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Pain au Chocolat

Yields1 Serving

 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, cold
 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
 1/2 cup(ish) good-quality chocolate (chopped, chips or squares, halved - I used Bernard Callebaut semi-sweet drops)
Danish Dough
 3/4 cup milk, warmed
 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
 1/3 cup sugar
 2 large eggs
 1 tsp. vanilla
 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1 tsp. salt
1

In a large bowl, stir together the milk and yeast. Stir in the sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add a cup of the flour and the salt, then add the rest of the flour gradually, stirring until it's incorporated. Knead the dough on a lightly floured countertop for about 5 minutes, until smooth. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2

Meanwhile, beat the butter and flour with an electric mixer for a couple minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until smooth. Set aside (don't refrigerate).

3

When the dough has chilled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle that is about 13"x18" and 1/4" thick. Spread the butter evenly over the right two-thirds of the dough. Fold the left third of the dough over, covering half the butter, then fold the right side over, as if you were folding a letter in thirds. (Unlike a letter, the dough ends should line up, so that it's folded in three.) Cover the dough in plastic wrap and put it back into the fridge for 30 minutes.

4

Put the dough back on the floured surface lengthwise, with the open sides to the left and right. Roll it out into another 13"x18" rectangle, 1/4" thick. Fold the left third over the middle, then the right third over the middle. (This is referred to as "turns". To keep track of each fold -or turn- press your finger into the dough at the edge to make two marks - you can do this each time you roll and fold so that you know how many times you've done it.) Chill the dough for another 30 minutes.

5

Roll, fold and refrigerate the dough two more times, so that you've done it four times total. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, or overnight. It can also be frozen at this point for up to 4 months.

6

To assemble the pain au chocolat, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thick. You can cut the dough into rectangles as large or as small as you like - we made them on the small side, cutting the dough into strips and then crosswise so that each piece was about the size of a business card. Put a little pile of chocolate, or a chunk of it, along the middle of the pastry, roll the sides up and place each one seam-side down on an ungreased baking sheet. If you have time, cover loosely with plastic or a tea towel and let them proof for an hour or two. (This is not absolutely necessary- we did ours in a rush!)

7

Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake the pain au chocolat for 15 minutes, until golden. (If they are larger, they may need more time.) Try to be a good person and share with your family and friends.