How to Bake like Tar­tine at Home

SAVEUR - - Master Class -

A 15-year em­ployee of Tar­tine, Fausto Echev­er­ria started as a dish­washer and worked his way through all of the sta­tions in the kitchen be­fore head­ing up crois­sant pro­duc­tion at Tar­tine Man­u­fac­tory. His team turns out over 200 of their sig­na­ture crois­sants a day with the help of fu­tur­is­tic Swedish ovens, a mega-size spi­ral mixer, and a dough sheeter. When bak­ing with his young kids at home, Echev­er­ria makes pas­tries that are al­most as per­fect by fol­low­ing these steps.

Check Your Proofs

Pro­fes­sional bak­ers of­ten let pas­tries made with yeast-leav­ened dough rise in warm, hu­mid­i­fied cab­i­nets known as proof boxes. If your kitchen is cool and dry, fake your own by set­ting your tray of shaped pas­tries in a large cooler or cov­ered plas­tic bin be­side a dish of hot wa­ter. This will pre­vent the sur­faces from dry­ing out and crack­ing and al­low the ten­der dough to stretch evenly as it rises. Don’t over­proof; if the pas­tries have fully in­flated and started to fall again, they will bake up flat and mis­shapen.

Op­ti­mize Your Oven

Tar­tine bakes in a ro­tat­ing con­vec­tion oven that elim­i­nates the need to open the oven to ro­tate dur­ing cook­ing. Echev­er­ria re-cre­ates the con­vec­tion ef­fect at home by adding a low, wide dish of wa­ter on the floor of the oven dur­ing pre­heat­ing. The ris­ing steam en­cour­ages heat and air move­ment and en­sures a more even bake. The other key to con­sis­tency: Leave the door shut un­til the pas­tries have a good amount of color. Oth­er­wise, they tend to fall be­fore their shape is set.

Keep Things Fresh

By Tar­tine’s stan­dards, crois­sants have an ex­tremely short win­dow of ac­cept­able fresh­ness. At home, Fausto proofs and bakes only what he in­tends to serve that day. Un­proofed, raw pas­tries can be frozen and packed in re­seal­able plas­tic bags. The night be­fore you plan to bake, trans­fer the frozen pas­tries to a parch­ment pa­per–lined sheet tray, tent loosely with plas­tic wrap, and thaw in the re­frig­er­a­tor.

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