Finally, the course of Lamination started this week. I have been waiting for learning how to make Croissants for long time. I like to eat Croissants. I thought it was hard to make the Croissant dough, so I never tried to make Croissants at home. The first time that I saw how to make them was in one movie named It’s Complicated starring Meryl Streep.
She and her architect are making Chocolate Croissant in her bakery.
It looks like easy to produce those goods. So the magic must be in the dough. But the answer is something out of my expectation. It’s not difficult to mix the Croissant dough. Of course, if we had to make the Croissant dough in the beginning, I wouldn’t say so. After making the other laminated dough, we already knew how to make the Croissant dough. Perhaps our team was lucky. Our products were so popular. When our Croissants were cool enough, they were gone in a few seconds. My partner and I couldn’t have enough time to pick one package.
Our Croissants are so beautiful, and the texture is perfect.
Let me go through how we could make so wonderful products. At first, our instructor suggested us to add some extra milk in the dough because the final dough of his was a little bit dry. Then we followed all the procedures exactly. We didn’t over mix the dough. The only big problem was to roll the butter into the dough. It’s hard to mold the butter into the expected shape. Every time, when we place the butter on the dough, it couldn’t cover the bottom two-thirds of the rectangle dough. We had to scrape some butter to fill a vacancy.
Because we already made classic puff dough and Danish dough then, we knew how to laminate the dough. And we knew we should rest the dough 30 minutes in the fridge before next laminating. Another important issue is that we only gave our Croissants 3/4 proof. If we proofed them too much, they wouldn’t keep their shape, or maybe they would collapse after taken out of the oven. Our instructor said 3/4 proof is important for Danish, Puff and Croissant laminated dough. The air cells in those dough will be bigger when be heated. If the dough already are full proof, the air cells will open up in the oven. This situation happened to my Congress tarts. The Congress tarts always collapse after taken out of the oven for a while because of too many air cells are in the fillings.
Anyway, I was successful at the first time to make Croissants. I am looking forward to doing it again, and I hope I can continue to be successful.
Next, I want to talk about some practices that we have to pay more attention to during making laminated items. The first one is the dough’s temperature. Our instructor emphasized that we had to keep our dough cool. It’s easy to control the cold dough. If they are warmer, we can’t make good shape items or it’s very difficult to work with room temperature dough. That’s why we always keep the left dough in the fridge after we cut some dough from the big one. It’s not a good practice to leave the left dough on the bench.
The other thing I want to mention is the dusting flour. We use some dusting flour to avoid the dough stick to the bench while folding the lamination dough. Before every time’s folding, we always brush off excess dusting flour. If we don’t do so, our products will open during baking. But for beginners, we forget to brush the flour sometimes.
There is a difference between laminated items and bread or cookies we have made before. For the first ones, we can’t take them out from the oven and leave them outside over two minutes then put them back into the oven. If we do so, we will burn the goods instead of fully baking them. Since the fat in puff dough creates the physical steam. If we take the items out of the oven and let them set out longer, the fat will absorb into the dough. There is no steam anymore. If we put the products back into the oven, they can’t be fully baked. They will be burned. For bread or cookies, sometimes we put the items which already cool back into the oven for longer baking. We can get the better-baked goods and we don’t worry about it’s easy to burn them.
Another thing I can’t understand is the scrapes from the laminated dough. After four days’ learning, we got a lot of scrapes that we kept in the fridge. Our instructor asked us to keep them flat. He said we would use them to make Country loaf. I don’t know why we have to keep the scrapes flat. I’m sure I will understand next week. There must be some reasons to do so. I should have asked the teacher.
This week, we also made some Danish dough products. Frankly, I didn’t do well about those items. To make Danish things we need some techniques.
These are some Diamonds we made at the first time. They look so different, right?
The top one in the picture is not a good shape. Also, the proof time has an effect on Danish items. How to handle the proof time is a key point. It’s hard to say how the unbaked products look like 3/4 proof or full proof. We need more time to practice and gain the experience.
And for Croissants and Danish pastry, their baking time is short. They are yeast dough and they are proofed before baking. So their texture is loose. While baking, the heat can go through those items easily. We must be very careful to set the baking time. In the beginning, it’s good idea to set less time to bake. On the other hand, the items from Quick puff dough or Classic dough need long time to bake. There is no yeast in that dough, and the products don’t need proof. We always take them out from the freezer and put them in the oven directly. Never thaw them in the room temperature environment.
About the doneness of puff items which have liquid filling inside, it’s hard for me to tell whether they are fully baked or not. Like Apples turnover or Strudel. There is a thin skin around the filling. The skin looks like raw dough. In fact, the fully baked turnovers still have this skin. At the first time, I thought it was under baked. But after tasting, I could tell it was OK to eat. However, I am not sure my items are fully baked or not next time. I still need more practices.
I have learned a lot from the Lamination course. I know single-fold’s meaning, and what is double-fold. Quite frankly, I was frustrated to roll dough into rectangular shapes. It looked so easy to shape the dough when we were watching our teacher’s demo. The only way to solve this problem is to practice again and again. There is no shortcut.
I really enjoyed this course. Before I finish this reflection, let me show you my cream horn.
I am very satisfied with my cream horn.
I practiced filling the cream in one horn. The bottom is very beautiful, right? I used the same skills while I decorate the blueberry pie. So the skills are connected. I hope I can gain more knowledge.