In case you were wondering, no, I’ve never been to France, and I don’t really know the language either. Learning French is one of those goals I have that I don’t really see happening anytime soon. I took French for three years in high school (and was pretty good at it, I thought!), but still, “Je ne parle pas francais”. The extent of my French is limited; turns out learning a language takes a lot more practice and immersion than you might think.
Luckily, you don’t have to speak French to make some dang good Pain au Chocolats. My sister originally found this recipe when she wanted to make “something chocolate”, and I was really skeptical about it. Turns out, with a few small adjustments, it’s as good as gold. In fact, this is one of my favorite recipes ever. I’ve never tasted any better combination of bread and chocolate. If you like chocolate at all, promise me you’ll try this recipe. These Pain au Chocolats are utterly divine.
Think soft, light, buttery bread wrapped around luscious, oozing melted chocolate. You really can’t say no.
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- 11 tablespoons butter, divided
- generous ½ cup milk
- 3½ cups bread flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- generous 1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In the bowl of stand mixer, dissolve the yeast into the lukewarm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter and combine with milk to cool quickly. Place another ½ cup butter (1 stick) out to soften.
- Add the melted butter, milk, bread flour, granulated sugar, and salt, to the yeast/water mixture. Mix on lowest speed for 2 minutes. If the dough seems tough, add another tablespoon melted butter. Change attachment to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for another two minutes. At this point the dough should be soft and supple.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, 10" x 15". Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise for 40 minutes.
- Take the softened stick of butter and rub onto the rectangle of dough (Your hands will get very buttery). Rub on as much butter as possible, and then, with the shorter side facing you, fold into thirds, like you would a letter. Roll again into a 10" x 15" rectangle and fold into thirds once more. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll again into a 10" x 15" rectangle. Rub the remaining butter onto the dough, fold into thirds, roll out once more (10" x 15"), and fold once more.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the folded dough into 12 rectangles, using 4 slices in the longer direction and 3 slices in the shorter direction.
- One rectangle at a time, with the shorter end facing you, place about 10 chocolate chips halfway along the rectangle. Fold the end closer to you over these chocolate chips, and repeat on the other side, adding chocolate chips to the other half and folding over the first half. Press end into dough to form a seam. See photos below:
- Repeat the above process for each rectangle of dough. Place each pain au chocolat seam-side down on a lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine egg and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl to form egg wash. Brush over each pain au chocolat. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, until puffed up and lightly golden.
- Enjoy warm from the oven, or store in refrigerator and microwave each pain au chocolat for 25-30 seconds when ready to eat.
Recipe Adapted From: About.com
This recipe uses: