Chocolate Croissant Debrief

My outlaws were in from Chicago for the weekend, which seemed like an excellent time to roll out some chocolate croissants. Doing so, I realized that not at one point last week did I talk specifically about chocolate croissants. Dough yes. Chocolate no. That admission made, I should say that a chocolate croissant is far easier to make than a crescent-shaped one. You simply roll the dough into a rectangle, lay squares of your favorite semisweet chocolate along the edge, cut the dough into 4″ strips, and roll the chocolate up like pigs in blankets.

I must eat a little crow on this recipe, since I predicted disaster if the dough was allowed to sit in the fridge for more than half an hour. My alarm, as you might recall, had to do with letting the butter get too hard, in which case the thin layers would shatter as the dough stretched under the rolling pin. The worry was unfounded. The thick(er) layers of dough between the butter sheets seems to insulate them, keeping them from getting rock hard. So, letting the dough sit for two hours between turns wouldn’t be unreasonable. But let that be the max. As a minimum, I’d say rest the dough at least half an hour between turns. Julia, I’m sorry I ever doubted you.

One thing to watch for as you’re folding dough is the point at which the surface becomes greasy or sticky. This means the dough is too warm and needs a chill. Since I was only allowing 20 or so minutes between turns, one corner on one side started to show a little butter. Just dust the area with flour, finish the turn, and put the dough back in the fridge to cool down for a while.

Lastly, be sure not to let your croissants overproof (sit too long before baking). If they do, the butter will soak into the dough layers causing poor separation and a collapsed interior. I let mine proof until they were extremely spongy, and the resulting croissants were a little goopy on the inside (no less delicious though). Fortunately, I’ve got three more chunks of dough in the freezer. Practice, practice, practice!

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