Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Croissants with sourdough, what a success!

For a long time I saw beautiful croissants baked by fellow bakers. I wanted to give it a try too. I wasn’t scared by the bakers who wrote on how difficult it is to bake croissants. I like a difficult recipe, this keeps my thoughts were they should be. And as soon as we found the special folding butter I could bake them. (ok, we bought margarine before using the expensive real butter).

I already knew what recipe I would use: Croissant with natural starter (sourdough starter) from Suas’s Advance Bread and Pastry Cookbook. I found a great description at Sue’s blog You can do it at home  

I had another reason to make croissants; I wanted to bake Tartine’s Morning Buns. You need croissant dough for it. I did and they were great, but I have no photos, because we were in a hurry to go to Holland. These Morning Buns tasted delicious and looked great, but they were too big for us. Maybe for an afternoon snack?

The croissants were great and I will bake them again and again. Not only because I still have a lot of folding margarine left, but because these home made croissants are delicious and fun to make.
I agree with Sue; “It is achievable and the results are truly rewarding”.
Before you start running to your kitchen, please read the whole recipe. It takes some days before you can eat a croissant. The first day you make the Italian levain formula and the second day you need to make the first dough. Then on the third day you can bake your croissants.

Because I had no experience with croissants what so ever (only eating them off course) I followed Sue’s description of the recipe to the letter. This recipe is great and Sue is so kind to allow me to use her description of this recipe. Go and have a look at her croissants and other beautiful baked breads. Off course all credits for the description of this recipe go to Sue.

Sue’s notes:
  • Sue omitted the small amount of egg in the first dough (preferment). The final dough used half of an egg. She used the leftover half as an egg wash.
  • The original recipe calls for osmotolerant yeast, which she didn't have access to. She used instant dry yeast and increases the amount by 20%.
  • Croissant achieved great volume which could have been the result of sourdough starter in addition to dry yeast.
I used all purpose flour and didn’t have malt, so I omitted it. I used margarine folding butter in stead of real butter.

Croissant with natural starter Recipe
adapted from Advance Bread and Pastry by Michel Suas
makes 15 croissants

Italian levain formula
Bread flour 3 g
Water 2 g
Active sourdough Starter 3 g

First dough formula
Braed flour 45 g
Water 23 g
Milk 6 g
Egg 2 g (you can omit it as I did)
Sugar 6 g
Butter 2 g
Levain 8 g (all from above Italian levain)

Final Dough      
Bread flour 450 g (I used all purpose flour)
Water 135 g
Milk 113 g
Egg 23 g (half of large egg)
Sugar 63 g
Instant dry yeast 10 g (approx 2 ½ teaspoons)
Malt 6 g (approx heap 1 teaspoon) (I didn’t have)
Butter 18 g
First dough 90 g
Roll-in butter 230 g (I used Margerine for laminating the dough)

Egg wash
Half of large egg
1 teaspoon milk

Day 1
Make Italian levain dough - mix all ingredients together until well combined and becomes a dough ball. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 - 14 hours.

Day 2
Make first dough (pre-ferment) - mix all ingredients together in a bowl until it becomes a ball. Knead it for about few minutes. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 - 14 hours. 

Day 3
To mix the final dough, divide the pre-ferment into 8-10 small pieces, mix it together with all other ingredients, except roll-in butter, in a mixing bowl until a dough ball is formed.

Transfer the dough ball to a bench and knead for 10 - 15 minutes (by hand) until the dough become smooth and elastic, and doesn't tear when stretched gently. If using electric mixer, using dough hook, mix on low speed for 3 -4 minutes, followed by high speed for another 2 minutes.
Put the dough in a bowl covered with plastic bag or cling wrap and ferment at room temperature for one hour. After fermentation, refrigerate the dough for one more hour or retard overnight.

Preparing roll-in butter for lamination:  Remove the butter from the fridge. Pound the butter with rolling pin between two sheets of baking paper into neat even rectangle or square with 5-mm thickness.
 If the butter becomes too soft, store it in the fridge for 15 minutes before using.
Take the croissant dough out of the fridge. 
Flour the working area well. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into twice the size of butter block (roll-in butter). Place the butter in the centre of the dough and fold the dough over the top. 
Seal the edges of the dough together to ensure the butter is completely enclosed in the dough.
Flour the work area and rolling pin well. Gently and carefully roll the dough out into a rectangle three times longer than the piece you started with. Mentally divide the rectangle into three equal sections, top, middle and bottom. Fold the top section over the middle, and fold the bottom to the middle, like folding a letter. This is the first turn.
Wrap the dough in a plastic bag or cling wrap and refrigerate for (at least) 30 minutes.

Take the dough out of the fridge and rotate the dough 90 degree so that the dough will be rolled in opposite direction from previous fold. Repeat the rolling, folding, and resting process as above two more times. There will be three foldings and rollings (the term is “three turns”) altogether and you need to rotate the dough 90 degree with each rolling.

After the final rolling and folding, store the laminated dough in the fridge for 40 - 60 minutes before shaping into croissants.

Make the egg wash by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Take the laminated dough out of the fridge and roll it out into a rectangle about 25 x 50 cm with 5-mm thick. 

Trim the edges of the dough so that it becomes a neat rectangle (the scraps can be made into chocolate croissants).

Cut the dough into triangles with 9-cm base and 21-cm height. Stack triangle sheets on baking sheet/papers and chill for 10 minutes.

Take the chilled triangles out of the fridge and shape into croissants. Gently pull the tip of triangle to make the triangle longer.  Make 1-cm incision at the base of triangle. Pull away two corners at the base and roll it towards the tip. Make sure that the tip is tucked underneath the croissant. Not like mine; my tips are on top.
Place shaped croissants on trays lined with baking sheet or paper.

Note: Shaped croissants can be retarded in the fridge overnight and bake the next day. Take them out of the fridge next day and follow the proofing and baking steps as below.
Brush the surface lightly with egg-wash. 
Cover the tray with tea towel.  Let it stand at warm room temperature (25˚C -27˚C) for 2 hours until it almost double in size.

Note: it is important that croissants are fully-proofed before baking. Fully-proofed croissants are soft, wobbly like jelly. The laminated layers will also be seen clearly.

Preheat the oven to 240˚C.

Brush the surface of croissant with egg wash before baking. Reduce oven temperature to 190˚C and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until it is deeply golden brown.

I found this recipe at Sue’s You can do it at home 

1 comment:

  1. Great result for the first try, Connie.

    Hardly anything can beat home-made's simply satisfying.