Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Croissant dough: Bread meets pâte feuillétée

I imagine someone in France 160 years ago or so looking at puff pastry (butter, salt, flour) and bread dough (flour, yeast, water, salt) and saying, "what if...". Croissant dough also has milk and a bit of sugar, but the idea is to use the folding and layering technique from puff pastry with yeasted dough.

So, theoretically you get a double rising action plus wonderful layers of savory stuff. Water in the bread turns to steam in the oven, and the gases created by the yeast also expand for a mega-puffing action. The dough is also moister than puff pastry, so the mouth feel is different.

Since it's kind of an involved process to make - the yeast slows the whole process down - I made quite a bit of the stuff. Then shaped it into pains au chocolate (French for chocolate croissants), croissants, potato/herb croissants, breakfast mini croissants (with a bit of omelette between a sliced-open roll.

Today was the last day of the dough. It's really a treat when you can keep the dough in the refrigerator and just roll it out, proof it and bake it for out of the oven goodies that are lighter and fluffier than anything I've had in a bakery.

So, looks like I'll be spending more time in the kitchen producing croissant dough. But maybe not quite yet - that's a lot of butter to eat every day, tasty though it may be.

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