Easy French Pain au Chocolat Recipe

Pain au chocolat on a plate.
Image Source / Getty Images
Ratings (52)
  • Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 3 hrs
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 12
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
365 Calories
29g Fat
22g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 12
Amount per serving
Calories 365
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 17g 87%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 462mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 4g
Calcium 70mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pain au chocolat is one of the best known French pastries. Just the mention of the name conjures up French breakfast with fresh coffee and pastries, warm from the oven, with delicious melted chocolate. 

This recipe may look daunting, but be assured, it isn't. There are simple steps, and the dough has to rest a lot so the time at the counter is much less than you think. Do try them, fresh from the oven. 

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup water (lukewarm)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted and cooled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 9 ounces bittersweet (or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the bread flour, milk, sugar, melted butter, and salt to the dissolved yeast and water, and mix the dough on medium speed for about 2 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of extra flour at a time, until the dough is just firm enough to shape without sticking. 

  4. Form dough into a ball and loosely cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  5. Roll the dough into a 10-inch by 15-inch rectangle.

  6. Cover it loosely and allow it to rise for 40 minutes.

  7. Brush the rectangle with the softened butter and then fold the dough into thirds, like a letter.

  8. Roll the long, thin rectangle back into the original 10- by 15-inch shape.

  9. Fold the dough into thirds, again, and then cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  10. Repeat this process one more time.

  11. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 12 rectangles.

  12. Arrange 2 teaspoons of chopped chocolate across one of the short ends of the rectangle.

  13. Fold that third of the dough over the chocolate, toward the center.

  14. Repeat the process on the opposite side of the dough, folding it over and tucking the end under to create a cylindrical shape.

  15. Arrange each finished pain au chocolat on a lightly greased baking sheet with at least 1 1/2 inches between each pastry.

  16. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and allow them to rise until almost doubled in size-approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

  17. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  18. Whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons milk together to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash across the surface of each pastry.

  19. Bake the pain au chocolat for 12 to 14 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown.

  20. Serve and enjoy!