Project Vegan Croissant

15 Aug

I feel like such a boring person sometimes. When people ask me what I do “for fun,” I really have to stop and think about it. Truth is, when I’m not baking and cooking…I’m baking and cooking. I resurrected Project Vegan Croissant  in aim of creating THE perfect vegan croissant. Not just vegan, but palm oil-free as well. It hasn’t been an easy feat because there are currently no commercially-produced, non-hydrogenated, palm oil-free, non-dairy margarines that mimic the properties of butter. [My issue with palm oil? There have been numerous articles written on the topic, or check out my thoughts from my old blog.] Alas, I am happy to report that a flaky, fluffy, vegan and palm oil-free croissant is entirely possible thanks to the wonders of coconut oil! I’m still a ways off from perfecting my recipe, but I’m getting there.

In the past two weeks, I’ve made three batches of croissants. My first batch, though buttery in flavor, had a dense interior with few air pockets/layers.

For my second batch, I thought I’d remedy the situation by baking the croissants at a higher temperature to encourage a quick rise. While this resulted in a dark, crispy exterior, the interior remained dense and doughy. It was also lacking a buttery flavor. (No photo, sorry!)

The third batch, however, was a winner! A dark, crispy, flaky exterior, and buttery, fluffy, tender interior.

Fearing another dense interior, I was a little overzealous in laminating the dough for this batch and completed six turns (folds) instead of the usual four, resulting in 729 layers (!!) instead of the usual 81. As such, the interior had air pockets which were smaller and less distinct than I would have liked. I’m aiming for something more like this so I’m going to stick with four turns next time. Still, check out all of the layers! So exciting!

Now it’s time to work on batch #4. I think this time I will make some pains au chocolat (chocolate croissants) as well. Who wants to be a taste tester?

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4 Responses to “Project Vegan Croissant”

  1. Irene Cabo December 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Wow!!! that last picture looks incredible. Congratulations for having reached to this point by your own research. I’m into mine as well, and surfing into the internet, looking for people who tried the wonders of coconut oil before me, I came out with your blog. Today I baked my first batch. I wanted them to be made with wolefoods so I sed wholewheat atta flour or chapatti flour, yeast, salt and of course coconut oil. I made a glazing without sugar to coat them (water, vanilla essence, splenda, unflavoured jelly and a squirt of brandy) . The flavor was great but I didn’t got them to raise as much as yours even though I made infinite folds.

    I’d love you to share your recipe and/or ingredients used… I am asking for too much, aren’t I?

    Have a good croissanting!!

    • Jen January 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      Hi Irene! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I have a couple suggestions that may help you get more rise out of your croissants. One is to use a mix of whole wheat and regular flour to achieve something a little lighter (but still incorporates more whole grains than using all regular flour). Secondly, make fewer folds. As I’ve learned through making many batches now, there is such a thing as making too many folds! And what you end up with is many small pockets instead of large, open pockets. If you have photos of your croissants, I’d love to see them! I haven’t yet attempted whole wheat croissants, but if I do, I’ll be sure to post them.

  2. Ms.J March 16, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    Hi I am looking forward to making my vegan croissants. Do you have suggestions on how to make a block with the coconut oil? If so, please post instructions? Thanx! Ms.J

  3. Lorriann Raji April 18, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    Jen, the croissant looks great. Have you thought about freezing olive oil? I’ve heard other baked vegan goods use this method. Perhaps it would work for you. Best wishes!!!!!!

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