Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2009 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Croissants are made from laminated (layered) dough that results from the use of fat and the turning of the dough. That is done by encasing butter in the dough, and taking it through a series of rolls and folds, called turns, to produce layers of butter in between sheets of dough. These create fragile layers and an airy light texture.
The leavening in laminated doughs is derived mainly from the steam generated by the moisture in the butter during baking. The laminated fat acts as a barrier to trap the water vapor and carbon dioxide formed during baking. As the steam expands in the oven it lifts and separates the individual layers. While croissant and Danish dough do contain a small amount of yeast to aid in leavening, puff pastry relies solely on steam and requires a higher percentage of butter and a more elaborate folding process.
The key to success in the lamination process is maintaining the integrity of each layer. If the lamination is successful and the layers are maintained the baked croissants will be light and flaky. We show you how to achieve this.
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