Laminated Dough Essay

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~I had to write a paper that compares CIA’s recipes for danish, croissants, and puff pastry against others that I researched. It talks about differences in ingredients and techniques, and how they affect the final products. For those of you who crave laminated dough knowledge, especially when it includes baker’s percentages, here you go….

Laminated Doughs Recipe Comparison

Croissants (CIA) – 36 layers of fat
Bread Flour 2.04 kg 100%
Sugar 198 g 10%
Inst Dry Yeast 21 g 1%
Salt 50 g 2.5%
Milk 1.440 L 71%
Butter (Soft) 198 g 10%
Roll-in: Butter (Cold) 1.13 kg 55%
TOTAL 4.76 kg/ 10 # 8 oz 249.5%

Croissants (Silverton) – 81 layers of fat
Whole Milk, heated to 105F-110F 12 fl oz 80%
Light Brown Sugar, packed 1 oz 7%
Active Dry Yeast .5 oz 3%
Unbleached AP Flour 15 oz (up to 18 oz) 100%
Kosher Salt .5 oz 3%
Unsalted Butter (cold) 12 oz 80%
TOTAL 2.56 # 273%
Make dough: Stir together warm milk, brown sugar, and yeast in bowl of standing mixer and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t foam, discard and start over.) Add 3 3/4 cups flour and salt and mix with dough hook at low speed until dough is smooth and very soft, about 7 minutes.
Transfer dough to a work surface and knead by hand 2 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, a little at a time, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Form dough into a roughly 1 1/2-inch-thick rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until cold, about 1 hour.
Prepare and shape butter: After dough has chilled, arrange sticks of butter horizontally, their sides touching, on a work surface. Pound butter with a rolling pin to soften slightly (butter should be malleable but still cold). Scrape butter into a block and put on a kitchen towel, then cover with other towel. Pound and roll out on both sides until butter forms a uniform 8- by 5-inch rectangle. Chill, wrapped in towels, while rolling out dough.
Roll out dough: Unwrap dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as necessary and lifting and stretching dough (especially in corners), into a 16- by 10-inch rectangle. Arrange dough with a short side nearest you. Put butter in center of dough so that long sides of butter are parallel to short sides of dough. Fold as you would a letter: bottom third of dough over butter, then top third down over dough. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush.
Roll out dough: Turn dough so a short side is nearest you, then flatten dough slightly by pressing down horizontally with rolling pin across dough at regular intervals, making uniform impressions. Roll out dough into a 15- by 10-inch rectangle, rolling just to but not over ends.
Brush off any excess flour. Fold in thirds like a letter, as above, stretching corners to square off dough, forming a 10- by 5-inch rectangle. (You have completed the first “fold.”) Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, 1 hour.
Make remaining “folds”: Make 3 more folds in same manner, chilling dough 1 hour after each fold, for a total of 4 folds. (If any butter oozes out while rolling, sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking.) Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours but no more than 18 (after 18 hours, dough may not rise sufficiently when baked).

Croissant Discussion

Silverton’s croissant dough is distinguished by its lack of butter in the dough itself. Instead, she uses a high percentage of milk, along with light brown sugar instead of white sugar. This would probably contribute a more caramelized color and crispier layers to the final product because of this increased amount of sugar unfettered by a lot of fat. On the other hand, her lock-in is rather high in fat – 80% of butter compared to CIA’s 55%. This makes up for lost fat in the dough, so the dough will still be tenderized by the butter.
By using AP flour instead of bread flour, Silverton’s croissants may turn out a bit less tough than CIA’s because of the decreased protein and increased amount of starch in AP flour, which absorbs liquids and gelatinizes.
Silverton’s technique for combining the dough ingredients seems to involve mixing through to the final gluten development stage, since it is supposed to be “smooth and very soft” at the end of 7 minutes of mixing on low speed. By then kneading it by hand and adding more flour as necessary in order to reach a sticky dough, however, the dough’s concentration of gluten may decrease. The warmth contributed by the heated milk may also speed fermentation of the yeast during mixing and before it is chilled, but the active dry yeast also needs this heat to activate. An hour long chill in the refrigerator for this small amount of dough would probably retard fermentation quite a bit.
Her recipe also calls for 4 3-folds instead of CIA’s 4-fold following by two 3-folds. This would contribute added layers and flakiness. The layers may be a bit thinner, which would further contribute to the crispier layers of the dough in the final product.

