Given that many of us have found ourselves suddenly home bound due to Covid, it seems like there’s no perfect time like the present to work on that checklist of things we have always wanted to bake but never got around to doing so.
And in this instance, the world seems to be revolving around sourdough breads, but I know that some of you have instead chosen the path of croissants.
And as such, I have decided to put this recipe out ahead of my other recipes in order to help provide you with that extra chocolately kick along with how to make a smaller batch of croissants.
So sitting here at 1:30am, starting this post.
Many of the things to note with making croissants are as per my original croissant recipe with all the tips and tricks being collated on that page.
However, given the nature of this particular recipe, I have made some changes to the dough itself, how we roll it out, the measurements and a couple of other things.
So let’s get started on this shall we?
Unlike my previous dough, this is a softer dough which is enriched with a hint of butter rather than milk. However, should you prefer my original dough recipe, it will work just as well here so feel free to use whichever you may prefer.
This is merely to provide you with a softer dough to work with should you feel that my previous one is a little tough to handle and are now confident with working with a softer dough.
Whichever recipe you choose to use, you will realise that the amount of time you’ll need to knead the dough in the machine will be longer. This is simply because the machine is unable to efficiently knead such a small quantity and require a longer time to get it to the right consistency.
This recipe makes 5 croissants and given that being the case, please note that things will chill/heat up faster that in my original recipe
To compensate that, the butter block we are using is slightly thicker than previously to ensure it doesn’t melt too fast whilst you roll it out.
Naturally, lower quantities also means lesser work for you as well with having to roll the dough out.
Unlike the classic Croissant recipe, this doesn’t have the traditional amount of layers.
Instead of 3 single folds we are going to be doing a double fold followed by a single fold for a lighter and more open crumb. This is a common lamination that many bakeries do, it all comes down to preference on the type of structure you prefer.
Given that we have lesser layers, I do not wish for the croissant layers to be thick nor doughy but rather light and airy. As such, we are rolling the dough out to be rather thin in the final step when prepping the dough for shaping.
If you like a concentrated honeycomb structure, you can definitely do the traditional 3 single folds as per my original recipe.
You will also notice that the recipe calls for trimming the dough.
This is to reduce the risk of any thicker “bready” areas in the crumb structure as we are handling the dough lesser than the traditional 27 layers and instead going for only 12. So do trim your dough as per recommended.
Classically a low-fludity chocolate is used to ensure that the chocolate doesn’t melt and leak all over the place when baked.
By this, we mean one that has lesser cocoa butter which will reduce the chances of melting as easily or is mixed with stabilizers.
A supermarket dark chocolate bar that has lesser cocoa solids will do the trick.
Ideally you will like need them to be around 7-8cm long, but this will naturally be dependent on what sort of chocolate bar you go with.
Alternatively, you could also fill them with chopped chocolate pieces. Just be sure to leave a border when doing so and not fill it to the edges as they may melt and flow out.
In my instance, I melted and piped some 70% dark chocolate into a 8cm baton shape weighing around 10g each which is rather standard from my understanding. I didn’t use any molds nor weigh them, I merely went by eye.
Glaze and Bake
Inspired by Cedric Grolet, the glaze is a mix of egg yolks, cream and honey. This gives it a nice deep colour with a glossy top and a very slight hint of floral sweetness.
Because of the egg wash we are using, instead of double egg washing the dough, we will be spraying the dough with water instead whilst it proofs.
Given how open and light the crumb of this croissant is meant to be, it doesn’t have to bake for too long. At 180C, the croissants will be ready at the 15-16 minutes mark.
One thing I cannot emphasise enough is that you should never cut into bread or pastry or meat whilst is fresh out of the stove/oven. Your bread will turn gummy and seem like it is raw. Residual heat will continue to cook the food along with allowing the moisture to redistribute back into the item so please resist checking fresh out of the oven. If you need to do so, use a thermometer to measure the internal temp of the croissant.
The Pain au Chocolat Recipe
Makes 5 croissants
What you’ll need:
250g bread flour
25g white sugar
10g butter, room temp
4g dry yeast
150g water, lukewarm
(If using my original croissant dough recipe, please just halve the ingredients in it and follow the lamination and shaping methods)
125g butter, room temp
Add flour, water, salt, sugar, butter and yeast into a bowl of a stand mixer and give it a mix with your hands.
