Day 362 – Pain au Chocolat

You better believe I saved some of the most appetising bakes to close the year with! I made croissants the other day, and although they weren’t perfect they were still homemade buttery croissants – I mean, what’s not to like?

The recipe from the Puff the Bakery course I’ve been following actually made enough for 3 bakes with the pre-laminated dough. The idea was to make pain au chocolat and danishes with the other two balls of dough, but due to a bit of a freezer mix up with some similar-looking puff pastry I had to bake one or the other. Pain au chocolat naturally won out (chocolate is going to win every time in this house), and I made the remaining dough into an impromptu challah-like loaf – not a bad compromise!

Having made the croissants only a few days earlier the mistakes were still fresh in my mind and therefore a little easier to avoid. I made sure that the butter was nice and cold all the way through, and the dough was well-rested before rolling back out, and I found I had a much easier, more relaxed time with it: I think the fact that the pain au chocolat is much easier to cut and shape helped a lot.

They didn’t puff up as much as I’d hoped before going in the oven, but I was elated when I took them out – look at all those layers! We were a little too excited about the fresh pain au chocolat to wait and ate one pretty much straight from the oven. The top was flaky, the inside was soft – it was incredible but definitely needed a little more resting time before being torn into! This morning I’ve reheated the remaining two and wow, the difference! Less buttery inside, more flavourful and textured. They are so much better than the croissants and made me excited about what else I could make using this method. I am proud of nearly all of my bakes, but this one was very special as I could see the progress after handling the same dough with the croissants. I’m getting better and my husband could not be happier!

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