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Chocolate Croissants

Chocolate Croissants

Flaky, buttery, delicious croissant dough filled with melty dark chocolate. A foolproof recipe for homemade "Pain Au Chocolat".

This past summer I taught myself how to make croissants. I spend many days trying and tweaking multiple recipes, until I had created my own recipe for perfect homemade croissants. (click here to get my recipe with tons of step-by-step photos and detailed instructions).

Once I had perfected traditional Croissants, I made Chocolate Croissants, or Pain Au Chocolat, as they say in France. Why it's taken me over six months to write this post is beyond me. I apologize for keeping this delicious amazingness from you for so long. 

In January of 2015 Paul and I went to Paris and Rome. Paris was filled with life changing croissants. Seriously. They were so perfect I didn't even have the desire to try a chocolate filled one. Can you believe that?! But Paul got one and I tasted his...OMG. Who knew that perfection could be perfected? I guess when it comes to chocolate there really shouldn't be any question.

Follow my step-by-step instructions and you will be rewarded with the most amazing airy, flakey, buttery, and most of all: chocolatey croissants, I promise.

I suggest you read my Croissants post if this is your first time making croissants. A few tips to remember though:

-Patience is key! The work isn't difficult, but there is a lot of down time.

-"Baby the butter" it is the key to those perfect flakey pockets of air in the finished product. 

-Use good quality chocolate, you're putting a lot of time and work into these babies and you don't want to skimp on cheap chocolate.

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Chocolate Croissants (Pain Au Chocolat)
Light, flakey, buttery, and chocolate filled croissants. This recipe is foolproof with detailed instructions.
  • 1 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 2 1/2 tea. instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tea. salt
  • 9 oz. (2 1/4 sticks) butter
  • 1- 4 oz. bar bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. heavy cream
1. In a medium bowl stir together 1 cup of flour, yeast, and warm milk. Milk should be very warm, not hot. Let the bowl sit for 20 minutes for the yeast to bubble.2. Once the mixture has bubbled, "bloomed", and you know the yeast is alive, add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, and salt. Stir until combined, dough will be sticky. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes by hand until dough is smooth and elastic, but still soft. Form into a disc and place on a flour-dusted plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.3. Once dough has rested in the refrigerator for a few hours, prepare the slab of butter. Using cold butter, cut the pieces length-wise, about 1/2 inch thick and lay them on parchment paper in a square about 7x7 inches. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to bang the pieces into a uniform slab. Uncover and cut edges as needed, placing scraps back onto the top. Bang, cut, roll, and measure until you get an even 7x7 inch square of butter. Place it back into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes while you roll out the dough.4. Remove dough from the refrigerator and on a flour dusted surface roll dough out to a square about 10x10 inches. Place the cold butter slab in the center, rotated 45° so the butter looks like a diamond in the middle of the square of dough. Carefully pull each corner of dough over the edge of the butter and to the center of the butter, pressing down so no air is trapped. Dust the excess flour off, and pinch the edges of dough together once the butter is fully covered, sealing the butter inside the dough.5. Press down with the rolling pin a few times to seal the layer a little more, and then roll out to a rectangle about 10x24 inches, trying to elongate the dough without widening it.6. Fold 1/3 of the dough from the short end over itself, and dust the excess flour off. Fold the upper third on top of the dough, creating a letter fold. Dust excess flour off again, and place the dough onto a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the freezer for 20 minutes, or in the refrigerator for 1 hour. *If the dough starts to shrink too much and fights rolling out any more, fold it into thirds and let it rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before unfolding and trying again.7. Repeat steps 5-6 two more times, so you have done a total of 3 "turns", each time rolling from the short end out, so the dough is rotated each time.8. Remove dough from the refrigerator, and cut in half, from one long end to the other. Wrap one half up in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator while you roll and cut out the first half. Roll the other half out onto a floured surface, to a rectangle about 8x15 inches. Dough should be between 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Refrigerate if necessary, for about 10 minutes in this rolled out form, so dough is firm but still workable when you roll it out in the next steps9. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, divide dough into 5 or 6 even long strips about 2-3 inches wide each.10. Chop the chocolate bar into chunks so you can divide them evenly among the croissants, with 2 strips in each.11. With the short end facing you, place the two logs of chocolate down on the dough, one inch from the closest end to you, and the other two inches further from the first.12. Starting at the end closest to you, gently roll the dough over the first piece of chocolate, and continue rolling over the next, and all the way to the end. Set the croissant onto a parchment lined baking sheet with the end of the roll on the bottom. This will keep it from separating in the oven. 13. Continue filling and rolling the croissants and repeat the necessary steps with the reserved half of dough.14. Next step is to proof the croissants. You can do this 3 ways: (1) let the rolled croissants proof slowly in the refrigerator overnight, (2) let croissants proof out on the counter in a cool place for 3 hours, (3) let croissants proof in a slightly warm place for 1 hour. I prefer to let them proof slowly in the fridge overnight, because this helps develop the flavor more fully.15. If croissants proofed in the fridge, remove them and let them come to room temperature on the counter, about 2 hours. When dough is proofed, the croissants will be puffy, but not doubled in size. When the baking sheet is jiggled, the croissants will jiggle a little.16. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare eggwash by whisking 1 egg and 1 T. heavy cream. Gently apply a thin layer onto each croissant with a pastry brush. Bake sheets one at a time for about 30 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes. Croissants will turn a golden brown color and you will see the flakey layers when done.17. Let cool on a wire rack completely before serving. Enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10-12 croissants
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