Pain Au Chocolat- Chocolate Filled Croissants

Total Time
5hrs 20mins
Prep 5 hrs
Cook 20 mins

I loved these for breakfast from the bakery (baeckerei) when I was stationed in Germany. This pastry recipe DOES NOT USE purchased pastry dough. This is how you make this wonderfully fluffy, flaky, croissant dough at home, from scratch. I know The prep time is intimidating, but it includes all the time spent chilling the dough in between steps. It's a fantastic recipe to play around with when you have other things to cook or other chores to do, you just pull it out every half-hour or so, mess with it for five minutes, and then stick it back in the fridge! Tip 1: USE REAL BUTTER and good quality chocolate.It's so much better. Tip 2: The less you actually mess with the dough, the flakier it will be, so don't over-knead or over-roll! You can also replace the chocolate with hot fudge- the soft state of fudge before it has been beaten.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Sift together the flour and salt, then stir in the dry yeast.
  2. Rub the shortening into this mix with your fingertips. This is just like it sounds-rub it between your fingers, the flour will coat it, and it will break up into little bits-similar to cutting with a pastry cutter.
  3. Stir in the beaten egg and the water, forming a very soft dough.
  4. Knead for about three minutes, until the dough is just barely elastic (this means it pulls back to it's prior shape after you squeeze it.).
  5. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 14 inches wide by 8 inches high, and a quarter inch thick. Cover the left two thirds of this rectangle with 1/4 c of the butter, then fold the right third (the part without butter) over the middle, then the left third over that, so there are now three layers of dough, with butter in between each layer. Roll the dough out again to 14x8, fold again, without butter, and roll out a third time.
  6. Wrap this rectangle and chill in the fridge for at least thirty minutes.
  7. Repeat steps five and six twice more, so you use all the butter.
  8. This time, when you pull it out, just fold and roll twice without adding butter then chill for another thirty minutes. At this point you can chill the dough up to overnight, or you can freeze for later use.
  9. When you pull it out, roll out the dough to about 20 inches wide by 10 inches tall, and then cut it into six strips wide. Cut each of these strips on the bias- into triangles.
  10. Brush each triangle with beaten egg, then place a chunk of chocolate at the wide end of each triangle, and then roll it up like a croissant.
  11. Place each croissant point-side down onto a greased baking sheet, cover and let proof (rise) in a warm place for about an hour.
  12. Heat oven to 425.
  13. Uncover, brush surfaces with beaten egg, and bake for 20 minutes, until that beautiful golden brown color.