Recipe: Laminated Dough

Laminated dough is what is used to make puff pastry or flaky pastry, such as in croissants, danishes, cinnamon buns and pigs in a blanket. It consists of many thin layers of dough separated by butter and is produced by repeated folding and rolling.
Making laminated dough takes me back to early morning bake shop class in culinary school: waking up at 4:30 am on cold mornings in New England. I remember it being a big deal to make the laminated dough for the croissants. It was always a little scary because you had to use this giant sheeter (the machine that rolls the dough) to roll out the dough. For this recipe we are just using a rolling pin and some elbow grease and making a few folds; much less intimidating. This recipe yields the equivalent of about 20 cinnamon buns.
 

Laminated Dough Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 oz dry yeast
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 2 ¼ cup iced water
  • 2 lbs bread flour
  • 1 oz salt
  • 1 lb 2 ½ oz. butter (diced and chilled)

 

Procedure:

  • Combine yeast, sugar and water in a large mixing bowl. Let the yeast bloom about 15-20 minutes
  • While the yeast is blooming, take the butter and dice it into small cubes. Place it back into refrigeration.
  • Once the yeast mixture has had time to bloom, incorporate the bread flour and salt with a wooden spoon until the mixture is just combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in refrigeration for 15 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured cutting board and dust the dough with a good amount of flour.
  • Begin rolling the dough. Try to keep the shape of a rectangle as best you can as this will help when you get to folding it.
  • Once the dough is rolled out to about half an inch thick, take your diced butter and sprinkle it on half of your rectangle. Yes, only half. Then fold the side with no butter onto the buttered side, trying to keep that rectangular shape. To help maintain the shape, you can form the corners with your hands.
  • Now begins the rolling process! While rolling, remember to keep the dough consistently dusted with flour (including underneath it) to avoid any sticking. We are going to do a tri-fold with the dough: imagine the rectangle of dough in three sections. Take the first section and fold on to the second section. The next fold will be onto the top of the third section. Make sense? Well there are some pictures to help you with this.
  • Place the dough on a tray and let sit for 15 minutes in refrigeration.
  • Repeat the rolling, tri-folding and refrigerating process twice more. This will create a total of 81 layers and you will have laminated dough!
  • Now what you decide to do with this dough from this point is up to you. Personally, I prefer cinnamon buns but monkey bread, croissants, bear claws and pigs in a blanket will all work well.
  • Have fun with feeling good about laminating your own dough at home and enjoy

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