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