Hand Laminated Croissants with Levain and Poolish
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Although croissants can seem daunting, the rewards are well worth the effort. There are two key things to keep in mind: First, is quality ingredients. Try to find 84%BF butter, as lower butterfat butter contains more water and will not create the same defined layers. Try using a good, all-purpose flour. Bread flour will create too strong of a dough and make rolling it out by hand difficult without overworking it. Second, is temperature control. The dough and butter need to be kept at the same consistency – cold but pliable. If they’re too cold, the butter layers will crack; if they’re too warm, the butter will be absorbed into the dough. Keep the room as cool as possible to extend your working time. To facilitate hand rolling, this recipe uses poolish, and also minimizes the bulk ferment (first rise) to keep the dough from developing too much strength. If you find the dough too hard to roll out easily, return it to the fridge for 20 minutes before continuing. A long rolling pin (20”) which can cover the whole width of the dough will also help you roll out the dough more easily.
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