|Mini Chocolate Croissants|
|Chocolate Croissants, mini style|
I didn't like chocolate croissants until I made them for myself. That may sound snobbish, but it's true. I'd tasted the ones at Panera and was unimpressed, but that was probably because it was lunchtime and that croissant had been sitting there since 6:00 A.M. Chocolate croissants (at least these ones) are at their best about one hour after pulling them from the oven. They are good for up to four hours (in my opinion), and after that the texture deteriorates into something more rubbery than tender buttery flakey, if that makes sense. Don't get me wrong, they're still completely edible, but if I'm going to spend calories on something as rich as this, I want them to be at the peak of perfection.
Don't expect any sort of perfection the first time you try making croissant dough, by the way. It takes a lot of practice, and several pounds of butter before they turn out well. A few tips I've figured out are:
1. Make sure your kitchen isn't too warm. Wintertime is fine if your house is about 70 degrees, but in the summertime, the heat and humidity will mess with the dough. I suggest keeping your house cold.
2. Go the extra mile and use unsalted butter for this recipe. It makes a difference.
3. The dough isn't as delicate as you'd think. Don't be afraid of it.
4. Make sure the butter you fold into the dough isn't too soft and that your dough is cold. It keeps the butter from breaking through.
5. A couple of handy tools are a quilting ruler (not sure of the official name, but it's big and plastic) and a pizza cutter.
That's all I can think of. Let me know if you try this.
Chocolate Croissants (Pain Au Chocolat)
1. Whisk 3 cups flour together with the yeast, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Place the milk in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the flour mixture and kneed at low speed until a ball of dough forms. Cut the 2 T butter into small pieces and add to the dough. Continue to knead until the butter becomes fully incorporated and the dough becomes smooth, begins to form a ball, and clears the sides of the bowl. If dough is too sticky, add 1-3 more tablespoons of flour, one tablespoon at a time. Place dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
2. Place the 2 ½ sticks of butter and 1 T flour into the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until butter is uniformly smooth and creamy.
3. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll dough into 10 x 14-inch rectangle. Spread butter evenly over the bottom 2/3 of the rectangle. Fold unbuttered third onto the middle third. Then fold that onto the bottom third. Seal edges with side of your hand.
4. Using a rolling pin, gently whack the dough, starting at the center of the dough and go outward. Then gently roll the dough into about a 7 x 12-inch rectangle, and fold into thirds again. Make sure that the butter doesn’t break through. IF it does, sprinkle with flour. Fold one more time to make a chunky square. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30-45 minutes.
5. Remove dough from refrigerator, gently whack and roll into a 10 x 14-inch rectangle. As in step four, fold dough into thirds and then fold one last time so you have a square again. Wrap and refrigerate again overnight.
|In the process of forming the chocolate croissants. One Dove Promise is plenty.|
6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place chilled dough on a floured surface and gently roll dough into a 20-inch square. Trim the edges so the edges are straight. Using a pizza cutter and ruler, cut the dough into three equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle into fourths.
|These were just formed and set to rise. They really don't get much puffier than this before baking them.|
7. Place four chocolate pieces in a row down the center of each small rectangle. Fold one side over the chocolate. Moisten the other edge with a little water, then fold over the chocolate. Transfer the croissants to the prepared baking sheets, seam side down. Cover the croissants loosely with plastic wrap. Let them rise at room temperature until puffy, about 45-60 minutes. (They will not double in size)
8. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg, 1 T sugar, and 1 T water. When croissants are done rising, place one baking sheet in the refrigerator while you bake the first one. Brush the croissants with the egg wash. Bake until croissants are golden brown, 15-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheet front to back halfway through baking. Cool the croissants on a wire rack at least 30 minutes.Makes 12 chocolate croissants