I baked my second batch today. I started working on it already Sunday evening by preparing a poolish for Monday's dough. The recipe, somewhat different from the first one, also comes from Michel Suas' book, one that he adapted for hand-mixed and hand-laminated croissants. While folding the butter into the dough, a little disaster happened. Being a little bit impatient, I didn't wait enough for the dough and the butter to reach the same consistency. The butter was still a little bit too firm and it broke in a thousand little pieces. I was pretty close to throwing the whole mess into the garbage, but I took a deep breath and kept going. And sure enough, in the end the results were not too shabby; in fact they were a lot better than the first time around!
I'm sure it wasn't the shattered butter that caused those results, but rather giving the dough enough time between each step. Also, last time I froze the shaped croissants, and baked them the next morning after proofing them overnight. This time, I decided to rather retard the croissants after shaping, got up in the middle of the night to take them out of the fridge, and let them proof at room temp till the morning. Despite the butter disaster, we had some pretty decent croissants for breakfast.
I dropped some off at our neighbours', since we are only a two-person household. They might have to eat a lot of croissants in the upcoming weeks, while I perfect the whole process.
I really liked the recipe I used this time, so I might stick with it for a little while and hopefully improve my technique further. Once I'm completely satisfied with the outcome, I will write it all down and share it in a final croissant-post!
For now, we decided we are so happy and proud with the results that we should submit our post to the Wild Yeast blog for their weekly YeastSpotting feature.