Croissants; single fold

The BreadLab is trying to put together a comprehensive list of terms and techniques used in laminated doughs.

Baking terminology can be quite confusing at times. One formula calls for “a simple fold”, another one for a “single fold” or “business letter fold” or a “two-fold”. It can take you quite some time to figure out that it’s all the same thing…

The number of layers in laminated dough and puff pastry is calculated with the equation:

= (f + 1)n

l represents the number of finished layers, f the number of folds, and n the number of times the dough has been folded.

So, for example, when you do 4 single folds, you end up with

l = (2 + 1)⁴

A “single fold” (in three) means 2 folds

l = (3)⁴

so that means that

l = 3 x 3 x 3 x 3

After 4 “single folds” you end up with 81 layers.

As for the number of folds for a specific pastry; it can range from anywhere between 27 layers (a croissant can be made with 3 single folds) up to 730 for pâte feuilletée fine.


Croissants: forming

Croissants have the reputation of being time consuming and complicated to make. Many a home baker shies away from laminated doughs at first, dismissing it as “too difficult”.

My initial reaction wasn’t very different.

After a visit to Paris, where I can find the best croissants with my eyes closed, I decided to be brave and give it a try, and I have been hooked ever since. It really isn’t all that difficult, nor time consuming!

Time to find the perfect formula for perfect flaky buttery croissants.

What technique is the best to use? Do you work in the butter and then proof the dough, or does it yield better results working the butter in after the first proof?

What flour works best for croissants, and why?

The coming episodes of BreadLab will try and answer those questions and inspire home bakers to overcome their croissantophobia.

Are you one of those secret sufferers, longing to bake those golden brown, melt-in-your-mouth French Crown bread jewels, but are afraid to take the plunge… Come out of the closet, face your fears, be brave!

I’d be happy to answer any of your questions.

Happy Baking!

Have a look at my baking gallery!

Sugar bread

Today in the BreadLab, a regional specialty from the province of Friesland in the Netherlands; sugar bread. Spiced with heartwarming cinnamon and safron, loaded with butter and most of all sugar pearls. Not for the fainthearted as you can see from the list of ingredients, but very satisfying to make and very festive, especially when served in individual cupcakes.

Sugar pearls are not easy to come by in some places around the world (if not most). They are really easy to make from scratch though.

Have a look at my photo gallery to see what sort of bread and pastry I make!

Ensaimadas (with time lapse)

With no possible way of leaving the house because of continuous rain and thunder… what better to do than to see your bread rise in the oven!

In this episode I revisit the ensaimada, that I got to know this spring when visiting Ibiza for a week (where it was, without a doubt completely by coincidence, also pouring with rain for the biggest part of my stay). It’s a nice challenge for all of you out there who like to have a go at laminated dough, Mallorca-style! Interesting technique, and ingredients as well!

Have a look and let me know what you think!

I’m trying to teach myself and find a format to make these short 7 minute instructional videos work, for me as well as for the viewer. My aim is to, within reasonable time, be able to make at least 2 or 3 of these a week (weather and working schedule permitting of course). I love to get feedback on what you guys notice, miss, feel, what your associations are, whether it is clear enough, all those things 🙂

I hope you enjoy watching BREADLAB – ENSAIMADAS as much as I loved making it,


Have a look at my photo gallery!

German Rolls

Hey guys!

Today I am sharing the video I made on German rolls. Crispy on the outside, nice and fluffy on the inside and with wonderful seeds to top them off! Check out the video to see how easy it is to bake these delicious breakfast rolls.

Have a look at my photo gallery!


Enter the Bread Lab

Alveoli is of course just fancy talk for the “little cavaties” in (amongst others) bread. I love the sound of the word and it has always stuck with me.

After spending a lot of time in different places doing what I am doing, I thought it time to centralize my efforts. Enter the Bread Lab!
I am a passionate home baker, who loves anything dough. Breads have my main interest, especially the ones with big alveoli, but I am known to stray to pastry on occasion. Pictures speak louder than words, so if you want to have a look at my baking gallery, be my guest.

I am always on the look out for formulas and breads that are new and exciting. If you are a professional or a baking enthusiast looking for an experienced test baker, let me know, we might be able to help each other out in developing new and exciting bread.

In the coming time I hope to share many of the formulas and recipes that I have accumulated over the past years, and find a lot of inspiring bread bloggers on the way.

For now, a picture of my focaccia rising will have to do, together with the promise that I will post later on how this super wet dough ended up performing.

Greetz from Amsterdam,