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Chocolate Croissants Recipe & Video

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As soon as I started making homemade Croissants, friends and family asked me to make Chocolate Croissants (also known as Pain au Chocolat). They didn't have to ask me twice, as I too love a buttery croissant with a large chunk of dark chocolate inside


This recipe is the same as for the Homemade Croissants. The only difference is that the Croissants are rolled into a log shape instead of a crescent shape. A Croissant dough is a laminated dough. It's similar to puff pastry only it contains yeast. That means you have two layers of slightly sweet dough with a layer of butter in between. As you may be aware, once the butter is encased in the dough it is rolled and folded into thirds, three times, with resting times in the refrigerator between the second and third fold. This does take several hours and it's important not to rush the process.

Croissants are not that difficult to make. It's really all about precision and temperature. (However, if this is your first time making Croissants I do recommend watching the video.) You must roll the dough to the required length and width and the temperature of the dough needs to stay cool. You will find that if the dough isn't rolled thin enough your Croissant won't have that beautiful honeycomb interior. Instead you may have just a big hole in the center surrounded by a thick layer of dough (looks more like a dinner roll than a Croissant). Also, when rolling and/or shaping the dough, if it gets too warm the butter will melt into the dough which again will affect the texture of the baked Croissant. So if, at any time, you find your dough is getting too soft or overly sticky when rolling, return it to the fridge until it firms up. If you're working in a very warm kitchen, I find it helpful to rub an ice pak over the counter to cool it off before you roll the dough.

A few notes on ingredients. The type of butter used will affect both the flavor and texture of your Croissant. For the butter layer it's best to use a high fat unsalted butter (butter with 83% butterfat content) as it makes a flakier croissant with a more pronounced butter flavor. In the States this type of butter is normally labelled "European style" or "cultured". While we used a low protein bread flour at the San Francisco Baking Institute (SFBI) (that is where I took a class to learn how to make croissants), it can be hard to find so for this recipe I have used all purpose flour (plain flour) to make the dough. There is also a little dry malt (diastatic) powder which breaks down the starch and gives sugar for the yeast to feed on. This is especially good for doughs, like this, that have a long fermentation period. Malt powder also aids in browning and helps the Croissants have a good rise. I have used SAF Gold instant yeast in this recipe. This type of yeast is normally used by professionals as it gives a good rise, especially when making sweet breads with long fermentation periods. An added bonus is that since the grain particles are so small, you don't have to proof it first. What's great too, is that you can store the yeast in the refrigerator or freezer and then just scoop out the amount you need. However, you can substitute with 10 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast but I would activate the yeast in the water, with a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, before making the dough.

Related Recipes You May Like

Homemade Croissants

Almond Croissants

French Macarons

Chocolate Macarons

Chocolate Pots de Crème

Crème Brûlée

Chocolate Croissants: In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and malt powder. Then stir in the salt. With your fingertips work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is in small pieces and coated with flour. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the water and cream. With a bench scraper or wooden spoon, gradually work the flour into the liquid, making sure that the dry ingredients are moistened. Then, using your hands, work the dough for a minute or two to make sure all the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. At this point the dough will be a sticky mass. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it ferment (sit) for about one hour (helps to develop flavor and aroma) at room temperature (75 - 78 degrees F) (24 - 26 degrees C) .

After one hour transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and press or roll the dough into a 14 x 10 inch (35 x 25 cm) rectangle. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet, sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least six hours (or overnight).

About 15 minutes before you want to laminate the dough,  take a sheet of parchment paper and draw a 10 x 7 inch (25 x 18 cm) rectangle on the paper. Flip the paper over. Take your cold butter and cut it into six pieces. Place the cold butter within the drawn lines on your parchment paper and enclose it in the parchment. With your rolling pin pound the cold butter to soften it a little. Then fold the parchment paper to make a 10 x 7 inch rectangle (like an envelope) and roll the butter until it fits this size. Make sure the butter is of even thickness. At this point you want the butter to be cold but still pliable. It needs to be at the same temperature as the dough. If it's too soft then place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Rolling out the dough (lamination): The temperature of the dough is important when rolling it out. If possible, have the temperature in your kitchen quite cool. However, I have found you can cool your countertop by running an ice pack over the surface before rolling.