Danish (CIA)
Bread Flour 4# 100%
Sugar 7.25oz 11%
Ins. Dry Yeast 1 oz 1.5%
Salt 1 oz 1.5%
Butter (soft) 6 oz 9%
Eggs 13 oz 20%
Milk 28 fl oz 44%
Roll-in: Butter 3# 75%
TOTAL 10#8oz 262%

Danish ( – 54 layers of fat
Cold Water 32 oz 40%
Yeast 5 oz 6.25%
Bread Flour 4# 80%
Cake Flour 1# 20%
Dry Milk Solids (sifted) 4 oz 5%
Salt 1 oz 1.25%
Sugar 12 oz 15%
Butter (well softened) 12 oz 15%
Eggs 1# 20%
Cardamom .14 oz .1%
Baker’s Margarine or Butter 2 # 8 oz 50%
TOTAL 12.63# 252.6%
1. DOUGH: Mix the first 10 ingredients together using the “Straight Dough Mixing Method”. Mix on low speed for ” 3 minutes” until a smooth loose dough is formed – do not overwork the dough! Relax 15 minutes. Spread the dough onto a well-floured parchment lined sheetpan, and retard for 30 minutes.
2. BUTTER BLOCK: Spread evenly over 2/3 of a parchment lined sheetpan. Place in the refrigerate just before the dough is finished relaxing.
3. When both the butter and dough have reached the same consistency, place the dough onto a well-floured work table, brush-off excess flour and cover 2/3rds of the dough evenly with the butter block.
4. Fold into 3rds to complete the LOCK-IN. Turn 90 degrees.
5. Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 1/2″ thick (no thinner). Complete the 1st 3-FOLD, then refrigerate 30 minutes.
6. Complete the 2nd 3-FOLD, refrigerate 30 minutes, and the final 3rd 3-FOLD (total of 135 layers). Wrap tightly and refrigerate. Use the 2nd day.

1. Shape into danish, relax 10 minutes, indent, fill, finish proofing.
2. Whole egg wash applied before filling.
3. 3/4 Proof total.
4. Bake @ 375 F.
5. Glaze while hot. Allow to cool and then apply fondant.

Danish Discussion

The recipe calls for bread flour and cake flour instead of CIA’s bread flour only, which could produce a less tough dough. It should have enough protein to support its structure without being too elastic from the gluten.
If the baker takes the suggestion to use baker’s margarine for the roll-in, the product will probably be a bit more yellow from its coloring. Baker’s margarine has a similar final melting point to butter, but it does not have as pleasant a mouth feel, so the product could seem greasier. The butter used in the dough may ameliorate the greasy effects of the margarine, but the 15% butter may not be enough to stand up to the 50% margarine. Margarine would be cheaper, though. On the other hand, the recipe suggests that using all butter in the same quantity is just as acceptable.
The recipe also calls for sifted dry milk solids for the dough instead of milk, as in the CIA recipe. The milk solids would be absorbed by the cold water that is in the recipe. Dry milk is cheaper than regular milk, but it may give a slightly off taste to the final product.
The recipe also calls for a small amount of cardamom, which is traditionally used in danishes. It would contribute a hint of spicy flavor.
The roll-in used by is also meant to cover 2/3 of the dough during lock-in instead of ½ dough covered by the butterblock in CIA’s recipe. Since the first fold by is a 3-Fold, this size of the butter fits into the folds; CIA’s first fold is a 4-fold, which requires the butterblock to be rolled to ½ of the dough for it to be evenly folded into the layers. So, uses three 3-Folds as opposed to CIA’s 4-fold followed by two 3-Folds. CIA’s recipe will have more layers, so may be flakier. It may rise a little bit more during baking because of the extra layers of steam created by the extra layers of butter, but the difference may be negligible.

