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Gluten Free Croissants..Yes Gluten Free

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner Sydney and I have had numerous requests to teach a class on Pâte à Croissants (Croissant dough). To be honest I was not ecstatic at the thought of conducting a culinary class on croissants without having taught a beginner bread and pastry class.

Pains sucré or sweet bread dough has caused calm sane people to revert to a two year old having a tantrum. However a good friend of Sydney’s wanted to learn the method and technique to prepare croissants for a Mother’s day brunch she was hosting; her mother had just finished a long painful battle with breast cancer and this is going to be their first Mother’s Day without chemotherapy. I could not in good conscience refuse.

The small “catch,” as Sydney’s friend explained, was her mother also had celiac disease (she needed a gluten free diet), croissants alone are difficult to master, but gluten free… I began pulling my hair out at the thought.

You can almost smell the buttery goodness!

Sydney and I decided six students would have to be the limit, three students per instructor seemed appropriate. In theory the recipe has few ingredients yeast (fresh or active dry), flour, liquid, sugar and salt. As I mentioned earlier, jumping into creating flaky light buttery croissants without any previous knowledge of yeast breads seemed a recipe for disaster. Sydney and I began brainstorming a successful, flourishing, and enjoyable pains (bread) class. Since croissants can take a minimum of 12 hours to a maximum of 3 days,depending on the method used, we concluded it would be advantageous instead of only teaching croissants to teach a pâte feuilletée (puff pastry), pâte à brioche (brioche), and pâte à croissant (croissant) class both with and without gluten over a 5 day period.

Croissants are, in my opinion, a cross between pâte à brioche and pâte feuilletée. Both puff pastry and croissants need the détrempe and barrage at the same temperature, rest in the refrigerator between rolls, and use the same method of rolling, folding, and turning. Brioche and croissants each use yeast to rise the dough, and need to be proofed more than once.

After we completed a schedule for the week, we were ready for our group of students, the only prerequisite I asked was that each student needed to have an understanding of yeast breads. We prepared six syllabuses, recipes for the puff pastry, brioche, and croissant, and each student received a mini food processor. When Monday arrived we were ready and motivated.

Since my intention is not to bore you with the details of the entire week from here on I will only be referring to the croissant portion. I must admit, for the most part, the class went rather smoothly and all had a tremendous time. I will start with same line I said as we began the croissant portion, “please take a deep breath and release slowly.” If you are confident, the dough will submit to your will.

Prior to beginning anything prepare your mise en place

We used fresh compressed yeast (also called cake yeast), but active dry yeast works fine and I have given both versions.

Pâte à Croissant Dough 1:

Ingredients

244 grams/ 1-cup whole milk, warm about 35 degrees C/ 95 degrees F

110 grams/1/2-cup heavy cream, warm about 35 degrees F/ 95 degrees F

29.9 grams/ 1.3 ounces fresh yeast or 13 grams dry yeast/ 1 Tablespoon, plus ¼ -teaspoon

4 grams/ 1- teaspoon sugar

18 grams/1 Tablespoon salt

50 grams/ ¼-cups brown sugar, granulated white sugar may be subsituted

300 grams/ 7/8-cup sweet brown rice flour

120 grams/ 3/4-cup sorghum flour

120 grams/ 1/3- cup rice or corn starch

9 grams/ 1-tablespoon xanthan gum

Beurrage Package

340 grams butter, cold

10 grams/ 3 1/2-teaspoons rice flour

21 grams/ 1-Tablespoon sorghum flour

Prepare your mise en place. In a small bowl whisk the flour and set aside covered.

Both yeasts will look the same once foaming

In the bowl of a standing mixer add the yeast mixture, 480 grams of flour (reserving 60 grams/ 1/2-cup flour if needed), and the brown sugar whisk together, by hand, and then whisk in salt.

Using your dough hook on low speed add the warm milk until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium (#4) and mix for about 4 minutes. The dough should be silky, smooth, pulled away from the sides of the bowl, and will still cling to your fingers slightly.

Place the dough in a 4-quart bowl or dough bucket that has been lightly greased with butter or cooking spray.  Cover the bowl with the lid or  plastic wrap. Place the dough in  room temperature room (26 degrees C/80 degrees F)  for 30 minutes. If the room is colder preheat your oven to 150, turn it off, and the oven should  register at 26 degrees C/ 80 degrees F. Place the dough in the oven.

