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Pain Au chocolat: The Only Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Pain Au chocolat: The Only Recipe You’ll Ever Need

When our favourite French bakery in Vienna closed their doors for holiday mid-August, the BF and I developed severe pain auchocolat withdrawal symptoms. We usually can’t go long without munching on Paremi’s pastries (that’s how good they are!) and in order to relieve these cravings we decided to make our own batch of pains au chocolat.


Pains au chocolat
Prep Time 4 hours
Baking time 28 mins


Recipe Difficulty Level: Easy, but very time consuming
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Dessert
Servings: 8

Jump to the Recipe

To be honest, making buttery and flakey pain au chocolat dough from scratch has always been intimidating. That’s probably why I’ve shied away for so long trying it myself. But, let me tell you, there’s no reason at all for not trying to make your own pains au chocolat. We experimented a bit with the recipe and the second batch was already sheer perfection. And today I’m sharing the recipe with you.

What I should mention, however, is that the recipe is rather time consuming. It will take about 4 hours until you can hold a fresh out of the oven pain au chocolat in your hands. But it’s so worth it.

We came up with our recipe by flicking through Stéphane Reynaud’s cookbook “Vive La France”. When buying this book we did not realize that the recipe just calls for flour and “white bread dough” (and, of course, the rest of the ingredients) but nowhere in the book you’ll find instructions for making “white bread dough”. This absurdity, which was very, very annoying at first, was in hindsight the best thing that could have happened to us because this way we had to come up with our own ratio of ingredients. And as stated above, the outcome was sheer heaven.

Pain au chocolat Layers after layers of deliciousness: Buttery dough wrapped around dark chocolate.

Pain au chocolat

Layers after layers of deliciousness: Buttery dough wrapped around dark chocolate.

215g flour (type 405 | 480 in Austria)
35g flour (type 550 | 700 in Austria)
50g white bread dough (see below)
5g salt
50g sugar
10g fresh yeast
140ml water
150g butter
16 pieces of dark chocolate

For the white bread dough:
30g flour (type 550 | 700 in Austria)
20ml water
3g fresh yeast

Making pains au chocolat

  1. Start by putting 150g of butter at room temperature onto a sheet of parchment paper. Cover it with another sheet and use a rolling pin to roll the butter into the right shape: a rectangle that is about 1.5 cm thick. Chill your butter rectangle for about 20 mins in the fridge.  See the pictures below to help guide you!
  2. While the butter is chilling, make the white bread dough by combining all ingredients. Knead until smooth and let it rest for a bit.
  3. Then sift together both types of flour into a bowl of a stand mixer and add salt, sugar, fresh yeast, and lukewarm water and use a fork to roughly mix everything together. Add the white bread dough. Now beat the mixture at medium speed with the dough hook attachment for about 10 minutes until the dough feels elastic.
  4. Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll it into a rectangle, too. The dough rectangle should be bigger than the butter one.
  5. Take out the butter rectangle of the fridge and place it in the centre of the dough. Then fold each of the 4 sides of the dough into the centre to completely enclose the butter rectangle. You should now have a butter parcel consisting of two layers of dough and one layer of butter in between. Wrap the butter parcel with cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes, roll out this package of butter and dough into a rectangle on a floured surface. It should be 3 times as long as the initial parcel. Then, fold it in thirds like a letter and brush off any excess flour. Again, wrap this parcel in cling film and let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  7. Repeat step 6 (rolling and chilling the dough) three more times. This is going to create all the delicious layers. However, after each fold you should turn the dough 90 degrees before rolling it again.
  8. Once you have completed rolling the dough four times, you can finally go about forming the pains au chocolat: trim the edges of your dough rectangle and cut it into 8 small rectangles. Place 2 pieces of chocolate onto each rectangle and roll them into the desired shape.
  9. Let the pains au chocolat rest for about 60 minutes at room temperature.
  10. Finally, bake them at 160 degrees fan for about 28 minutes until golden brown.

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