Sometimes you can feel like you’re getting pulled in a million different directions and it’s important to take time out of your hectic life to just relax and do something for you. Be productive and creative for the sake of it. I know this all sounds a bit after school special but I find that a lot of people my age don’t actually get it.
At the moment, I have three part time jobs and I’m lucky to love each and every one of them. I like being busy as it keeps the creative juices flowing and in the end, I’m more productive with my own side projects. But, when I get those blissful, and oh so rare full days off I can’t help but waste the day in my tiny flat accomplishing absolutely nothing.
This past Sunday just happened to be one of those days where I didn’t have much to do. Instead of spending the day in bed reading the latest buzzfeed posts, I ventured out to East London, to my friends house and we cooked up a storm! She had her heart set on Pain au Chocolat. Most of the recipes we found, stated that it would take four days to make the popular french pastry. We however threw caution to the wind, and I think it turned out pretty good! We were able to find a recipe where it takes just over 3hrs to make, check it out below x
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
- 4 teaspoons instant dried yeast
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 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
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water for 5 minutes. 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 fold a shape.
Shape dough into a ball and loosely cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a 10-inch by 15-inch rectangle, and then cover it loosely and allow it to rise for 40 minutes.
Brush the rectangle with the softened butter and then fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Roll the long, thin rectangle back into the original 10-inch by 15 shape. 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. Repeat this process one more time.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 12 rectangles. Arrange 2 teaspoons of chopped chocolate across one of the short ends of the rectangle and fold that third of the dough over the chocolate, toward the center. Repeat the process on the opposite side of the dough, folding it over and tucking the end under to create a cylindrical shape.
Arrange each finished pain au chocolate on a lightly greased baking sheet with at least 1 1/2 inches between each pastry. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they are nearly doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons milk together to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash across the surface of each pastry. Bake the pan au chocolate for 12 to 14 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown.
Inspiration Side Note: Have you heard about the new e-magazine, Latitudes, Longitudes, that launched this month? Latitude, Longitude “revolves around the idea that the act of traveling is constant, that everyday we are exploring new boundaries and rediscovering old ones.”