Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pain Au Chocolat

This post is mainly for my sister Sarah, who has recently moved to the French Riveria. Inspired by her mouth-watering descriptions of the delicious French pastries available fresh and cheap daily, I determined to test out my French baking abilities with my favorite pastry, the chocolate crossiant. With my family as the willing guinea pigs and Christmas morning breakfast hanging on the brink of my success or failure (ok not really) I set to work with my trusty Williams Sonoma cookbook and squeaky old rolling pin.

The mission: Pain Au Chocolat

Step 1: Activate yeast with warm water and wait until frothy. Simple enough

Step 4: After mixing all remaining ingredients, roll out the dough into a precise 9 X 13" rectangle

Step 5: "Laminating the dough" Here I had to check and double check that the recipe was calling for an ENTIRE pound of butter, and mind you this is for 12 crossiants. This step is where I almost lost my mind. Laminating dough is the process of spreading the butter throughout the pastry through mashing, folding, flipping, refrigerating, and waiting. This step alone took a total of 5 hours because there are 4 lamination periods with a 40 min. refrigeration time necessary between each set. This is where the faint of heart might give up, but I was determined to accomplish this mission. I mean, my family, and the fate of Christmas was couting on me. (What? too dramatic?)

Step 28: Ahh, finally the chocolate! Using a food processor chop chocolate into small pieces. Roll out dough (again) into another precisely sized rectangle of which I don't remember and cut into 12 squares. Place chocolate in center of each square and roll into cylindrical shapes. Brush with beaten egg yoke and place in piping hot oven for 18 minutes and........

Voila! We couldn't have felt any more French on Christmas morning as we bit into our gooey, warm, flaky, chocolaty croissants. Sweet success tasted oh so good. However, next time I get a craving for this culinary delight, remind me that its quicker to hop on a flight to France and purchase one from the Boulangerie down the street from my sister! Bon Appetite.


  1. Rach---they look PERFECT! I'm so impressed. I bet they tasted delicous. Lily has a pan au chocolat almost every day. I'll let her know you know how to make them so she can continue her pastry binge Stateside when we're home in August. I LOVE YOU! Au Revoir...

  2. Woah - those look amazing and I may need to get that recipe from you even if it does have 800 steps!

  3. These look AMAZING! I would like to go ahead and extend an invitation for you to make these at my house next year on Christmas morning!

    Merci beaucoup!