Pain au chocolat

Pain au chocolat

By
From
James Martin's French Adventure
Makes
24
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

When I was a pastry chef, about 25 years ago, I think I weighed nearly 25 stone, mainly because I used to eat two of these every day! Not any more, but there’s still nothing better for an indulgent weekend breakfast.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g strong bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
80g caster sugar
10g fast-acting dried yeast
300g cold butter
300g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method

  1. Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, slowly mix in about 400ml lukewarm water, until the dough becomes pliable. The amount of water required may vary slightly, depending on the absorbency of the flour. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead well until it feels elastic, about 5 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Return the chilled dough to the floured work surface and roll out into a rectangle measuring about 60cm x 30cm. Using the rolling pin, flatten the butter into a rectangle about 1cm thick and big enough to cover two-thirds of the dough. Lay the butter over the dough and fold the remaining one-third of the dough over the buttered dough. You will be left with one third of buttered dough. Fold this over so that the dough is in three layers, with the butter inside. Wrap the dough in cling film and return to the fridge to chill for a further hour.
  3. Scatter some more flour over the work surface and roll out the dough to the same-sized rectangle as before. Repeat the folding process and place the dough back in the fridge for another hour. Repeat this process twice more before wrapping the dough in cling film and leaving it to rest overnight in the fridge.
  4. The next day, roll out the dough to approximately 5mm thick, then cut the dough into 13cm squares – you should get about 24. Place a row of chocolate chunks on one half of each square, then roll up to enclose the chocolate filling. Place on two large baking sheets and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Brush the pain au chocolat with beaten egg and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
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