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I am slightly new to the puff pastry process and have gotten the layers and and folding. I use a three fold, and the temperature remains at a cool degree so the butter does not melt or seep out of the dough during the process.

I just can't seem to get them bigger and flakier. I am using 7in / 18cm triangles and I stretch them out and roll them into the classic croissant shape. Then I egg wash them, sprinkle a little sea salt on top, let rise for 40 minutes, bake at 400F/200C for 10 minutes, and then at 350F / 180C until golden brown on top.

Any suggestion or any way to get the results?

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I know I would need to make the triangles bigger for a larger croissant. I think what I am wanting is the to puff up bigger. –  Richard Skaggs Nov 15 '12 at 9:30
    
Are you using any special kind of flour for the dough? –  J.A.I.L. Nov 15 '12 at 9:52
    
I am using a pastry flour. –  Richard Skaggs Nov 15 '12 at 19:15
    
I guess pastry flour is weak (low W value / "low proteins") flour. Check the answer I wrote. Fats weaken the gluten. Long fermentation time, too. So you need strong flours for doughs with both of them. –  J.A.I.L. Nov 15 '12 at 19:26
    
Croissants are not puff pastry. Puff pastry is steam-leavened, while croissants are yeast+steam-leavened. I am not sure whether you are using a correct (yeast-containing) recipe but the wrong term, or trying to use a yeastless recipe. If the second, then you can't expect your croissants to have the texture of bakery-bought croissants. –  rumtscho Nov 15 '12 at 22:12
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1 Answer 1

Croissant purists state 32 is the "perfect" number of layers a croissant should have.

In this link seeking the croissant perfection, you can find:

NOTE11, I had the misconception that the more folds, the more layers, the flakier it will be. Wrong. With too many folds, butter layers would be thinner and thinner, and it will be more likely for the butter to melt and leak. Even with perfect rolling, too may layers would mean smaller honeycomb "holes" in the crumb. With no sheeter and TX weather, I find 3 folds sufficient, any more it's risky.

You can get up to 27 layers if you make 3 3-folds. Doing one more folding would make 3^4=81, too many layers.

It's not compulsory, but you can get those 32 layers doing 1 normal-folding and 2 book-foldings: fook 4 folding

(image source)


Another reason your flakes are not large enough is the flour used.

  • Croissant dough usually has butter in it, and long fermentation time; so a strong flour (high W value) should be used.
  • In order the dough doesn't stretch back, and the layers of dough won't beak (letting butter from 2 layers get toghether), a value of p/l≈0.5.

That's something in common with pizza dough, as I wrote in this answer, so if you don't find flour specific for croissant, you can try with pizza one.

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Note that you don't have to get those 32 layers, just approximate the number. And, what is most important: doing 1 more folding (or 1 less) would get you too far from that number. Having too many layers would make them too thin and easier to break and leak the butte. –  J.A.I.L. Nov 15 '12 at 11:25
    
By pizza flour are you talking about 00 grade, or a high-gluten (ie strong) bread flour? –  GdD Nov 15 '12 at 11:28
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@GdD I'm meaning those in the answer I linked. Those 00 in Italian (or Argentinan) flours just mean how fine is the grinding: it doesn't have to be linked with the strenth/weakness of the flour. –  J.A.I.L. Nov 15 '12 at 11:33
    
Thank you for improving the reading of the note, @BaffledCook. I just copied & pasted it and had an odd printing. –  J.A.I.L. Nov 15 '12 at 18:05
    
Thanks!!! This is really going to help me! –  Richard Skaggs Nov 15 '12 at 19:23
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