Brioche dough vs Croissant dough

A popular viennoiserie like Pain aux Raisins can be made with either brioche dough (sweet bread) or croissant dough (flaky puff pastry). Take your pick.

Brioche dough is made of :

Flour T45, Yeast, Salt, Granulated sugar, Eggs, softened butter and some water.

Chef starts adding in a Kitchen Aid (using hook attachment) flour, yeast, salt, sugar and add eggs gradually. Adding a little bit of water to pick up the dry ingredients. It takes around 15-20 mins or until the dough is not sticking to the side of the bowl. Then, add the softened butter little by little gently kneading but not excessively. Your dough is done once butter is mixed in and you should here the dough making a slapping sound against the bowl. It’s ready!

Place the dough in a prover. If you don’t have a prover you just need to create a warm environment for the dough to rise. You can for example put plastic over the dough with air surrounding it.

When the dough has risen, punch it down (“rompre” or “rabattre” in French) and put in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Punch it down again a second time, shape and rise at 30°C.

Baking 220°C for around 5 minute and then turn down to 180°C to finish

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Note: In a recipe similar to this one you may see instructions to make a “yeast starter”  or in French a “poolish” this is mixing the yeast with a little water and a little flour from the recipe.

 Croissant dough or in french it’s called either, Pâte à croissants or Pâte levée feuilletée, this is made of:

Flour (farine) sifted type T45 and type T55, Salt (sel), Sugar (sucre), Yeast (levure), Milk (lait)

Pâte à lever feuillettée translates to dough rising pastry sheets, the rising is due to the yeast.

Knead a détrempe with the sifted flour, salt, sugar, yeast and add milk gradually**.

** Sift together flour and salt then make a well. Add the sugar in the well. Now add milk. You can add a tiny part warm water to your yeast before adding to the well. Warning: Do not mix the salt and the yeast together because the salt kills the yeast.

Stop kneading once the dough is homogenous and give body to the dough – measure temperature 23°C – 25°C.
Let the dough rise in a temperature environment.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and keep it in the fridge for use the next day.
Add the butter as in the feuilletage procedure.
Give one double turn and one simple turn.
Let the pâton rest in the fridge for half hour, taking care to cover it with plastic film.
Roll out the dough (60cm x 40cm) and cut to size/shape. Place the croissants on a baking sheet and egg wash a first time.
Let croissants rise about two hours in a prover at 25°C.
Egg wash a second time and bake at 220°C.

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These instructions are taken from the cookbook Pastry Recipes Anglophone Pâtisserie created by Ferrandi Chef Averty.

3 thoughts on “Brioche dough vs Croissant dough

  1. have a question…perhaps you could answer…trying to make croissants…why won’t they rise? Its not like I am frying them nor the butter is leaking out. Any suggestions?

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    • There could be a few reasons and I’ll give you what I’ve learnt/understood, however I do invite the professional opinions of pastry chefs to answer your question. For now from me: 1. Do not combine salt and yeast directly together, 2. Do not roll too tight your croissants because it won’t develop, 3.Croissants are placed in a proofer in class but if you don’t have one you can do this by putting a bowl of boiling hot water underneath the croissants which are sitting on a rack and you want the croissant to be cover over with plastic or towel, the idea is to give humidity. You can see croissants develop in double the size. I hope that gives you some idea. But I will say making croissants with a pastry chef and with a boulanger the methods and products were a little different. It takes research, trial and practice.

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    • The rising of the croissants should take a while. Some times over night if at room temp. Above 80°F is the butter will melt out of the laminated dough. Keep them covered with plastic but not in contact with the croissants. If that doesn’t help try using a newer yeast, it may have expired. Once croissants have been rolled out, proff until doubled in size. They should “wiggle” like jello before going into a very hot oven. 400-450°F depending on oven. They will spring again in the oven and puff from the butter. The butter shouldn’t leak out in the oven. Oven is to low. I suggest a egg wash prior to placing in the oven. Hope it helps.

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