Also known as a chocolate croissant. These use the exact same pastry and recipe as my vegan croissants, but are filled with vegan and palm-free Nutella and baked in a parcel shape. You could try filling them with anything else you like, too – jam, fruit, almond paste, custard. So many possibilities! Also, traditionally these will be filled by placing a solid piece of chocolate inside, but I prefer the ooziness of a heaped tablespoon of Nutella.
Approximate cost: $15
Makes: 18 medium or 25 mini pain au choc
Time taken: 2 hours
Nutrition? No. Haha
3 1/3 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1.5 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 tsp dried yeast
400g vegan butter, chilled (I used Nuttelex Buttery and it was great. They do use some palm oil in their spread but it’s certified sustainable. Otherwise, look for one you like!)
Pretty much a whole 750g jar of dairy- and palm-free chocolate hazelnut spread. You could also try making this yourself.
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. In a small jug, combine warm water and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Add yeast and leave for 5 minutes, until foamy.
Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture and stir well, then knead using hands until it’s a very smooth dough – 5 minutes should do the trick.
Leave dough in an oiled glass or ceramic bowl in a warm place, covered with a damp tea towel, for 30 minutes. It should double in size.
Once dough has proved, remove from bowl and place on benchtop. Punch it down to its original size to remove all the gases, then put in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool.
In the meantime, form your vegan butter into a flattened rectangle (butter package) about 10cm wide by 20cm long. Wrap your butter in cling film and use a rolling pin to bash/knead/coerce the butter into this rough shape. Remove cling film.
Take chilled dough out of fridge. Roll dough out, place butter package on top, then fold dough over in thirds to enclose the butter. Now, roll the dough out again with the butter inside, trapping butter in an inner layer. Fold the dough over itself once again and roll out. This process creates multiple layers of butter trapped inside the dough, which is what gives the croissant its puff. Return dough to the fridge for 15 minutes to prevent the butter melting inside, then remove and repeat this folding, rolling and chilling process 2-3 more times.
Once you’ve got a dough with many layers of butter trapped inside, roll it out to about 2-3mm thick. Slice dough into equal rectangles, depending on how many pastries you’d like to make and how big you’d like them to be. Dollop a couple of heaped tablespoons of Nutella on each rectangle, then roll them up lengthways and press lightly to enclose.
Preheat oven to 200*C. While the oven is preheating, allow the pastries to rest. When the oven is ready to go, brush pastries with a little plant-based milk. Then, put them in the oven.
Bake croissants for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden, rotating trays halfway if needed. You can serve these straight from the oven, or store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Bon appetit!!
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