Sourdough Croissants

Freshly baked, lots of fat, jummy!

What’s more tasty than a croissant with some strawberry jam on a late sunday morning? I still need to find out. Of course these delights need to be made, store bought croissants are jummy but you don’t quite get that much satisfaction out of them after a few chomps. Since we’re always taking about sourdough on this site, why not try some sourdough laminated dough? This is really quite a challenge so if you’re not patient enough, look for someone who is willing to do the baking for you!

The recipe

Sourdough 

  • You’ll need 100gr liquid levain (white wheat), between 100 and 130% hydratation.

final dough

  • 280gr whole milk
  • 7gr instant yeast (dried, granulated)
  • 500gr all purpose flour – strong flour will help with the rise but will resist more during lamination. It’s up to you…
  • 60gr unsalted softened butter added to the dough
  • 15gr granulated sugar
  • 10gr salt

Extra ingredients

  • You’ll need 200gr of unsalted butter in block form for the lamination process and
  • 1 egg for 2 egg washes before final proofing and before putting them into the oven.
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Forming the butter block

The process

Making laminated dough involves a couple of steps you’ll need to repeat a few times.

Make the dough

Don’t forget to make the sourdough 12 hours before you plan on making the dough. Add everything to a mixing bowl and knead a few minutes. The dough will be a lot drier than your usual rustic sourdough – this is normal. You should get some gluten development but don’t sweat it – folding the dough will strengthen it later on.
Put the dough into the fridge for at least 2 hours. It will not rise much.

Make the butter block

Take out 200gr of unsalted butter, put it between two baking parchment papers and slap it with the rolling pin! Yay! This is fun, right? Your end result should be a square block of 13x13cm. Put it back into the fridge with the dough to make it cold again.

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Folding after incorporating the butter

Folding the butter into the dough for the first time

Take out the dough and roll it out to form a rectangle of 13x25cm. Put the butter square on one of the sides and fold the dough over te butter. Pinch to completely “lock in” the butter. After that, be careful with that rolling pin! You’ll need to expand the folded rectangle to about 25x35cm, but if you’re working too harsh, the butter will explode in your face.
Another word of warning, depending on your kitchen ambient temperature: if you notice the dough or the butter starts warming up, put it back in the fridge at once and wait for another hour! You can even use a frozen rolling pin to reduce the friction temperature.

If the rectangle expanded correctly, you can now fold it for the first time, like a letter: 1/3d, and 2/3d over the first 1/3d. If you’re unsure, watch the video at the weekend bakery. Your first fold is done! Put it back into the fridge for 12 up to 24 hours.

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Cut out triangles from the laminated dough.

Fold it two more times

After it’s been resting for at least 12 hours, repeat the fold process two more times. Remember: if you feel the need to chill the dough again between two folds, then do so! Otherwise the butter will start leaking and you won’t have a nice and airy structure later on in your baked croissant.
Time to shape some crescent moons! 

Shape the croissants

Cut out nice and even triangles (not like I did in the picture…) and roll them up like little croissants. Give them a first egg wash to avoid dehydrating them while proofing. The croissants will need to be proofed for at least 3 hours at 20°C. It’s very difficult to overproof laminated dough due to the high amount of fat present in the dough. That’s why sourdough alone is hardly enough to leaven them and additional yeast is usually required.

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Out of the oven. Smells great!

Time to bake croissants, finally!

Before putting them into the oven, give them another egg wash. Bake the croissants at 200°C for 30 to 35 minutes – keep an eye out when they brown sufficient in the oven. Congratulations, you’ve baked your first batch of laminated dough! Bon appetite!

Depending on your lamination skills (by that I mean controlling temperature, being precise with folding and rolling) and the butter quality, you’ll have varying results. Cut open a croissant and hopefully it will look like a nice honeycomb and smell amazing. If not, try another brand of butter or stronger (or less strong) flour next time.

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The internals of my croissant

Submitted to Yeast Spotting.

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