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Pains au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissants)


This recipe comes from the International Culinary Institute in New York City.  The recipe uses the metric system for its weights and measures so you'll need a kitchen scale that weighs in grams and kilograms.

Makes 32 chocolate croissants (70 grams each)



  • 1000 grams all-purpose flour
  • 200 grams milk
  • 380 grams water
  • 130 grams sugar
  • 18 grams instant yeast
  • 22 grams salt
  • 5 grams malt (optional)
  • 40 grams unsalted butter
  • 458 grams unsalted butter (roll-in butter)



Step 1: To make the dough: Weigh the flour, salt, yeast, butter, malt, milk and water. Set aside. Measure the sugar in a separate container and set aside. 
Step 2: Add yeast to flour. 
Step 3: Place all ingredients except the sugar in bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook or paddle. Incorporate all ingredients except sugar and mix on lowest speed for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough comes together. 
Step 4: Add the sugar in two stages and mix for 2 minutes more or until the sugar is incorporated. The dough will be fairly stiff but still sticky. If more dough is sticking to sides of bowl than to itself, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as necessary. At this point, there will be minimal gluten development.
Step 5: Round the dough, cover with plastic and allow to rise in a 75 degree environment for 60 minutes.  
Step 6: Flatten the dough with a rolling pin; roll it out to a 16" X 12" rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze until the dough is at a minimum below 60 degrees.The dough may be refrigerated overnight.
Step 7: To prepare the butter: Pound out the cold butter to make it more extensible without softening it. As illustrated below, using parchment paper, roll out the butter to an 8" X 13" rectangle. The butter should be between 50 and 60 degrees. Verify the consistency and temperature, refrigerate or leave out at room temperature if necessary. 
Step 8: To lock in the butter: Verify the dimensions of the cold dough and place the butter in the center of the dough. It should be the same height as the dough.  Wrap the sides of the dough around the butter package. The two sides of the dough should meet but not overlap. Lightly dust work surface with flour. Take the butter out of the parchment and wrap the dough around butter. Using rolling pin, gently tap dough, starting from center of dough and going outward, until square becomes larger and butter begins to soften. 
Step 9: To laminate the dough: Gently roll the dough into a 32" X 8" rectangle, checking often to make sure dough is not sticking and dusting with additional flour as necessary. Perform a double fold (illustrated below) by folding up from the bottom 2 inches and then folding down to meet at the 2 inches.  Fold dough in half. 
Step 10: Rotate the dough 90 degrees so the spine is on your left and roll out again to 32" X 8". Perform a single fold by folding the bottom up by 1/3, then folding the top down by 1/3 to overlap the bottom fold. Rotate another 90 degrees and roll out to 15" X 8".  Wrap and refrigerate the dough for 60 minutes.
Step 11: Roll the dough out to a 32" X 16" rectangle, cut in half to form a 32" X 8" rectangle. Divide the dough into 4" X 4" squares. Place 1 or 2 chocolate batons on the square and fold the dough over the batons.  The seam should be on the bottom. At this stage, the chocolate croissants can be frozen for up to 1 week if well wrapped in plastic wrap. Thaw on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding.
Step 12: Place the rolled croissants on a parchment covered baking sheet; spaced about 2 inches apart. Egg wash croissants lightly. 
Step 13: Loosely cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap. Allow the croissants to proof at room temperature until they have doubled in size (until an indentation on the shoulder of the croissant barely springs back) and appear light and full of air; about 1-1/2 to 3 hours depending on the temperature of the room and of the dough.
Step 14: Egg wash a second time and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes.


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