History has it that croissants originated in 1686, when Austrian bakers heard attacking Turks tunneling under their city. After the bakers' warning led to a Turkish defeat, the bakers were given the honor of creating a commemorative pastry. Originally a rich bread dough in a crescent shape (taken from the crescent on the Turkish flag), croissants were given their modern form by an early 1900s French baker who made them from a puff-pastry type dough.
Improving Croissant DoughToday croissants are sold in bakeries, supermarkets, foodservice establishments, restaurants and fast food outlets. Often these establishments purchase frozen, mass-produced croissants, which they then thaw as needed. Their manufacture, however, can be a challenge. To ensure pastry quality—from large-scale manufacturing through distribution channels to the consumer's hand—a dough improver specially designed for the delicate baked goods is now available.
Degussa Texturant Systems, Atlanta, Ga., offers Emulzym™ GDP 210, a blend of ingredients that improves dough properties and croissant quality. The blend works synergistically during production and baking.
In the MixWhen croissant dough is mixed, the Emulzym GDP 210 is pre-blended with the flour at a dosage of 0.80-1.20% f.b. (flour base) of the formulation. Sugar, salt and yeast are added. Then, water is added and mixed into the dough, which is allowed to proof. The step that makes them light and flaky is lamination with butter, or shortening specially formulated for laminated doughs. Dough is cut into triangles and rolled into crescent shapes. Following another proofing period, the item is frozen or baked.
“Croissant texture is the result, in part, of the layering: repeated folding and rolling of the dough and the fat laminate,” explains Susan Gurkin, global application manager—bakery, Degussa Texturant Systems.
“The emulsifier/hydrocolloid system in Emulzym helps the distribution of fat and improves layering. The 'integration' of these ingredients allows the components to react at a much more opportune time in the process. This system also eases incorporation of the emulsifiers, as they do not require pre-hydration or pre-dispersion in this form.”
A Good BlendWhether the dough is mixed and rolled by hand or by machine, the blend improves handling. It improves extensibility without increasing stickiness as well as makes dough more smooth and stable. Dough consistency also affects puffing, and the blend improves this aspect. It helps the fat disperse more evenly in the dough for more even layering in the final product. At the same time, the hydrocolloid improves the tolerance of the dough so there is not too much layering, which can result in an undesirable bread-like texture. The product also improves volume and flakiness.
Freezing and thawing can have a drying effect on dough. In the case of croissants, it also affects volume and layering. The blend improves dough stability after thawing, according to trials performed by the company. A comparison test of Emulzym with a standard croissant improver showed that a croissant with the blend was easier to laminate, had higher volume and a more consistent texture than the control.
“GDP 210 has been shown to have a 'cryo-protective' effect on the system,” says Gurkin, “even on no-proof and ready-to-bake frozen products.” The blend aids in preventing staling while the croissants are on the store shelf or the restaurant or foodservice prep area.