Viennoiserie refers to the class of baked items that include popular products like croissants. This is a classic French method of pastry baking and requires a great deal of practice and skill which is a time consuming process. Traditionally, the butter and dough is layered and rolled over 3 days and baked fresh in a range of flavours, fillings and shapes. Pastry lamination is a staple in many bakery products. Its most recognizable feature is the chewiness of a delicious croissant or the sharp crunch of a delectable puff pastry.
The Lamination Process
The specific technique that is used to press the butter and flour together entirely depends on the kind of pastry that is being made. The beauty of pastry laminating lies in its careful and skilful kneading, layering and rolling:
- The dough is carefully wrapped around the butter (this is entirely enclosed in dough & cannot slip out)
- This “package” is then rolled out and folded-over and the number of layers is doubled. This process is then repeated over and over again, till a minimum of 70 layers are achieved.
- Every time the dough gets folded, it is referred to as a “turn.” Increasing the number of turns will give you a flakier pastry.
Types of Laminated Doughs
Laminated doughs include croissant dough, puff pastry and Danish dough. Danish dough & croissant dough are pretty similar and both contain yeast. Danish dough is a rich variant as it contains dairy, eggs, and in some cases – sugar. On the other hand, croissant dough is leaner as the detrempe contains just flour, water, salt & yeast. Puff pastry is different from both of these as it does not contain any yeast. It rises only on account of the steam that gets formed from the moisture in the butter.
The Melt-in-the Mouth Experience
Depending on where it is made, a butter replacement might be used in the laminated dough. However, the best flavoured & best-looking laminated doughs always use butter, which is a mix of milk solids/fats and water. At a higher temperature, the water that the butter contains turns into steam.
The multiple and super-thin layers of butter in this laminated dough causes it to rise and puff-up while it is being baked. Most of these products tend to be extremely delicate and flaky due to the process of pastry lamination. The milk solids in the butter cause the laminated pastry to brown and it tastes amazingly delicious too!
If after reading this you would like to try a range of our viennoiserie products, so that you can taste first hand what we are talking about with regards to expert pastry laminating, we would love to make one for you. If you are in Sydney, come in and say hello to myself, Didier Sockeel, and our great team at Ganache Patisserie.
(02) 9967 2882