Croissants and Mocha Recipe (and Pain au Chocolat)
I have made croissants a few times and I used a recipe found online and tweaked it slightly, recipe found here. This is fairly labor intensive, tho few ingredients are needed. I always let the dough rise over night before making the croissants (since then we can have them fresh for breakfast, altho you do need to wake up early, like 4am to have them ready around 6:30-7am).
You will need about 8 hours free to make the dough and then about 3-4 hours in the morning to make the rolls. Honestly for best results, use King Arthur Flour (it’s seriously worth the extra money if you can afford it)
3/4 lb of butter (1.5 cups or 3 sticks), softened
2 tbl/packets yeast
1/4 warm water
4-5 cups unbleached, all purpose or bread flour
2 tbl sugar
1-2 tsp salt
2 cups warm milk
semi-sweet chocolate (I chop up Baker’s Semi-sweet blocks, there are also chocolate stick available to make life easier)
egg wash (1 egg, 1 tbl water)
Take butter and 1/4 cup flour and work them together so they are one big block of butter (I wrap in plastic wrap and beat with my rolling pin folding it over and over to fully incorporate the flour). Shape into a 6″ square, wrap in aluminium foil and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Then, dissolve yeast into water.
Take 2 cups flour, salt, sugar toss together and then add the yeast and milk beating together until well mixed. slowly add flour (about 1/4 cup at a time) until a soft dough forms. Knead with either a dough hook or by hand, do not over knead, but is elastic but still soft (not too sticky)
Let rise in a greased bowl for an hour
Take the dough and butter out. This is where the croissants get its light fluffy and butter nature. From folding and rolling out the dough and butter in layers. The butter should be firm but still pliable but not too soft nor oily.
Roll the dough out to a 10″ square, place the butter on the dough diagonally and wrap the dough around the butter like an envelope (over lapping the dough slightly).
*Roll out the butter-dough package to about 10″x18″ then fold in thirds, like a letter, then turn it and roll it out to 10″x18″, fold in thirds and roll out again. Now take the dough and fold the two ends to the middle then fold that (like a book). Soak a cotton towel in cold water and wring dry (it needs to be moist) now wrap the towel around the dough and wrap that in plastic, and place it in the fridge for about 1-2 hours. If the butter breaks apart while rolling it out, let it warm up and soften before continuing to work, or if it starts to squeeze out of the dough, chill it.
You will repeat this step two more times, at least. So you have done 3 sessions of rolling out the dough. Then let it rest in the fridge for at least 6 hours to overnight.
So now you take the dough out and you can let it warm up a bit(makes it easier to roll out) or just start working it. Roll it out to about 18″x32″ and 1/4″ thick. If you are making Pain au Chocolate, cut out rectangles, or if Traditional croissants, triangles, or both.
Pain au chocolate, take the cut up chocolate or chocolate sticks and place them 1/3 of the way across, then fold over, place more chocolate along that seam and fold the remainder over and place, seam down on the baking sheet.
Traditional croissants, roll up from the long edge and shape into a crescent on the baking sheet
Let rise 1-2 hours, it will double in bulk. Preheat oven to 425F and I would put a sheet or two of foil on the rack below to catch any butter that might melt out and over the edges (do not put in a lipped pan as the butter will then burn and scorch the rolls)
Brush the tops with the egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Cool slightly and serve with coffee, hot chocolate or mocha (recipes below)
For a delicious mocha I just mix coffee and hot cocoa:
2tbl sugar (I love using vanilla sugar)
2tbl cocoa (I love hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa for this)
1/4-1/2 tsp <i>real</a> vanilla extract (don’t bother even buying the fake stuff, there is no comparison, it is well worth the price) Omit if using vanilla sugar
Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove, heat and whisk the milk until your preferred temperature, don’t boil (since that will make a skin form on the top when it starts to cool)
Take 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot cocoa and mix with 3/4-1/2 cup fresh made coffee. Top with sweetened whipped cream
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
Whip together, 1-2tbl sugar (vanilla sugar is again awesome for this), 1 cup cream and 1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla sugar and use only the real stuff, seriously, that fake stuff is garbage). whip until soft peaks form, do not overbeat otherwise you will get sweet butter.
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