Pain au chocolat (chocolate-filled croissants) are the must-have dessert if you visit France. The croissants are so light, flaky and will melt in your mouth, simply heavenly!
Prepare time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Stand time: 3 hours
Serves: 16 servings
1) 1 cup + 3 tbsp lukewarm water or milk (285g), 1 tbsp sugar (14g), 1.5 tsp fast rising yeast;
2) 1 tbsp corn or vegetable oil;
3) 2.5 cups unsifted all purpose flour (400g), ¼ cup sugar (55g);
4) ¾ cup + 1 tbsp butter (185g);
5) 16 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips;
6) 1 egg, whisk well with 1.5 tbsp water.
1: Measure all ingredients of Ingredient 3) into a bowl and mix well (Picture 1, right), Measure all ingredients of Ingredient 1) into a measuring cup or a container, combine then let stand for 10 minutes (Picture 1, left). Stir in 1 tbsp oil, mix well then pour this yeast mixture into the flour bowl. Knead a few times to make a soft dough (Picture 2), don’t over knead. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume (Picture 3).
2: While waiting for the dough to rise, cut the butter into thin slices and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3: After the dough has risen, chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Take out the dough and shape into a log on a floured surface. Press down and roll out into a 15×40 cm rectangle (Picture 4).
4: Lay butter slices on top to cover 2/3 of the dough, leaving an unbuttered border about ¼ inch wide. Fold the unbuttered 1/3 toward the center (Picture 5), then fold the opposite side to make a 3-layered dough (Picture 6). Turn 90 degrees and roll out into a 30×60 cm rectangle (Picture 7). Fold into thirds again (Pictures 8). Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes.
5: Take out the chilled dough and place on the floured surface. Roll out into a 30×60 cm rectangle and fold into thirds as in Step-4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes.
6: Repeat the Step-5 two more times. Roll out the dough into a 30×60 cm rectangle. Then cut the dough into 16 small squares (Picture 9).
7: Brush with egg wash (Picture 10) and place 1 tbsp chocolate chips in the center (Picture 11). Fold the left side toward the center (Pictures 12) then the right side over the left side (Pictures 13), gently press to seal.
8: Place pastries seam-side down on 2 parchment paper lined baking sheets (8 per sheet), leaving about 2 inches between each pastry (Pictures 14). Cover with plastic wrap (best to spray the wrap with pam oil) and chill immediately for 45 minutes.
9: Take out pastries, brush with egg wash. Set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes until the volume increases about 50%. Preheat oven at 375F/190C. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
Store leftover croissants in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat at 350F for 5 minutes before serving.