Pain au Chocolat or Chocolate Croissants

Pain Au Chocolat or Chocolate Croissants – Chocolate batons wrapped in delicious flaky pastry. We found the 3 day process simplifies the recipe for home making. It allows time to accomplish other things, and the dough responds differently when it has time to rest.

If you love croissants making them is a goal that can be achieved. And the more times you make them, the more you understand the method. And you’ll see how different the dough responds in different room temperatures. It’s true: where there’s a will there’s a way. So go for it! It’s rewarding when they bake into their familiar form.

Making Pain Au Chocolat is less about measuring and mixing and more about folding and rolling and chilling and keeping the dough cold during the entire process. It’s the secret to all those buttery layers.

The video shows day 2 and 3, the only pictures missing are taking the dough in and out of the refrigerator/freezer.

For Perfect Layers, keep the dough oh so cold!!!

This dough is temperamental and house temperature will dictate how often you use your refrigerator/freezer. Keeping the dough COLD protects the pastry layers you’re forming. When the dough starts to feel warm to the touch, return it to the fridge or freezer for 15-20 min, as often as needed.

Here’s how it goes. Prepare yourself for day two. And work it baby.

Day 1: Mix the dough, and form a Butter Block, refrigerate both.

Day 2: “Arm day” Laminate Dough:Roll, lay in the prepared Butter Block, and seal the edges. Roll, Fold, Wrap, Refrigerate. Then Turn, Roll, Fold, Wrap,Refrigerate. Then Roll, Cut in two, Wrap, and Freeze overnight.

Day 3: Work on one of the refrigerated sheets, and leave the 2nd in the freezer. Roll, Cut in six, Place Chocolate Baton, Roll, and Tuck 2nd Chocolate Baton, Roll, then Transfer to a baking sheet, then Cover, and Let rise.

Repeat with the 2nd frozen sheet. Roll, Cut in six, Place Chocolate Baton, then Roll, and Tuck 2nd Chocolate Baton, Roll, and Transfer to baking sheet, then Cover, and Let rise.

When all 12 croissants are formed and risen, brush with egg wash, and refrigerate. Preheat the oven, brush with egg wash for the 2nd time, and finally Bake. Congrats!

Pain Au Chocolat freeze well, and keep for 2 up to months, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor over several breakfasts.

For your next breakfast these recipes will be a cinch after Croissant boot camp.


Or Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Croissant Dough slightly altered from Jeffrey Hamelman at FineCooking

Folding Technique AlexanderBakes

Pain Au Chocolat

also known as chocolate croissants

Servings: 12 Pain Au Chocolate

For the dough
  • 4 cups Flour, T45 (1 lb. 2 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup Water, cold (5 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup Milk, whole and cold (5 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar (2 oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons salted Butter, softened (1 1/2 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon Instant Yeast
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon Salt

For the Butter Layer

  • 1 1/4 cups salted Butter, cold (10 oz.)

For the Egg Wash

  • 1 Egg

For the Filling

Instructions Day 1 Dough & Butter Block
Make Dough
  • Combine all the dough ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Start on low speed for 3 min, then mix on medium speed for 3 min.
  • Remove dough from bowl, shape into a square, flour each side and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate overnight.
Shape Butter Block
  • Cut cold butter into 1/2” thick pieces and arrange on parchment paper to form a 5” square and top with another pieces of parchment paper.
  • With a rolling pin, pound the butter until it is a square about 7 1/2” in size. *Draw out the square on the parchment so you know exactly how big it needs to be.
  • Refrigerate

Day:2 Laminate Butter & Dough

Fold #1 : In Half

  • Unwrap and lay out your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 8 1/2” x 16” rectangle. *this should be twice as long as your butter layer.
  • Place the butter block on half the dough, and fold the other half over, seal the edges.

Fold #2 : Letter

  • Roll the dough and butter out into a long rectangle, around 8” x 30” and fold the dough up like a Letter. Cover in plastic, refrigerate for 30 minutes. *Do not let the dough get warm or butter will start squishing out. Keep the dough chilled by placing it in the fridge/freezer for 15-20 min as often as needed.

Fold #3 : Book

  • Turn the dough (so that the visible seams are now on the top and bottom) and roll out into a long rectangle, about 8” x 32” and fold the dough up like a book. You’re done laminating! Rest your arms and wrap up the dough in plastic and place in fridge for 60 minutes.

Day 2:Final Step

  • Remove dough from fridge and allow to soften a few minutes so that it is roll-able.
  • Roll the dough to about half its current thickness, around 1.” Cut in two equal squares, wrap tightly and freeze overnight.

Day 3:Form Pain au Chocolat
  • Remove 1 dough from freezer and allow to rest and become pliable, about 20 minutes. Work with one sheet at a time and leave the other in the fridge.
  • Lightly flour your counter and roll the sheet of dough to about 1/4” thick and aim for a 12” x 12” square. ***Do not let the sheet of dough warm up too much or all your hard work is wasted — we just don’t want the butter to melt into the dough. Stick it in the fridge or freezer to chill it fast.
  • Cut the dough into 6 rectangles.
  • With one rectangle at a time, place a stick of chocolate along one of the shorter sides, and fold the pastry over the chocolate until it’s wrapped around one time, then tuck another bar of chocolate into the fold. Roll it up until you have a snug spiral. Repeat with remaining dough.
To Bake the Same Day
  • Transfer the pain au chocolat to a parchment paper covered baking sheet, and very loosely cover with plastic wrap so the pastries have some room to expand.  *I like to dust my plastic wrap with flour so that it doesn’t stick to the dough.Let rise 2 – 2 1/2 hours. They will have doubled in size.
  • **Preheat oven to 400° (convection.)
  • While oven is preheating, in small bowl, beat 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water together. Gently brush the pain au chocolat with the egg wash and then place in fridge. As soon as the oven is preheated, brush one more layer of egg wash before placing in oven.
  • Bake in 400° oven for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 390° and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • The croissants will be very golden brown when done, and will feel light once lifted from the pan. Enjoy!!

To Freeze & Bake another Day
  • Transfer the pain au chocolat to a parchment paper covered baking sheet and place in freezer about 20-30 minutes.
  • Once time is up, place in a freezer bag or container and store for up to 2 months.
  • The night before you plan to bake, place the pain au chocolate on parchment paper covered baking sheet and loosely cover with plastic wrap. *Put them out around 10 pm and bake them at 6 am.
  • **Follow the baking instructions above.

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