Confession #45: J’adore la France… Pain au Chocolat

by alexandra

Post image for Confession #45: J’adore la France… Pain au Chocolat

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.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pain au Chocolat
Serves: 12
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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:
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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:

This recipe uses:

 Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips

Julia January 10, 2012

Wow, beautiful pain au chocolat!!!!!! It really doesn’t get much better then bread and chocolate!

brighteyedbaker January 11, 2012

Thank you!!! I definitely agree… two of my favorite foods combined into one!

Rhonda O'Dell January 11, 2012

OMGosh. I can’t wait to try this recipe, however, I think I will use milk chocolate. Bread and chocolate in one, heavenly.

brighteyedbaker January 11, 2012

I know you’ll love them. Milk chocolate can easily be used in place of dark; I just love dark chocolate, personally. And I agree – the combination of chocolate and bread is heavenly.

Abby January 11, 2012

Just the sight of these alone is enough to take me and transport me to Paris…these look amazing!

brighteyedbaker January 11, 2012

Hah! If only it were that easy to get to Paris…
Thanks you!

Ramya January 11, 2012

Loved your post. I bet they taste great! Cant wait to try them..

brighteyedbaker January 11, 2012

Thanks :) They’re amazing! I hope you come back and let me know if and when you try them.

Alexandra January 11, 2012

These look so good! I’ve been looking for a good pain au chocolat recipe for a while. Can I knead by hand if I don’t have a stand mixer?

brighteyedbaker January 11, 2012

Thanks! I would say you could definitely knead by hand; just make sure that you do so until you get a nice soft dough.

sybil January 16, 2012

Hi! I am a great chocolate lover and will definitely try this recipe! I added your blog to my favorites! Thanks for the recipe! Sybil♥

brighteyedbaker January 16, 2012

This is the perfect recipe for chocolate lovers! I am one myself so trust me when I say this. I am so pleased that you added me to your favorite blog list. It means a lot to me. Thanks for making my day :)

Robyn January 19, 2012

Im totally trying this recipe tonight! I’m wondering if you’ve tried making them smaller to get more out of the recipe. Could I make 24 mini ones?

brighteyedbaker January 20, 2012

Yay! I love it when someone tries out one of the recipes I’ve introduced on my site! I’m sure you can make them smaller; just be sure to use half the amount of chocolate chips in each one.

Ciao Bella March 2, 2012

I made these this week, they were so delicious. Thank you very much for the great recipe! I put up a couple of photos on my blog of how they turned out.

brighteyedbaker March 3, 2012

Thanks for letting me know that you tried the pain au chocolat! This is one of my favorite recipes on my blog, so I’m so glad that you took the time to make it and liked it.

Carla June 24, 2012

I made these last night, but I had a vegan friend coming over, so I made a vegan version (applesauce and oil for the butter, and soy milk for the milk). I also made a regular batch. The vegan dough rose a lot more, and ended up a lot more sticky. But, they both turned out absolutely delicious and everyone was impressed! Thanks for a great recipe!

brighteyedbaker June 26, 2012

Good for you getting ambitious and making these work as a vegan recipe! I’m glad it worked out :) This is one of my absolute favorite recipes; everyone seems to love it!

Leti Del Mar July 4, 2012

Looks way too yummy. I can’t wait to try it. Also I just wrote a blog on this, my favorite all time pastry and linked this site. I hope to spread the word on this wonderful recipe.
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brighteyedbaker July 5, 2012

These Pains au Chocolat are one of my all-time favorite recipes. Thanks for linking to the recipe at your site; I really appreciate it! I hope you get a chance to try it out yourself soon.

Jeanne August 12, 2012

Cannot wait to try this. we just returned from France yesterday and these are a must have with any breakfast. Thanks for the recipe. It looks much easier to make than any other recipe I’ve researched.

brighteyedbaker August 13, 2012

I’m in France right now! I’ve had a couple different pains au chocolat while I’ve been here but I still like my version as well. It’s different, but in a good way. :) I hope you do give it a try; we love this recipe and have made it multiple times.

Casey Russell August 14, 2012

Just wanted to let you know I love this post. I also took three years of French in high school. I think I did well back then, but since it’s been over a decade ago now, I’m certainly having a hard time trying to learn it all over again. I’ve recently started trying to teach my son French, so I’m also trying to teach myself to remember! As part of our lessons we are also including French culture, and I read that pain au chocolat is a popular after school treat for kids in France.

We’re going to make these soon as a nice little treat after one of our French lessons. Thanks so much for the recipe!

brighteyedbaker August 15, 2012

That’s such a neat idea! I just got back from France and I was able to pick up some words but I would love to be able to speak the language fluently; it’s so beautiful. Good luck with your French lessons! That’s so cute that French kids get pain au chocolat after school. Love that :)
Hope you enjoy the recipe, and you’re welcome.

stullesha buxton August 15, 2012

Its very,very an addiction for me(pain au chocolat is ma thing)

brighteyedbaker August 20, 2012

Mine too!

malika May 30, 2013

Hmmm!!! Tes pains au chocolat ont l’air très bon! ;) They look very good!

Sandrine March 1, 2014

I’ve found your website on pinterest. I’m French, and I love “pains au chocolat”
Yours seems pretty good ;-)
Come to see us in France there are lot’s of nice “pâtisseries” to try !!! :-)
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alexandra March 5, 2014

I’ve been to France once and I absolutely loved it! This is a slightly unique take on pain au chocolate that’s less flaky and more doughy, but it’s amazing and one of my favorite recipes. :)

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