Friday, June 12, 2015

Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissants)

I am so into making croissants this week! Right after the unintentional creation of Brioche-Croissants in my previous post, I immediately google and work on another croissant dough recipe which I couldn't wait to share the results! I must say the time spent and efforts really paid off. And I have come to terms that croissants-making is definitely one that cannot be rushed. This 3-day baking affair was certainly worth the wait. The flaky Pain au Chocolat were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Until now I still couldn't believe I actually did it! Yay!

Well, and the reason why I'd decided to try out another recipe (instead of the same recipe in my earlier post) is because I've noticed that most croissant dough recipes add butter to the making of the dough. However, the previous recipe I'd worked on (plainly due to the small quantity) didn't (although I might not have succeeded because I did not follow the instructions, and not because of the butter @_@). Not too sure if the addition of butter has any impact on the croissant dough until I re-make the previous recipe. But until then, I must say I am happily satisfied with the results from this recipe that I'm sharing below. Woohooo!

Pain au Chocolat

They might not be the prettiest looking Pain au Chocolat, but they are definitely a delicious one. Guess I have to work on wrapping the chocolates between the dough. But I'm glad that the decision to turn the classic croissant dough recipe into these Pain au Chocolat version worked just as I have hoped for. For those of you who have been intimidated by the making of these delicate pastry and still contemplating if you should give it a shot, hesitate no more! If I can do it, you can too! ^_^

Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissants)
Dough recipe referenced and modified from: Weekend Bakery
Makes about 12

Ingredients Required

Croissant Dough
250 grams unbleached all-purpose flour / plain flour, extra for dusting
70 grams water
70 grams whole milk (cold is fine)
30 grams sugar
20 grams unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
6 grams active dry yeast or instant yeast
6 grams salt

For laminating: 140 grams cold unsalted butter
Filling: 12 heaping tablespoons dark chocolate chips
Egg wash: 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water

Bakeware Used

Large baking sheets lined with parchment paper

Preparation Steps

DAY 1 - Making the dough
  1. Heat the water to about 115 degree F (or hand-hot temperature), stir in the active dry yeast and add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of sugar until dissolve. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. (Do measure the volume of water again as it might get evaporated during the heating process.) Skip this step if using instant yeast. 
  2. In a large bowl, stir to combine the dough ingredients and yeast mixture using a wooden spatula until the dough comes together. 
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured working surface and knead using your hands to form a smooth dough, about 3 minutes.
  4. Shape the dough like a disc, not a ball so it will be easier to roll out the following day, and place on a plate covered with plastic cling wrap. Place in the fridge and refrigerate overnight.
DAY 2 - Laminating the dough
  1. Fold a large sheet of parchment paper into a rectangle of approximately 6" x 10" dimension.
  2. Slice the cold butter into almost equal thickness and lay flat on the parchment paper within the folded lines of the rectangle. 
  3. Cover with a large piece of plastic cling wrap or another sheet of parchment paper and roll the butter to form an even layer within the folded lines of the parchment paper. Scrap the butter that spread over the folded lines and place over the rest of the butter, and re-roll to form an even layer. Refrigerate the butter until needed.
  4. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out the dough into a rectangle of approximately 6" x 20" dimension. Try to get the rectangle as perfect as possible with even thickness.
  5. Remove the slab of butter from the fridge and place it in the middle of the rectangle dough.
  6. Fold the bottom flap of the dough up over the butter and the top flap of the dough down over butter to a point where both flaps of the dough meet. Lightly press the edges of the dough where the two flaps meet, as well as both sides of the dough to seal the seams so that the butter is fully enclosed.
  7. With a lightly floured rolling pin, on a lightly flour dusted surface, roll out the dough into a long rectangle of approximately 8" x 12". Start rolling from the centre of the dough towards the edges, and not from one side of the dough all the way to the other side. Rotate the dough 180-degrees between several rolling actions. This technique helps you to keep the dough at an even thickness.
  8. Fold the dough letter style (fold one third of the dough to the middle then fold the other side over it), cover with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remember to brush off any excess flour on the surface of the dough before folding.
  9. Repeat the rolling and folding two more times, each time rolling until the dough is about 8" x 12" and resting the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes between each fold. After the third fold, leave the dough covered with plastic cling wrap in the fridge overnight.
DAY 3 - Shaping and baking the rolls
  1. Take the dough out from the fridge. Lightly flour your work surface. Gently roll the dough into a long and narrow strip of approximately 8" x 24". Note: If the dough starts to resist too much or shrink back during this process, fold it in thirds and give it a rest in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes before continuing. Do not fight the dough, when the dough refuses to get any longer, rest it in the fridge! Don't ruin the two days of work.
  2. When the dough has reached its intended dimension, carefully lift it up slightly to allow it to naturally shrink back from both sides. This way it will not shrink when cut.
  3. Divide and cut the rectangle dough into half width-wise using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife. 
  4. Then, divide and cut the dough into 3 sections length-wise. In this case you should end up with 12 smaller rectangles.
  5. Carefully remove one small rectangle and roll out slightly. Place a heaping tablespoon of dark chocolate chips at the shorter side of the rectangle and roll the dough tightly into a log with the chocolate chips in between. Brush the end side of the dough with water and gently press to adhere.
  6. Arrange the rolls with the seam side down on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and give them a thin coating of egg wash. Make sure to keep enough space between the rolls so that they will not touch when proofing and baking. 
  7. Proof the rolls in a draft-free environment for about 2 hours. The rolls are ready to bake when they wiggle slightly when you gently shake the baking sheet.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. Brush the rolls with egg wash for a second time and bake them in the preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown in colour. Start checking at the 10th minute, and shield them with a piece of foil if the edges threaten to burn.
  10. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve croissants when they are slightly warm.

