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A Chocolate Croissant Recipe Just Like the One You’d Eat in France

Just because you can’t take that trip to Paris right now doesn’t mean your taste buds can’t do some international exploring. And there’s no food that so perfectly encapsulates the City of Love like a French chocolate croissant. This fluffy, flaky, buttery, craveable goodness can be the breakfast item that gets you out of bed in the morning or the ideal afternoon pick-me-up paired with a caffeinated beverage. 

Ready to fill your kitchen with the smells of a French pâtisserie? In this blog, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to make perfect homemade chocolate croissants. We’ll share our favorite chocolate croissant recipe, complete with an ingredients list, instructions, and pro tips so that you can enjoy authentic chocolate croissants, even in the US.

What to Know Before You Start

The chances are that unless you’ve stood outside a bakery at 5 am, you’ve never had a genuinely fresh chocolate croissant. By the time a store-bought one makes it onto your plate, it’s several hours (or days) old. 

So, if you’re on a mission to have freshly baked, straight-from-the-oven croissants, you simply have to learn how to make chocolate croissants at home. Below are some things to consider before you get started.

Time Commitment

Full disclosure: We mention the rarity of a genuinely fresh croissant so you understand the time commitment required to bake your own before undertaking the challenge. But the results are worth it. There’s the dough prep, croissant prep, and baking. While they aren’t easy, chocolate croissants from the oven will warm your heart, body, and soul in a way you couldn’t imagine.

  • Dough prep: 12 hours – You’ll want to set aside about 12 hours to make your dough. Don’t worry — you won’t be kneading and mixing for 12 hours. Your dough needs one night to “rest and rise” to achieve the ideal pliable texture. Consider yourself lucky: traditional French pastry chefs give this step two days!
  • Croissant prep: 1 hour – Shaping your dough into croissants and folding in the chocolate will take about one hour.
  • Baking: 15 to 20 minutes – Your final raw product will be in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Quality Ingredients

Making chocolate croissants is a time commitment, so you may as well go all in and use the best ingredients. We don’t recommend sacrificing quality on the following items:

  • Butter – If you’re serious about achieving that authentic Parisian cafe croissant, European butter is the only way to go. It has a higher fat content than standard butter, resulting in a creamier texture that’s more pliable. And always stick to unsalted butter — salted versions may alter the texture. 

Pro Tip: if you can’t find European butter, you can thicken regular butter by creating a butter/flour mixture that’s 10 percent flour in weight. Blend your softened butter and flour mixture in a bowl or standing mixer, then form it into a block shape and chill it.

  • Chocolate – Dark or bittersweet chocolate is standard in traditional chocolate croissants. However, you can choose your preferred variant depending on your sweetness level. We recommend quality baking chocolate, like Ghiradelli’s 60 percent bittersweet chocolate baking bars. Just make sure to choose a high-quality chocolate you already know you like. You don’t want to go through all the trouble of making croissants only to bite into them and taste inferior chocolate.

Patience and Persistence

Lastly, have patience with yourself. Croissants are some of the more complicated baked goods to make. Most bakers — even experienced ones — need several tries before they make a good batch. The good news is that even a “bad” croissant is pretty tasty, so there won’t be any wasted effort.

The Ultimate Chocolate Croissant Recipe

Now that we’re in the right headspace to enjoy homemade chocolate croissants (a pretty easy headspace to occupy), let’s dive into the actual step-by-step baking process. We’ll cover all the ingredients and tools you’ll need, how to make the dough, and how to turn your raw ingredients into gorgeous, fluffy, crispy, and delectable chocolate croissants.

What You’ll Need

To get started, there are some tools and ingredients you’ll need. You probably already have some of these at home, while others might call for a trip to the store or an online search. We’ll break the ingredients lists into four parts: the dough, the butter block, the egg wash, and the chocolate filling.

We recommend measuring your ingredients in grams and milliliters with a kitchen scale for precise results.