Using a greased rubber spatula, gently fold the dough.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to 8 hours.

The Beurrage:

Cube the butter into dice size pieces. I found the best way to combine the butter with the flour, is to place the cold cube butter and 25 grams of the rice and sorghum flour in the bowl of your standing mixer on low speed, with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and flour.  Once the mixture is amalgamated shape into a 28cm x 28cm 9×9-inche square (no thicker than 3/8 of inch). The butter should still be cool but workable- about 16 degrees C/ 60 degrees F.

Use it right away, the temperature must be at 16 C/ 60F to laminate properly.

Pâton:

**Laminate the dough

Take the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to 31 x 31 cm/ 12.5 x 12.5 –inches. Place the barrage (butter square) diagonally in the center of détrempe (dough) using the back of knife mark the dough at the corners of the butter, remover the butter at form flaps where the marks are. Roll the flaps a little. Now moisten the flaps slightly place the butter back into the center, diagonally. Wrap the butter by securely overlapping the flaps slightly. Wrap the pâton in plastic film and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, but no longer.

** The laminating method is one Rose Levy Beranbaum uses, I believe it works best.

Turning the Détrempe:

First Turn:

Place the dough seems side up on a floured marble board. Keep your work surface lightly floured, gently roll the pâton into a long rectangle about 50 cm/20 inches long by 18 cm/ 7inches wide. Brush off the flour from the dough’s surface and give it a business letter fold (folding into thirds). Wrap the folded dough in plastic film, lay on a parchment paper lined ½ baking sheet, and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 40 minutes. Mark the paper to keep track of the turns. I generally like to complete a total of 6 turns, but a minimum of 4 turns is fine. The dough will let you know!

Second turn through fourth to sixth turns: (you may do up to six turns if the dough allows)

Start with a clean work surface that has been lightly floured. Position the dough so that the spine is faced to your left (like a book) and press down the edges of the dough with a rolling pin to keep them straight. (The upper part tends to roll out more than the bottom part). Roll and fold the détrempe the exact same way, but turn it over occasionally to keep the seams and edges even. Be sure to roll into all four corners of the détrempe, and use a pastry scraper to even the edges. A total of four turns should be completed; the third turn can have a double fold equaling four turns.

**The Portefeuille (wallet) Fold (only if you decide not to do four to six turns)

Start again with a 27cm/11 inch side running from your left side to your right. Roll the dough into a rectangle 40 t0 42cm to 25 to 27cm/ x 16 to 18-inch inches long by about 10 to 12-incheswide. Fold the left and right sides of the dough into the center, leaving a little space in the center, and then fold one side over the other as though you were closing a book. This is the famous double turn, also known as “le portefeuille (the wallet”).

The Portefeuille should be chilled for 2 hours.

** This is a method used by professionals.

Shaping the croissants:

To Shape the Croissants:

Begin with a cleaned flour workspace

Roll out the dough to 60 cm/24-inchs by 43cm/ 17-inches.

Brush off all the flour. Fold the dough lengthwise so it ‘s 15cm/6-inche/ by 56cm/22-inches. Using a croissant cutter cut across the long side. Brush off all the flour. Fold the dough over lengthwise.

Damp a cloth to keep your hands moisten while stretching the triangles.

Using a croissant cutter (or a pizza cutter) begin to cut, if using a pizza cutter cut a triangle) cut through both layer all the way to the other side. Open the folded triangles, so for every full cut there are two triangles formed.

Shape one triangle at a time, keeping the remaining triangles covered with plastic wrap.

Use the scrapes of dough to place in the top of triangle, keep them covered as well.

Forming the Croissant:

1. Cut the triangle.

2. Unfold the triangle carefully, cut along the fold to separate.

3. Gently stretch the triangle twice it’s original length about 23 cm/ 9-inches long.

4. Enclose a piece of scrape dough to pump up the middle.

5. With the point facing you roll the dough towards you, gently moving your hand down out to the side.

6. Curve the pointed ends of the rolled croissant to form the traditional shape.

To Shape the Croissants:

Begin with a cleaned flour workspace; roll the dough to 35.5 by 61 cm/14 by 24 inches.

