Pain au Chocolat

This summer, we had the most amazing patisserie right down the block from us. Almost every morning we’d buy croissants for breakfast, or sometimes just for a sweet treat later in the afternoon. They were perfect- with a thin brown crust that crunched when you bit into them, and little pockets of sweet, dark chocolate amid fluffy layers of homemade pastry dough.
When we got back, I decided to make my own although I knew it would be challenging. The recipe took me around two days to complete, and it’s most definitely not something I’ll do often, but when the fragrant croissants slid out of the oven, it was almost like I was back at the bakery, on a sunny morning, picking up a croissant for breakfast.

pain au chocolat

  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp butter, frozen, then left at room temp. for 30 minutes
  1.  Pour the milk and boiling water into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast and sugar until it’s mixed well, and leave for 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. Add in the flour and salt, incorporate it with your hands into a shaggy ball.Tip the contents out onto a clean work surface and knead until you’ve incorporated all the flour. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, and leave in the fridge to rest for 1 hour.
  3. When your dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, take your frozen butter (which has been left at room temperature for 30 minutes), and grate onto a piece of plastic wrap.
  4. Disperse the butter, and flatten into a rectangle, roughly 8″ x 5″. Fold up in the cling film and pat together well, so it’s like a solid but thin block of butter.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Once the butter has been refrigerated for 30 minutes, tip the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 16″ x 10″ rectangle.
  6. Unwrap the chilled butter block and place into the center of the dough. Fold the dough into thirds over the butter. Seal all the edges by pinching the dough together.
  7. Rotate the dough 90 degrees.
  8.  Roll into a 15″ x 10″ rectangle.
  9. Fold into thirds. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Steps 8+9 = one turn of the dough.)
  10. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and complete 1 turn (repeat steps 8 + 9). Re-wrap in the saran wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  11. Repeat step 10 two more times, so you have done a total of 4 turns.
  12. Cut the dough into quarters. When looking at a cross section, you should tiny layers of butter and dough. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 12 hours, or overnight, in the fridge.
  13. Take one quarter of the dough, and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 18″ x 5″ rectangle.
  14. Cut the dough horizontally in half. Then cut the dough vertically into fourths, making 8 rectangles.
  15. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of chopped chocolate in a line down the short edges of each rectangle. Starting at the short edges, roll up until they meet each other. Repeat with all quarters.
  16. Cover the shaped croissants loosely with a light towel and leave to rise for 2 hours in a cool, draft-free area.
  17. Once ready to bake, place seam side down onto a lined cookie tray, 2″ apart. Then preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the chocolate croissants with beaten egg using a pastry brush and put into the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until well browned and puffy.
  18. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

pain au chocolat

pain au chocolat

pain au chocolat

3 responses to “Pain au Chocolat”

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