4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 packet instant dry yeast
3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
1 1/4 cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 egg beaten
2 bars sweetened chocolate
To begin, make the dough. In a large bowl, mix together the bread flour, water, milk, sugar, salt, yeast, and softened butter. Once the dough begins to clump, turn it out onto a clean counter. Lightly knead the dough and form it into a ball, making sure not to over knead it. Then, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for one hour.
Slice the cold butter into thirds and place them onto a sheet of parchment paper. Then, place another piece of parchment paper on top of the but and use a rolling pin to beat it until it’s smooth and flat.
Keeping the parchment paper on the butter, use the rolling pin to roll the butter into a seven-inch square about a 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the butter into the refrigerator.
Next, bring out the dough and roll it out on a slightly floured surface. Push the rolling pin once vertically into the dough and once horizontally to form four quadrants. Roll out each corner and form a 10-inch square. Then, taking the butter from the fridge, place the butter on top of the dough and fold the sides of the dough over the two-thirds of the butter. Fold the third of the dough that’s not covered by the butter over the butter-covered dough. You will be left with a third of the butter-covered dough exposed. Fold that back onto the dough, layering the dough and the butter. Roll the dough will a rolling pin to seal the seams and put it in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Once you remove the dough, roll it out into a rectangular shape about a 1/2 inch thick. Repeat the folding, cover with plastic wrap, and chill again for 15 minutes. Repeat the folding and chilling process twice more so that it has been rolled 4 times.
To prepare the pastry, cut the dough into 4 x 4 in squares. Using a sharp knife, cut the chocolate bars into 12 lengths and arrange them in a row along the edge of each piece of dough and roll the dough over them.
Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover them with plastic wrap and leave them to proof for one hour. Once they are done, brush the beaten egg on top.
Finally, preheat the oven to 400°F and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Serve warm.
While studying abroad in France, it has been hard to convince myself that I don’t need to eat a pain au chocolat every day. I decided to try and save money and make some for myself. The process of making the dough takes a while, so as a faster option, you can also use store bought pastry dough or ‘puff pastry’.