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doughgirl

Croissant Troubleshooting

62 posts in this topic

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

IMG_7645.jpg

And the video link:

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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.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
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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.

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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.


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

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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.

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BTW, you should look into a slightly longer proofing period or adjust your temperature. The striped effect, of very light dough just under the seams, is caused by a late bit of rise in the center happening after the exterior is browned. The crisp, sharp outside edges of the wrapped triangle are also an indication that they needed a longer proof. Overall, though, they look very good: well shaped, uniform and, it appears that you have an even-heating oven.

As for recipes, I go with Ciril Hitz now, both for work and home. His instructions are very clear, and he gets world-class perfect results.

edited for clarity


Edited by Lisa Shock (log)

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Thanks for the input. Actually I make my own butter because of the low quality butter available. I buy whole milk from a local dairy and use a mesophillic culture. It is much better than anything I have ever purchased.

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Thanks for the input. Actually I make my own butter because of the low quality butter available. I buy whole milk from a local dairy and use a mesophillic culture. It is much better than anything I have ever purchased.

That's a smart way to go.

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Those are great looking croissants! I'm not sure if they can be bettered.

Here in France most bakeries sell two types of croissants. Plain croissants and croissants du buerre.

​Yours, obviously, are of the latter type. That you even make your own butter is awesome.

About all that I can suggest for a possible improvement is that you try to get your hands on some really top quality butter from Normandy. That's what the very best bakers here use.

In the meantime, I'd be more than happy to sample your croissants any time.

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Welcome to eGullet, Cheryl. Your croissants look luscious. I am so glad we can't get decent croissants in our region or I should have eaten my way through more than my share.

And Lisa Shock. Thanks so much for the butter information. I did not know that. Although we live in Canada, I would expect that our butter 'regulations' are about the same as those in the USA. It certainly could help to explain confectionery and baking 'failures'.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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In Canada it appears that the water and fat content of butter labelled CHURNED is regulated:

http://www.dairygoodness.ca/butter/types-of-butter/churned-butter

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Thanks Anna. I'll look in the store for this.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Sterling makes an 84% BF butter - it's called European style. Bought a half pound of it today for the ungodly price of $5.99 (on special)!

Alleguede and I got talking about this last evening - he apparently takes butter and paddles it to remove the excess water when he needs a higher percentage of BF.

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Definitely out of our snack bracket. DH would never sign on for this one. Thanks. I'll look for it however.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Definitely out of our snack bracket. DH would never sign on for this one. Thanks. I'll look for it however.

Making your own butter is pretty easy if you have a stand mixer. (look for recipes online, it can be cultured for more flavor, or not) It can also be frozen, if needed. I make it if I see cream on sale -it must be heavy cream without additives. Sometimes around holidays, stores get in a lot to run promotions on, and then when it gets close to the expiration date, it's half price. The weeks following Christmas are prime hunting season for cheap cream. I also have a Smart & Final near me and access to a Restaurant Depot, both of which sell half gallons of manufacturing cream -which is fine to use if you're cooking the butter.

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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.

Really?

U.S. of A. butter must contain at least 80% (but not more than 95%) milk fat by weight, a maximum non-fat milk solids content of 2% by weight and a maximum water content of 16% by weight.

45% water? That's "dairy spread" officially....dreadful stuff!!!!


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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Yeah, I unwittingly melted down some of the 45% stuff to make clarified for Hollandaise! I then had to show the boss why our yield was so low, melted a couple pounds so it separated, then chilled it and weight the solid part and water separately so she could complain to the supplier.

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Yes - Canadian dairy board imposes the CDC butter to be of min 80%.

For the croissant, you need to do a mix of all purpose and bread flour of 50% each.

Yeast is 40 g per 2 kilo of flour

Water 500 g

Milk 600g

Sugar 150 g

Salt 42 g

Soft Butter 100 g

Sheeting butter 1.2 kg

Croissant is a very dry dough

Temperature out of mixer 24 degrees Celsius

Rest time 45 min room temp

Roll down take out air

Rest in fridge overnight/freezer for 1hr till cold

Roll down, lay butter on 2/3 rds

Fold the 1/3 of non butter on the butter part then other one on top (single fold)

Turn of 1/4 turn (seem towards you)

Roll down and make another single fold

Cool down for 1 hr

Start again twice

Roll down to about 4 mm cut in desired shape

Proof till it goes twice the initial size (needs to be wobble delicately on tray)

Egg wash

Bake at 190 degrees Celsius

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I usually do 3 turns with a 30 minute rest in between, and was intrigued by the double turn idea. It certainly saved a lot of time; however, I noticed my croissants didn't look as fluffy and nice.


Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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Beautiful photo of your baking. How about a minor variation. I've been using a recipe for cornetti by Carol Field from her book the Italian Baker for many years. The end result is always fantastic but the path varies slightly every time depending on home kitchen variables. The main concern is to allow adequate time for the dough to rest and remain chilled and elastic.


Edited by Steve Irby (log)

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Cheryl, they look amazing, I think I'm going to try them this weekend.

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.

Chris, what temperature do you aim for with this method?

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I find making croissants an excellent activity for an otherwise-idle Sunday afternoon, so here's how today's batch shaped up. As I mentioned up in post #4, the recipe I like is from The French Market (Joanne Harris and Fran Warde).

At first the dough is very fluffy and you think there's no way it's ever going to come together into a ball. But after half an hour in the fridge it's a bit more obliging:

Crois_1.jpg

First roll and fold:

Crois_2.jpg

Rolled again. Some butter bleeding through, but it doesn't seem to matter:

Crois_3.jpg

Folded again:

Crois_4.jpg

Ready to go into plastic wrap and into the fridge to meditate:

Crois_5.jpg

When it comes out it's risen a bit:

Crois_6.jpg

Repeat until you lose count (I do, pretty much every time). Final roll; the dough has become a bit smoother since the first couple of photos:

Crois_7.jpg

Roll to a square (well, something vaguely like a square), cut into triangles, roll and place on baking tray while the oven heats up:

Crois_8.jpg

Time to go into the oven. Again, note the amount of rise. The recipe says I should brush them with beaten egg at this point, but I don't like the taste and they get quite brown enough for me:

Crois_9.jpg

And 20 or so minutes later:

Crois_10.jpg

This isn't a finicky recipe. I don't stress over the number of roll/fold cycles or the time the dough sits in the fridge after each one (things like lunch sometimes get in the way). Nor to I worry that most of the little beasts inevitably seem to 'un-crescent' themselves. They may look rustic, but they taste wonderful and I think that may kinda be the point.

Into the freezer now and that's a few nice breakfasts sorted out ...

Edit: missed a bit


Edited by lesliec (log)
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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

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HELP!!! my flaps to my croissants are separating and tearing apart. Does anyone know what could be

happening? They are also blistering on the tops. Can anyone help me with this????

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Flaps? Layers or rolls? Too much flour when rolling them. The bubbles are heat issues but more or less normal. Croissant bake best in convection oven at 170/185 degrees Celsius.

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