Christmas Pain au Chocolat


I must begin this week with an apology. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about making pain au chocolat with my son Jake, we had made it from a pre prepared product, we only had to pop, roll, cook and eat, easy!  Researching a good recipe from old files inspired me to have a go at making them from scratch.  It has been years since I did so, it might even have been during my college days.  So last Saturday, following my own recipe, I had a go and found I had told you to add only half the required liquid.  It was obvious that the recipe was incorrect as the dough was not a dough, it was closer to a crumb. I am sorry if you gave it a go and found yourself having to research a solution.  The only possible good thing that has come out of my mistake is given the recipe was wrong anyway, plus I don’t really like following recipes I that I decided to go left field and add my own creative twist.  I made a cinnamon sugar to roll into my dough.  I then filled my pain with sour cherries and white chocolate. OMG get ready for Christmas in one mouthful.  These would make a great gift on Christmas morning and here’s how to make them without spending the whole of Christmas Eve rolling and folding, rolling and folding!

1 sachet of instant dried yeast

8floz of lukewarm water

1lb12oz strong white bread flour

8floz milk

3tbsp butter, melted and cooled

3oz granulated sugar

1½ tsp salt

8oz butter, softened

3tsp of cinnamon

3tsp icing sugar

12oz good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped

6oz sour dried cherries

2 tablespoons milk, just for brushing the tops to glaze golden brown

I also adapted the method to suit me, here goes.

The night before place the yeast in the warm water for five minutes. It will begin to bubble. Add the flour, milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and mix into a dough. Knead for a good four minutes.  Shape the firm dough into a ball and lightly cover with cling film for an hour or so. Soften the butter and add the cinnamon and icing sugar, as if you were making a butter icing. Roll the dough into a rectangle and generously spread in the flavoured butter. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Turn the dough by 90° and roll back into the rectangle shape. Fold the dough into thirds, again, turn 90° and roll again very lightly.  cover lightly with cling film, place in the fridge and head off to bed. Next morning its back to rolling and folding, rolling and folding, cover and rest the dough for an hour or so.  Roll  and fold, roll and fold once more and cover the dough again with the cling film to rest and rise To be honest I am not sure how many times I did the roll and fold, the butter was well distributed and my shoulders had had a work out, let’s say nine times in total. For the last time roll out the dough,  this time thinly, and with a good knife cut into 12 to 15 rectangles.  Generously add the white chocolate and sprinkle over the sour cherry. Roll the dough around the filling. Place half  on a lightly oiled baking tray, cover lightly with cling film and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.  They should be like little cushions. Place the other half on a floured baking tray, cover with cling film and drop them in the freezer.  When you would like them for breakfast , remove from the freezer the night before and allow them to defrost and rise overnight Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly brush the tops of the pains with the milk and bake for 15 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown.

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