Chocolate Croissants (Pain au Chocolat) Recipe

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Steve Modified: June 1, 2021

How To Make Chocolate Croissants (Pain au Chocolat)

Enjoy freshly baked chocolate croissants made in your kitchen! Buttery croissants are stuffed with a luscious chocolate filling for a decadent morning bite.

Preparation: 12 hours 45 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 13 hours 5 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • ¼cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 4cupsall-purpose flour,spoon and leveled, plus more for rolling/shaping
  • ¼cupgranulated sugar
  • 2tspsalt
  • 1tbpactive dry,or instant yeast
  • cupswhole milk,cold
  • 4ozsemi-sweet chocolate,(1 bar) or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • confectioners’ sugar,for dusting, optional

For Butter Layer:

  • cupsunsalted butter,(3 sticks) softened to room temperature
  • 2tbspall-purpose flour

For Egg Wash:

  • 1large egg
  • 2tbspwhole milk,30ml

Instructions

  1. Cut the butter into four 1 tablespoon slices and place in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.

  2. Turn the mixer on low-medium speed to gently combine the ingredients for 1 minute. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the milk. Once all of the milk is added, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat the dough for at least 5 full minutes.

  3. The dough will be soft. It will mostly pull away from the sides of the bowl and if you poke it with a finger, it will bounce back. If after 5 minutes the dough is too sticky, keep the mixer running until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

  4. Remove dough from the bowl and, with floured hands, work it into a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured silicone baking mat lined, lightly floured parchment paper-lined, or lightly floured baking sheet.

  5. Gently flatten the dough out, and cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator and allow the covered dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Begin flattening out the dough with hands, rolling it out into a rectangle.

  7. Roll dough into a 14×10-inch rectangle. The dough isn’t extremely cold after only 30 minutes in the refrigerator, so it will feel more like soft play-doh. Be precise with the measurement.

  8. The dough will want to be oval-shaped, but keep working the edges with hands and rolling pin until the correct size rectangle is reached.

  9. Place the rolled out dough back onto the baking sheet. Cover the rolled out dough with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator and allow the covered dough to rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

Butter Layer:

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment beat the butter and flour together until smooth and combined.

  2. Transfer the mixture to a silicone baking mat lined or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

  3. Using a spoon or small spatula, smooth out into a 7×10-inch rectangle. Be precise with this measurement. Place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator and chill the butter layer for 30 minutes. (No need to cover it for only 30 minutes.)

  4. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Do this on a lightly floured counter instead. Remove both the dough and butter layers from the refrigerator.

  5. Place the butter layer in the center of the dough and fold each end of the dough over it. If the butter wasn’t an exact 7×10-inch rectangle, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to even out the edges.

  6. Seal the dough edges over the butter layer with fingers. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough into a 10×20-inch rectangle. Use your fingers if needed.

  7. Again, the dough will want to be oval-shaped, but keep working it with hands and rolling pin until the correct rectangle size is reached. Fold the dough lengthwise into thirds as if folding a letter. This was the 1st turn.

  8. If the dough is now too warm to work with, place folded dough on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before the 2nd turn.

2nd Turn:

  1. Turn the dough so the short end is facing you. Roll the dough out once again into a 10×20-inch rectangle, then fold the dough lengthwise into thirds as if folding a letter.

  2. Place the folded dough on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before the 3rd turn.

3rd Turn:

  1. Roll the dough out once again into a 10×20-inch rectangle. Fold the dough lengthwise into thirds as if folding a letter.

  2. Place the folded dough on the lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (Up to 24 hours is ok.)

  3. Prepare 2 baking sheets lined with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.

  4. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough out into an 8×20-inch rectangle. Use fingers if needed. The dough will want to be oval shaped, but keep working it with hands and rolling pin until the correct rectangle size is reached.

  5. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, slice the dough in half vertically. Each skinny rectangle will be 4-inches wide. Then cut 3 even slices horizontally, yielding 8 4×5-inch rectangles.

  6. Cut each rectangle in half lengthwise to make 16 2×5-inch rectangles. Work with 1 rectangle at a time. Using fingers or a rolling pin, stretch it to be about 8-inches long. Do this gently as you do not want to flatten the layers.

  7. Place a few small pieces of chocolate in a single layer at one end and tightly roll the dough up around the chocolate. Make sure the end is on the bottom. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the shaped croissants on 2 lined baking sheets, 8 per sheet.

  8. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour, then place in the refrigerator to rest for 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

  9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Egg Wash:

  1. Whisk the egg wash ingredients together. Remove the croissants from the refrigerator. Brush each lightly with egg wash.

  2. Bake for about 20 minutes until croissants are golden brown. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. If croissants show signs of darkening too quickly, reduce the oven to 375 degrees F.

  3. Remove chocolate croissants from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving. They will slightly deflate as they cool. If desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

  4. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

The butter layer should be firm, but still pliable. If it gets too firm, let it sit out on the counter for a few minutes to gently soften. The more firm the butter layer is the more difficult it will be to laminate the dough.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 711.10kcal
  • Fat: 24.60g
  • Saturated Fat: 14.77g
  • Trans Fat: 0.82g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 6.35g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.45g
  • Carbohydrates: 107.28g
  • Fiber: 3.82g
  • Sugar: 10.82g
  • Protein: 14.69g
  • Cholesterol: 67.48mg
  • Sodium: 311.87mg
  • Calcium: 57.07mg
  • Potassium: 203.77mg
  • Iron: 6.14mg
  • Vitamin A: 186.21µg
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