Pain au Chocolat (or rather, "Chocolate Croissants") are a fan favourite in any and every city at... well, any and every bakery or neighbourhood café. That being said, very few things beat fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate croissants over morning coffee and one's initial peruse of the World Wide Web. Of course, when I made this discovery, it quickly dawned on me that I'd have to learn to make this delectable delight from my own home (and god forbid, with my own two hands). Granted, I've gotten better in the kitchen since initially cultivating this recipe; but at the time, it was daunting. After making a solid attempt at three different Pain au Chocolat recipes (all of which failed due to various errors or typos), I decided to create my own and post it for our readers to try at home (that's your cue). The end result of the below recipe? What you see in the photo above. Good luck, and happy baking! [photo: @cookwithbrit]
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of warm water
1 ½ tablespoons of fresh yeast
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (optional)
1 1/3 cups lukewarm milk
454 g of unsalted butter
225 g of semi-sweet Baker's chocolate
1. Pour warm water into small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar, and gently pour yeast on top of water mixture; let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Place 3 ½ cups of flour into a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, milk and oil (if used). Mix in the bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment until dough wraps itself around the dough hook.
3. Remove ball of dough from the stand mixer, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for one hour.
4. Take the rectangle of butter (454 g) and place between two pieces of saran wrap or parchment paper. Make sure butter is cold. Using a rolling pin, flatten the solid block of butter into a flat rectangle.
5. Remove dough from the refrigerator, and place on a lightly floured countertop. Roll out into a large rectangle (about twice the size of your newly created butter rectangle), and place the butter rectangle into the center of the rolled out dough.
6. Fold the dough around the butter (like an envelope or book fold). Wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
7. Remove dough from the fridge, and place on floured countertop. Carefully roll out with the butter remaining in the fold. Once you’ve rolled out, fold one end over the other (again, like an envelope or book fold) – preferably in the opposite direction of the last time it was folded. Place in the refrigerator again for 1 hour.
8. Remove dough from the fridge, and repeat this process (roll out, fold). Place back in the refrigerator for another hour, or overnight if possible.
9. Remove dough from the refrigerator – it should now be double (if not triple) the size that it was when it first entered the refrigerator. Place on floured surface, and roll out thin.
10. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough in half horizontally, and then into even triangles.
11. Roll triangles into croissants. If using chocolate, place the chocolate at the wide end of the triangle, and roll.
12. Brush rolled croissants with light egg wash (create by mixing 1 egg and ¼ teaspoon of water in small bowl).
13. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and bake croissants for approximately 15 minutes (or until flaky and golden brown).
*Have questions about creating this recipe? Post them below!