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I found this nice vegan croissant recipe: http://www.sabjimatablog.com/2011/05/17/recipe-vegan-croissants/ I am quite happy with the end result, but I wish I can bake a flakier pastry. I have a feeling that I didn't get the folding quite right. I used kremelta vegetable shortening that made from coconut oil and soya lecithin. I rolled kremelta into a thin-dough like, and fold it inside the dough. The shortening blend in quite well into the dough after 3 folds, although I can small lumps of kremelta in my dough. I put it inside a 200 degree oven, bake it for 15 minutes. I notice that I had a lot of oil on my baking pan. I suspect that all that oil came from the Kremelta.

Is this normal? I suspect that this why my dough didn't turn up into a flaky croissant dough. Does anyone have any tips on how to make a flaky croissant dough ?

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2 Answers

Flakiness in pastry is usually achieved by careful incorporation of butter at the correct temperature. Cold cubes of butter are cut into the flour, cold water (or milk) is added, and then the pastry is rolled out, flattening the butter pieces. These pieces act to separate layers of the flour and liquid mixture.

The butter then melts during cooking, 'setting' these layers in the dough. The outer surface of the dough dries out, which means the layers don't stick together, and so it becomes flaky.

If the butter becomes warm and soft during rolling or cutting in, it blends with the flour and liquid and so doesn't promote layer formation.

In my experience, even refrigerated shortening is usually quite soft, and may well be simply absorbing into the rest of the dough when you roll it in. You might try freezing the shortening until it reaches the same consistency as refrigerated butter and working from there. I would also use ice cold water rather than warm water as the recipe suggests.

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I agree. Ice-cold water does make a difference. –  nico Apr 22 '12 at 9:41
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It's the cardinal rule of pastry making - everything has to be cold. Cold water, cold fat, cold hands, cold counter, cold rolling pin, everything. –  ElendilTheTall Apr 22 '12 at 9:42
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Puff pastry is hard to master, and temperature control is ever so important. The butter (kremelta) should be manageable, but not liquid to start with. You fold it into the dough, close the envelope, flatten it and fold it once. Then, it should go into the fridge for half an hour or so.

Every two folds, you should put it in the fridge again for half an hour.

With six three-part folds you'll get 729 sheets (3^6=729). So, three folds just isn't enough for your purpose.

Lastly, before baking, the puff pastry should be very cool, and the oven very hot. That way, the pastry really puffs :-) The sheets get baked before the oil is melted into them, which is what creates the flaky effect.

Edit: The wrap in your linked recipe is four fold. You should aim at 4 or 5 folds (256 or 1024 folds).

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