Bicolore Pain au Chocolat

Servings: 20 croissants



  • 2 large eggs
  • 454 g water 90°F
  • 12 g instant yeast
  • 28 g nonfat dry milk powder
  • 957 g unbleached all purpose flour
  • 39 g sugar
  • 16 g salt
  • 28 g European butter like Plugra, at room temp
  • 1 large egg beaten, for egg wash

Additional ingredients for cocoa détrempe

  • 20 g dutch cocoa powder
  • 35 g cold water or less

Chocolate filling

  • 255 g dark chocolate chips or batons

Beurrage (Butter block)

  • 567 g European butter at room temp but not soft


Beurrage (Butter block)

  • Trace a 10" square on a piece of parchment paper and flip it over.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle cream the butter until it is softened and no longer clumpy (about 1 minute).
  • Scrape the butter onto the prepared parchment and reshape, pound or roll as needed to fit into the square. Wrap with parchment and chill until ready to use in the detrempe. The temp of the butter block should be around 60°F when you start enclosing it in the detrempe.


  • Put the eggs, yeast, water and milk powder in the mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook. Mix on lowest speed for 30 seconds.
  • Add the flour, sugar, butter and salt. Mix on lowest speed for 4 minutes or until the dough completely clears the side of the bowl. Remove from the bowl and knead by hand on an unfloured surface for another minute but no longer. The surface should not be smooth, the gluten should be underdeveloped. Place in a buttered bowl, cover and let rest at room temp for 30 minutes.

Cocoa Détrempe

  • After resting, remove 150 g of the detrempe and place in the mixing bowl again with the cocoa. Mix on low speed while gradually adding water to achieve a smooth and homogenous but not sticky cocoa dough. You may not need all the water.
  • Roll out into a square shape about 2 mm thick, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

Enclosing the butter

  • Roll out the detrempe on a lightly floured work surface to a rectangle 10.5" by 20.5". Occasionally shore up the edges to maintain right angles and occasionally lift up the dough to make sure it is not sticking to the work surface — adding more flour as needed to keep it from sticking.
  • Remove the butter block from the fridge, check the temp (the butter block should be able to bend without cracking) and place it on the left side of your detrempe with a ¼" clearance on 3 sides. Fold the other half of the detrempe over the butter block and pinch firmly on each side to seal. You have now enclosed the butter. Brush off any extra flour.


  • You will complete three turns. For each turn it is important to start with the dough in the same position and make the folds in the same direction. For example, I start each new turn with the long fold away from me, the long open side facing me and the short open sides to my right and left. This means that I will rotate the dough 90° after each turn. If you choose to roll out the dough vertically that will work as well but make sure you do it the same way for every turn.
  • I do three letter folds. For the first turn roll out your dough to a rectangle 12" x 24". Brush off any extra flour. Maintain right angles on your rectangle by occasionally shoring up the edges with your ruler or bench scraper. Fold the dough in thirds by folding the right side over 2/3 of the way then your left side over. The edges should line up in a rectangle. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Perform 2 more turns with 30 minute rests in the refrigerator between each turn. You may need 40 minutes if your butter does not get cold enough (you will know this because it will be apt to smoodge out while rolling). After the the final turn you can also chill the dough overnight.

Rolling out the Paton

  • Once the butter has been enclosed in your dough it is now referred to as a paton. Pull the paton out of the fridge and press slightly with your rolling pin in several places to degas. Brush surface with cold water and lay the cocoa detrempe on top. Roll the cocoa detrempe out to the edges of the paton to make sure there are no air bubbles and that it is adhering to the paton.
  • Roll out the paton to a 17" x 26.5" rectangle with the cocoa detrempe always on top. Trim the edges with a sharp knife or pizza cutter to have clean sharp edges.
  • Cut the paton into twenty 8 cm x16 cm rectangles. Make diagonal slashes on the top of the rectangles about 1 cm apart.
  • Take one rectangle, dust off extra flour and flip it over so that the cocoa side is on the bottom. Brush the far edge with egg wash. Place about 12 g chocolate chips or a chocolate baton on the edge closest to you and roll up the rectangle into a cylinder, pressing down slightly at the end to ensure it stays rolled up. Place the pain au chocolate on two parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Loosely cover the pans with either plastic wrap lightly sprayed with baking spray or use oversized ziploc bags. If your kitchen is between 78-80°F then you can proof as is but if not then add a cup of boiling water on each pan and close the bag. Refresh the water halfway through proofing time.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F convection/400°F conventional about an hour before baking. Your croissaints will need about 1- 1½ hrs to proof. You know they are ready to bake when they feel pillow-y or there is no tension when you press on them. You can also do the "wiggle test" when is slightly shaking the pan to see if they wiggle like jelly.
  • Egg wash but do not let the wash drip down the sides and do not wash the laminated edges — just the tops. Egg wash on the laminated edges will seal them and prevent them from expanding. Bake at 375°F for 10-15 minutes or until they just start take color and then decrease heat to 350°F and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the entire surface of the croissants are golden and there are no pale spots.
  • Croissants are best eaten the same day but you can store them in a paper bag and refresh at 300°F conventional oven for 10 minutes.


  1.  Credit for the classic croissant method must be given to the awesome Colette Christian (check out her classes on Craftsy) with my adaptations. The rest of the method for making bicolor pain au chocolat is from moi.
  2. I went high on the butter — 71%.  If you are just starting with laminated doughs reduce the butter block to 567g or 59% which is a standard amount and will be easier to work with.
  3. For half the amount, 1/2 all of the ingredients and only make a 7″ butter block; only roll out the detrempe to 71/2″x 14 1/2″ to enclose the butter then 8 1/2″x 17″ for each turn; then roll out your final paton to 12 1/2″ x 17″.  You will have to adjust the size of the rectangles slightly to make 9 pain au chocolat. 
  4. The success of croissants is all about temperature.  The butter must stay cold but not so cold that it shatters into hard pieces.  Adjust your resting time as needed to maintain an internal temperature of about 60F.  If your paton is warming up and butter is starting to smoodge out put it back in the fridge for a few minutes.  If your paton is too tight and difficult to roll out let it rest longer to relax the gluten.
  5. Do not overmix your dough in the beginning.  Gluten will develop as you begin to roll it out.  Overmixing will cause the dough to be too tight from the get-go.
  6. Use plugra or another European butter which has a higher fat content and less water for greater chance of success.
  7. If you do get a butter eruption during rolling use a little flour directly on the eruption to cauterize the wound then brush off the excess.  
  8. Flour is your enemy during the lamination.  Always use the least amount to keep it from sticking but brush off the excess.  

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