How do you know when your kids are watching too much Disney Channel? That would be when you have a dream you’re a teenager and friends with the Jonas brothers, at a party at their house, and the girl who plays London on The Suite Life (Brenda Song) is trying to pick up your boyfriend.
I would probably be a little more worried about my mental state if I wasn’t going through a period in my life where I dream crazy dreams all night (or at least it seems like it). So, sadly enough, this isn’t the most disturbing dream I’ve had lately, but at least I can laugh about this one.
I’m sure I’ve dreamed about Chocolate Croissants before, because I LOVE THEM. I know I’ve daydreamed about them. In the past I’ve made chocolate croissants with store-bought puff pastry and later with homemade puff pastry. But this time I used King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Classic Whole Wheat Puff Pastry, from their giant tome, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.
Their recipe uses a combination of whole wheat pastry flour (usually found at a natural food store like Whole Foods or Earth Fare), and bread flour and is then made in a similar way as traditional puff pastry. The result is a dough that bakes up flaky and flavorful, with almost as much flakiness as that made from all regular flour (and perhaps a little less guilt?).
One batch makes enough for 24 croissants, but I divided mine into fourths and froze three parts for later. It’s a very nice thing to have in the freezer when you feel the craving for some pastry coming on, or if you start dreaming about them.
- 1/2 recipe Whole Wheat Puff Pastry (see below for recipe)
- 1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips, chocolate pieces or 9 chocolate batons
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 x 18 inch rectangle. Cut into thirds lengthwise, and then into thirds across to make nine 4 x 6 inch rectangles.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of chocolate or one chocolate baton in the center of each rectangle. Fold the rectangles like a letter and place seam side down on the baking sheet, pressing gently to seal.
- Cover the croissants with plastic wrap or a towel and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Uncover and brush the tops of the croissants with the egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until the dough is deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
Whole Wheat Puff Pastry
adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
makes 3 3/4 lbs dough, enough for 24 croissants
Making the Dough
- 3 cups (10 1/8 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) bread flour
- 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) nonfat dry milk
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (13 ounces) water, room temperature
- Whisk together both flours and the dry milk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter and mix with the paddle attachment until the mixture resembles oatmeal (or cut in with a pastry blender). Add the salt to the water and stir until dissolved, then pour into the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together into a rough ball and pulls away from the sides. Add more water a tablespoon at a time if there is still flour at the bottom of the bowl.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead using a dough scraper to help lift it until it becomes smooth, about 2 or 3 minutes, trying not to add too much more flour (the dough needs a little extra moisture for the wheat to absorb).
- Pat the dough into a square about 1 inch thick and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Preparing the Butter
- 2 cups (4 sticks, 1 pound) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
- 1/3 cup ( 1 1/8 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
- all-purpose flour for dusting
In a mixer or food processor, or with a spoon, combine the butter and pastry flour until smooth. Lightly flour a piece of plastic wrap and place the butter/flour mixture on it and pat it into an 8 inch square. Wrap the butter completely with the plastic and refrigerate on a flat surface for at least 30 minutes.
Rolling and Folding
You will need:
- all-purpose flour for dusting
- rolling pin
- ruler or yardstick
- pastry brush
- small bowl of water
- Unwrap the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 12 inch square. Unwrap the butter and place it in the center of the square at a 45 degree angle. (with corners pointing up and down and side to side).
- Moisten around the edges of the dough with a pastry brush dipped in water. Pull the corner flaps of the dough over the straight edges of the butter until they meet in the middle, and press to seal the edges together, smoothing out any air pockets before sealing the last seam. Dust the top with flour, then turn it over and gently tap it with the rolling pin into a rectangle, adding more flour underneath if the dough starts to stick.
- Continue to roll the dough into a 20 x 10 inch rectangle. Turn the dough so the short edges are at the top and bottom and brush off any excess flour from the top of the dough. Lightly wet the edges. Fold the bottom short end of the dough up 1/3 to the middle of the rectangle, and then fold the top short end down to line up with the bottom edge of the dough, like a business letter. Turn the dough 90 degrees to the right, so it looks like a book = First Turn.
- If the dough feels warm or springs back when you roll it, cover it and return it to the refrigerator for 20 minutes. If the dough is still fairly cool and relaxed, repeat the previous step of rolling and folding = Second Turn.
- Make two dents in the dough with your knuckle to record how many turns you have completed, then wrap and return it to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (if resting more than an hour, let dough sit out 10 minutes before rolling again).
- After an hour, roll and fold dough twice more = Third Turn & Fourth Turn. Rest dough in refrigerator another hour or more, then roll and fold two more times = Fifth Turn & Sixth Turn.
- At this point you can use the dough to make any type of pastry you wish, or divide it into portions, wrap it tightly, and freeze.