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How to Make Pain Au Chocolat

Pain au chocolat is a classic French treat, consisting of a soft puff pastry roll encasing a rich chocolaty filling, with a crisp and golden top. It’s pure delight; the ultimate breakfast indulgence. If you make your own puff pastry, it can take some time… but this breakfast will be well worth it in the end!

    Prep Time: approx. 3 hours, plus overnight chilling
    Cooking Time: approx. 20 minutes
    Serves 12

Puff Pastry Ingredients:

  • 500g of Very Strong White Bread Flour
  • 75g of Golden Caster Sugar
  • 270ml of Water
  • 1 tsp of Salt
  • 7g Sachet of Instant Yeast
  • 350g of Unsalted Chilled Butter

Filling Ingredient:

  • 250g of Plain Chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

Equipment:

Baking

Method to Make the Puff Pastry:

  1. In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add the flour, sugar and salt to one side of the bowl, and then add the yeast to the opposite side. Add in the water and turn the mixer on a low speed for 2 minutes. Increase to a medium speed and leave it to mix for 6 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, tip out the dough and form a smooth, round ball. Put it in a clean plastic bag and leave to chill in the fridge for an hour.
  3. After an hour, retrieve your dough and roll it out on a floured surface, forming a square that measures approximately 50cm x 20cm, and is about 1cm thick.
  4. Flatten your chilled block of butter and form a rectangle of 33cm x 19cm.
  5. Lay your butter onto the rolled-out dough; allow it to cover two thirds of the bottom, and make sure it spreads out to the edges.
  6. Fold the exposed dough at the top down over a third of the butter. Now, gently cut off the excess butter; be careful not to cut through the dough. Put this on top of the dough you’ve just folded down, and then fold the bottom half of the dough upwards.
  7. You now have a sort of sandwich consisting of two layers of butter and three layers of dough. Seal in the butter by lightly pressing the edges of the dough. Put the dough back in its plastic bag and place it in the fridge to chill for one hour.
  8. After an hour, take the dough out of the fridge, remove it from its bag, and then place it down on a lightly floured surface with the short end towards you. Roll the dough out to another rectangle, measuring the same as before (50cm x 20cm).
  9. Next, fold up the bottom third of the dough, and then fold down the top third over the top – this is called a ‘single turn’.
  10. Put the dough back in the bag and chill it in the fridge for another hour. Then, repeat the ‘single turn’ method twice more, putting the dough back in the fridge between turns.
  11. After you’ve completed all the necessary turns, your dough now needs to chill in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, or overnight. This will allow your dough to rest and rise slightly.

Method to Make the Pain au Chocolat:

  1. The next day, or after 8 hours of chilling, remove your pastry from the fridge and roll it out to a large rectangle with the thickness of a pound coin.
  2. Then, cut the dough into 12” x 12” squares. Cut your chocolate into approximately 12 lengths, but this doesn’t have to be perfect as the chocolate may flake. Arrange a row of chocolate along one edge of each dough square, and then roll the dough over.
  3. Preheat your oven to 220°C (200°C fan or gas mark 7).
  4. Place each pain au chocolat onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Oil a sheet of cling film, place it over the top, and leave the pastries to prove for an hour.
  5. Place your baking tray into the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until they have risen and look golden-brown. Serve warm with a nice cup of tea or a fresh coffee!
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