Sourdough Chocolate Croissants

Sourdough Chocolate Croissants

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These Sourdough Chocolate Croissants (aka pain au chocolat) are out-of-this-world delicious, bakery-style beautiful, and simply wonderful. They are so flaky, they fall apart at the touch. Lots of buttery layers. With chunks of yummy dark chocolate tucked inside the center that leaves you licking your lips for more.

I’ve been making sourdough bread for nearly eight years and have been experimenting with even more recipes this year due to Covid-19 and the popularity of sourdough. Some of those experiments have been Sourdough Artisan Crackers, Sourdough Cider Donuts and Fritters, and now these amazing croissants.

Inside of a Sourdough Chocolate Croissant

Yes, this recipe is more time-intensive than most. If you’re like me, you’ll be more than willing to invest the extra time in order to get such an amazing and lovely outcome.

This recipe is for special occasions. Or the simplest of occasions when you want to treat your someone special with something special.

Depending on whether we have weekend company, I may double this recipe, so there are plenty of croissants to go around. Here we go!

 

Ingredients to Make Sourdough Chocolate Croissants

 

Instructions for Making this Recipe

Making the Dough

Using a medium mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter, all-purpose flour, water, granulated sugar, softened butter, egg, and kosher salt. Mix together using a dough whisk or wooden spoon until the dough comes together and all the flour is mixed in.

The dough may be pretty soft and sticky at this point.

Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 50-60 minutes.

After the allotted time, place the dough onto an “unfloured” workspace and stretch and pat it out to make a circle or square.

Taking one edge by the hand, stretch and fold it to the center. Then take the opposite side of the dough and stretch and fold it to the center, so that both sides meet. Do the same for the remaining two edges. Pinch the ends together, and smooth into a ball. This is called folding the dough.

If necessary, use a bench scraper to help fold the dough. 

Turn the dough over and go through this folding process again 1-2 times.

Folding the dough like this will help develop the natural gluten and strengthen the dough.

Return the dough to the greased bowl and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

 

Preparing the Butter Layers

Butter for Croissants

Cut two 12″ x 12″ pieces of waxed paper and lay one of them on the counter or workspace. Slice butter into tablespoons and lay them in the middle of the paper to form a square. Place the second piece of waxed paper over the top to cover the butter.

European butter has a high fat content than regular butter. (12 oz. vs 11 oz.) If you don’t have access to European butter, that’s okay. Just use your regular butter. Please note, too, that I always use salted butter. It’s just what I have on hand and it’s what I do. 

Pounded Butter

Using a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizing mallet, beat the cold butter to flatten and warm it. Continue beating it until it has flattened and spread to form an 8″ x 8″ square.

Take the cold dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured workspace. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a square that is 12″ x 12″.

Butter on Croissant Dough

Remove the top piece of waxed paper from the butter and place it on the dough so that it’s a diamond on a square. Then peel off the remaining paper.

Butter Enclosed Dough

Fold the corners of the dough to meet in the center and cover the butter. Pinch the ends together to seal, then lightly tap the dough with a rolling pin to flatten and secure the seams. You should now have a butter-enclosed dough square that is 8″ x 8″.

 

Turning the Dough

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 8″ x 18″ rectangle. This may take a little time. Roll gently so you don’t manipulate the butter too much. (You want the butter to stay in one layer and not get clumped up.)

Second Turn

Fold the right 1/3 of dough toward the middle, and then fold over the left 1/3 of dough like a trifold letter. This is called the “first turn.”

Pivot the dough 90 degrees so that the sides are now top and bottom. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to form an 8″ x 12″ rectangle. Once more fold the dough in thirds like a letter. This is the “second turn.”

Place the folded dough in a plastic freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes.

After the resting time, roll the dough into an 8″ x 12″ rectangle and fold the dough like a letter. This is the “third turn.” Repeat as before for a “fourth turn.” Place the dough in the plastic bag and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

 

Assembling the Croissants

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Roll the chilled dough into a 8″ x 12″ rectangle.

Cutting and Assembling the Croissants

Using a ruler and pastry roller, cut the dough into triangles with 4″ bases. Save the two half pieces on each end and pinch them together to make one triangle. This will give you a total of 7 triangles.

Pain au Chocolat

Place Pain au Chocolat Sticks at the base of each triangle. Tightly roll the dough from the base to the tip.

In my experiments with this recipe, I used both Pain au Chocolat Sticks as well as Belgian Dark Chocolate Chunks that I purchased at Aldi. They both melted the same, and my daughters and I couldn’t tell the difference when we ate the croissants. I think Ghirardelli semi-sweet or bittersweet chips would bring similar results.

Also, when I used the Pain au Chocolat Sticks, I preferred two sticks per croissant.

Place the croissants 3″ apart on the prepared baking sheet, curving ends inward to form a crescent shape.

Cover the shaped dough with plastic wrap (or a clean garbage bag) and leave to proof at room temperature for 18-20 hours. When ready to bake, they should be at least 50% larger that at the start, and feel light and puffy to the touch.

Croissants with Egg Wash after Rising

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the croissants with egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon water) and bake for 20-22 minutes or until dark golden brown.

