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    Pain au chocolat

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    Pain au chocolat

    • Preparation time: 50 minutes, plus chilling, proving and overnight resting
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes, plus chilling, proving and overnight resting

    Makes: 10-12

    Ingredients

    280g Président Unsalted Butter, chilled
    500g McDougalls Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
    1½ tsp fine salt
    55g Waitrose Golden Caster Sugar
    2 x 7g sachets dried easy bake yeast
    300ml whole milk
    180g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), cut into small chunks
    1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp whole milk, to glaze
    3-4 tsp Food Thoughts Roasted Cacao Nibs

    Method

    1. Cube 30g butter and put in a food processor with the fl our, salt and sugar. Whizz for 1 minute, until the butter is fully incorporated. Tip into a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yeast. Heat 100ml milk until lukewarm and pour in. Leave the yeast to dissolve and activate for a few minutes, then pour in the remaining 200ml (cold) milk, mixing quickly with a knife to form a soft dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes, until just smooth, then shape into a fl at square about 20cm x 20cm. Wrap in cling fi lm and chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

    2. Put the remaining 250g block of butter between 2 large sheets of baking parchment. Use a rolling pin to beat and roll the butter to form a fl at, 15cm x 15cm square, keeping the edges as straight as possible. Chill for 15 minutes.

    3. On a lightly fl oured surface, roll out the dough to a square about 30cm x 30cm. Place the butter in the centre of the dough at a 45˚ angle, so 1 of the points of the butter is facing you. Fold the corners of the dough over the top of the butter so that the points meet in the centre like a parcel. Pinch the edges, fl ip it over and gently pat down to seal in the butter. Wrap in baking parchment and chill for 45 minutes (or freeze for 15 minutes).

    4. Roll the dough to a rectangle about 50cm x 20cm. Fold the top ⅓ down, and the bottom ⅓ up and over it, like a letter, brushing off any excess fl our as you go. Seal the edges, pressing with the rolling pin, then wrap in baking parchment and chill for 45 minutes (or freeze for 15 minutes). Unwrap, place the dough in front of you so one of the folded edges is on your left. Repeat the rolling process twice more, chilling (or freezing) the dough in between rolls, as before.

    5. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment. Cut the rested dough in ½ down the middle; cover 1 piece with baking parchment and chill. Roll the other ½ to a rectangle about 45cm x 20cm and 0.5cm thick. Trim and cut in ½ lengthways, then cut each length into 3, to make 6 x 15cm x 10cm rectangles. Lay a strip of small chocolate chunks (about 15g) along one of the short ends of each rectangle. Roll up and put seam-side down on one of the baking trays. Repeat with the other ½ of the dough. Loosely cover the shaped pastries with lightly oiled cling fi lm and leave to prove at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or until just more than doubled in size.

    6. Preheat the oven to 250˚C, gas mark 9. Carefully glaze the pastries with the egg wash, sprinkle over the cacao nibs and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes (or up to 16 hours if you want to have them in the morning). Bake in batches, reducing the oven temperature to 200˚C, gas mark 6, as soon as you put them in, for 15-20 minutes, turning the baking tray halfway through, until golden. Cool a little before serving. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food, September 2017 issue. Download the Waitrose Food app for the full issue

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