Making of the French croissant

In French patisserie the croissant is referred to as a pâtes levées feuilletées or pâte à crossiant. Pâtes levées feuilletées translates to dough rise pastry sheets. The key word in this name is “levée” or rising which indicates the croissant recipe contains yeast, or in French, levure.

The day started with heavy snow, cancelled trains and sneezing snifling students. However, it wasn’t all snifles.

Today, we made the ultimate of all French pastries, les croissants. We began by making the traditional Pate Feuillettee (PF)* to which we gave one double turn and one simple turn refrigerating in between. We then rolled out the PF into a rectangle, 60cm x 40cm. Then, we cut this in 2 equal parts horizontally. Placed the 2 pieces on top of each other. Chef then handed out his special croissant rulers. Using this we are able to mark the meausurements to cut perfect triangles. At the bottom of each triangle we make a little cut or slit. Then, we rolled our triangles (or Eiffel Towers) from the bottom to the tip. Then, egg washed. But, before the croissants could be baked they needed to rise in a prover. To immitate a prover machine at home, put a bowl of hot water under your tray of croissants and cover to create an insulation, 2 hours is recommended. The croissants will inflate in size. Then, a second egg wash before putting them into the oven. We began baking them at 220C but then chef turned down the overn to 200C. Voila! Crispy croissants! 

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*Pate Feuillette tradionnel: encase the butter into the detrempe

Detrempe recipe for 18 croissants provided by our Chef: 500g of sifted flour [250g T45 + 250g T55], 12g of salt, 50g of sugar, 15g of yeast and 300g of milk. Knead dough by hand or machine (use hook attachment). Reach temperature of 23 – 25 Celsius (use thermometre to measure). Refrigerate. Then, beat to deflate. Roll out into a square shape. Then, place the square tablet of butter like a diamond in the square of detrempe. Fold corner of detrempe into the centre of the butter. Roll out to do a double turn. Refrigerate. Roll out for a single turn. Refrigerate.

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