 Serving Sourdough Chocolate Croissant

Sourdough Chocolate Croissants are best served warm from the oven with a cup of steaming coffee or tea. However, they may be served the next day heated in a toaster oven–if they last that long! This recipe will make 7 croissants.

See more Sourdough Recipes Here. Browse Chocolate Recipes Here. 

Recipe for Sourdough Chocolate Croissants

Sourdough Chocolate Croissants

These Sourdough Chocolate Croissants (aka pain au chocolat) are out-of-this-world delicious, bakery-style beautiful, and simply wonderful. They are so flaky, they fall apart at the touch. Layers of Butter. With chunks of yummy dark chocolate tucked inside the center that leaves you licking your lips for more.
5 from 6 votes
Print Rate
Course: Breads, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: France
Keyword: Pain au Chocolat, Pastry, Sourdough
Prep Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Resting/Refrigeration Time: 1 day 1 hour
Total Time: 1 day 2 hours 47 minutes
Servings: 7 rolls

Equipment

Meat Tenderizer
19" Rolling Pin
Pastry Wheel
Pastry Brush

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter fed and active
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup cold European butter for layering
  • 8 oz Callebaut Semisweet Pain au Chocolat Sticks

Instructions

Making the Dough

  • Using a medium mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter, all-purpose flour, water, granulated sugar, softened butter, egg, and kosher salt. Mix together using a dough whisk or wooden spoon until the dough comes together and all the flour is mixed in. The dough may be soft and sticky at this point.
  • Place the dough in a bowl coated in cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 50-60 minutes.
  • After the allotted resting time, place the dough onto an "unfloured" workspace and stretch and pat it out to make a circle.
  • Taking one edge by the hand, stretch and fold it to the center. Then take the opposite side of the dough and stretch and fold it to the center, so that both sides meet. Do the same for the remaining two edges. Pinch the ends together, and smooth into a ball. This is called folding the dough.
  • Turn the dough over and do it again 1-2 times. Folding the dough like this will help develop the natural gluten and strengthen the dough. Return the dough to the greased bowl and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preparing the Butter Layers

  • Cut two 12" x 12" pieces of waxed paper and lay one on the counter or workspace. Slice butter into tablespoons and lay them in the middle of the paper to form a square. Place the second piece of waxed paper over the top to cover the butter.
  • Using a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizing mallet, beat the cold butter to flatten and warm it. Continue beating it until it has flattened and spread to form an 8" x 8" square.
  • Take the cold dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured workspace. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a square that is 12" x 12".
  • Remove the top piece of waxed paper from the butter and place it on the dough so that it's a diamond on a square. Peel off the remaining piece of paper.
  • Fold the corners of the dough to meet in the center and cover the butter. Pinch the ends together to seal, then lightly tap the dough with the rolling pin to flatten and secure the seams. You should now have a butter-enclosed dough square that is 8" x 8".

Turning the Dough

  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 8" x 18" rectangle. This may take a little time. Roll gently so you don't manipulate the butter too much. (You want the butter to stay in one layer and not get clumped up.)
  • Fold the right 1/3 of dough toward the middle, and then fold over the left 1/3 of dough like a trifold letter. This is called the "first turn."
  • Pivot the dough 90 degrees so that the sides are now the top and bottom. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to form an 8" x 12" rectangle. Once more, fold the dough in thirds like a letter. This is the "second turn."
  • Place the folded dough in a plastic freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes.
  • After the resting time, roll the dough into an 8" x 12" rectangle and fold the dough like a letter. This is the "third turn." Repeat as before for a "fourth turn." Place the dough in the plastic freezer bag and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Assembling the Croissants

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Roll the chilled dough into an 8" x 12" rectangle.
  • Using a ruler and pastry roller, cut the dough into triangles with 4" bases. Save the two half pieces on each end and pinch them together to make one triangle. This will give you a total of 7 triangles.
  • Place Pain au Chocolat Sticks at the base of each triangle. Tightly roll the dough from the base to the tip.
  • Arrange the croissants 3" apart on the prepared baking sheet, curving ends inward to form a crescent shape.
  • Cover the shaped dough with plastic wrap (or a clean garbage bag) and leave to proof at room temperature for 18-20 hours. When ready to bake, they should be at least 50% larger that at the start, and feel light and puffy to the touch.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the croissants with egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon water) and bake for 20-22 minutes or until dark golden brown.
  • Sourdough Chocolate Croissants are best served warm from the oven, but they may be served the next day heated up in a toaster oven. This recipe will make 7 croissants.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated all butter used on this recipe site is salted.
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12 thoughts on “Sourdough Chocolate Croissants”

  • 5 stars
    I would LOVE to make some of these croissants – I’d have to make them with gluten-free flour but I hope that with your helpful directions and photos I can get them to turn out. I appreciated the detail about what kinds of chocolate worked for you.

    • Hi Beth! Please let me know if you make some gluten-free croissants. I’d love to know how they turn out! I’m sure you could use any chocolate and it would be great! Thanks for visiting!

  • 5 stars
    Sourdough chocolate croissants sound divine. Sourdough is so good for your gut. What is better than chocolate? Nothing

    • Hi LaRena! Yes, I’m always telling our daughters that sourdough is gut-healthy food. LOL. Our grandchildren love it, too! Thanks for stopping by.

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