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Croissants structure problem :( help

ck1120's picture

Croissants structure problem :( help



So, i've recently been trying to make croissants. After multiple attempts my crossiants are finally starting to take shape, but theres one croissants just won't spring!

Here's the recipe 

500g bread flour

100g sugar

14g dry yeast

10g salt

20g butter +250g butter slabs

250ml water

mixed all ingredients together in mixer for 8mins

leave to rest in the fridged covered overnight

roll dough out next day and incorpoate butterslab making sure all equipment and temperature is cold and the butter and dough are at the same consistency.

i do double books 4x4 making sure i'm working gently but swiftly *ive practiced lamination waaay too many times* and then into the fridge for 2 hours.

After resting the dough, i roll it out, cut and shape the croissants making sure i don't damage the layers in the process.

Then i leave it out in room temp for 3-4 hours covered. The room temperature that day was roughly 26degrees ish? but i get the feeling the room was kinda dry and not humid enough to proove efficiently?

The final baked product tastes goods and nice and flakey on the outside but it ends up being dense on the inside, not the doughy sort of dense that i had when i first started where butter seeped into the dough because it was too hot. But a fluffy dense, it feels like the only thing that's missing from this croissant is that spring which gives it the honeycomb effect.

Was wondering if anyone has had the same problem? 


heschulz's picture

I think that your dough needs more elasticity. In order to do that you can do the following:

- Use at least 65% hydration, you are using 50%

- Maybe lower the sugar, is too much

- Let the dough rest a bit more time in the fridge 

Let me know how it goes, cheers! 

MichaelLily's picture

I think your dough is not proofed enough.  I won't bake croissants before they have grown noticeably in size during the final proof.  I could be wrong in my diagnosis of yours though.

RoundhayBaker's picture

...and many of them have been mentioned already. Higher hydration (or less flour) will definitely give you a more open crumb. Bulk fermentation is also critical and going straight into the fridge may not be helping you. How about giving your dough an hour to ferment and develop good cell structure at room temperature before cold retarding?

You haven't mentioned two of most important factors: desired dough temp and percentage butter fat. What are yours? For croissants, a slightly higher than usual final dough temperature (after mixing) of 24-26°C works very well. Butter fat has to be 82% or higher (84% is preferable). And the butter has to be unsalted. Skipping on either of these will produces flatter, denser croissants (salted butter retains too much water as does too-low-a-percentage butter fat).

Could you give a little more detail about your lamination folds? Does 'double books 4x4' mean you are doing four double folds (768 layers)? If so, it might be worth trying the more traditional double-simple-double-simple tourage (432 layers). That's a difference of 336 layers and might explain you problem. Too many layers means the crumb can break down easily during proofing and baking.

Moving on, and I know you might be aware of all this stuff already but I'm just guessing here, you say you do the tourage swiftly. How long do you rest the dough between each turn? I ask because the resting stage is another critical factor. Without sufficient time for the gluten to relax you can end up tearing your layers - another short cut to a dense croissant.

Finally, you discussed the proofing environment. Provided you covered the croissants, those room conditions should not have influenced your final product (as long as you waited for them to rise and become puffy to the touch, of course). :)

Apologies if a lot of this is grandmother-suck-eggs time but I'm only discussing important things that weren't mentioned or asking follow-up questions. I hope some of this is helpful.

Good luck.

MichaelLily's picture

How are you doing your layer math? I read the OP as two double books, which should quadruple the fat layers in each turn. This gives 4 after the first double book, and 4x4=16 after the second. Layers of dough touching each other will fuse into just one layer of dough. Therefore the total layers in a dough will be 2 x fat layers +1 (since the layers alternare between dough and fat, but there is one extra dough layer on top). Even 4 double bookings would give 4^4=256 fat layers, or 513 total layers. Still quite the difference from 33 layers from 2 double books.

RoundhayBaker's picture
RoundhayBaker you start with three - dough-butter-dough then multiply from there. So, after your first book fold you have 3x4 and so on. If you're only doing two double folds, your problem might simply be that you don't have enough layers. I suspect there's a reason generations of French patissieres settled on two simple and two double folds. It works.

BURNETTdl's picture

My croissants look the same.


I don't see how you guys are doing so many turns unless you are using a machine. I'm using 82% butter fat and king Arthur's flour and rolling by hand.

Just after a envelope and book fold it's almost impossible to roll out without hours of resting. Also the butter layers seem to merge somewhat just with these folds. I couldn't imagine trying to fold it any more.


Please help with tips I'm on my 50th try over the last 6 years.


BURNETTdl's picture

Also my edges crack a bit and when I fold in half too rest on the third fold it cracks in the middle where it's folded damaging the outer layers.

I use a similar recipe but with 450g flour, 280ml milk and 55g sugar