The Dream Baker's Experiment
  1. I used bleached all-purpose flour, 2% reduced fat milk, white granulated sugar and active dry yeast in my above experiment.
  2. My above recipe is half of the original source recipe which makes a smaller dough so that it's more manageable since I do not have a very big working area. (But I did two portions of my above dough recipe which made up the same quantity as per the original source recipe. I mean, it's a 3 days wait after all. I will share my baking experiment for the other portion of dough in a separate blogpost. ^_^)
  3. I started making the dough on Day 1 at about 9 p.m. and left the dough overnight before working on it at around 10 a.m. on Day 2 and around 9 a.m. again on Day 3.
  4. The dimensions for the rolling and folding were based on my experience with my previous Brioche-Croissants baking experiment and not in accordance with the original source recipe which is meant for Classic French croissants. My take is just make sure the rolled out dough maintains a thickness of approximately 1/8".
  5. I noticed that the rolls unrolled slightly when left to proof and further unrolled themselves as they bake. I learned that it is necessary to brush the edges of the dough with water which act as glue to adhere the dough, something I missed out. However, I have made the same suggestion in my above recipe.
  6. I baked my rolls in the middle rack of the oven for 14 minutes, with the last 4 minutes covered with foil. I rotated the pan at the 10th minute for an even browning as my oven tends to be hotter on the right. Baking time varies across different ovens.
To be left alone with these crispy yet soft Pain au Chocolat is definitely a test of self-control! Just who can resist? ^_^

I hope this picture justifies the crispy exterior and soft interior of these homemade Pain au Chocolat.

I am sharing this post with Bake-Along #80: Theme - Croissants jointly organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and Lena of Frozen Wings;

Perfecting Pâtisserie June 2015 organised by Kevin of The Crafty Larder and Lucy of BakingQueen74; and

last but not least, monthly link up party, Our Growing Edge (June 2015: Picnic) hosted by 
Maddie from Supper Lovin’, an event that aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things.

 I have been given the honour by Genie, founder of this blog event to host Our Growing Edge for the month of October 2015. Do join us! ^_^

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker


  1. Hi Kerene,
    I see that you're so into making croissants ... and these chocolate croissants are so so yummy ^-^!

    1. Hi Karen, yes indeed. Finally able to overcome the challenge of making this delicate pastry. Thanks for your lovely note! :)

  2.'re into making croissants again...guess we both are quite similar here in the sense that until we get a better ones, will keep trying. I saw this recipe earlier and was quite keen to try..then i got confused with halving the recipe with the measurements of the dough and so on..hey, very good attempt and choc croissants..yumm.

    1. Hi Lena, I believe in the saying that determination is the key to success. So don't worry, you and I possess the correct attitude. Hee! You mentioned you got confused, sorry was I not clear in any of my steps? Anyway after 3 attempts at croissant-making (the 3rd one which I've yet to publish), I've come to realised that the dimensions of the rectangle dough during the rolling and folding isn't really quite a factor, as long as the dough thickness is maintained at approximately 1/8" thickness. Happy baking and I hope you will get your desired results! :)

  3. Wow Kerene! You are superb! Baking more croissants plus plus plus with chocolate... Steady lah!!!


    1. Haha! Thanks Zoe! Kind of hooked on to making croissants. Worth the effort!

  4. Your pain au chocolat croissants looks delish! Great job~! I have yet to try at making croissants again. So nice seeing you making them one more time. I can see they are really worth the effort!

    1. Thanks Joyce! I guess patience (in baking) does pay off. Looking forward to you sharing your next croissant making experience. Happy baking! :)

  5. Well done for making Pain au Chocolat. I bake bread all the time but the though of making a croissant dough seems like too much hard work ; ) Thanks for the recipe!

    Happy to have joined this party. xx

    1. Hi Fiona! Thanks for your encouragement! The hard work involved in the making of croissant dough certainly pays off! Totally worth it. Be sure to try it ya! Happy baking! :)

  6. Lovely pain au chocolat!! Looks totally worth the work... yum! :)

    1. Hi Lili, thanks for the lovely note! And you're right, it's certainly worth the effort! :)

  7. Your pains au chocolat look really good, I would like to try making them at home too. Thanks for linking up with #PerfectinfPatisserie again!

    1. Hi Lucy! Thanks for the lovely note. Hope you will try making them someday. :)