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Hot Cross “Pain au chocolat”

This recipe is a cross (excuse the pun!) between a Hot Cross Bun and the popular French pastry, pain au chocolat, which is made with yeast-leavened dough and filled with chocolate.  “Pain au chocolat” literally means chocolate bread.

Be sure to also try the traditional recipes for traditional Croissants and Hot Cross Buns.

1 x 10 g sachet instant yeast
750 ml cake flour
375 ml lukewarm milk
30 ml sugar
7,5 ml salt
1 large egg
250 ml additional cake flour
200 g butter

Glaze
1 large egg
30 ml water or milk

Chocolate Topping
100 g dark chocolate, melted

  1. Mix the yeast with the 750 ml cake flour in a mixing bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients except extra flour and butter/margarine and mix.
  2. Add sufficient extra flour gradually to form a soft dough and knead on a floured surface only until smooth. Cut the butter or margarine into six slices. 
  3. Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape about 1,5 cm thick.
  4. Place three slices of the butter or margarine in the center of the dough and fold over the dough from the one side to cover. 
  5. Place the remaining three slices on top and cover with the dough from the other side to seal in butter or margarine.
  6. Turn the dough 90° and roll again into a rectangular shape about 1,5 cm thick.
  7. Fold again into three layers and repeat until it has been rolled four times.
  8. Streaks of butter or margarine should still be visible in the dough to ensure flaky croissants.
  9. Cover the dough airtight and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours before shaping and baking.
  10. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 12 rectangles.
  11. Arrange 2 teaspoons of chopped chocolate across one of the short ends of the rectangle and fold that third of the dough over the chocolate, toward the center.
  12. Repeat the process on the opposite side of the dough, folding it over and tucking the end under to create a cylindrical shape.
  13. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and allow them to rise until almost doubled in size, approx. 45 minutes to 1 hour
  14. Flour the surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of 5 mm.
  15. Trim the edges of the dough and cut the dough into rectangles that are 5 cm x 10 cm in size.
  16. Place a heaped spoonful of chocolate on the narrow edge of the dough and roll tightly enclosing it in the dough.
  17. Place the croissants on a baking sheet, seam side down.
  18. Brush with glaze and allow to rise at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or until the “pain au chocolat” appear slightly puffy.
  19. Bake at 180°C for about 20 minutes or until well-risen, firm and golden.
  20. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  21. When cool to the touch, pipe a chocolate cross onto each of the pastries and transfer to a serving platter.

Adapted from Carolié de Koster’s croissant recipe from the Art of Cooking Recipe book p. 846. Photo by Carolié de Koster.