There’s something undeniably magical about sinking your teeth into a freshly baked chocolate croissant, its delicate layers of buttery pastry cradling rich, dark chocolate. While the thought of crafting these delectable treats might seem intimidating, fear not! With a bit of time, patience, and the right technique, you can recreate the Parisian charm right in your own kitchen thanks to this recipe from Epicurious. The process might require a few unexpected tools – a spray bottle and a garbage bag – but these are the secrets to achieving that perfect golden crust and flaky interior. So, let’s embark on this pastry adventure and create delicious homemade chocolate croissants that will rival any bakery’s offering.
Ingredients for Chocolate Croissants
- 32 dark chocolate batons (about 6 oz.)
- 1½ cups of warm whole milk
- 3 sticks (1½ cups) chilled unsalted butter
- ¼ cup of light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp. plus ¼ tsp.ofactive dry yeast
- 3¾ cups of all-purpose flour, plus more
- 1 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt
Directions for Chocolate Croissants:
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine 1½ cups warm whole milk, ¼ cup light brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp. plus ¼ tsp. active dry yeast. Allow the yeast to foam for approximately 5 minutes.
- Attach the dough hook to the mixer and add 3¾ cups all-purpose flour and 1 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt. Mix on low speed until the dough is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. This should take around 6-8 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a surface and knead it until it’s soft and slightly sticky, about 2 minutes. Shape it into a 1½”-thick rectangle, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for about an hour.
- Place 3 sticks of chilled unsalted butter horizontally on a work surface and slightly soften it with a rolling pin. Create a block of butter and transfer it to a kitchen towel. Roll it out into an 8×5″ rectangle and chill it in the towels.
- Flatten the dough and roll it out to a 15×10″ rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, shaping it into a 10×5″ rectangle. This completes the first “fold.” Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for an hour.
- Repeat the rolling and chilling process three more times for a total of four “folds.” If any butter seeps out while rolling, dust with flour to prevent sticking. Divide the dough into halves, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- Roll out one dough half on a floured surface into an 18×10″ rectangle. Trim the edges and slice the dough into quarters lengthwise and crosswise to make 16 rectangles.
- Working with one rectangle at a time, place 2 dark chocolate batons along a short side of the dough, letting them extend over the edges. Fold the bottom edge over the batons and roll up the dough around the chocolate. Arrange the pastries on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. Slide the baking sheets into a garbage bag and allow the pastries to rise for 2-2½ hours, creating a slightly puffy and spongy texture.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Generously spray the inside of the oven with water and place the baking sheets inside. After spraying again, reduce the temperature to 400°F and bake the croissants in two phases. This will result in a deep golden color and irresistible aroma.
Creating your own chocolate croissants might seem like a complex undertaking, but with the right guidance and a touch of patience, you’ll soon find yourself reveling in the joy of homemade pastries that rival those from the finest patisseries.
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