Reflective journaling for lamination
For lamination course, I have to say it’s easier than I thought, thanks to our super powerful sheeter!! (Even it is not easy to control usually) everyone knows the dough always shrink or sticky, it’s hard to working on it by rolling pin. The sheeter saved lots of time. What did I see/ hear/ smell? Of course, the answer is Butter! Butter! Butter! Lamination is the process of alternating layers of dough and butter when making pastry, it means dough- butter- dough- butter –dough- butter~~~~~~~~they form the layers, called lamination.
We learned 3concepts about lamination dough, there are puff dough, croissant dough and Danish dough. They are very tricky, look similar, if you are not a professional baker, you even can’t find they are different. I’m professional, so I can explain what’s different between those 3dough. Puff dough has no yeast; using four- fold method for rolling in. puff pastry rises when water in dough evaporates into steam, expanding into gaps between dough layers. Croissant dough and Danish dough has contain yeast, they using three-fold. But Danish dough is richer than croissant dough, (just like Bill Gates and me, we are the same human being, but he is richer than me). After we got the method of handling the dough down, we basically just need good time organization and patience for lamination dough, give the dough and butter enough time to chill and rest. Be patience and be careful.
We’ve taken baking class for half year, we know basic function of most ingredients, those knowledge can help us understand theory of baking well, if I know what kind of ingredients we used in my recipe, I just know what is going on with the dough, I always trying to make connection with something we learned before, for example, we learned fermentation dough, so we know how dose yeast working, we are familiar with scone, so we know butter can rise dough without yeast, and so on. Otherwise, baking with thinking, except technical problems, just using horse sense to understand it. As we know, butter is the preferred fat for lamination dough, cause it gives nice flavor and high qualities.
What surprised me? Before I taking baking program, my one of favorite breakfast was croissant with jam. Since I know there is a hell lot of butter in this, I just worried about calories, this is dialectic life, yummy foods always with fat, maybe, once in a while it won’t hurt me much : ) just enjoy life.
The challenge was temperature control, if the dough and butter are not cold enough or not consistent, it will difficult to sheet and the butter will spill out the dough; if the proofer temperature is too high or oven temperature too low, also the butter will run out the product, what can I avoid these problems, just pay more attention with my products, make sure the exactly right temperature should be. For the next week, I hope we can practice more by own and figure out some detail questions and try our best to make everything is perfect.
For lamination dough, one of problem is butter (fat) makes dough harder to handle, the butter block and the dough should be consistency cold, but the butter neither too soft nor too hard. If the fat is too soft, it can ooze out of the dough or the dough will absorb it and prevent any layering from occurring in the final product. If the fat is too hard, it will be broken into small pieces during the rolling out process and create tears in the dough with uneven layering of fat. Otherwise, we can add flour to butter for absorb water in butter.
Proofing and baking
The proofer temperatures should not too high, it will melt the butter, The baking temperatures should be 200-220°C, for puff dough, the cooler temperatures can’t create the layers well, too high temperatures will set the crust too quickly, but soggy inside.
Properly proof and bake frozen croissants and Danish is defrost first, then punch out some air, the proofer temperature has to be low, to prevent the butter from melting, then give them time to fermentation. For puff dough proofing has to be low, and the oven temperature should be high!
lastly, I made a picture to show how much I learned about lamination dough!