Laminated dough yield issue

Discussion in 'Pastry' started by beardedcook, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. beardedcook

    beardedcook New Member

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    Hi bakers,

    This is my first post in this forum. I'm a culinary cook who just welcomed the dark side (a culinary inside joke about moving to baking) about a year ago. My main business is in charcuterie, but I am honing my baking skills as well in my free time, because I'm sure it can be handy in the future.

    I have a question about laminated dough in general. When I am laminating dough it seems that there are a lot of dough I have to trim off, because the butter sheet won't spread to the corner of the dough (or the dough is too thick and spread to much during rolling).

    currently for my croissant dough I use 45% butter in form of butter sheet + 14% in the dough, and 60% hydration. I used to use 60% butter, but it was way to greasy for my taste, and too expensive as well. I laminate the dough to final layer of 32, and thickness of 6mm each folding. My final thickness of the dough is 3mm. With this ratio I usually get only about 74%-75% yield in ready to use croissant dough. The rest are mostly dough that I had to trim off during laminating process, very minimal butter in it.

    Is there a way to increase my yield? I know I can add the dough to my next batch, but most of the time the dough will be forgotten in the very corner of my fridge accumulating mold, because I don't make croissant dough often.

    Thanks
     
    beardedcook, Jul 20, 2017
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  2. beardedcook

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    1. What method are you using for your butter lock?
    2. What are you using for hydration?
    3. How thick is your butter block?
    4. What is width & length of dough before you lock?
    5. What I'd width & length of butter block?
    6. What is the temperature of your butter block?
    7. What is the fat content of your butter?
    8. What is the protein content of your flour?
    9. When you roll the dough, is it springing back, or is it holding the length with each pass of the rolling pin?

    8% - 10% of butter in the dough is sufficient.
    I've used 64% total butter without a greasy problem. Are your croissants leaking butter during the proofing and/or baking?
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 20, 2017
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  3. beardedcook

    beardedcook New Member

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    Hi, Norcalbaker59,
    Thank you for replying to my post. To answer your questions :

    1. What method are you using for your butter lock?
    I use half turn locking method (so the initial layer is dough-butter-dough), I haven't tried using English or French diamond methods yet.

    2. What are you using for hydration?
    I use milk for hydration

    3. How thick is your butter block?
    I rolled my butter block to final thickness of 6mm (.236")

    4. What is width & length of dough before you lock?
    I don't measure width or length of the dough, I have access to dough sheeter machine, so I use thickness as my guidance. My dough thickness before locking is 8mm (.315")

    5. What I'd width & length of butter block?
    Same as above. Most of the time the butter fit inside the dough with 1-2 cm (.4"-.78") excess dough to allow locking the butter.

    6. What is the temperature of your butter block?
    I don't really check the temperature. I use it as the butter is pliable enough that it won't snap in half if I bend it on the edge of my workbench.

    7. What is the fat content of your butter?
    82%

    8. What is the protein content of your flour?
    14%

    9. When you roll the dough, is it springing back, or is it holding the length with each pass of the rolling pin?
    I always allow the dough to rest at least 30 minutes between folding. I don't see any significant spring back.

    8% - 10% of butter in the dough is sufficient.
    I've used 64% total butter without a greasy problem. Are your croissants leaking butter during the proofing and/or baking?
    That 60% butter that I mentioned above is only the butter block. So the total butter is 74%. During baking there is no butter leak, it's just the mouth feel is greasy . It might be totally normal for some people, I heard some high quality French croissant can have up to 80% butter in it.

    So how can I improve the yield of my croissant dough? is 75% yield considered low? or is it normal in laminating dough?
     
    beardedcook, Jul 23, 2017
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  4. beardedcook

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Beardedcook,

    25% waste is excessive. In four batches you throw away the equivalent of 100% of a total batch.

    I would suggest the following changes.

    Flour: 14% protein is too high for croissants. Croissants are more pastry than bread. Protein levels between 11.5% - 12.5% is more suited for croissants. Even within the lower range, you can improve the quality of the dough by blending in 20% pastry flour. High-protein means potential more gluten structure. Since laminated doughs require a lot of handling, it will encourage gluten development. So use a lower protein flour.


    Hydration: your hydration level is good. But try 50/50 milk and water. While the richness of milk is good for browning, flavor, and moisture retention, remember that milk is also has enzymes that can interfere with gluten development, and ultimately rise. That's why milk is scalded before added to many bread doughs and some cakes and pasties. It is also the reason milk powder used in commercial baking is high heat treated; even in powder form, the enzyme will still be active unless the powder is heated at a high temperature.


    Mixing: it's important to keep the initial mix short. Laminated dough is handled so much, that you don't want to over developed the gluten by starting with an over-mixed dough.


