Mickael Chesnouard

Baking Ruminations from Barcelona – Mickael Chesnouard

Now here is a pastry wizard to marvel at. After Josep Pascual’s introduction into the art of baking, we were treated to pastry baking insights by Mickaël Chesnouard, who is the director of Atelier M’Alice – Here some croissant tips I picked up during his master class in Barcelona. 

Despite the growing heat of that afternoon, Mickaël proceeded to show us how to create the most beautiful croissants you can imagine!

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An important learning for me in the making of croissants was: in order for the croissants to be crispier, the quantity of butter should be less, rather than more. Butter content in his recipe is only 10% in proportion to the overall amount of flour. Also, if your bread flour is really strong, then you are better off increasing the quantity of plain flour to your dough. In other words, the strength of flour which is the protein content in it, will vary from country to country. If this is really high you need to pay attention to this  in order to get the best results when making croissants. Needless to say, the “quality” of your flour is also key here.

When laminating your dough, it is important that the dough and the butter is evenly spread during the lamination process. You don’t want dodgy pockets of flour with no butter content.

Another key factor is keeping the dough “cold” It was actually fun watching Mickaël run between the refrigeration room and the classroom in the sweltering heat of that afternoon 🙂 trying to keep the dough cold! 

“listen to your dough”

Above all, what Mickaël emphasised upon, was that you must “listen to your dough” an over strong dough is preferable to a weaker one. If it gets too warm, then you can always return the dough into the fridge to cool it down. It is also perfectly ok to form the croissants and then fridge/freeze them to be baked later. The overall gluten network of the dough needs to be dense and tense. The rest of course is: practice makes perfect!

If you would like to add any other tips to croissant making, I would love to hear from you!

Croissant
Anatomy of a Croissant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next post will be about the interesting way the Italians deal with Lievito Madre, as shared by the Ezio Marinato, Master Baker and professor at ALMA in Italy.

If you are interested in finding out more about what Flour-andSpice gets up to, don’t hesitate to drop me a line via my contact page and I will email you my Newsletter and discuss either BreadCoaching or supply of handmade artisan bread designed to your needs.

Cheers, Tia – your Bread Coach

Designing bread is my passion, empowering you to do the same is my mission!

In the meantime, keep following the bread crumbs!

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