Monday, October 20, 2014

October Sourdough Surprises - Croissants

This month's Sourdough Surprises challenge was something that I have been wanting to try for quite some time. Croissants.

I've made croissants before, but not with sourdough.

And I've made sourdough laminated dough before, but not for croissants. So this was very exciting.

When looking for inspiration, I came across a recipe for sourdough pumpkin croissants and I just knew that I was going to try them. I mean, not to sound like a cliche, but at this time of year, I love just about everything pumpkin. So to incorporate it into this challenge? Oh yes.

Now, usually when I make sourdough recipes, I like to have all of the yeast be of the wild variety. Meaning, no commercial yeast.  As you might notice, this recipe does contain commercial yeast in addition to the sourdough.  The author of this recipe is someone I completely and totally admire and trust. So if she used both sourdough and commercial yeast, I am absolutely not going to question it.

I do not have process photos for this because I prepared the levain late at night, the dough early in the morning, and then the rolling and shaping steps were so hands on that I didn't want to grab the camera.

But trust me.

It is fun. And totally do-able.

All it takes is time. And a little bit of patience.

But it is so worth it.

These croissants are absolutely delicious. Dangerously delicious.

Neither the pumpkin nor the sourdough flavors were all that strong, but they were still outstanding.

I can't wait to make these again.

Sourdough Pumpkin Croissants
(from The Fresh Loaf)

For the Levain:
35g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
59g water
105g flour (recipe called for bread flour, I used all purpose)

Mix together all ingredients and leave at room temp for 12 hours.

For the Final Dough:
422g flour (recipe called for bread flour, I used all purpose)
68 g sugar
10 g salt
7g instant yeast (I used active-dry)
21g softened butter
200 g pumpkin puree
120g water
all of the prepared levain

287g butter for the butter-packed to roll in

Mix together everything but the rolling butter and knead until gluten starts to form. In my stand mixer, this was accomplished by kneading (with the dough hook) for 3 minutes at the first speed, the 3 minutes at 3rd speed. The dough is not very smooth, but not sticky. Put the in fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
While the dough rests, cut the roll-in butter into pieces and put the pieces between two sheets of plastic or wax paper. Use a rolling pin to tap the butter until it's soft enough to roll, then roll it between the two sheets until it's a 7.5X7.5inch square. Let this rest in fridge until you need it.
Once rested, roll the dough out until it's double size of the butter sheet, 11X11inch in this case. Remove the butter square from the refrigerator and tap it until it's roll-able, and the texture is similar to the dough. Place the butter square diagonally in the middle of the dough square, then fold up the corners of the dough and seal in the butter. Pay attention to corners and edges, you don't want spots where there's no butter.
Roll out the butter/dough package into a 8X24inch rectangle, then fold into thirds, like you're folding a business letter, folding the bottom third up over the middle, then the top third over the other two sections.
Put the dough in fridge to rest for 1 hour. Then take out dough and repeat the rolling and folding 2 more times, which gives 3 folds in total.
Put in fridge and rest again, this time for at least 90min. Then roll out to 9X36inch, 1/8inch thickness.
Cut into triangles, 4.5inch wide at the base, 9inches tall. Don't hesitate to cut off inperfect edges if you want a pefect crumb.
Roll up each triangle fairly tightly, stretching out the tip with one hand when you roll the bottom with the other hand. Place each rolled triangle onto an ungreased baking sheet.
At this point, you can proof right away, fridge overnight and proof next day, or freeze (defrost overnight in fridge before proofing if you decided to freeze.). Brush with egg wash both before and after proofing. Croissants should proof for about 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to  375 and bake for an additional for 15 minutes.


  1. Those are gorgeous! A pumpkin croissant idea had crossed my mind, but I was worried about the pumpkin weighing down the layers. I'll have to try your recipe. After this challenge, my camera has buttery fingerprints and a bit of flour on it :)

  2. These look so awesome!! So. Awesome!!!

  3. I love your idea to incorporate pumpkin puree ! I have pumpkin seed butter, is that the same thing? They look great, I am so curious about taste

  4. Your croissants look great! I almost made my version with pumpkin. I'm definitely going to try this sometime.

  5. Spectacular Shelley - what an awesome colour! I bet they tasted fantastic.


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