Thursday, November 11, 2010

parts 2 & 3: pain au chocolat

Ok, so I really failed at my first ever 3-day blog post with the chocolate croissants this week. By now I should’ve been 3 posts deep with an estimated 2 to 6 croissants in my belly.

The truth is a totally bummer, too. On Tuesday when I should have been turning and rolling and chilling x3 I found out that I have a pretty painful running-related injury. And on Wednesday when I should have been egg-washing and baking ‘till golden and eating, I found out that it could be pretty serious and I might have to take the next 6-8 weeks off to heal. Which means missing the half-marathon in 2 weeks that I’ve been training 3 months for. Waa.

So - many apologies for those of you who’ve been waiting for my flaky pastry results in anticipation, it’s been kind of a downer week. But! I really like the idea of multi-day posts and will continue them in the future with some exciting time-consuming recipes. Stay tuned.

Unfortunately I think the 3-days between Monday (dough making) and Thursday (baking) had a rough effect on the golden and puffiness of my croissants. Plus I feel like something about my dough wasn't quite right in the first place - might need to add some more milk to part 1. So no photos tonight, but I'm excited to try again soon? 'Cause nothing tastes as sweet as a flaky chocolate croissant!

Pain au Chocolat

Semi-sweet or milk chocolate (chunks or chips)
1 egg, lightly beaten, plus a splash of milk or cream for the egg wash

Part 2:
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to a rectangle, 1/2 inch thick with a short side facing you. Remove butter form refrigerator, place on bottom half of dough, fold the top half of the dough over the butter, pinch the edges good to seal.

Roll out the dough to a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick, with a short side facing you; keep the corners as square as possible. Remove any excess flour with a dry pastry brush. Starting at the far end, fold the rectangle in thirds as you would a business letter. This completes the first of three turns. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Repeat rolling and folding process above, two more times for a total of three rolls, with an hour refrigeration time in between. After the third roll, wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Part 3:
Turn out chilled dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to a rectangle. Using a pizza wheel or pastry cutter, cut the dough lengthwise to form two rectangles. Cut each half into smaller rectangles.

Place 1/2 oz. of chocolate 1/4 inch from edge on short side of rectangle nearest you. Roll the croissant over the chocolate and brush the edge with egg-wash before sealing over. Finish this process with all croissants. Cover loosely in plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until very spongy and doubled in size , about an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly brush croissants with the rest of the beaten egg. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the croissants are puffed and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temp.


Joanne said...

Oh sweetie I am so super duper sorry! What happened? What's the injury??? I feel like I have an impending stress fracture coming on but I also think I'm being a slight hypochondriac after my first stress fracture experience last year. So who knows. I'm sorry the croissants didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped. I'm sure your mood influenced it slightly. :(

Beth said...

Joanne - I over-extended or tore a muscle in my right hip socket = extremely painful. After 6 weeks off of running I'm feeling 99%, many thanks to the GREAT PT's at Finish Line Physical Therapy in Chelsea. Looking forward to hitting the pavement again soon!

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