Puff (CIA)
Bread Flour 737 g 67%
Cake Flour 170 g 16%
Butter (soft) 113 g 10%
Water 600 ml 55%
Salt 21 g 2%
Butter (pliable) 1.02 kg 93%
Bread Flour 113 g 10%
Cake Flour 75 g 7%
TOTAL 8#12 oz 260%

Puff (
Unbleached AP Flour 1# 100%
Fine Sea Salt .3 oz 2%
Unsalted butter (fridge temp) .25# 25%
Lemon juice .5 oz 3%
Cold Water 8 oz 50%
Unsalted butter (fridge temp) .75# 75%
TOTAL 2#9 oz 255%
1. Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Cut 1/4 pound of the butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Put them in the bowl, and, using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, rub the butter and flour together. The butter will break into smaller pieces, each coated with flour. Continue until the mixture looks like a coarse meal.
2. Put the lemon juice in the water. Pour the water into the bowl, a little at a time, mixing with your other hand. Turn the resulting dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it a few times, until all the dough is gathered into a ball. It will still look rough. Flatten it into a disk about 1/2 inch thick, enclose it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 30 to 60 minutes.
3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and put it on a lightly floured work surface. Poll it into a 13-inch disk, leaving a center area about 6 inches in diameter thicker and thinning the periphery, so that it has a shape like a hat lying on a table.
4. Take the remaining 3/4 pound of butter from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured work surface, beat it with a rolling pin into a disk about the same diameter and thickness as the fat center of the dough. Put the butter in the middle of the dough, and fold the edges over it. Now you have a piece of butter completely enclosed in dough.
5. Turn it over so that the folded side is on the work surface. Pound the package (not too hard) a few times with a rolling pin to flatten it somewhat. Roll the dough into a rectangle 20 by 11 inches, with one of the narrower sides facing you. Dust off any excess flour. Fold the bottom part of the dough up about a third of the way, then fold the top down, like a letter. Turn the dough so that the outer fold is on your left, like a book. Roll and fold the dough one more time. Make 2 finger indentations in the top of the dough to remind you that you have made 2 turns. Wrap the dough in plastic, and refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and repeat the process, rolling and folding the dough 2 more times. Make 4 finger indentations in the top of the dough, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.
7. If at any time the dough resists your efforts to roll it, let it rest a few minutes and try again. And if butter breaks through the dough, lightly flour that portion and continue.
8. Remove the dough, and roll it and fold it 2 more times. Now the dough has 6 turns (and 729 layers) and, after a rest of 60 minutes, is ready to be rolled and shaped to make the pastry of your choice. Either refrigerate it up to 3 days, or wrap it in 2 layers of plastic wrap and freeze it up to 1 month.
9. If the dough has been refrigerated more than 1 or 2 hours, gently beat it with a rolling pin before rolling it into its final shape. If it is frozen, defrost in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

Puff Pastry Discussion
The recipe uses AP flour while the CIA recipe uses a mix of bread flour and cake flour. The blend of high and low protein should just about approximate effects of the medium protein AP flour.
The acid in the lemon juice in the recipe will help the gluten to relax so that it will be easier to roll out. It is a small amount, so it probably won’t affect the flavor after refrigeration and baking
The recipe also calls for the butter to be the temperature of the refrigerator, which would prevent it from melting when it is rubbed into the flour by hand for the dough, as it calls for. If it is not warmed enough, though, it may not spread evenly in the dough. The roll-in butter is supposed to be beaten into pliability with the rolling pin before lock-in, so it should not tear the dough during the fold. The chilled butter should prevent the butter from melting and locking layers together.
The recipe uses a technique of shaping the dough and butterblock into disks for the lock-in, and then rolling it into a rectangle after lock-in. The disk-shaped lock-in may result in overlapping layers of dough while trying to seal its irregular shape. Rolling the disk into a rectangle afterwards may also prove awkward, resulting in over-rolling or uneven sides of the rectangle. calls for two folds at a time, as well, for a total of six 3-folds, instead of CIA’s four 4-folds. The additional layers may result in a flakier product, and since the 3-folds are gentler on the dough than 4-folds, the recipe should produce a puff pastry that whose additional layers will hold up well.

Adapted from A Sweet Quartet by Fran Gage. From Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from the La Brea Bakery. Printed in Gourmet Magazine, 2000.