Gently stretch each triangle about 9-inches long; first pull the base sideways- gently, but with a firm hand-then holding the base in your left hand, use your thumb and two fingers of your right hand to work down the length, elongating it. Place the triangle on your work surface with the narrow point facing you.

Grab a ball scrape, shape into a football shape, and lace the wide base of the triangle. Roll the base over one of the football of scrape dough to encase it about ½ inch. Continue rolling with the fingers of your left hand, keeping the triangle stretched with your right hand.

Place the croissant on silpat lined ventilated sheet pan with the point underneath. Curve the sides so that they turn in on the side of the croissant facing you. Keep the croissant covered with plastic wrap while you shape the rest.

Set about 6 to 7 rolled croissants, evenly spaced, about 2 inches apart giving them room to grow.

Place the baking sheet of croissants in a warm place to rise, ideally about 26 degrees C/ 80 degrees F for about 2 hours or until the croissants have doubled in size and have achieved a light texture.

Egg Wash Glaze:

50 grams/1 whole egg

14 grams/ 1-tablespoon heavy cream, half and half, milk or water

Sugar for sprinkling, optional

Baking the Croissants:

Preheat the oven to 218 to 232 degrees C/ 425 degrees F, arrange the oven racks so one rack to the lower and upper positions. Prepare egg wash and very lightly with a pastry brush, brush the egg wash onto the croissants.

Open the oven, spritz the oven generously with spray bottle of water and quickly close the door. Open the oven door again, slide the croissant sheets into oven and re spritz. Turn down the oven temperature to 240 degrees C/ 400 degrees F. after about 10 minutes rotate the croissant sheets. Reduce the oven temperature to 191 degrees C/ 375 degrees F and continue to bake the croissants till deep golden brown, internal temperature should register at 99 degrees C/ 210 degrees F. (about 8 more minutes). They will finish baking while they cool.

Cooling the Croissant:

Once the croissants have achieved the color and correct internal temperature, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Since Mother’s Day is still 2 weeks away I cannot tell if Sydney’s friend created light flaky croissants for her brunch, but now she knows how!

 

 

 

Voila!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Bobbie Noto

  • Louise

    Did you use the warm cream with the white sugar and salt with the dry yeast?
    thnx

  • 12345

    I made these over yesterday and today. I used the warm cream, sugar and salt with the yeast as the comment above suggested, which worked well.. I’m well experienced with gluten bread baking, but in the past few months have been introduced to gluten free baking, so i’m still quite new. I did find that even using a tablespoon of xanthan gum, the dough still didn’t get nearly as elastic as the instructions suggested, and while completing the turns the dough often cracked with rolling.. I would reccomend freezing the rested formed croissants BEFORE baking because my first few simply fell apart in the oven so I put the rest in the freezer on the baking pan for about 20 minutes before I put them in the oven which worked well. They looked more similar to a flakier pillsbury crescent roll than the picture, but they turned out DELICIOUS and I will be making them again, maybe with some dark chocolate hidden inside too!

  • Jennifer-Adventuresome Kitchen

    Hi! I love your croissant recipe. I’ve wanted to attempt gluten-free croissants for some time now. I have a few questions..1) what is a Beurrage Package? I’ve never heard of one, and would love to know what it is and where to find it.
    2) I’m confused on the ‘flaps’ directions in the Paton section..can you articulate that a little more clearly? It seems that you wouldn’t need flaps if you’re just wrapping the butter..Are you saying that the 4 corners of the dough need to be brought together over the center of the butter, slightly moistened and secured?- so it looks like the back of an envelope? I’d appreciate any clarification. I’ll report back once I’ve made these. Croissants are the one pastry I truly miss.

  • Lauren

    I made these on Saturday with TREMENDOUS results. I started the dough in my bread machine because my house is cold in the winter and I knew it would keep the temperatures just right. GF dough will NEVER be elastic like gluten dough but this is by far the best dough I’ve tried for croissants, and my celiac friend LOVED them. we didn’t let them proof quite long enough either as it was getting late, but they were still delicious.

    Jennifer– I highly recommend watching some youtube videos on croissant making. Its almost impossible to understand written directions and it will give you a visual on adding the butter, turning and folding the dough. Its very helpful to see it done if you’ve never done it, and everyone’s technique will be slightly different but this dough will make fantastic GF croissants!

