Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissant)

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French people love their pain au chocolat so much that a popular singer even made a hit song about it! These are great for breakfast or for a goûter (snack).

Difficulty: Medium

Hands-on: 50 minutesTotal: 7 hours 35 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp. baker’s yeast
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 7.5 oz. pastry flour
  • 9 Tbsp. butter, diced, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 24 squares dark chocolate (Lindt 70%) or 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  • Remove 2 tablespoons of milk from the ⅓ cup. In a small bowl, mix the 2 tablespoons of milk with the baker’s yeast. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the rest of the milk with the sugar and salt. Add the flour, then the baker’s yeast mixture. Knead the dough with your fingers, until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and leave the bowl in a warm room for 2 hours.
  • When it has doubled in size, knead the dough with your hands again; the dough should return to its previous size. Put it on a large parchment paper sheet. Shape it carefully into a ball. Using a knife, make a large cross incision about ⅛" deep on top of the ball. Using a rolling pin, roll it carefully until it’s shaped like a star with 4 points, and about 1 inch high.
  • Put the butter in the middle. Fold the points of dough back toward the center over the butter, and flatten very gently, using a rolling pin. Roll until the dough is shaped in a rectangle, then fold it in three: Fold a first third over, then fold the two thirds over the third third.
  • Return the dough to the center of your workspace, and roll it out again gently until you get a rectangle. Fold in three, wrap in plastic, and put in the refrigerator for one hour.
  • Repeat step 4 twice, and put back in the refrigerator for another hour.
  • Roll out the dough and cut it into 5" × 13" wide rectangles.
  • Place 2 chocolate squares or 2 tablespoons chocolate chips at the center of a rectangle. Leave 1 inch of room at the bottom and the top of the rectangle. Fold the left third of the dough over the chocolate. Then add the same amount of chocolate on top of the folded part. Fold the right third of the dough over the chocolate.
  • Place a piece of baking parchment on a baking sheet. Put the pains au chocolat on the sheet. Using a pastry brush, spread the beaten egg yolks on the pains au chocolat. Leave at room temperature for 2 hours to rise.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush egg yolk again on them again. Put in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Serve lukewarm or cold.