How to make laminated dough

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If you follow me on the ‘gram then you probably know I’ve been working on a vegan laminated dough recipe for the better part of three weeks. And - if you follow me on the ‘gram - you might also know that slightly more than half of voters requested I deliver the laminated dough and pastries in one post. Which I had every intention of doing until I pulled everything into one post and realized it was major content overload.. so I used my best judgment and decided to split the post in two. If you were in the majority that voted for one post, I’m sorry. But the good news is that part two will be delivered first thing tomorrow so if you end up making the dough today, you’ll have the method for croissants (two ways) and tart cherries + cream pastries early tomorrow morning. Cool? COOL.

Now that I got that out of the way, let’s talk about this dough (in the event some pastry purists are scratching their heads) (or the title alone scared you away from the recipe). I based the recipe off of a vegan Danish dough recipe I developed years ago and it somehow ended up evolving into something more akin to croissant dough.. which I use to make more than just croissants so I refuse to call it croissant dough and am, instead, referring to it as (basic) laminated dough. Speaking of which, there’s a good chance that doughs of the laminated variety intimidate the shit out of you (AMIRITE?) so I’m here to let you know that they’re a lot less intimidating than they seem. Yes they require a lot of time (start to finish, you’re looking at upwards of one full day) but most of that time is wrapped up in resting the dough so trust me when I say LAMINATED DOUGH IS REALLY NOT THAT INTIMIDATING, YOU GUYS.

Ok, the actual process of laminating is maybe a little intimidating but I’ve found that intimidating kitchen tasks can easily be made exponentially less intimidating by watching someone else do them. So do yourself a solid and watch this video (start it at 7:30). And when you’re finished with that one, watch this video, too.

Two more things before I go: 1) Miyoko’s European style cultured vegan butter is the only vegan butter I would recommend using in this recipe. I’ve made laminated dough with other vegan butters and the results (mostly the flavor) were not that great. Yes it’s expensive (thank Buddha I only went through three packages of it during development) but it is worth every penny. 2) Be patient. I cannot stress this enough. Letting the dough rest is *crucial* and if you try to rush it, you’ll be kicking yourself later. When I say the dough needs to rest for two hours, IT NEEDS TO REST FOR TWO HOURS.

Now let’s make some laminated dough, shall we?


Things you'll need (that you may not already have on hand)
European-style cultured vegan butter
+ A food scale
+ A candy thermometer (if the water is too hot or too cool, the yeast won’t be activated)

Other things you'll need
+ Really good all-purpose unbleached flour
+ A pastry brush

stuff
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Notes: If you can’t get your hands on Miyoko’s butter, there are loads of copycat recipes on the WWW. I haven’t tried any of them so I’ll leave the digging up to you. ;) For those of you who aren’t into sugar, you could easily omit it and not run into any problems (though please don’t skip feeding the yeast a tiny bit of sugar; it needs it). If you’re into it, this dough is lovely with spices; really dig it with a little cardamom (especially for apricot bow ties) or cinnamon (for pain au chocolate). If going the spiced route, I’d mix the spice(s) into the laminating butter. Also, I put ~ infant of the measurements because they’re rough; I’m not exact with them and don’t expect you to be, either. Just make sure you roll the dough out into a shape that is more wide than it is tall. And make sure the dough is always 1/8-1/4” thick. Head this way for the pastry recipes.

LAMINATED DOUGH

1/4 cup (50g) filtered water, heated to 110˚F
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups (315g) all-purpose unbleached flour (plus more for kneading)
2 tablespoons (25g) cane sugar

1 teaspoon (6g) fine sea salt
2 tablespoons (28g) European style cultured vegan butter
3/4 cup (165g) soy milk
, room temperature

For laminating
14 tablespoons (196g) cultured vegan butter (remove from refrigerator 20 minutes before using)

Add the warm water to a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top; gently stir to combine then add a pinch of sugar and set aside until foamy (15-20 minutes). Combine the flour, sugar, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl; whisk to combine. Add the cultured vegan butter (only 2 tablespoons) and mix with your hands, breaking up the butter with your fingers and pressing it into the flour. Continue mixing until the butter is evenly dispersed. Once the yeast is foamy, create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast and soy milk; mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is mostly combined then use your hands to mix once it starts to become more dough-like. Turn the contents of the bowl out onto a lightly floured work surface and, for 2-3 minutes, knead between your hands, pressing it into the floured surface with your palms every 15-20 seconds. If the dough is so sticky that it’s coating your fingers, add more flour - in 1 tablespoon increments - until the dough is just barely sticky (the dough should feel slightly sticky and damp, but it should only leave a thin film on your hands). You shouldn’t need to add more than two tablespoons of additional flour (and you likely won’t need to add any at all). When you’re finished kneading the dough, roll it out into a large rectangle (size isn’t too important right now) and fold it into a letter, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for two hours.

Turn on some music. Clean your kitchen. Make a warm beverage. And familiarize yourself with the lamination technique I linked above (there are two videos and you should watch them both.

HEADS UP! From this point forward, all excess flour will need to be removed from the dough using a pastry brush (not your hands). I’ll make a note to remind you of when you should be removing the flour.

Once the dough has chilled for two hours, remove it from the refrigerator and place it on a well-floured surface. Roll it out into a large rectangle measuring ~10x15”. Spread the butter over 2/3 of the dough then fold the unbuttered third over the middle third of the dough, then over on itself again (removing excess flour as needed) - LIKE A LETTER! Roll the laminated dough out into another large rectangle, again measuring ~10x15” and fold in thirds (removing excess flour as needed), just as you did before. This is turn one. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

After an hour, remove dough from the refrigerator and turn it out on a well-floured surface. Roll it out into a large rectangle measuring - you guessed it - ~10x15” then fold in thirds (removing excess flour as needed). This is turn two. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

After another hour, remove dough from the refrigerator and turn it out on a well-floured surface. Roll it out into a large rectangle, this time a slightly different size than the ones before - ~ 8x16”. Instead of folding into thirds, we’re folding it into fourths (a double turn). Take the far left fourth and fold it over the center-left fourth, then take the far right fourth and fold it over the center-right fourth; fold both halves together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or overnight (I always chill it overnight) (the more rest the better).

The next morning, your dough will be ready to go. It can be kept refrigerated for up to 72 hours or frozen (double layers of plastic and freezer bags are necessary) for up to two months. After a night in the fridge, I like to divide it into three sections (each section will make about 4 pastries) so that we can have an assortment of pastries and enjoy them as desired. I usually bake a third of the dough straight away and then store the other two thirds in the freezer. Frozen dough will need to be thawed in the refrigerator the night before (do not attempt to do it at room temperature, trust me).

Yield: Enough dough to make ~12 pastries


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