Croissants were probably the highlight for most of us in class from our viennoiserie unit. And while there were some interesting items from the bread unit, croissants are so awesome that they were my highlight from the bread unit too.
Viennoiserie, or “things of Vienna”, are baked goods made from yeast-leavened dough that is generally enriched (i.e. has milk, butter and/or eggs added). Some key examples use laminated doughs such as croissants and danishes. Also included in this category are pain au chocolat, brioche, and viennois.
Given my love of croissants, I made some variations on them as part of my revisit to this unit. Here, I have plain croissants, almond croissants (almond cream filling and sliced almonds on top), green tea croissants (almond cream flavored with matcha green tea powder) and purple yam croissants (almond cream flavored with purple yam and black soy powder). The green tea flavor is a bit too muted, but the color was pretty and I think more matcha powder could address this. The purple yam flavor reminded me of the pastries from Asian bakeries.
This was my first attempt at making croissants (or anything yeast-leavened) at home, and I’m relieved I was able to proof and raise the dough (using Instant Yeast) without melting out too much of the laminated butter.
Some tips: to first proof the détrempe dough, microwave a cup of water for about a minute and then use the residual heat and moisture in the microwave; for final proofing of the formed croissants, heat the oven to the lowest temperature setting with a bowl of water inside before shutting off and cooling to proofing range.
Some examples of viennoiserie and breads from Unit 4/6: