Laminated dough

This is versatile laminated dough suitable for croissants, pin-wheels and Danish. It has 20% wholemeal flour which makes for a more substantial product. If you prefer a lighter pastry use 100% white flour

400g strong white flour
100g wholemeal flour, sifted with the bran discarded or used for bread 315ml whole milk
125g salted butter
15g brown sugar
10g instant yeast
5g salt

  1. Start by making a pre ferment – warm the milk to about 30’c and add the 100g wholemeal flour plus the sugar and yeast.
  2. Mix this really well with a whisk and put into a warm place to ferment for 30 minutes.
  3. Add 400g of strong white flour to the pre-ferment and mix to form a reasonably stiff dough.
  4. Knead this for a few minutes until it smooth and the gluten has started to develop – put this asideto rest for a few minutes
  5. Roll it out on a dusted surface to make a rectangle twice as long as it is wide and about 10cmwide, 20cm long and 1cm thick. Aim for a uniform shape.
  6. Place your butter in a clear plastic bag or between two pieces of grease proof paper and press itdown with a rolling pin to spread it out a bit. Do this gently but with intent and when it has doubled in size, start to gently roll it until you have a thin sheet of butter which will cover 2/3rd of the rectangle of dough
  7. Arrange this over 2/3rds of the dough and fold the unbuttered 1/3rd in and over half of the buttered dough. Now fold this over the remaining 1/3rd of buttered dough to form a parcel. Make sure the edges are reasonably aligned and then pinch them to stop any butter escaping.
  8. Turn the dough 90’ and roll out again until you have a rectangle twice as long as wide.
  9. You now need to do what is known as a book turn – pick up the short edges and fold them in sothat they meet in the middle. Fold in the outer edges as if you are closing a book. Gently press this down so that you have a compact parcel of dough. You now have created 8 layers of butter in- between dough. Wrap this in a plastic bag and place in the fridge for about 30 – 45 minutes. This helps the butter to reset and retards any significant dough fermentation.
  10. Roll the dough out as before, but in the opposite direction and repeat the book fold – you now have 32 layers of butter. Place this back into a bag and back into the fridge to rest. After 30-45 minutes, your laminated dough is ready to use.

For croissants roll out the dough gently until you have a large rectangle about 20 cm wide by 40 cm long and 5mm thick. Cut this in half long ways so you have two 10cm strips. Mark out 12 equilateral triangles with 10cm sides. You will have a few off cuts which can be used to make mini croissants. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Take a triangle of dough and stretch or roll it out until it is almost twice as long and then elongate the other two corners so you have an Eiffel tower shape. Then starting with the base end, roll up to form a tight swirl. Place this onto the tray with the apex of the triangle tucked underneath and turn in the ends slightly to form a crescent. Repeat with the remaining triangles Brush the tops with beaten egg – Prove for 30 – 60 minutes more and then bake at 200’c for 15-20 minutes