Pain au chocolat

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Croissants are one of the favorites of our family. Everybody enjoys it, even my 13month old prince. They are delicious but rich in calories, and when you make it at home you will amazed to see the amount of butter that is inside, but still it is really hard to resist.  I have already made classic croissants, and so this month when Aparna of Diverse Kitchen challenged us with croissant recipe for “We Knead To Bake” I thought of making Pain au chocolat. 

A pain au chocolat is also called a chocolatineor chocolate croissant in southwestern France and  also in French Canada. This is a viennoiserie sweet roll consisting of a cube shaped piece of yeast-leavened laminated dough, similar in texture to a puff pastry, with one or two pieces of chocolate in the center. Pain au chocolat is made of the same layered dough as a croissant. Often sold when it is still hot or at least warm from the oven, and are commonly sold alongside croissants.There is a funny post of pain of pain au chocolat that is described in serious eats post. It says by eating a Pain au chooclat you are ending the misery of those painful looking pain au chocolat. The real Pain au chocolat always have crispy exterior and buttery chocolaty interior.
It is a 3 day project, the first night you have to prepare the dough and chill it in refrigerator, the next day incorporate butter into dough through the process of laminating the dough. And third day you can make pain au chocolat. Laminating the dough require skills, still there is room for improvement in my case. Recipe used is from Fine Cookingby Jeffrey Hamelman. I like his recipe, perfect and precise always; you can get same results every attempt. I made croissants only twice at home.
Hope everybody got to watch the Oscars yesterday, I watched it intermittently as I was cooking and cleaning the house in between. However I would love to watch Argo (directed by Ben Affleck), Lincoln and Beasts of the Southern Wild and my list goes on. One thing I don’t like about Oscars is they take a lot of time to start and finally hurry up as they announce best actor, movie, and actress. This time they started with interviews, red carpets and finally end everything on time.  I love Meryl Streep a lot, as an actress she is always classy.  You will be thinking why in the world I stopped in between and started writing about Oscars instead of croissant.
I had my first chocolate croissant during my stay in Japan. After that I used get only plain croissant. I forgot about chocolate croissant for long time. Then In the movie Its Complicated, I saw Meryl streep who runs a successful bakery making chocolate croissant in middle of night. I planned to make chocolate croissant for long time since watching this movie, but never got around to it; always in my mind a thought came that since there is lot of butter it is not healthy, so don’t make it.  Finally the day came and I made it, I used semi sweet chocolate bar, and my daughter loved it to the core, she is the one who tried first and told me it is good with her hand gesture. Here is  You Tube video   that shows how to make  pain au chocolat
Next in my list is Danish pastries and flavored croissant. My obsession for laminated dough continues like a mega serial.
I made  Pain au chocolat like this
 Second day incorporating butter into the dough

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Third day making  Pain au chocolat

With scraps of dough I made puff pastry hearts with chocolate in the center.
Print recipe from here
Pain Au Chocolat

Recipe adapted from Fine cooking

For the dough

1 lb. 2 oz./506g /4 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
5 oz. / 142g/1/2cup plus 2 Tbs cold water
5 oz. 150g/ /1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs cold whole milk
2 oz /50g. /1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1-1/2 oz. /40g/3 Tbs. soft unsalted butter
1 Tbs. plus scant 1/2 tsp/11g. instant yeast
2 tsp/12g table salt
For the butter layer
10 oz./250g/1-1/4 cups cold unsalted butter
For the egg wash
1 large egg
Make the dough
Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl once if necessary. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured 10-inch pie pan or a dinner plate. Lightly flour the top of the dough and wrap well with plastic so it doesn’t dry out. Refrigerate overnight.

Make the butter layer
The next day, cut the cold butter lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Arrange the pieces on a piece of parchment or waxed paper to form a 5- to 6-inch square, cutting the butter crosswise as necessary to fit. Top with another piece of parchment or waxed paper. With a rolling pin, pound the butter with light, even strokes. As the pieces begin to adhere, use more force. Pound the butter until it’s about 7-1/2 inches square and then trim the edges of the butter. Put the trimmings on top of the square and pound them in lightly with the rolling pin. Refrigerate while you roll out the dough.
Laminate the dough
Unwrap and lay the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a 10-1/2-inch square. Brush excess flour off the dough. Remove the butter from the refrigerator—it should be pliable but cold. If not, refrigerate a bit longer. Unwrap and place the butter on the dough so that the points of the butter square are centered along the sides of the dough. Fold one flap of dough over the butter toward you, stretching it slightly so that the point just reaches the center of the butter. Repeat with the other flaps . Then press the edges together to completely seal the butter inside the dough. (A complete seal ensures butter won’t escape.)

Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. With the rolling pin, firmly press the dough to elongate it slightly and then begin rolling instead of pressing, focusing on lengthening rather than widening the dough and keeping the edges straight.

Roll the dough until it’s 8 by 24 inches. If the ends lose their square shape, gently reshape the corners with your hands. Brush any flour off the dough. Pick up one short end of the dough and fold it back over the dough, leaving one-third of the other end of dough exposed. Brush the flour off and then fold the exposed dough over the folded side. Put the dough on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes to relax and chill the dough.
Repeat the rolling and folding, this time rolling in the direction of the two open ends until the dough is about 8 by 24 inches. Fold the dough in thirds again, as shown in the photo above, brushing off excess flour and turning under any rounded edges or short ends with exposed or smeared layers. Cover and freeze for another 20 minutes.
Give the dough a third rolling and folding. Put the dough on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, tucking the plastic under all four sides. Refrigerate overnight.
Divide the dough

The next day, unwrap and lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. With the rolling pin, “wake the dough up” by pressing firmly along its length—you don’t want to widen the dough but simply begin to lengthen it with these first strokes. Roll the dough into a long and narrow strip, 8 inches by about 44 inches. If the dough sticks as you roll, sprinkle with flour. Once the dough is about half to two-thirds of its final length, it may start to resist rolling and even shrink back. If this happens, fold the dough in thirds, cover, and refrigerate for about 10 minutes; then unfold the dough and finish rolling. Lift the dough an inch or so off the table at its midpoint and allow it to shrink from both sides—this helps prevent the dough from shrinking when it’s cut. Check that there’s enough excess dough on either end to allow you to trim the ends so they’re straight and the strip of dough 20 inch x12 inch  . Trim the dough.
Shape the  Pain au chocolat

Divide the dough into 10 x 12 inch pieces of two  and divide again in the center  and divide each half into 3 pieces of 3.75x 2 inch pieces. Place a chocolate log on the one end and roll and place another chocolate log and roll again until you reach the end, place the seam end down in baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slightly flatten each pain au chocolat and do an egg wash and set aside for proofing. After 2 hours proofing again do egg wash and bake in a 375 F preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until top become crisp and golden in color.

Enjoy as much as you want.

With the scraps of dough, I made puff pastry hearts.

I am sending this delicious  Pain au chocolat to Hearth and Soul Blog hop hosted here.
to Yeast spotting


 

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Comments

  1. says

    Wow, amazing. Although looks laborious, the final product is just awesome, beautiful clicks too, very tempting. check my blog for the gorgeous cup cake with cream cheese frosting.

    chitchat

  2. says

    Little bites of heaven..I always admire these beauties in bakery and has watched contestants baking them in a bake off show and always wanted to try it but the butter in the recipe is pulling me backwards..cutting down baking as my Hubby has Cholesterol :(

  3. says

    Sorry I left comment in the wrong place Swathi! You can delete that one! These are so gorgeous! You have such patience to make over 3 days. I love that scene too where she makes croissants!

  4. says

    Hi Swathi,

    I’m very impressed that you have made these croissant pastry from scratch. These pain au chocolat looks very professionally made.

    Zoe

  5. says

    Hey Swathi,

    Sorry I missed a lot of your posts, I have been super busy with guests walking in and out of my door. Also just got my new camera, so I will get back into the blogging mode. Also will participate in your events as promised. I hope all is well with you.

  6. says

    I have to agree with you Swathi, croissants are truly irressistible and paired with chocolate is sure to die for.
    Thanks for your lovely comment!

  7. says

    i loveeeeeeeeeeee chocolate croissants but oddly enough, i am not fond of plain croissants…

    thank you so much for all those pictures. one of these days when my little one takes an extra long nap, i will make these coz i am really craving these :D

    -abeer @ http://www.cakewhiz.com

  8. says

    These pain au chocolat looks perfect. I love them and I enjoy making breads and buns at home…but, never try my hands on these, just yet. I guess there’s a “fear factor” in making croissants for me. But after seeing how beautiful yours came out, I really want to make some in my own kitchen.