Friday, November 25, 2016

Croissants Baking with Pastry and Cake Flour Mix

This is the photo journal of Croissants making using Pastry and Cake flour mix. The ingredients are exactly the same as the ones posted in my "Your Best Croissant Recipe and Technique" http://rockdavinci.blogspot.com/2013/04/your-best-croissant-recipe-and-technique.html, except the flour is replaced with pastry and cake flour.
The result? Smell great, baked great, taste great, but the crumb is more bread like with layers rather than honeycomb like layers.
There is no good reason to test again with different formula when the previously tested formula had a very good result, but just wondered if the different combination would produced similar flour being used in France, but the flour I used is not exactly comparable to French's. 





The crumb is a bit less "layered" compared to AP Flour's. It's very buttery.  I prefer the 1 pound butter block rather than the full 625 grams.  Perhaps if I had kneaded the dough longer to developed the dough, it would have helped with developing the layers...
Tools:  Pastry brush, Small dedicated paint brush, French rolling pin, or long rolling pin, Pizza cutter, a ruler, Saran Wrap and a  Plastic container with tight lid, Digital scale, and other normal baking tools.

CROISSANT Ingredients:
Preferment:
Nonfat Milk 6 oz
(Warm water - 1/2 C)
Active Dry Yeast 15 ml
AP Flour 6-1/4 oz or 175 g

Dough:
Active Dry Yeast   25 ml   - 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp
Whole Milk   425 ml   >> 1 Cup warm whole milk 1/4 C warm water
Pastry Flour   500 g  & Cake Flour 300 g - of the 6 Cups, save 1/2 Cup for the work surface
Sugar   70 g
Salt    2 tsp
Unsalted Butter, melted   15 ml - 1 TB

Roll-In Butter:
Unsalted Butter - Cold but pliable - 625 g
AP Flour - 1/3 C

Egg Wash:
Large Egg Yolks   4
Heavy Cream   60 ml
Salt    pinch

METHODS:
1.   Make preferment - Add 1/2 C warm water after examining the consistency of the dough after mixing with 6 oz of non-fat milk (or regular milk).  The dough should be pudgy soft but not wet or tough.   Beat it up in mixer.  Then transfer to a bowl.  Cover, let rise.

2.   Half way waiting for the preferment, start to mix dough with Paddle attachment to make shaggy dough.  Stop - cover & to wait for preferment. 
When preferment is ready, add the rest of the liquid to the shaggy dough in the mixer.  
Important tip:  The dough should feel soft - Add tablespoon more of warm water at a time to make sure the dough is quite moist.   Add Preferment.    Mix for 5 minutes.  The dough is tacky.

3.   Cover and let it sit for 30 min and transfer to refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4.   Cut butter block into chunks with fingers and mash coat it with flour.  Beat it to flatten with the rolling pin into square block - approx - 1/2 inch thick.   Flouring to keep from sticking to the rolling pin or place the butter block on a wax paper and Cover the butter block with wax paper before beating and rolling into square.  Shape the side with a pastry scraper.  Roll it up in the wax paper and Set aside in Refrigerator.

5.   Take our the dough.   The dough should be soft without much resistance.   Roll out  the dough into round mound.  Use a scissor and make a criss-cross cut on the top and pull each cut side open and flatten the center a bit.  It looks like a flattened and squared star-fish.  
or roll out into a large rectangle shape - large enough to enclose the butter block.

6.   Place the butter block in the center of the flattened and squared star-like dough.   Then fold each arms in to the center to enclose the butter block.   If your dough is a rectangle shape, place the butter block in center and fold the butter with the right and left side of the dough.  Then using your hand's end of the palm to press down the top and bottom open ends to seal the butter.    
Or use other methods described at the URL mentioned at the top of this blog.  But my testing show that the butter block made by premixing the butter with some flour turned out the best with the home baking oven; unless you have one of those beautiful commercial hot oven for home.    Butter would not woos out before the croissants are baked.

7.   Roll the dough with the butter block enclosed into rectangle.  Roll the rolling pin without rolling off the dough.  Stop about 1/2 inch or so away from the end of each sealed ends.

Fold the dough in to thirds.  Brush off the extra flour off the dough with pastry brush as you fold the right and left dough over to the center.  
Wrap tight and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

8.  Repeat the folding process 3 times.   Refrigerate for 30 minutes each time. 
Wrap well tightly and let the dough rest in refrigerator overnight.   Or can be kept frozen till needed.  

8a.    Take out the dough out of the refrigerator 1 hour before the next step if frozen.   If you want to fill the croissants with raisins, almond paste, chocolate, etc. gather them now.     
Set them aside. 
8b.    Flour the work surface lightly and unwrap the dough and beat the dough with rolling pin - a good wack several times, but carefully not to tear the dough..  

9.  Cover the baking sheet with Silpat, if you have one, or with parchment paper.

10.   Roll into large rectangle.   Using a ruler, measure the dough out and slice the dough with a Pizza slicer into triangle shape.  Keep the extra ends and off shape ends.  Cut them into equal pieces to use as a 'tummy'.

11.  Place the extra piece of dough on the wider end of the cut triangle croissant dough.  Moisten fingers.    Hold two pointy ends of the wider end and Pull out to elongate, then, roll the dough over the extra dough pieces and goody fillings you have.

Hold the top of the triangle with left fingers and with the Right hand Palm end over the wider end of the croissant dough - roll the dough in upward motion as you pull the dough with left fingers to elongate the dough at the same time -  Stretch the dough slowly and elongate as much as it would allow - hopefully double in length.   
Tip: **This will tell you if you added enough water or not at the beginning.  So be sure to make a note of the amount of liquid to the particular bag of flour you used that day.  And if you are going to use the same bag of flour, you will know to add or subtract liquid the next time.....

Suggestions:  Curve the ends of the unfilled croissant  and place on baking sheet.    Keep the filled croissants with goodies straight.   
13.  Brush with egg wash without sealing the cut edges.   (Cover and refrigerate the extras.)

14.  Let rise in warm kitchen till double to triple in size.
Preheat oven to 400'F - about 15 minutes before the croissants reach its double+ size.

15.  Brush again with egg wash - very gently - before baking.
Bake for 12 minutes or until beautiful dark brown.

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