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Chocolate Croissants

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.

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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