It is Valentine’s Day and what can be better than freshly baked croissants with homemade jam and a decadent pain au chocolat for breakfast? This takes some time to make, but the result is fantastic and is perfect for a romantic start to the day.
This is a Michel Roux recipe that works very well.
The ingredients are as follows:
50g fresh yeast (we found this at our local Stop & Shop supermarket)
500ml of milk
1kg of plain flour
Break up the fresh yeast in the bowl of your food mixer.
Warm the milk, pour into the bowl, then stir to dissolve the yeast.
Add the sugar and continue to stir.
Add the flour then attach the dough hook. On a low speed stir a couple of times then allow to stand for 5 minutes. Pour in the salt then mix with the dough hook until the combined dough comes away from the bowl leaving the sides clean as shown in the photo above. At this point, remove the dough hook and cover the dough with plastic wrap before then placing in a warm place until the dough doubles in size.
Whilst the dough is rising, remove your butter and place onto parchment. You want the butter in one large slab that is firm but not too cold. I have found the best method is to cover the butter then bash it down with a rolling pin.
When the dough has doubled in size ‘punch’ it down then place in in the fridge for two hours.
Flour your work surface.
Turn out your dough and form a ball then slice a cross shape into it. Cut down, but don’t slice all the way through, leave about 1/2 an inch.
Roll out each side of the dough.
Place your bashed out butter in the centre of the dough.
The butter should be firm but not solid.
Fold the flaps of dough to cover the butter.
Roll into a rectangle.
Tri-fold the rectangle then place in the fridge for an hour.
Then turn through 45 degrees and roll out into a rectangle again, tri-fold and then place in the fridge for another hour. Repeat the process two more times.
For the croissants roll out the dough then using a triangle template cut the dough.
Slice the base of the triangle then roll.
Leave to rise then brush with egg wash and bake in a 350f oven (about 170c) for about 15 mins.
Perfect with homemade jam.
Now for the pain au chocolat
Chop up some good quality dark chocolate.
Cut a rectangle of the dough then place a line of chocolate. Fold the dough around the chocolate.
Then place a second line of chocolate and roll up.
Leave to rise.
Once they have doubled in size then brush with egg wash and bake like the croissants.
A great way to finish them is a drizzle of melted chocolate.