minutes before baking them. Are they not quite fully proofed? Could the ovenspring be causing the "explosion" in the middle?

To answer the questions above, I do stretch my dough a bit when shaping -- which is how I learned it -- but I don't put any dough in the middle of the croissant.

This is so very frustrating. It didn't happen with the chocolate croissants in the same batch.

Any help would be so appreciated!

#17 LovesGenoise

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:41 AM

It does look as though it may have been overproofed and the gluten wasn't strong enough to handle the ovenspring. You could try a shorter overnight proof, and/or a stronger flour (though a stronger flour will make them harder to roll and shape).

#18 frannyfran

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 04:49 AM

Thank Genoise -- I was actually thinking they were *under*proofed, and that the oven spring was such because they hadn't proofed fully before going in.

The strangest thing happened today. I took croissants out of the fridge (where they had proofed for about 10 hours) at intervals of ten minutes to see how long they should sit out before baking them.

I baked them all together, and not one of them burst on top.
The ones that came straight from the fridge were not as nicely layered inside, which made me decide to bake the croissants after they had been out of the fridge for twenty minutes.

And then almost all of them burst in the oven. The only idea I have is that it had gotten hotter in the kitchen since the ovens were on, and maybe the croissants ended up being over-proofed, like Genoise suggested.

I really can't figure this out. They taste so delicious, but they are not beautiful enough! Any other ideas? Thank you!

#19 350degrees

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 12:05 AM

this looks an awful lot like what happens when you score bread before baking. possibly a tear while rolling or folding the dough would be my guess.

#20 EvillyChic

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:40 PM

Hi everyone,

I would like to ask you for a favor and try a croissant recipe, please. I want to hear more from others' oven.

Here is the ingredient list for recipe:

  • 200g (preferably bread) flour
  • 7g fresh yeast
  • 120 ml cold milk
  • 15g sugar
  • 4g of salt (3g if you use salted butter in the dough)
  • 20g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 112g cold unsalted butter
Egg wash:
  • ½ egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • Cold ingredients.
  • Mix all and knead to medium gluten development
  • No bulk fermentation, flat the dough out and chill in the fridge for 2 hours while plasticize the butter.
  • Use the English butter lock-in method, not the usual French one.
  • Perform a double fold, then chill for 1 hour.
  • Perform a single fold, then chill over night.
  • Next morning, roll the dough out and shaping.
  • Proof for 2 hours. Oven preheated at 220 degree C.
  • Bake at 200 degree C for 20 minutes.
I have worked on it for some times now with good results, but this recipe does seem unsual. Feedback and suggestions are highly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,


Edited by EvillyChic, 10 May 2012 - 01:41 PM.

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#21 DianaM

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:16 AM

Hey Rose, I plan to test your recipe, checked out the pics on your blog. I just made Julia Child's recipe yesterday, and it resulted in a croissant like your Batch 3. More bread-y than flaky, no honeycomb crumb. Julia's recipe has more flour than yours, and probably my technique wasn't the best either.

I'll report back once I've tried it.

#22 EvillyChic

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:59 AM

Hi DianaM,

Hope to hear more from your oven. I am very excited that you are willing to help me trying this croissant recipe. :) I have never tried Julia Child croissant recipe before, I will, soon.

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#23 scott123

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:10 AM

No offense, but I can buy something close to this:


Found in this article here:


They're unbelievably expensive, but, unless I have a recipe in front of me that I know can create these kind of results, there's no way I'm making them myself. Besides, I think if I embarked on this quest, it would most likely drive me insane trying to recreate these. Not to mention if I did actually crack the code, I'd probably end up weighing 400 lb. Cracking the pizza code has already trimmed years from my life. This would be death by butter.

Edited by scott123, 17 May 2012 - 05:14 AM.

#24 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 05:33 AM

Rose, once my life settles down a bit I'll also take a crack at those (I may alter the recipe a little for my altitude, but I'll tell you what I did). Proper croissants are completely unheard of in Ecuador, and I'm craving!
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#25 EvillyChic

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:25 PM

Hi Panaderia,

Thank you for trying out this recipe. I hope to hear more from your oven. :)

Life is short, Food is good. Why not worry less, and enjoy more?

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#26 cherylf2112

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 05:36 PM

I love baking and have been searching for the best croissant recipe. I've tried a dozen or so and still something was missing. I tried this recipe from Chef Bruno via a youtube video. I love this recipe because it is much easier than most in that you are not making a "turn" put in fridge, 30 minutes later make another turn and the butter still seeps out. Here's a pic of my croissants and I am also including the link to the youtube video. If any of you have an amazing croissant recipe I would LOVE to give it a try. Hugs! Cheryl





And the video link:




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#27 Chris Hennes

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:24 PM

I've had good luck with turns by keeping close tabs on the temperature of the dough/butter mix: it's as important that it not become too cold as that it not become too warm, in my (albeit limited) experience.

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#28 curls

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:17 PM

Your croissants look gorgeous Cherylf2112.


What do you find lacking in your current recipe? If it is a flavor issue, perhaps you should keep working with that recipe but try different brands of butter.

#29 lesliec

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:45 PM

My favourites are from Joanne Harris and Fran Warde's The French Market.  So many seem too sweet and/or insubstantial, but these are teriffic.  Got some in the freezer; I know what's for breakfast tomorrow.

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#30 Lisa Shock

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:44 PM

Butter in america is unregulated, so it can have wildly differing amounts of water in it, by manufacturer, season, region, etc. Generally, cheap butter, even from a good supplier, is for whipping and serving at the table. The added water helps lighten it. But, it's not good for baking because most recipes are formulated assuming a 20% water content in the butter. I have gotten super-cheap butter from US Foods, not my decision, that turned out to be 45% water!!! I think that generic or store brand butter might sometimes be from that same manufacturer -cheap butter is like playing the lottery.


Better, branded butter, tends to run closer to the 18-20% water that one wants in a croissant formula. In europe, you can by lower moisture butters, these work well in croissants. One company even makes commercial butter in sheets ready to fold in.