I have a breadmaker, which I don't use often enough - it never seems a good idea when I'm trying to follow a Slimming World diet and because I live on my own (with my cat... which makes me sound like an old spinster!) I feel like I'd never get through a whole loaf of bread before it goes mouldy. So the breadmaker stays gathering dust in the corner of my kitchen....
.... until this weekend, that is! My parents were staying and, inspired by a few different blogging challenges, I decided to make some pain au chocolat for breakfast.
I followed the instructions in the booklet that came with my breadmaker, which were pretty straightforward. Place the following in the breadmaker:
1/2 tsp yeast
300g strong white flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
And put on to the appropriate setting - in this case "basic- dough- 2h 20". And press start! (Yes I know it's a bit of a cheat....)
This makes you a lovely ball of dough. Unfortunately that's not the end of it and there's still a lot to do!
Roll out your dough
Dot the top third with butter
Fold the bottom third up to the middle and the top third down to the middle like so. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
Roll out again and repeat the process with the butter and folding and chilling.
Divide the dough into four
Cut each square into triangles. They are quite small at this stage. You're supposed to now roll out each triangle to make it bigger, but I found that very difficult to do while retaining the triangular shape, so ended up just stretching them out a little with my fingers.
It's amazingly easy to make these look like proper croissants - at least it is easy in principle! My dough was quite soft so it doesn't look very neat. All you do is roll up the triangle starting from the wide edge, finishing at the point, then bend it into a curved shape.
I wanted to make some of my croissants into pain au chocolat, and used these Cadbury's Chocolate Chunks
I placed a chocolate chunk onto a piece of pastry before I rolled it up
Here they are, ready to prove then go in the oven. The only downside is that this whole process takes so long- 2 hours 20 to make the dough, an hour of chilling plus time to roll it out - then 20 minutes to prove and 15 minutes to cook, that there was no way I was going to do this first thing in the morning before breakfast! So I made the croissants right up to this point then left them in the fridge overnight. Luckily it didn't seem to do them any harm!
Now (or the next morning)allow to prove in the oven at 40C for 20 minutes, until they have doubled in size.
Brush with beaten egg or milk. Cook at 220C for 15 minutes until browned. I can't believe this look like proper croissants, I assumed they were really hard to make but they are not at all*!
* Provided you use a breadmaker
Here you can see the chocolate in the middle. These were delicious!
The theme for this month's We Should Cocoa challenge is breads or yeasted sweet dough bakes that incorporate chocolate, so these fit perfectly. The challenge this month is hosted by Franglais Kitchen and originally comes from Chele at Chocolate Teapot and Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog.
Calendar Cakes, hosted by Laura of Laura Loves Cakes and Rachel of Dolly Bakes, came up with a bit of a different theme for their challenge this month, of bread, rolls and buns, so I am also sending them these chocolate croissants.
Finally here's a challenge I've not taken part in before: Breakfast Club, run by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours, and this month hosted by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog. November's theme is chocolate!