  • http://bobbiesbakingblog.com/ Bobbie

    There is a detailed step by step on my blog site bobbie’s baking blog

  • http://larosesucree.blogspot.com/ Rose Sucree

    I found out I had to eliminate gluten from diet about 2 months ago; croissant are favorite food. I visited bobbie’s baking blog for the full details. This recipe rocks Thank you! Rose

  • Igor

    Thank you! You’ve performed a great service for us Ciliac sufferers!

  • Lee

    Hi, I looked on your web and saw the detailed steps, but that recipe is for regular croissants, not GF. With GF bread you usually can’t just switch out the flour as you have done, so can you tell us whether you made these GF or not? Just curious bc you even have the same story about your daughters friend, but you omit the GF part. I ask bc your measurements are off. For instance 7/8 cup of sweet rice flour = 120 grams, not 300. 3/4 of a cup of sorghum = 90 g. Also, you don’t say when to put in the xatham gum, but i assumed w the salt. Also the batter is very salty (gf flours are more transparent than wheat) which made me wonder if perhaps the 7/8c was the typo. My dough is resting so we shall see. It is very sticky and did not pull away from the bowl, even though i added in the 1/2c reserved flour and another 1/4c. I know better to add too much flour with gf baking, so i stopped there. Please clarify if you would. GF flours are expensive and its a shame to waste if the recipe isn’t correct. Thanks.

  • http://bobbiesbakingblog.com/ Bobbie

    Lee,
    I wish the recipe worked out for you; the recipe has been tested and works for most gluten free bakers. The flours have not been switched, it is a scientific mixture to substitute, of sweet brown rice flour, sorghum flour
    rice or corn starch, and xanthan gum.If you need help with the gluten free baking please contact me.
    Bobbie

  • Gwen

    The step in which you mix the yeast with the cream and sugar is missing from this recipe. Fortunately I read the comments first and was comparing with the recipe on your blog but for those who might not notice that, it would be helpful to go back and include this step on this website so it’s not confusing.

    Also, in my years of working with gluten free flours, I’ve never seen sweet *brown* rice flour, just sweet white rice. Did you use the regular brown rice flour (like Bob’s Red Mill) or did you actually find a *sweet* brown rice flour? I ended up doing half brown rice flour and half sweet white rice flour (based off a gf puff pastry recipe I have) which may or may not work, but we’ll see.

    Looking forward to seeing how these turn out!

  • Gwen

    Lee: as I said in my previous comment, I decided to experiment with half sweet white rice and half brown rice–as I was weighing them, I noticed that 100g of one was definitely more physical volume than 100g of the other. So perhaps it was a different type of flour than Bobbie used (which is why weight is the best way to do these sorts of recipes…)

  • http://bobbiesbakingblog.com/ Bobbie

    I found sweet brown rice at KA.

  • Hope

    These gluten free croissants are so good you won’t believe they’re gluten free!

  • http://www.galgoneglutenfree.com Gal Gone Gluten Free

    These look spectacular. I’m dreaming of a schmear of raspberry jam…

  • http://www.cammyscorner.com Cammy

    Interesting! I’ve been missing croisants in my life… hope i can try to do without the yeast though

  • lucy

    Any substitutes to cream that are lactose free?

  • Jane

    I was really excited to try this recipe, but unfortunately it has a few detrimental mistakes. The author also has the recipe on her blog with corrections – for example 42 g of cornstarch, and 1 7/8 cups of sweet brown rice flour. These errors resulted in a failed batch, but I’m going to try again with the corrected recipe. Here’s hoping.

  • Melody

    I found your posted recipe of GF Croissants on Pintrest. I am a bit confused. First, you didn’t say how to prep the yeast mix–with? can I sub the rice or corn starch with Tapioca starch? what is Beurrage Package? how much is 340 grams of butter in American measuring terms? (Tablespoon, teaspoon, cups). Also I do not have a mixer so I must use my hands and a utensil to stir/mix. Also would substituting the milk to using Lactos Free milk or Almond milk ok to trade out? Do you have any other flavored variations of Croissant recipes to offer? such as Almond Croissants? ham & cheese croissants? Also-isn’t that too much salt in this recipe? 1 Tablespoon? really?
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