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?