Frequently Asked Questions
Are products from Vie de France kosher?
Do I have to bake Vie de France products in a convection oven?
No. However, optimum results will be more difficult to achieve. On a Conventional Oven: increase oven temperature 25-50° more than the baking instructions printed on the box label, and increase bake time an additional 5-15 minutes. It is very important to use an oven thermometer to verify accurate oven temperature. If bake time is exceeding more than 5-15 minutes longer than initial bake time, you may need to increase temperature more than 50°.
Can I use Vie de France products if I do not have a proofer?
Yes. The process of proofing without a proofer is called bench proofing. This can be done several ways.
Option 1: Place frozen product on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover each pan with a plastic poly bag or cover entire rack with a rack cover. Place under refrigeration overnight. The following day, place pans at room temperature, covered, in a warm area of the kitchen. DO NOT place on or next to extreme direct heat. Direct heat will cause butter to melt out of croissants or cause a crust to form on bread preventing it from rising evenly. Product is proofed when it doubles in size and bounces back when gently touched. Exact proof time will vary depending on product type and room temperature. Please use the following as a guideline only. The following times are based on a 70° F room temperature. Croissants: 2-4 hours, Danish/Cinnamon Swirls: 2-5 hours, Bread: 2-5 hours.
Option 2: Place frozen product on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover each pan with a plastic poly bag or cover entire rack with a rack cover. Leave frozen product at room temperature until it doubles in size and bounces back when gently touched. Exact proof time will vary depending on product type and room temperature. Please use the following as a guideline only. The following times are based on a 70° F room temperature. Croissants: 8-12 hours, Danish/Cinnamon Swirls: 8-12 hours, Bread: 4-6 hours to thaw, then shape and recover for an additional 3-6 hours.
NEVER BENCH PROOF ENTRÉE CROISSANTS.
How do I achieve a crust on the bread without a steam-injected oven?
Spray the bread with water until it is soaking wet just before placing it in the oven. Or, place a pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven and then throw ice into the water after the bread is loaded in the oven just before closing the door. Please keep in mind the finished results will not be the same as a steam-injected oven.
How do I know when croissants are fully proofed?
Proofing is complete when product doubles in size. It may be necessary to place a frozen croissant next to a proofed croissant to get a good visual. In addition, the croissant will bounce back when gently touched. Be careful of over-proofing. Many air bubbles on the surface of the croissant is an indication of over-proofing, which will cause the croissant to collapse during baking.
Croissants always look small when I bake them.
Check to make sure proofing times are accurate. If you are bench proofing, refer to question #2. If you are using a proofer, check to make sure the temperature is set between 85-88° F and the humidity is between 83-86%. Croissants will take 1-1/2 hours to fully proof. Refer to question #4 for correct proofing guidelines. In addition, check the use-by date on the box to make sure the croissants have not passed that date. Croissants will not reach optimum size after the use-by date has expired.
How do I get Vie de France cookies to spread more?
The natural properties of some cookies (especially those with fewer particulates) lend themselves to a thinner bake. Unique Indulgence Cookies will bake off thinner because they are composed from a butter blend. Vie de France Gourmet All-Butter Cookies are meant to be thicker and heartier. However, if you prefer a thinner cookie, thaw the cookies at room temperature for 45 minutes before baking. Reduce the baking time 2-3 minutes.
Do I proof puff pastry?
No. Puff pastry proofs as it bakes in the oven. In fact, proofing puff pastry will ruin the product. When baking puff pastry products, bake when the product is very cold. Moisture in the dough is replaced by steam between the laminated layers during the baking process thus creating air pockets in the dough, which gives it its flaky texture.
Why is the crust on the bread flaking?
This is most common in par baked breads. It is usually a result of thawing and refreezing the bread before baking. Check to make sure the bread is still frozen when you receive it from your distributor. If the product is thawed upon delivery, the best thing to do is refuse it and send it back to the distributor. However, if you have to accept it, place it in the refrigerator instead of the freezer until using it. If you cannot use it within a day, separate the bread in the box to prevent it from crushing. Always keep it covered to prevent it from drying out. Use refrigerated bread within one week. When baking refrigerated par baked bread, reduce baking time 2-3 minutes.
Do your products contain gluten?
Yes, all products manufactured by Vie de France contain gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, which is a key component of the flour used by Vie de France. Gluten is responsible for the elasticity of kneaded dough, which allows it to be leavened, as well as the chewiness of baked products.
How do I handle Entree Croissants after baking?
Croissants must be held in a warming cabinet (above 140° F). Do not hold longer than 2 hours. Or, cool croissants and hold in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Reheat in a preheated 325° F oven. Heat rapidly until center is 165° F or higher (approx. 5 minutes). Serve hot. We do not recommend reheating more than once.
What is the freezer shelf life of your products?
Freezer shelf life varies by category: Frozen Unbaked Bread and Croissants: 12 weeks; Frozen Unbaked Cookie Dough, Puff Pastry Sheets, Palmier, Pre-Proofed and Fully Baked Croissants: 6 months; Frozen Parbaked Bread: 9 months; Frozen Fully Baked Bread: 9 months (except Focaccia and Ciabatta which is 6 months). Please consult our full-line brochure for more shelf life information.