Puff Pastry | Croissants
Before making puff pastry for my beef wellington, I was excited to experiment with my technique using the notes that I’ve built up and hoped for my best lamination yet. As it turns out, the results were disappointing. I didn’t have the layers that I was looking for, and the dough itself just didn’t seem right. After making it I was left with a lot of questions about what needed to change in order to improve the results, and I decided to focus only on them and not extras like fillings or bi-color etc.
One of my biggest problems with my puff this past year has been that it seemed bready. While the exterior felt nice and crunchy, the interior has recently seemed off. After going through my recipe and notes I saw that I mixed up my normal puff recipe with part of my inverted puff recipe, and was adding bread flour where I hadn’t before. Problem 1 easily solved.
The second road block was getting the temperature of my butter right when folding. On my wellington batch I made the same mistake of trying to fold when the butter was too cold, so this time around I made absolutely sure that both my butter and dough were soft to the touch, and the same texture. Immediately I could feel and see what an improvement just a few more minutes of warning makes to the butter.
The third problem, which I’m still debating, is the temperature of the dough before shaping. While I take the dough out in between turns, I normally go right from the fridge before rolling and shaping. I think it may help to warm the dough slightly before this step. More important is getting a feel and visual-memory for the way the dough reacts, and not use time to measure which can be inconsistent when considering room and fridge temperature.
This batch was a step in the right direction. The crumb had a better texture, the taste was right, and the layers are better than they have been. It still did not have the same defined lamination that I've achieved before, which is frustrating. Going into the next batch I know what I want to focus on, and hopefully I’ll just get better from here on out.
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