Help with achieving croissant structure, please

I’m a professional baker, recently moved to Thimphu, Bhutan. Used to achieve perfect croissants with beautiful honeycomb back in Mumbai, but despite multiple attempts, I’m just not getting the same results over here. Below is a full breakdown of my recipe and method, please tell me where I’m going wrong.

Bread flour (White Swan brand) 1000g

Sugar 110g

Yeast (Instant dry) 15g

Gluten 12g

Bread improver 15g

Salt 20g

Honey 15g

Butter 200g

Water 440-450g (depending on humidity and dough consistency)

I make my dough, rest it for 30 mins, divide into 1kg blocks and freeze for about 4-5 hours, till it’s the right consistency for lamination.

For each 1kg block, I use 330g of unsalted butter (my only option for the butter is a local one, the other butters I get are all salted), which has been shaped into a slab and chilled.

After enclosing the butter, I do one single fold and rest the dough in the freezer for 20 mins to firm up. Then I do another 2 single folds for a total of 3 single folds, giving me 27 layers of butter. I used to do 1 single, 1 double earlier, but found I’m getting better layers and texture with 3 singles.

Once laminated, I freeze the block for use the next day.

The following day, I let the dough thaw out at room temperature, roll to 5mm thickness (my dough sheeter is ancient and destroys my dough if I try going any thinner). I’ve tried rolling it even thinner by hand after this, but the dough just resists too much, even if I rest it in the chiller in between.

I cut my croissants with a 7cm base and 18cm length, dust off any excess flour, stretch the triangle a little, notch the centre of the base and roll up the croissants. d

This  is done by 6pm on day 2.

The shaped croissants then go into the chiller. My night shift staff pulls the croissant out by 2am, and leaves them in the switched off proofing chamber.

On day 3, I come in by 6am, by which time the croissants are seemingly perfectly proofed. I use an egg wash, and bake at 190°C for 18 mins, then switch off the heating and let the croissants “dry” out for 2-3 mins.

The croissants get a beautiful oven spring in the first 9-10 mins of baking, and subsequently they start to slowly deflate till they reach the shape you see in the picture.

I used to bake at 220°-230°C in Mumbai, but out here at that temperature, the croissants get colour way too quickly and the insides remain raw.

The one on  the left is rolled to the absolute thinnest I can manage on my dough sheeter, around 4mm maybe, and the one on the right is hand rolled, doesn’t go below 5-6mm. So clearly the thickness does contribute to the problem, but as you can see, even the thinner one has a doughy bit in the centre.

Are there any other parameters I need to change or is it just the thickness that’s the source of all my problems? And yes, I’m trying to source a good quality “French-style” or “dry butter” but will that make a difference?

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Post Author: MNS Master