Homemade Chocolate Croissants

If there's one thing that can make us jump out of bed first thing in the morning, it's a flaky pastry. And if there's one thing that can rock us to sleep at night, it's a chocolatey dessert. Combine the best of both worlds with a homemade chocolate croissant, or pain au chocolat, as the French call it. Bonjour, indeed!

You'll Need (for 16):

  • 4 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, cold
  • 2 chocolate bars, cut into 32 strips (2 strips per croissant)
  • 1 whisked egg yolk for the egg wash

Here's How:

1. First prepare the yeast dough. Mix the flour, sugar, softened butter, and yeast with the dough hook of a hand mixer. Gradually stir in the cold water and knead the dough for about 6 minutes, or until smooth. Form the dough into a ball, cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Wrap the cold butter in parchment paper, roll it out into a rectangle, and refrigerate with the dough.

2. Roll the dough out into an oval, place the butter rectangle on the upper half of the dough, and fold the dough over the butter, enclosing it completely.

3. Rotate the dough 90°, flour it, and roll it lengthwise until it's about ⅓-inch thick.

4. Fold the upper and lower thirds towards the middle so that both dough layers touch each other, and then fold everything up again.

5. Rotate the dough 90°, roll it out lengthwise, fold both ends in towards the middle, and fold everything up again.

6. Repeat the folding process and refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.

7. Remove the dough block from the fridge and cut it in half. Each half will make 8 croissants, so if that's all you want for now, go ahead and freeze the other half. Roll the first half out into a rectangle and cut the dough into 8 equal sections.

8. If you're only making 8 croissants, you will only need 1 chocolate bar – cut into 16 strips. Place one chocolate strip at the end of a piece of dough, fold the dough over the chocolate, place another chocolate strip on the dough, and then roll the entire thing up. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

9. Place the chocolate croissants on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and let the dough sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Brush the egg wash over the dough, slide the pan in the oven, and bake in a preheated oven set to 400°F for 15 minutes. To make sure the croissants brown evenly, rotate the pan 180° halfway through.

It's hard to beat a classic milk chocolate filling, but if you're feeling especially wild, try experimenting with white chocolate, caramel chocolate, mint chocolate, or even a nutty or fruity candy bar. Speaking of fruity, you can find the recipe for the Cruffins (Croissant Muffins) featured in the bonus video here.


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