Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My kid made Pain Au Chocolat!

Could a mother ever be so proud?  Pain Au Chocolat made by my 12-year-old's hands.  Every bit.  The flour.  The butter. The folding.  He Did It!

Though the original plan was Frangipane from a recipe by Jacques Torres (Harry's favorite chef and inspiration for wanting to be a chocolate maker when he was 4), the main purpose for making it was to make the puff pastry from scratch for a school project.  Since this recipe used store-bought puff pastry we went searching for one that made the pastry from scratch and in the process found a Pain Au Chocolat recipe from Chef Torres with all the steps for the pastry as well as the finished product.  Since this is the one pastry that our entire family will almost literally fight over at the bakery if there's only one left, we both instantly agreed that this was the recipe. With his dad's birthday on the same day he was presenting his project, Harry decided this would also double as Dad's birthday breakfast.

For my part, since my mantra is "Cook What You've Got" this fit much better so we were all happy.

Ingredients for Pain Au Chocolat: Butter, flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate...all on hand thanks to the LIST.

Ingredients for Frangipane:  Butter, flour, sugar, eggs, almond flour, corn syrup...had to go to the store.

Great...we're off.  Pastry is not my forte, so no experimenting here, but you can print the master recipe for the dough then come back to see the steps.  By the way, if you look at the lighting you can see that this takes several hours (days in our case).

Step 1:  Mix the butter, flour, sugar, milk, water, salt and yeast until it is soft and starts pulling away from sides of the bowl.  It will look a bit :"ropey".

Step 2:  Knead the dough until it is smooth.

Step 3, 4, and 5: Lots of rolling the dough!  To create the buttery layers, you have to roll and refrigerate several times. This is the second round.  Roll into a 10x30" rectangle.

  Step 4b:  Spread the butter onto the dough. (Little bro is itching to get in there and get dirty, too!)

Step 6:  Roll one more time before cutting.

Step 7:  Cut into rectangles.  The recipe makes 20 large pastries, but we made 10 large and 30 small so each of Harry's classmates could enjoy their own mini Pain.

Step 8:  Here's where they are transformed from a simple croissant to Pain au Chocolat. Stuff with chocolate chips and roll up.


Step 8:  Let rise then bake. 

Step 9:  Eat!

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