Posted on April 24 2012

the preferment

The croissant dough I’m making this week starts with a preferment and then the dough will go through the process of being laminated.  It’s a versatile dough, and I’m not actually making croissants this week.  It actually takes a few days of prep.  In this first stage you’re basically making a portion of the dough and letting it ferment a little bit longer than the rest of the dough, which allows for flavor to build in the best way.  I am so in love with this step.  It’s quick and simple, and the moment you add the dry active yeast, you smell the magic of fermentation and know that something wonderful is happening.  I taught high school science, so I know that in fact fermentation is not magic.  I’m pretty sure I never told students that bit about it being magic.  It’s just that fermentation does sort of seem like magic.  I will open my fridge this morning and my little preferment will have at least doubled in size.  I will know that a metabolic process occurred, resulting in carbon dioxide and a change in protein structure, but I will pretend, just for a moment that something enchanting happened while I slept.

  1. Amanda Jane Jones says:

    Oh man – When we get back I think I need to take a cooking lesson from you. :)

  2. Athena says:

    Is this the Tartine recipe? I’d love to learn how to make croissants but it looks so complicated!

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