Labor intensive but SO worth it. Wish U were here 🍫🥐 & ☕️
Makes 16 pastries
ACTIVE TIME 1 1/2 hours
TOTAL TIME 17 hours
• 1/2 recipe croissant dough (1 lb 6 oz), chilled
• 32 bittersweet chocolate batons (6 oz)
• Ruler, pastry brush, parchment paper, 2 garbage bags (unscented), spray bottle with water
Roll out and cut dough:
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as necessary, into an 18- by 10-inch rectangle. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush and trim edges with a pizza wheel or sharp knife. Cut dough vertically into fourths, then horizontally into fourths to make 16 rectangles.
Form pains au chocolat:
Place 2 batons, flat sides together, along a short side of 1 rectangle about 3/4 inch from edge, letting batons extend over sides. Fold bottom edge of dough over batons and roll up dough around chocolate. Place, seam side down, on a parchment-lined large baking sheet.
Make more pastries in same manner, arranging them 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
Let pains au chocolat rise:
Slide each baking sheet into a garbage bag, propping up top of bag with inverted glasses to keep it from touching pastries, and tuck open end under baking sheet.
Let pastries rise until slightly puffy and spongy to the touch, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Bake pains au chocolat:
Adjust oven racks to upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 425°F. Remove baking sheets from bags. Spritz inside oven generously with spray bottle and close door. Put pastries in oven, then spritz again before closing door. Reduce temperature to 400°F and bake 10 minutes without opening door.
Switch position of sheets in oven and rotate sheets 180°, then reduce temperature to 375°F and bake until pastries are deep golden, about 10 minutes more.
Baked and cooled pains au chocolat keep 1 month: First freeze them, uncovered, on baking sheets until firm, then wrap them snugly in foil before returning to freezer. When ready to serve, remove foil and bake (not thawed) on a baking sheet in a 325°F oven 5 to 10 minutes.
It’s important not to try to halve this croissant dough recipe. When you need only a half recipe of dough, as for the pains au chocolat, use the rest of the dough for a batch of Parma braids or a princess ring. Or make a double recipe of those irresistible chocolate croissants and share them with friends. One batch of this dough is enough for 24 plain croissants, 32 chocolate croissants, 16 Parma braids, or 2 princess rings.
Active time: 1 hr Start to finish: 14 hr
Makes about 2 3/4 lb
ACTIVE TIME1 hr
TOTAL TIME14 hr
• 1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated to warm (105°F–110°F)
• 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (from two 1/4-oz packages)
• 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) cold unsalted butter
• 2 kitchen towels (not terry cloth)
• 1 ruler
• 1 pastry brush
• a standing electric mixer with dough hook, 2 kitchen towels (not terry cloth), a ruler, a pastry brush
Stir together warm milk, brown sugar, and yeast in bowl of standing mixer and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t foam, discard and start over.) Add 3 3/4 cups flour and salt and mix with dough hook at low speed until dough is smooth and very soft, about 7 minutes.
Transfer dough to a work surface and knead by hand 2 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, a little at a time, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Form dough into a roughly 1 1/2-inch-thick rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until cold, about 1 hour.
Prepare and shape butter:
After dough has chilled, arrange sticks of butter horizontally, their sides touching, on a work surface. Pound butter with a rolling pin to soften slightly (butter should be malleable but still cold). Scrape butter into a block and put on a kitchen towel, then cover with other towel. Pound and roll out on both sides until butter forms a uniform 8- by 5-inch rectangle. Chill, wrapped in towels, while rolling out dough.
Roll out dough:
Unwrap dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as necessary and lifting and stretching dough (especially in corners), into a 16- by 10-inch rectangle. Arrange dough with a short side nearest you. Put butter in center of dough so that long sides of butter are parallel to short sides of dough. Fold as you would a letter: bottom third of dough over butter, then top third down over dough. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush.
Roll out dough:
Turn dough so a short side is nearest you, then flatten dough slightly by pressing down horizontally with rolling pin across dough at regular intervals, making uniform impressions. Roll out dough into a 15- by 10-inch rectangle, rolling just to but not over ends.
Brush off any excess flour. Fold in thirds like a letter, as above, stretching corners to square off dough, forming a 10- by 5-inch rectangle. (You have completed the first “fold.”) Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, 1 hour.
Make remaining “folds”:
Make 3 more folds in same manner, chilling dough 1 hour after each fold, for a total of 4 folds. (If any butter oozes out while rolling, sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking.) Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours but no more than 18 (after 18 hours, dough may not rise sufficiently when baked).