Add the water and with the dough hook attachment, knead on speed 2 for 9 mins and speed 3 for a further 3-4mins.
Dough will feel sticky but should be managable.
Shape into a ball, flatten slightly and place on a tray. Wrap well and place into the fridge for ideally between 10-16hrs.
Shape butter between parchment paper into a 14cm x 17cm block .
Please into the fridge until needed.
The next day:
Roll your dough out to 18cm x 27cm.
Place on a tray and let rest in the fridge to chill for 20 mins. In the meantime, remove your butter to let it come to a malleable consistency (refer to my original croissant video for reference).
Encasing the butter + First Fold
Roll the dough back out to 18cm x 27cm, if it has shrunk in the fridge.
Place the butter in the middle. Fold the left and right sides towards the middle to encase it. Gently overlap and seal the seam. Pinch together the top and of the dough to seam the butter in fully.
Roll the dough out until it is 48cm long.
Trim the top and bottom of the dough to ensure any excess dough is removed.
You should now have a 45cm long rectangle, if not, just gently roll it out until it is approx 45cm long.
Fold the top down by two-thirds and bring the bottom up to meet the seam of the top. You should have your first 2 layers.
Fold the dough in half again and this should get you 4 layers.
This book fold is your first fold.
Rotate the dough so that the open seam is on your right.
Wrap and freeze for 10-15mins.
With the seam facing your right.
Roll the dough out to 40 cm long.
Trim the dough so that you are able to rid yourself of any uneven excess parts.
Fold the dough from the top down towards the bottom by a thirds.
Take the bottom and overlap the top layer.
You should have just completed your single fold.
This is all the folds we will be doing to this dough and the end of the lamination process.
Wrap your dough and let rest in the freezer for 10-15 mins depending on how warm it has gotten.
Roll your dough out into a 20cm x 42cm rectangle.
Trim the edges of the dough to create a sheet that is approximately 18cm x 40cm. (It is not necessary for this to be precisely 18cm x 40cm, the important thing is to have clean edges. Losing 1-2cm will not affect the overall shape with this croissant.)
Slice your dough in 7-8cm intervals (depending on the length of your dough) to create 5 equal rectangles.
Place a chocolate baton at the bottom of your rectangle, roll the dough over the chocolate and place a second chocolate baton.
Continue to roll until you reach the end.
Gently push the dough in a 45 degree angle just to seal the edge in so that it doesn’t unravel too much as it proofs and bake.
Place your croissants on a large baking tray with enough space for then to expand in size (these will puff up quite a bit).
Spray it with some water to ensure the surface doesn’t crack and dry out and proof in a cool environment between 22-26C.
They should have doubled in size by the time they are ready. Do not over proof them or they will start to collapse when you bake.)
Occasionally check and spray it with water if the surface starts to look matte and dry.
The croissants may take anywhere between 2-4hrs to proof depending on the conditions of your environment.
Egg wash + Bake
At least 30 mins before it is ready to be baked, preheat your oven to 200C.
Egg wash your croissant before they bake by whisking all the eggwash ingredients together.
Lightly glaze your croissants taking care not to destroy the layers.
Place your croissants into the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 180C. Bake for 15-16 mins until golden in the middle of the oven.
Let cool on the tray for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.
Wondering what to do with the dough scraps?
I kneaded all of it together to make a couple of mini brioche buns 🙂
40 Comments Add yours
“we are handling the dough lesser than the traditional 27 layers and instead going for only 12” That should be 25 layers – not 12 – shouldn’t it? I understand croissant math. “we are going to be doing a double fold followed by a single fold” So you start with the lock in which is 3 layers. A double fold (book fold) gives you 12 – but you have to subtract 3 because dough touches dough in 3 spots so you have 9 layers now. Then a single fold gives you 27 layers – but you have to subtract 2 this time because dough touches dough in 2 spots – leaving you with 25 distinct layers – the way I see it.
If i want to dabble the amount of the recipe, what size should I use?