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Croissant recipe help please!

 
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ollk



Joined: 13 Feb 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject: Croissant recipe help please! Reply with quote

Hey folks, tried making my own croissants recently and while things went ok I think I can do better next time if only I can find out how to improve things!

So basically the recipe is here with instructional video.

I followed his instructions pretty much to the gram (that is why I am on this site hehe).

First thing I noticed after using his ingredients was how sticky the dough felt! This is the part that really puts me off cooking doughs in general as descriptions always seem to fall short of just exactly how sticky your dough should be!
To be fair, he does say the dough is quite sticky, and needs abundant flour, but mine was like doughy glue!

Anyway, I followed the next step, wrapped tightly in clingfilm, and stuck it in the fridge to 'ferment' for at least 8 hours (is this the same as letting pizza dough rise?). It was actually about 14 hours before I came back to the dough, and sure enough, things had expanded somewhat!

Now, as I expected, things were once again seriously sticky! So much so, that there was a fair wastage of dough that I was unable to release from the clingfilm!

I did manage to eventually roll out and add the butter though. It did stick to the workbench quite a bit and never looked quite as smooth as his dough appeared..

Now the dough needed a second proofing, over night.

When I removed the following day, I expected the dough to have once again expanded (like on his video), but this hadn't really happened very much. I noticed that it did look similar to his, in so much that I could see the folded layers. However, there was still a central globule of sticky dough right in the middle for some reason Sad

I proceeded to cut the croissants and let them rest once more (3rd time) which increased there size a little, and once cooked the overall impression was that they were quite nice which is what I mostly wanted Smile

Being a perfectionist though I would love it if someone could tell me specifically why I got this gooey centre, but also just how sticky the dough should be in the early stages?
I would also like to know if it would be better to use strong or the normal flour as suggested in the video, and also whehter I was right using unsalted butter (which seems sensible to me but o/h says it could have done with more salt to bring out taste ?

Appreciate any help folks!

olly.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1006
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

olly -

couple things come to mind.

first, "flour is not flour" - different brands / milling / wheat (mixes) can and do react differently - so first time through with "your brands" could be a little off. that's the nice part off working with grams - want to increase by 5%, just add 5% - it's more difficult to add 5% by "cups"

the butter - typical supermarket butter contains more water than many European brands (recipe origin is France...) - by 10% or more. look for plugra - it has higher fat content and lower water content.

and finally baking temperature - in the video (good one!) he mentions bake at 400'F but the directions say 375'F. I'd be temped to go with the 400'F and checking the oven temp with a separate thermometer would be in order to 'prove' the thermostat is accurate.

the dough uses yeast - so it will rise - same as bread dough or pizza dough.

the too wet center indicates to me
- the dough was too wet to start with (that's the flour / butter issue)
- bake temp may have been too low

"close but not exactly" is not uncommon when working with a new recipe, so give it another go, you'll have a better 'feel' for the dough the more you work with it.
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ollk



Joined: 13 Feb 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilbert wrote:
olly -

couple things come to mind.

...snip


Hi Dilbert thanks for your reply! I will certainly work on those suggestions you have given me, except that I am from the UK so I would think our butter is on par with the rest of Europe...
Regarding my oven, the stat really is a mile off so I check with IR probe whenever I want accuracy! I have a theory that the reason people struggle with much baking like cakes etc. is because stats are not always the most accurate things, especially as they age! Anyway....

The only thing I wanted to point out was that the gooey centre bit of the dough is after the second proofing, before baking. I am sure it could be one of the reasons you outlined so I can work on the flour first then maybe the oven temp - i could look for a premium butter too Smile

I have quite a bit of dough to get through, so it will be a while before I make again.
Incidentally, I have frozen the dough, and tested some tonight to see if freezing had harmed it. I let it defrost slowly in the fridge last night. Once I rolled out and shaped they took ages to proof but they cooked better than the first lot so I am pretty chuffed Smile

Looking forward to Sunday now Smile
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1006
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>> took ages to proof
freezing does not kill yeast - it's pretty sturdy stuff. I read somewhere "they" had recently brewed beer using yeast spores found in a pyramid / Egyptian tomb . . . several years back, but ....

by all means look for the high fat low water content butter. that is preferred by many classical trained pastry chefs. to the point it is 'second nature' and a specific mention may not have even crossed anyone's mind. it's one of those "if you're baking you use butter X" type things.

it's not an "automatic" warranty that supermarket "European butter" is the same... else wise it wouldn't have a special 'trade' name. in the US salted butter is the norm, in Europe un-salted is the norm. go figger....
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ollk



Joined: 13 Feb 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dilbert, thanks one again. Thought I would run the butter I used with you...

It is Countrylife Unsalted and in 250g bar it contains 82.7g of fat, 55g of which is saturates. Not sure what that means tbh! It also says 82% butterfat.
No sign of any water. I may end up at the supermarket tomorrow if so will compare some more butters then.

I am going to proof the croissants over night after making them this time (they take too long to do on the day) I will let you know how they taste Smile

P.S. Interesting regarding the yeast! Will look that one up I think.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ollk wrote:
It is Countrylife Unsalted and in 250g bar it contains 82.7g of fat, 55g of which is saturates. Not sure what that means tbh! It also says 82% butterfat.
No sign of any water. I may end up at the supermarket tomorrow if so will compare some more butters then.

You box is probably marked for 100g - 82.7 g of fat for 100 g of butter (not the whole 250 g). 82-83% butterfat would be considered Plugra / European butter in the United States.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1006
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

working from memory here....

for USDA Grade A understood min butterfat is 80% with most decent brands closer to 81%

plugra is typically 84% - with less moisture....sometimes half the water of "Grade A"

?
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wholeheartedly agree that the Plugra butter is superb. In addition to its high fat content, it simply has the most buttery smell and taste of all the butters I have tasted.
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