Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pain Au Chocolat

I made these for Randal to take to his office back when I made the fruit danish pastries. This is another recipe from SaraBeth's bakery. I love making dough like this, I love all the steps, the rolling and folding and seeing all the layers develop.  I was very happy with the final result as these pastries were tender and flaky and everything a good pain au chocolat should be.

2 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg plus 4 large egg yolks
Seeds from 1 plumped vanilla bean
2 2/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour

1. To make the detrempe, sprinkle the yeast over 1/3 cup warm milk and leave for 5 minutes. Whisk well and add to the mixer bowl, add the sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup of cold milk.

2. Add the egg, yolks and vanilla seeds to the yeast mixture, mix with the paddle attachment on low speed, add 2 cups of flour and salt to the bowl. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft, sticky dough. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, knead for a minute to smooth out the surface and shape into a ball.

3. Dust a half sheet pan with flour, place the dough onto the pan and cut an X about 1 inch deep in the top of the ball. Sprinkle with flour and refrigerate.

4. Immediately make the beurrage. Clean the mixer bowl and paddle attachment. Add the butter to the bowl and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the flour and continue beating for another 30 seconds. Transfer to the work surface, and shape into a 4 inch square. Place on the sheet pan along with the detrempe and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

5. Flour the work surface, place the dough on the work surface with the ends of the X at 2, 4, 7 and 10 o'clock. Dust the top of the dough with flour and using the heel of your hand, flatten and stretch each quadrant to make a cloverleaf shape. Using a rolling pin roll each leaf into a flap about 6 inches long and 5 inches wide, leaving a raised square in the middle.

6. Place the butter square in the center. Gently stretch and pull the north facing flap of dough down to cover the top and sides of the butter square. Then stretch the south facing flap of dough up to cover the top and sides of the butter square. Turn the dough so that the open ends of the square face north and south, repeat folding the flaps of dough over the butter square, making a butter filled packet of dough about 6 inches square.

7. Turn the dough over so that the folded flaps are face down with the open seam facing you. Using a rolling pin lightly pound the top of the dough to widen it slightly and help distribute the butter. Roll the dough into a 17 by 9 inch rectangle, fold into thirds and transfer to a sheet pan and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

8. Place the dough back on the work surface with the long open seam of dough facing you. Roll out the dough into a 17 by 9 inch rectangle, fold the right side over 2 inches to the left and fold the left side over to meet the right side. Fold the dough in half vertically from left to right, return to the sheet pan and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

9. Repeat rolling the dough into a 17 by 9 inch rectangle, folding into thirds and cut the dough in half. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and freeze for 2-4 days.

10. The night before using the dough, transfer to the refrigerator and let thaw overnight.

To make the pain au chocolat
½ recipe dough
Unbleached all-purpose flour, for rolling the dough
One 3½-ounce semisweet or bittersweet chocolate bar, cut crosswise into 12 strips
1 large egg, well beaten

Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.  Dust the work surface well with flour.  Place the dough on the work surface with the open seam of dough facing you.  Dust the top of the dough with flour.  Using a large, heavy rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 16-by-12-inch rectangle.  Using a yardstick and a pizza wheel, neatly trim the rough edges of the rectangle.  Fold the dough into thirds, place on the half-sheet pan, and refrigerate uncovered for 15 minutes.

Unfold the dough onto the work surface.  Cut the dough horizontally into thirds and vertically into quarters to make 12 squares.  Place a chocolate strip about ¼ inch up from the bottom of a dough square.  Roll from the bottom up and place, seam side down, on the pan.  Repeat with the remaining dough and chocolate, placing the pains 1½ inches apart.  Using a very sharp thin knife, make a 1-inch slit in the center of the pains, cutting just down to the chocolate.  Make two more 1-inch slits, ¾ inch on either side of the center slit.

Choose a warm place in the kitchen for proofing.  Slip the pan into a tall plastic bag.  Place a tall glass of very hot water near the center of the pan.  Wave the opening of the bag to trap air and inflate it like a balloon being sure that the plastic does not touch the dough.  Twist the bag closed.  Let stand until the pains au chocolat look puffy but not doubled, 1½ to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375.  Remove the glass from the bag, then the pan.  Lightly brush the pains with the beaten egg.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350° and continue baking until the pains are crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes longer.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

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Miz Helen said...

Hi Sarah,
This is a beautiful Pain Au Chocolat, a delicious recipe. Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Debi said...

These are beautiful, I was wondering if you would link it in my Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop. Here is the link:

I would love to have anything that you would like to link.
Debi Bolocofsky
Adorned From Above

Julie E said...

This recipe sounds and looks divine! I would absolutely love for you to share it at my link party.

Natasha SerenityYou said...

this looks so nice xx

Michelles Tasty Creations said...

These look delicious! Thanks so much for stopping by Creative Thursday this week. I couldn’t do these parties without you. Can’t wait to see what you link up next week. Have a wonderful weekend.

Maria said...

Wow your pain au chocolat looks wonderful! I've made pain au raising before and it was similar (also a long process!) but so worth it! Pain au chocolat has been on my list of things to make - yours looks DELICIOUS!!! Great job!!!!

Terry said...

Oh wow, this looks amazing. I could live life on just this and some wine, lol. Thanks for sharing at our party this week.

Alyssa said...

These pastries looks really good! Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday!

Six Sisters said...

I can't wait to try these with my family. Thanks for sharing on our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. Hope you come back next week. -The Sisters

Trish - Mom On Timeout said...

Such a beautiful pastry! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

Tutus & Tea Parties said...

They look wonderful!
Thanks for sharing at our Pinteresting Party.

Jenny said...

They look very tasty! I'm thinking of making some good pastry for some crossiants sometime.

CrankyPuppy said...

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this recipe. I had one of these at Panera and was instantly in love. I'm definitely going to try making these later today.

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