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  • I'm Keith Cohen.

  • I'm the owner of Orwashers Bakery.

  • We're in one of New York City's oldest and most iconic food establishments.

  • And this is how we make our croissants.

  • I wanna take this opportunity to introduce Youssouf.

  • He is our croissant master.

  • Here in our giant mixer, we are gonna add flour, milk, salt, sugar, milk powder.

  • He adds milk powder because it adds -- it's dehydrated, so it acts more as a solid.

  • When we first met Youssouf, we tasted his croissant, so, when you look at it and you taste it, you don't change his recipe.

  • Yeast, water.

  • Ice water is very important, especially during the summer.

  • It brings the mix temperature down.

  • So you don't want too hot of a dough because what's gonna happen is, A, the dough is gonna proof, but more importantly, your butter is gonna start to break down.

  • And finally, butter.

  • We source our butter from France.

  • Every country has their own terroir.

  • Because butter is so integral to the taste of the croissant, we felt it necessary.

  • Once the dough is mixed, we wanna be able to pull it out and chunk it into six-kilo increments.

  • Much like a lot what we do here, there's a resting period.

  • Pre-shape gives strength.

  • It's one of the critical things -- almost like bread -- is you have to give strength to your dough.

  • In order to pre-shape it, you wanna make sure you're gentle with the dough, and you wanna fold it under itself without damaging it too much.

  • That dough has to have that stretch and that shine.

  • When we talk about letting the dough proof or rest, you'll also see about a doubling in the size of the volume.

  • You're gonna punch the dough down after it's doubled in size.

  • It's gonna give it a time to deflate, you'll take a little bit out of the gas.

  • It will tighten up on you a little bit, and it'll be ready for the freezing process.

  • During the freezing process, because we're not doing blast freezing, the dough is still fermenting, which is also very important.

  • One of the keys to croissants are, there's not only butter in the dough, but there's butter that gets laminated into the dough.

  • So you're putting dough with butter sandwiched, and then you are passing it through a sheeter, which stretches out the dough and makes it a little bit thinner.

  • Again, what you're looking for is that layered effect.

  • The way you're able to do that is through folding the dough again and turning it, so it becomes exponential.

  • Don't hold me to my math, but once you have four layers, your next set, you will probably have somewhere around 16 layers.

  • And the sign of a good croissant is you should be able to see the laminates.

  • Once it's finalized sheeting, it's now ready for cutting.

  • So we have to have a 10 foot table now so we can lay out the entire sheet.

  • And again, it is about the timing, so we're able to cut it quickly.

  • After it gets cut into strips, it now has to be cut on the angle so you can get that beautiful triangle.

  • The shape of our croissants aren't crescent, they are oblong.

  • Youssouf has developed, I believe it's somewhat his own technique of taking the croissant and giving it a little bit of a stretch.

  • And with each little stretch or each little pat that you see it does, it gives a little bit extra, so you get an extra roll, and at the same time it gives it a little bit more strength.

  • So in addition to our regular croissant, we do a pain au chocolat.

  • It's a little bit easier to roll, but again, there is a technique, the way we use the chocolate batons and making sure that it's rolled tight enough so they don't melt when they're baked.

  • Once again here, temperature's working against us.

  • Once we're done rolling for a particular sheet, whether it's a plain croissant or a pain au chocolat, we're going to put it right back in the freezer.

  • The proofing stage is a highly critical stage for croissants.

  • Things that get overproofed could have a tendency to collapse in the oven, and/or one of the key indicators is the butter coming out of the product.

  • The egg wash gives a nice shine to it, it's more aesthetics.

  • We bake our croissants off at 350 degrees in a convection oven.

  • What's happening now, now that the heat is starting to bake the croissant, again.

  • You are getting some oven spring to it, you are developing that beautiful honeycomb interior, the butter is starting to melt throughout the product,

  • Not completely out of the product, but into the product itself, and again, through the Maillard reaction, you're getting a beautiful, crisp crust to it.

  • Best time to enjoy a croissant is when it's room temperature.

  • You're allowing the butter to get reabsorbed into it and allow some of the gas to escape.

  • It's very important to achieve all your full flavors after the product reaches room temperature.

  • When you cut it open, you will see this beautiful honeycomb interior, and that is really one of the keys to a great croissant.

  • On a well-baked croissant, you should have a beautiful crackle to the crust.

  • And you should have a soft and supple interior, and the butter, if it's high-quality, should taste very, very neutral.

  • To me, croissants are the epitome of French baking.

  • And that is how croissants are made.

I'm Keith Cohen.

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How Croissants Are Made • Tasty

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    Mackenzie posted on 2019/12/27
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