Another go @ some sourdough croissants…

There is a concensus, among us dohheads. That levain, sourdough, naturally -leavened dough….Is KING.  There is someting almost mystic about fashioning a dough product, and having it morph into something delectable, and unctuous. Crusty and tender. Tangy and tasty. This is LEVAIN.  A naturally occurring living organism fueled by wild yeast,  some form of grain and water.  My peers are also entranced by this Ancient method of creating bread and pastry products…I have regular contact with other breadbakers that post glorious photos of all manner of sourporn. Some are jaw-droppingly beautiful, most are stunning…It is a virtual feast for the eyes, and if you have been lucky enough to have elaborated such works of art, then you are even more taken by Levain……Before my eyes glaze over, and I enter a full-on swoon, I would like to share my little experiment with you:  As the title attests to , I sought to create another levain -based croissant-type dough a couple of days ago.  I had fed one of my starters…Most of us nutcases  have several, sitting at the ready , or chilling in the cooler!    I decided to use a firm, (dough-like consistency), WW mother to leaven my dough.  Unlike the last time, I used a tremendous amount of starter in comparison to the flour weight…154%!!!  In other words:  1 and a half times more starter than flour…This can have a real adverse effect on the final product, effecting a rather dense, extremely chewy unit…I threw caution to the wind, and with my hands alone, barely mixed my dough block…

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This shaggy mass got a 1 and a half hour Autolyse, or rest, prior to incorporating the salt. After the gentle hand-mixing, the dough was flattened , and placed into the cooler, to chill.

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My butter, at room temp, (albeit a rather chilly room temp, I mean it is winter in Canada!), was cut into eighths, and flattened into a rectangle, roughly one half the size of my dough block…

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I then proceeded to fold and roll the dough, 3 times. Each time creating layer upon layer of tangy, buttery and hopefully feathery goodness.  In retrospect, my butter could have been a tad warmer, and my dough just a wee bit colder. You’ll notice little chunks of butter on the outside of the finished , shaped croissants. This is NOT a death sentence for the little morsels, just not entirely desirable…There will be other times!!  Once the little oralgasms had proofed…From 1600 until 2300, 7 hours at room temp, they received an egg bath, and were ceremoniously inserted into a 450F oven for the first 7 minutes..

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A short while later, the oven was lowered to 400F, and the croissants were allowed to roast for another 8 minutes. I like a nice caramel color to my baked goods. I already knew that I would be bringing some foodlove to work today, as there is no better way to be accepted in a place of work populated entirely by women, than by lavishing them with goodies…That you made!!!  The scraps, from my rolling and cutting were fashioned into sweet rolls, that actually proofed in a cold basement ….OVERNIGHT!  They are ethereally tasty, as my shop steward attested to…Here  are the money shots, of my experiment…

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Oddly enough, when I amassed all the trim and re-rolled the remains into the sweet rolls, all the little “butter islands”….DISAPPEARED!  I do believe the next time, I will put in and extra turn…And that, was today’s lesson for me!!

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