Tools and supplies

  • Parchment paper  
  • A kitchen scale (OXO Good Grips makes an affordable digital one that’s easy to clean and takes up little counter space)
  • Plastic wrap 
  • Large mixing bowl
  • A pastry brush 
  • Heavy rolling pin 
  • A good paring knife
  • A pizza cutter (you can use a sharp knife, but a pizza cutter makes things easier)
  • A quarter sheet pan
  • A half-sheet pan
  • An easy-to-clean cutting board 

Dough Ingredients

  • 500 grams all-purpose flour
  • 10 grams instant yeast 
  • 60 grams white sugar 
  • 10 grams salt 
  • 55 grams unsalted butter, softened  
  • 140 milliliters lukewarm whole milk 
  • 140 milliliters lukewarm water 

Butter Block Ingredients

  • 250 grams unsalted European butter, chilled

Egg Wash Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • A dash of salt

Chocolate Filling Ingredients

  • 4 ounces good quality bittersweet or dark chocolate bars or batons

How to Make Croissant Dough

The foundation of any authentic chocolate croissant starts with the dough. Adding the chocolate is one of the last things you do, but we’ll review that part independently because the dough-making process is so involved. Then, we’ll move on to how to make a croissant with chocolate. 

If you’re new to baking and find dough-making overwhelming, you can buy a ready-made variety. We like Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets. Note that the thickness of this dough might result in something more like chocolate crescent rolls than actual croissants, but they’ll still be tasty. If you have ready-made dough, skip to the next section where you add chocolate.

Dough Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the water, milk, and butter. Mix until you achieve a dough consistency.
  3. Mix in the instant yeast.
  4. Sprinkle flour over a large cutting board and knead the dough until it becomes pliable. That will take approximately 10 minutes, so get ready!
  5. Form your dough into a rectangle, cover it with plastic wrap, and stick it in the fridge.
  6. Let the dough sit in the fridge for at least two hours and up to overnight.

Butter Layer Instructions

  1. Place your 250-gram chilled butter block between two pieces of parchment paper.
  2. With your rolling pin, flatten and shape the butter block into a rectangular shape roughly half the size of your dough.
  3. Make sure your butter block stays cold. If you feel it softening, put it in the fridge until it regains a semi-hardened consistency. 

Dough Layering Instructions

  1. After your dough has had a night to sit in the fridge, take it out and place it on a lightly floured surface.
  2. Using your rolling pin, flatten your dough and form it into a rectangle double the size of your butter block.
  3. Put your butter block on one side of your dough rectangle.
  4. Fold the empty side of your dough rectangle over your butter block.
  5. Pinch the edges of the dough together, creating a seal around the butter.
  6. Press out your newly formed dough-encased-butter mound using your rolling pin into a long rectangular shape.
  7. Fold your rectangle into thirds (each fold should be similar in shape and size to a letter).
  8. Wrap your triple-folded dough in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a half hour.
  9. Place your dough back onto a floured surface, roll it out, and repeat the letter fold.
  10. Repeat the above step twice, chilling the dough for a half hour between each fold. That is essential to creating layers inside the croissants, giving them their flaky, crispy goodness.

Forming Your Croissants

  1. Flatten and shape your dough into a rectangle roughly a quarter-inch thick using your rolling pin.
  2. Using your pizza cutter, slice your dough into smaller rectangles — each one should be large enough to hold two chocolate batons. 

How to Make a Chocolate Croissant: Add Chocolatey Goodness

Now you’re ready to add the magic ingredient to your chocolate croissants — the stuff that turns this pastry from a versatile, all-day food into an undeniable dessert masterpiece — the chocolate! 

  1. Place your chocolate batons or cut-up pieces of chocolate at one end of a dough rectangle.
  2. Starting at the chocolate-covered end, roll the dough around the chocolate like you’re rolling it into a sleeping bag.
  3. Let your rolled-up chocolate-filled dough rest on the counter for one to two hours. Make sure to leave space between each croissant because this is when your dough will rise. Your croissants should double in size during this step.

Turn Up the Heat! 

At this point, your chocolate filled croissants are ready to go in the oven!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. While heating your oven, create the egg wash by mixing one raw egg with a dash of salt.
  3. Using your pastry brush, brush a layer of the egg wash over the outside of your risen croissant dough.
  4. Bake your croissants for 15 to 20 minutes. When they’re ready, they’ll have a golden-brown color.

Now, your chocolate croissants are ready to enjoy! C’est magnifique!

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Baking is a unique craft that requires a high level of attention to detail and expert guidance. Our engaging and encouraging instructors will be with you every step of the way, ensuring you have a rewarding experience and come away from class feeling more confident in the kitchen. If you need help perfecting your chocolate croissant recipe, CocuSocial has your back.

Whether you’re looking for in-person cooking classes in Houston or want to learn from the comfort of your home with our online baking classes, CocuSocial offers hundreds of cooking classes in your area to help you earn your chef’s hat. There are no fresher baked goods than the ones that come out of your oven. 

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