Remove the sheet of dough and your butter from the refrigerator. Peel off the parchment paper from the butter and place the butter onto the center of your dough. Wrap the edges of the dough over the butter so they meet in the center. Press lightly to seal the edges. (The edges of the dough and the butter should be even.)

First Turn: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface with the sealed edges running vertical. With your rolling pin gently tap the dough and then roll the dough vertically into a 22 x 8 inch (55 x 20 cm) rectangle. Lift the dough frequently as you roll so the dough doesn't stick. Flour as necessary. Roll end to end, not side to side, making sure the dough is of even thickness. When it's at the correct length and width, fold the dough lengthwise into thirds, like you're folding a letter. Make sure the edges of the dough are straight and even. You now have your first turn.

Second Turn: Rotate the dough 90 degrees so the folded edge is on your left (like the binding of a book). Repeat the process of rolling your dough to 22 x 8 inches (55 x 20 cm) and fold the dough again into thirds. This is now your second turn. Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet, lightly flour the top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill one hour (or until firm).

Third Turn: Take the chilled dough and repeat the rolling and folding into thirds one more time. This is your third turn. Again, place your dough on a floured baking sheet, flour the top of the dough, cover, and refrigerate one hour (or until firm).

Sheeting: On a lightly floured surface roll your dough into a 16 x 9 inch (40 x 23 cm) rectangle. Again, place on a lightly floured baking sheet, lightly flour the top, cover, and refrigerate 30-60 minutes (or until firm) (at this point the dough can be stored overnight in the refrigerator.)

Shaping the Chocolate Croissants: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make a template from a piece of hard plastic or cardboard that measures about 3.5 inches (9 cm) across the base and about 6 inches (15 cm) high. On a lightly floured surface roll your dough into a 18 x 12 inch (45 x 30 cm) rectangle. Make sure to lift the dough frequently so it doesn't stick and this also allows the dough to shrink back. Then trim the long edges of the dough with a sharp knife or pizza wheel. Use the template as a guide to cut the dough into 10 rectangles.

Working with one rectangle at a time, with the short edge  closest to you, place one chocolate baton or about 2 teaspoons (5 grams) of chocolate chunks about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) from the edge. Roll the dough around the chocolate baton and then place another baton and continue rolling the dough, finishing the rolling by centering the seam underneath. Press the croissant down lightly to help seal the dough. Place on your baking sheet (seam side down) and repeat with the remaining rectangles. (You will have 5 Chocolate Croissants on each baking sheet.)

In a small bowl whisk the egg with the egg yolks. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops and sides of each croissant. Place each baking sheet in a large plastic bag and let proof for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature (75 - 78 degrees F) (24 - 26 degrees C). You know the croissants are proofed when you gently shake your baking sheet, the croissants will wiggle. Also, if lightly pressed, the croissants will be soft to the touch.

While the Croissants are proofing, preheat your oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees C). Place your oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven.

Brush the Croissants again with the egg wash. Place the two baking sheets of Croissants in the preheated oven and bake 10 minutes. Rotate your baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Reduce your oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Croissants are best the day they're made, although they can be stored a day or two, or frozen.

Makes about 10 Chocolate Croissants.

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Croissant Dough:

3 2/3 cups (475 grams) all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons (6 grams) SAF Gold instant yeast Available on Amazon

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

2/3 teaspoon (2 grams) dry malt (diastatic) powder Available on Amazon

2 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) kosher salt

2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (240 grams) filtered water, at room temperature

3 tablespoons (30 grams) cream, at room temperature

1 cup (225 grams) cold unsalted butter, preferably European style (cultured)

20 - 3 inch (7.5 cm) semi sweet or bittersweet Chocolate Batons (sticks).  (You can use small chunks of chocolate instead of Chocolate Batons. One Chocolate Baton equals about 2 teaspoons (5 grams) of chocolate chunks)


2 large egg yolks (about 35 grams)

1 large egg (55 grams without the shell)

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