Rye and chocolate croissants

Rye and chocolate croissants

Green Kitchen Travels

During the six months I lived in Rome, I took every measure to become ‘un vero Italiano’ – a true Italian. It wasn’t always an easy task – having to wear sunglasses on dark buses, leaving an extra button open on my shirts and learning how to speak with my hands. But it had its bright moments, and breakfast was one of those. Cappuccino and cornetto (the Italian word for croissant) seemed to be part of everyone’s morning routine, so they became part of mine too. I often ordered cornetto integrale, which is supposed to be a healthier wholemeal one but at best had only about one per cent of whole grains in it. My version has a much higher ratio. Spelt flour and rye flour add nuttiness and more character to the croissants. They are a little trickier to master, as their gluten content is lower so the dough is less elastic. Try to knead it as little as possible.

What I love about this method is that you prepare the croissants the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is put them in the oven. Start around dinner time if you want to make it to bed before midnight. You can also shape the trimmed-off edges into a bun and bake immediately at 200°C for 15 minutes. It’s a nice treat for the persistent night-baker. — David


Quantity Ingredient
80g rye flour, plus extra for dusting
185g spelt flour
1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
175ml gmo-free soya milk
or 175ml milk of choice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
125g butter, cold
4 tablespoons Cacao and hazelnut spread
or 50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten, for brushing


  1. Sift the flours together and set aside. Heat the oil with the milk and maple syrup to lukewarm in a small saucepan. Place the dry yeast and salt in a large bowl and pour the milk over. Add about a quarter of the flour mixture, stir and leave to rest for 10 minutes until bubbles appear. Gradually add the rest of the flour and quickly work it into a non-sticky dough – just a minute or two should be enough. The dough will feel quite firm at this point. Cover the bowl and leave to rest for an hour at room temperature. Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface. Flatten it out, sprinkle a little extra flour on top, fold it together into a tight square then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the dough from the fridge, place on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a rectangle, about 30 x 20 cm. Use a cheese cutter, mandolin or sharp knife to cut the butter into thin flakes and spread them in a single layer to cover two-thirds of the dough, leaving a 10 x 20 cm flap uncovered. (Alternatively, you can put the butter between 2 layers of baking parchment and roll it into a 20 cm square with a rolling pin and lay it on the dough.) Fold the empty third of the dough over the butter and then take the last third and fold it over the top of the other 2 flaps (like a business letter). Rotate the dough through 90° and roll it out to a similar-sized rectangle again. Fold it up in thirds again then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Roll and fold the dough again, rewrap and chill for a further hour.
  3. Unwrap the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a 30 x 20 cm rectangle once more. Trim off the edges with a sharp knife and cut the dough into 4 equal-sized rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally, making 8 triangles.
  4. Take 1 triangle. Stretch the corner of the shortest edge, to make the edges more even. Put a heaped teaspoon of cacao and hazelnut spread or dark chocolate in the middle of the triangle, towards the base. Start at the base and with a light touch, roll the croissant up toward the thinnest point. Place it on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Shape the rest of the croissants and place well apart on the sheet. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight.
  5. In the morning, remove the croissants from the fridge, unwrap, cover with a clean tea towel and let them prove for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Brush each croissant with beaten egg to glaze. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until deep golden and with a bubbly flaky crust.


  • You can of course also bake them without filling or try a savoury filling. Pesto is great. Cheese and mustard is another classic. The spelt flour can be replaced with normal all-purpose flour for an even flakier (but less wholesome) croissant.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again