    Butter: Reduce the total butter to 60% - 65%. You're at 60% hydration, so 70% total butter is too high. You might even find you can reduce the amount of butter below 60%.

    Even though you're not taking the temperature of the butter, it sounds like your starting with butter plastic enough. So I don't think starting butter temperature is an issue.


    Butterfat at 82% is a bit on the low side for croissants. Butterfat at 84% - 86% gives the best pliability, while eliminating the water issues. In the 82% butterfat range the extra water can cause lamination issues, especially if you are using the freezer to chill in between folding. The water freezes. When the dough is rolled, the butter breaks rather than stretches. It tears the layers, and it's not spreading out with the dough. So your dough gets stretched beyond the butter block.

    You'll fine that the higher butterfat makes for more uniformity between the dough and butter when rolling. That extra pliability allows the butter to move with the dough. Which is key to lamination. You don't want the butter to get embedded in the dough. You want separate layers of butter and dough. So they need to roll together.

    If you're chilling in the freezer in between folds, do not freeze any longer than 10 minutes. But if production budget allows for the purchase of a higher butterfat butter, that would be best.

    Block method: You're dough and butter block size and thickness are fine. You can probably start a bit thicker with both. Try the French lock. It's the lock recommended for doughs with a high percentage of butter. It envelopes the butter block on all four sides. The two critical elements in the actually lamination process is the butter lock and butter pliability. If the butter is not securely locked in nice and snug, and the butter is not pliable, the lamination will not be good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 23, 2017
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  5. beardedcook

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Also forgot to mention, unbleached flour works best
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 23, 2017
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  6. beardedcook

    beardedcook New Member

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    Wow, thank you for such an in depth explanation. I will adjust my recipe and compare them when I have some free time. Probably I'll be able to do so next week.

    My only choice for butter that are available from my purveyor are either 82% or 99.9%(literally clarified butter sheet) both are marketed by Corman as butter for laminated dough. I have compared both. For the price difference, their 82% butter is way superior in flavor, and I don't see much difference in texture, and crumb formation.


    I wish I had access to unbleached flour in my country.. All of the flour sold through our purveyor are bleached & fortified flour (gov. regulation). So I settled with Japanese wheat flour after comparing a lot of brands.

    Thank your for your time, I'll update you soon as I have time to make and compare my recipe and your suggested improvements.
     
    beardedcook, Jul 23, 2017
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  7. beardedcook

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Beardedcook, I actually did some research here recently on Japanese flour as I want to develop a cinnamon roll recipe based on Hokkaido milk bread dough.

    Given the limited availability of land, most Japanese flour is imported. Flours are generally labeled strong, medium-strong, medium, etc. Japanese all purpose flour, which has a protein between 8% of 11%, is labeled chûrikiko (中力粉). But this is not a naturally low gluten flour. Rather it is blended with pastry flour to reduce the overall protein content. Since different brands use different ratios of pastry flour, it may be difficult to determine the protein content in any given brand.

    Since chûrikiko (中力粉) is a blend, you might want to try mixing your own blend using your current flour and a low protein pastry flour. A place to start might be 25% pastry flour to the current flour. In reducing the protein content you should notice a more open or honeycomb structure to your croissant. That beautiful honeycomb structure is a benchmark of a well made croissant.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 23, 2017
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  8. beardedcook

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I just checked my notes. Hakurikiko (cake flour) or okashiyô no komugiko (pastry flour) are the two lowest protein Japanese flours.

    The hakurkiko makes a cake so tender most Westerns are totally blown away when they try a Japanese sponge cake for the first time. Likewise, Japanese are totally shocked at the toughness of a Western sponge cake. So hakurikiko may be a bit too delicate. But it's more readily available. Blending one of these two flours with your bread flour might give you a better dough.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 23, 2017
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  9. beardedcook

    beardedcook New Member

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    Fascinating! I've never known the Japanese classification of my flour. I just select them based on their listed protein and ash content. What I like from Japanese flour that are available here is that they all have much lower ash content and smaller grain size than all locally milled flour.

    That Cinnamon roll that you are developing sounds very interesting. Please do share your development progress in this forum. I'd love to see the process and final result.
     
    beardedcook, Jul 24, 2017
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  10. beardedcook

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    It's excellent that you pay attention to protein and ash. They're so much focus on protein that we forget about ash and also that the majority of flour is starch. High ash is good for bread, but bad for cake.

    Finding great flour can be a lesson in frustration. I'm fortunate that I live in the wine country in California. Given the extensive food industry here, everyone has access to excellent flour and ingredients. One of the companies that provides flours to the top bakeries and restaurants in the country re-packages bulk flour into small quantities so the home baker has access to their quality flours. And most of the restaurant supply stores in the area allow sale to the public. But when I lived in Virginia and Texas, I had to scour the countryside to find the quality of ingredients I needed for my baking.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 24, 2017
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