Nothing says Valentine’s Day like croissants, and even more, homemade chocolate croissants (pain au chocolat)!
Croissants have been on my baking bucket list for like 2-3 years now and I’ve finally done it. I partnered with my friends over at Cuisinart to use their Precision Master 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer to make these beauties. They’re truly a labor of love but well worth it!
The best part is that the stand mixer does all the work in making the dough and kneading it so all we have left is laminating and shaping. If I’m being totally honest, it sounds much more intimidating than it actually is but I’ll take you step by step.
How to make croissant dough
This is literally the easiest dough to make. The dry ingredients get combined in the bowl of the Cuisinart Precision Master 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer and then with the hook attachment, on low speed, the water gets added in.
Allow the mixer to knead the dough until the gluten develops enough to peel itself away from the edge of the bowl. At this point, the dough will feel a little tacky but should not be too sticky to work with.
How to shape the butter for laminating
There are so many ways to shape butter for laminating and this was just my preferred method. It really doesn’t matter how you choose to do it as long as the butter is the right shape and temperature when you begin laminating.
To shape the butter, I folded a large piece of parchment paper into an 8×10” rectangle. Then I placed the slightly chilled butter (not fresh out of the fridge but not quite room temperature soft either) in the parchment paper and used a rolling pin to smush it into the size of the rectangle.
Why do I have to refrigerate and rest the dough
Before laminating, the dough needs to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Refrigerating because we want the dough cold so that the butter laminates in layers and doesn’t melt into the dough.
Resting happens twice, the first 4+ hours after the dough is made and then again before shaping. This is because after developing the gluten, it becomes too tough to roll out to the desired shape and letting it rest for a while will allow the gluten to relax.
You’ll really notice this when you’re shaping the croissant dough. If you try to roll the dough out to 12×24” without resting it, the dough will just spring back to the shape/size it wants to stay at.
How to laminate dough
The most important thing in laminating dough is the temperature of both the dough and the butter. You want the dough to be cold and you want the butter to be malleable but not greasy. In order for the butter to create the layers in the dough, it has to be soft enough to bend without breaking but cold enough to not melt into the dough while rolling. Make sure the butter is flexible but not greasy.
How to shape chocolate croissants
Chocolate croissants don’t have that classic crescent shape. They’re usually a rectangle rolled around a bar of chocolate. Once you roll the dough out nice and thin, I like to trim the edges and then you’ll have perfect rectangles.
Keep in mind the croissants grow A LOT in the oven so don’t make them too big. I usually get 16 fairly large croissants out of this amount of dough but you can certainly make them smaller to get more.
If you do make them smaller, try to roll the dough out a little larger as they’ll be easier to shape if the dough is thinner. Make sure to flour the surface as needed so the dough doesn’t stick.
What kind of chocolate to use
I like to use a semi-sweet or bittersweet baking chocolate bar that I chop but you can certainly use chocolate chips as well. If it’s difficult to roll with chocolate chips, you can try melting the chocolate chips and then letting it solidify again and cut it into bars.
Can I use more chocolate?
Yes! You can actually use up to twice as much chocolate for each slice for a richer croissant. Place the chocolate on the end like I did, then fold the dough over the piece of chocolate and place another piece of chocolate and continue rolling.
Proofing chocolate croissants
Proofing the croissants is important because if they’re not proofed enough, the butter can leak out. This hasn’t been a huge deal for me, they still taste great even if the butter leaks a little but if they’re severely underproofed and all the butter leaks out then they risk not rising and creating layers.
To know when they’re done proofing, gently press your finger into the dough and if it leaves an indent, it should be done. Fully proofed croissants will also wobble if you gently shake the pan.
I like to proof my croissants at room temperature (NOT in a warm environment) so that the laminated butter doesn’t melt. My room temperature is usually about 70F. Make sure to fully cover the dough with plastic wrap so that the dough doesn’t dry out.
Egg wash the croissants when they’re done proofing, while the oven is preheating.
How to store chocolate croissants
Croissants are best served after they’ve cooled, the same day they were baked. The outside is crispy and they’re soft and airy inside.
Store them at room temperature in an airtight container or bag for 2-3 days or refrigerate for up to a week.
To freeze them, place them in an airtight freezer bag and defrost them on the counter overnight.
Classic croissants usually take at least two days to make but I made this croissant recipe in less than 12 hours so you’re welcome!! I hope you guys have success with these and enjoy these lovely chocolate croissants.
If you have any questions, leave a comment down below and make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram if you make them. As always have a blessed day and happy baking!
- 4 cups (480g) bread flour, plus extra for dusting, spooned and leveled
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp (7g) instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup (300mL) cool water
- 1 1/4 cup (284g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 large egg for egg wash, room temperature
- Place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of the Cuisinart Precision Master 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer. Using the hook attachment, at low speed, combine the dry ingredients and pour in the water.
- Allow the mixer to combine the dough for 2 minutes at low speed and then increase the speed to medium for 5 minutes, until the dough completely peels itself away from the edge of the bowl.
- Slightly dust a silpat mat or a parchment paper with flour and stretch the dough out into a rectangular shape. Move it to a baking sheet and cover it completely with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.
- Use a large sheet or two small sheets of parchment paper and fold it into an 8x10" rectangle. Slice the butter in half, lengthwise so it's thinner and place it into the folded parchment paper. Use the rolling pin to roll the butter out into the shape of the parchment paper. See photos for reference.
- Refrigerate the butter for a few minutes while you roll out the dough. You want the butter to be at a temperature where it's still malleable (bends without breaking) but not greasy. Remove the dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out to 16x10".
- Remove the butter from the fridge when it feels right, about 5-10 minutes, and place it on top of the dough, right in the center so that the 10" length of the butter aligns with the 10" length of the dough. Fold the extra dough over the butter and seal the edges together.
- On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the dough back out to 16x10" and fold it into thirds, like the photos. Cover the dough completely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 10 minutes. Repeat this process 2 more times and after the last fold, cover the dough again and refrigerate it for 2 hours.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes, so it's not too firm to roll. Gently roll the dough out to about 24x12" and use a knife or a pizza cutter to trim the edges into a perfect rectangle.*
- Cut the dough in half, lengthwise and then slice each halve into 8 rectangles. Place the chopped chocolate along one short end of each rectangle and roll them up tightly.
- Place 4-6 croissants on a lined baking sheet and cover them completely with plastic wrap. Allow them to proof at room temperature (not super warm, around 70F) for about 2-3 hours.
- The croissants are done proofing when you press on it gently and your finger leaves an indent in the dough. They should be slightly larger but not quite doubled in size. If you gently shake the pan, the croissants should wobble a little.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (204C) convection (375F/181C conventional). Beat the egg with a fork or a whisk and use a pastry brush to gently egg wash the croissants. I like to go over them twice to give it a generous coating. Bake the croissants for 17-20 minutes until they're slightly darker than golden brown.
- If you pick them up, the croissants should not feel heavy, they should feel light and airy. Allow them to cool on the pan for 10-15 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Croissants are best served at room temperature on the day they were baked. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or refrigerate for up to a week.
*Instead of discarding the trimmed edges, I cut them into bits and rolled them in cinnamon sugar. I allowed them to proof with the croissants and then baked them for 18 minutes at 400F (204C).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 160mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.
“This corresponding Instagram post was sponsored by Cuisinart, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Baran Bakery!”