Pain au Chocolat also called Chocolatine is South-West France is a viennoiserie roll consisting of yeast leavened laminated dough with two pieces of dark chocolate in the center. It is soft and flaky with a slight bitterness brought about by the dark chocolate. It uses the same type of dough as croissants. In this recipe, I will be sharing tips on how to make the perfect pain au chocolat.
Makes 12 rolls
(1) 500 Grams Bread Flour (A little under 4 cups)
(2) 12 Grams Salt (2 Teaspoons)
(3) 14 Grams Yeast (2 Teaspoons)
(4) 50 Grams Granulated White Sugar (1/4 Cup or 4 Tablespoons)
(5) 1 Cup Warm Water (Water from the tap is fine)
(6) 100 Grams Unsalted Butter (Soft) (See Note 1)
Tourage (Butter Layer):
(1) 250 Grams Unsalted Butter (See Note 1)
(1) 8 Ounces of Dark Chocolate (Bitter-Sweet) (226 Grams)
(1) Butter is an important ingredient when making pain au chocolat as the pastry gets most of its flavor and texture from the butter. Do not substitute butter for margarine or any other fat. If using salted butter, leave out the salt from the recipe.
If you have read my post on how to make croissants, you can skip the steps below to Number 13 for the process of making the dough is essentially the same in both cases.
(1) Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands to combine them.
(2) Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the water. Mix with your hands until a shaggy dough is formed.
(3) Turn the dough onto your work surface, add the soft butter and knead until a soft dough forms. About 10 minutes.
(4) Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and allow it to double in size. This takes about 2 hours.
(5)While the dough is rising, prepare the tourage. Put your butter into a ziploc bag and roll it out so it fills all the corners of the bag. Alternatively, fold parchment paper into a square, place butter in it and roll it out to fill the square. Keep the rolled out butter in the fridge.
(6) After the dough has doubles in size, deflate it, shape it into a rectangle, wrap it with cling film and keep it in the fridge overnight or for 8 hours. This allows the dough to rise slowly without fermenting.
(7) 30 minutes before taking the dough out of the fridge, remove the butter so it softens a little bit.
(8) Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it into a rectangle double the size of the tourage.
(9) Place the tourage on one half of the dough, fold the other half over it and seal it inside the dough.
(10) Now begins the process of lamination which involves creating sheets of butter in the middle of the dough. To start the process, hit the dough at several points with your rolling pin to loosen the butter and make the dough more pliable.
(11) Roll the dough into a rectangle 10 x 20 inches wide. Fold one third of the rectangle inwards and overlap it with the other third to form a rectangle. This is called the 3 fold method. Repeat this process two more times, rolling the dough in a different direction each time.
NOTE: For better understanding and tips on how to laminate dough, look at my notes on Lamination under my Puff Pastry post which can be found here.
(12) Wrap the dough with cling film and return it to the fridge for an hour. This helps the dough relax. Tired? Don’t worry, you are almost done.
Making Chocolate Sticks
(13) Chocolate sticks are placed in the middle of pain au chocolat. These sticks can be purchased from specialized baking stores. You can also make yours yourself. To do this, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl placed over boiling water.
(14) Line the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 x 9 inch square cake pan with parchment paper. Pour the melted chocolate into the pan and keep it in the fridge for about an hour to solidify. You do not want it to get very hard or it would bread during slicing.
(15) After the chocolate has solidified, remove it from the pan and divide it into 2 equal parts. Divide each part into 1 cm sticks. You will need 2 sticks per roll. Return the chocolate sticks to the fridge until needed.
Shaping the Rolls and Baking
(16) Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it in half. Place the other half back in the fridge and work with one half at a time. Each half will give you 6 rolls. Alternatively, you can make croissants with the other half.
(17) Roll the dough into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle.
(18) Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, divide the dough into 6 rectangles, each measuring 5 x 4.5 inches.
(19) Working with 1 rectangle at a time, Place a stick of chocolate at one end of the rectangle. Roll the dough to cover the chocolate stick. Place the second chocolate stick in the dough and roll the dough completely, tucking the ends underneath the roll.
(20) Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover lightly with cling film and allow it to rise for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees 20 minutes before the end of this rise.
(21) After 2 hours, brush the dough with egg wash (one egg beaten lightly). To get darker rolls, brush the dough with only the egg yolk.
(19) Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes.
(20) Allow the rolls to cool down for about 10 minutes before serving.