|4.9028573 (3)||rate this recipe »|
These soft, lightly sweetened rolls harbor a secret: dark chocolate, hidden in their centers. Pain au chocolat (chocolate bread), a soft, chocolate-filled yeast roll that’s a favorite after-school or morning treat in France, is given a twist here by adding a hint of hazelnut flavor. Leave out the hazelnut if you like, and make them purely vanilla and chocolate–nothing wrong with that!
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) lukewarm water
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) butter
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons strong hazelnut flavor OR 2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic Whole Wheat Flour*
1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons (1 1/8 ounces) potato flour or 1/3 cup dried potato flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
*We like the added color and flavor organic whole wheat gives these rolls, but leave it out and substitute unbleached all-purpose flour, if desired.
12 to 24 pain au chocolat sticks* (about 4 to 8 ounces)
*Substitute any dark chocolate bar, if desired, cut into pieces about 3” long x 1/2” wide by 1/4” thick.
1/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) coarse white sanding sugar
1/2 teaspoon hazelnut flavor or 2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead–by hand, mixer, or bread machine–to form a soft, smooth dough. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature, covered, for about 90 minutes. It’ll become puffy, but won’t double in size.
Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into four equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, flatten/roll the dough into a 13 ½" x 4" rectangle. Stack two chocolate sticks atop one another (making a double-thickness stick). If desired, use a single stick; though here at King Arthur we believe the more chocolate, the better! Place the stacked sticks lengthwise along the top long edge of the dough, spacing them about ¾" in from one end. Take another two sticks, and place them next to the first two along the top edge of the dough, leaving about 1 ½" between the two stacks. Repeat with another two sticks; you’ve now lined up three sets of chocolate sticks across the top long edge of your dough.
Roll the dough lengthwise, enclosing the sticks. Pinch the lengthwise seam closed, and pinch both ends closed. Use a sharp knife or baker’s bench knife to cut the strip of dough into three pieces, cutting between the chocolate bars; you can feel with your fingers where to cut between the bars. Pinch the ends of each roll to seal, and roll them under your fingers to smooth them out. You now have three rolls with chocolate sticks sealed inside. Repeat with the remainder of the dough and chocolate sticks. For soft-sided, pull-apart rolls, place them in a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan. For free-standing individual rolls, place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 ½" between them. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover, and let rise for 90 minutes. They won’t double in size, but will become puffy.
Note: Save those clear plastic covers that you get when you order a party platter or large deli tray from the supermarket. They make great proof covers! Use them to cover your pan of rising dough just like they covered your tray of cheese and cold cuts or appetizers.
About 15 minutes before the rolls are done rising, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Combine the coarse sugar and hazelnut or vanilla in a closed container, and shake to distribute the flavor. Brush each roll with a little milk or cream, and sprinkle with the flavored sugar.
Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and after 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool. Serve warm. The chocolate will harden as the rolls cool; so if you want to serve rolls later, and still enjoy melting chocolate in the center, reheat them briefly (about 15 seconds in the microwave) just before serving.
Yield: 12 rolls.