Pain au Chocolat

It was a happy accident.  Actually, there were two happy accidents involved in making these, but I’ll start at the beginning.  I made some croissants.  When the directions said to work with the dough in two separate batches, I had a brainwave: what if I saved one half of the dough to try making pain au chocolat?

Well, I couldn’t say no to that.

So I didn’t.  The day after making my croissants, I rolled out the remaining laminated dough to make pain au chocolat.  As my fantastic cookbook, Baking With Julia told me, the dough is traditionally rolled around a long thin bar of chocolate.  Since I’m in America, I didn’t expect to find a comparable chocolate.  I did, however, want to use the best quality I could find.  So, I picked up a bar of noir cot d’or chocolate from Dean and Deluca.  It looked good; I was willing to chop up some chocolate and put it in.

Well, what do you know, when I opened the pack I discovered that I what I had bought was indeed long, thin chocolate bars.  I was happy and more than a little shocked.  Popping the small bars at the end of the dough made rolling them all the easier and more enjoyable.

And, oh, how they rose in the oven!  They definitely puffed up to three times their size as they were supposed to.  At the end, I was rewarded with flaky, light, rich and buttery croissants with just the perfect amount of chocolate.

Dare I say it?  I might have liked them even better than my normal croissants.

They’re worth the long process.

Do you prefer a typical croissant or pain au chocolat?

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