A Stir The Pots Post

Advice For Ideal Croissants

by | Mar 1, 2015 | Croissants

Having failed to attain ideal uniformity in a recent batch of croissants, I searched for guidance via YouTube, finding help from a Breton baker who shares the name of a 20th century cowboy novelist. Louis Lamour is a French baker who shares his own terrific stories, albeit of a different genre, drama and tension. Namely tales of baking bread. And Louis is not just wise, he's generous, offering great video coaching and email advice.

According to Louis, I had handicapped my efforts by using a 50/50 mix of white and white whole wheat flour. He suggested sticking with the basic white flour, along with taking more care with timing and temperature. So I did. The results? Spectacular. Merci, Louis, merci!

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  1. didooo18@abv.bg

    Do you use his recipe or not ? Also how much you mix ?

  2. Jonitin

    Yes I did…how much? As much as you like?

  3. didooo18@abv.bg

    So you make one book and one letter back to back without rest? I tried this method but without sheeter its not so easy even with small batches. My flour Is europan low protein 10.3-4% protein and I tried to mix only 1-2m to combine but this gives me undeveloped dough and only folds dont give me enogh strenght and my croissants become flat and deflate in oven. Here Louis mix 4m at first and 4m at second which means around 8-10m hand kneadind and after that only 15m rest at room temp then flatened and 30m in freezer. He aims for 16-21C FDT, but in small batches this is hard to control. What is the main reason to aim this temperature when rest 15m at room temp ? Apiceofbread aims for 15C FDT then rest 45-1h at room temp under 18C. So I heared that if FDT is above 22C croissants become flat but dont know why. They are people that fully develope his dough then fully bulk, flatened and refrigerate ovenigh and produce very good croissants with open honeycomb structure and around 46% to dough weight lock in butter. Louis locks 33% butter which is little more than average 25% for most traditional chefs. Ciril hitz bulk ferment his dough at 23-24C for 2h then overnight retard. Michel Suas does 1h room temp ferment then 18h retard. Mothersoven do fully bulk ferment at frige with poolish with 3.5% fresh yeast. They are som many ways to do it. But from what I saw for handlaminating most folks dont recommend to bulk ferment or mix well dough. But I find that its not true. Look at most pastry chef how smooth and hard are his doughs that mean good gluten development and right fermentation. Also about flour I find that 11-11.5% protein gives best results over 11.5% its not good. My flour is below 11% protein and needs different handling. Most chefs use bread flour that is high in protein but that gives good open strucutre good volume but not so good taste in mouth.I relly like Yuval Ayalon video on youtube (check it) where he produce better croissants than most parisian bakeries under 3.5h. I tried his method but result was awful, maybe because of flour or butter or lack of knowledge I dont knwow… But that he shows really amaze me because he mix dough only 2-3m and dough was very underdeveloped and after only 10m he started to laminate and do one book and one letter fold back to back, notice that he talks most of time and butter and dough get warmed, but final result was very good. Will keep experementing I like formulas without fresh milk becuase I no need to keep fresh milk in my fridge, Louis use milk powder which is good mik substitute. Apiece of bread first formula also not include milk. They are so many croissants formulas, but basicaly is just flour, water, butter, sugar, milk.Some adds egg some not. But if eggs is added crumb is not so open. Ciril hitz use eggs in his recipes. Michel Suas use eggs only in formula with Natural Starter (which includes fresh yest too). I viewd Vincent Talleu video in You tube where he uses only sugar in his dough and result was also good not sure about taste… Apiecofbread like more cornetto style croissants and use 11% egg in his recipe. If you look spreadsheets will see that have a lot of croissants formulas no sure which he uses now in bakeries. But I dont find that formula that he post this year and was made only for homebakers, post on his feeds also are deleted…..

  4. Jonitin

    Hi Didoo,
    Wow….I’ve done both Louis and Ian’s from Apiece formulas….And have come across good and bad batches, that said, I didn’t really take temps or that much attention as you have, hence my lazy baker methods… I used 11% protein flour usually aka known as All-Purpose in the US…
    I’ve also used and Italian flour that is about 12-13% used more for Panettone, which worked. I don’t over knead the detrempe, just because it’s the way I learned that method in school. As well, cold is key..and I hand work all my viennoiserie, as I don’t have a sheeter, and I make small batches, it’s challenging. Eggs, yes, some use them, some don’t. Taste I think comes in letting the dough retard, rather then mix and bake, or direct baking… slow food takes time!
    Good luck,


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