This past weekend was an adventure in baking. My niece, Meredith, had given me a book entitled “Crust: From Sourdough, Spelt and Rye Bread” saying she thought it was a little beyond her skill level. This is a wonderful book that really goes beyond your basic bread making. His method of working dough is quite a departure from how I usually do things and I have to confess I read it and thought it was interesting and did it the way I always do. The recipes are wonderful though so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and leap into laminated dough. What do you ever really have to lose in doing this? Maybe a few hours, but even if it’s a total fail you learn something, sometimes you learn a lot.
My oldest daughter spent some time in Ecuador a few years ago and smuggled back some chocolate croissants that she had eaten daily for breakfast while she was there. They were wonderful. I have to say that a yeasty, flaky pastry has always intimidated me a little. I think because it is such a departure from making a loaf of white bread. So Pain au Chocolat was what I decided to make. This is something that takes a little more than 24 hours to make so a little planning is needed (but most of that time is waiting).
There are enough posts on the internet that tell you how to make laminated dough, suffice it to say that it is way easier than it looks and the results are more than worth the trouble. It does represent more of a workout than I had anticipated (do you know how long it takes to roll a piece of dough that’s 8″x12″ to 12’x30″?). The recipe made a total of 18 rolls, all light and flaky and quite delicious.
I have read recipes for Pain au Chocolat in many places, all a little different. I decided on this one only because the pictures were pretty and self explanatory. It was like taking a little class with no one watching what you were doing or judging the end result. The judges were the company that devoured them on Sunday morning.