Have you ever marveled at a croissant’s delicate, flaky layers or a Danish pastry’s flaky texture? These delightful treats are made with a particular type of dough called laminated dough. In this blog post, we’ll take you through making laminated dough step by step so that you can enjoy the deliciousness of homemade pastries right in your kitchen.
What is Laminated Dough?
It is mainly known as Croissant dough, but laminated dough is made using a technique used in pastry-making that involves creating layers of dough and butter. The dough is rolled out, and a butter sheet is placed on top. The dough is folded over the butter, layers of a sandwich-like structure: dough-butter-dough. This process is repeated several times, resulting in multiple layers of dough and butter. During baking, the butter melts, and the moister evaporates and creates steam, which lifts the layers of dough, giving pastries their flaky texture.
Pastries Made with Laminated Dough
This dough makes various pastries, including croissants, Danish pastries, puff pastries, puff pastries, puff pastry twists, Cornetti, Pain Aux Raisins, Pain au chocolat, and many more. Laminating the dough gives these pastries their signature lightness and flakiness, making them a favorite among pastry lovers worldwide.
Tools you need
You don’t need to be a pastry chef, the dough lamination process is pretty simple, and it calls for simple tools:
- A rolling pin.
- Pastry brush.
- A long ruler or a measuring tape.
- Plastic wrap.
- Kitchen knife (or a pizza roller, like I like to use)
How to Make Laminated Dough
Time needed: 12 hours
Before starting, please read carefully the below steps and tips.
- Make the Dough
There are many types of dough, and depending on your recipe, you’ll need a basic dough made with flour, water, salt, and sometimes yeast or sugar. Mix the dry ingredients, add the wet, then knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. Shape it into a ball and let it rest to relax the gluten.
- Prepare the butter
Place slightly soft butter (unsalted is typically used) in a large ziplock bag or between two pieces of parchment paper, with the bottom piece marked with a 9×10-inch rectangle. Use a rolling pin to pound the butter, flattening it and shaping it into a square or rectangle. The goal is to smooth the butter into one cohesive piece. Place the butter block in the refrigerator until 20 minutes before use.
- Lock the butter
Fold Roll out the dough into a 9×15-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Take the chilled block of butter out of the refrigerator 20 minutes ahead, then take the wrapped butter out of its packaging and position it on the left side of the dough, ensuring that no exposed dough extends past the edges of the butter. Fold the other third of the dough over the butter, then the left side over the center.
- First Fold, the Book Fold (x1)
Roll the dough into a 10×21-inch rectangle. Fold the dough in half, then unfold it to see the center line. Fold the right end side towards the center line, then do the same with the left side. Fold the right side over the left. Refrigerate.
- Envelop Fold (x2)
Next, roll out the dough again into a 10×21-inch rectangle. Now, you’ll perform a series of folds known as “turns.” Fold one-third of the dough over the middle, then fold the other side over the top. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, wrap it with plastic wrap, and chill for 30-45 minutes.
Repeat the folding process. The number of turns may vary depending on the recipe.
Roll the dough to the desired thickness for your pastry. At this point, you can cut the dough into shapes for croissants, Danish pastries, or any other laminated pastry you want to make. Once shaped, let the pastries proof until they have doubled in size, and then bake them in a preheated oven until golden brown and flaky.
- Keep the dough and butter cold throughout the process. Cold dough and butter are essential for the final product’s lamination and flakiness.
- Make sure your work surface is clean and dusted with a bit of flour, then use the pastry brush to brush any excess flour as you fold.
- When locking the butter, the temperature of the butter should be “playable,” meaning it bends without breaking, but it is not too soft that it sticks to the bag.
- Before rolling the dough, use your rolling pin to tap the top of the dough from top to bottom until it is 1/2-inch thick. Tapping the dough helps to relax the gluten so the dough won’t bounce back as we roll.
- Be patient and take breaks between each turn. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes between each turn helps relax the gluten and prevents the butter from melting too much.
- Use a sharp knife to cut about 1/4-inch pieces from the corners of the dough before folding. Make sure you see the layers of butter and dough.
While butter is the traditional choice for laminate dough, some recipes may use margarine or vegan butter. However, keep in mind that butter provides a superior flavor and texture.
Yes, you can freeze the laminate dough for future use. After completing the folding process, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using it.
Making laminated dough can be time-consuming, requiring multiple turns and resting periods. Depending on the recipe and your experience level, it can take several hours to prepare.
Add chocolate, dried fruits, nuts, pastry cream, and more. Add it as part of your final roll and shape.
Refrigerate the dough for 30-45 minutes before every fold and roll.
Now that you have a step-by-step guide to making laminated dough, you can embark on a delicious pastry-making adventure in your own kitchen. From croissants to Danishes, the possibilities are endless. So, grab your rolling pin, get your butter ready, and let the layers of flaky perfection unfold before your eyes.
Don’t forget to leave a comment and tag me on Instagram when you make one of my recipes.