Producing a premium croissant with a four-week shelf life is a demanding task. We tested whether an ingredient blend could make it easier for medium-sized bakeries in the Middle East.
A good croissant is soft, moist and comes in a convenient package if you ask the majority of consumers in the Middle East. The best quality croissants of all keep their premium quality for up to four weeks on the shelf.
The challenge for industrial manufacturers, of course, is to make sure their soft croissants are just as fresh and appealing on their sell-by date as they were the day after baking.
Single or blended ingredients?
It’s this challenge that has led to the widespread use of enzymes and emulsifiers in croissant recipes. But, while adding these ingredients individually gives you maximum control, the small doses required must be added with maximum precision. And, if you run a small to medium-sized bakery, you may even have difficulty obtaining the ingredients in the first place.
That’s when a tailored ingredient blend could be a simpler, more accessible option.
In the Bakery Performance Pastry Issue that we published a few years back, we described our work with single ingredients for the 30-day soft croissant. We found that the soft, fresh feel lasted longer when using a hydrate of distilled monoglycerides with an amylase based on G4 technology.
Comparison with a single ingredient solution
Using this solution as the market standard control, we have now tested a blend of enzymes, emulsifiers and a hydrocolloid, which can be added in one dose.
This includes, once again, the G4 amylase, which is proven to work well in bakery recipes with a high sugar content. The emulsifiers are a combination of monoglyceride, for softness and a short bite, and sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), for softness, volume and stability.
The hydrocolloid is xanthan gum, which improves dough stability so the sides of the croissant do not collapse during baking, and eases dough lamination during production.
More softness after 28 days
As you can see from the figure below, our tests found that hardness development is reduced in croissants made with 1.6% or 1.9% of the tailored blend over a 28-day shelf life. In other words, the soft, fresh-keeping quality is improved.
A sensory evaluation has come to the same conclusion, finding a higher level of softness, freshness and moistness in croissants with the 1.6% dose.
For a medium-sized bakery, an emulsifier-enzyme blend with xanthan could be a simpler alternative to single ingredients. If our test results are anything to go by, there’s good potential to maintain croissant quality right through to the last day on the shelf.