The Eiffel Tower in the distance, the smell of fresh coffee and this pain au chocolat in your hand. It’s a new day in Paris.
250g (9oz) 00 flour
250g (9oz) strong white flour
20g (¾oz) fast-action dried yeast (instant yeast)
300g (10½oz) butter
50g (1¾oz) white sugar
125ml (4fl oz) milk
125ml (4fl oz) water
seeds from ½ vanilla pod (bean)
10g (¼oz) salt
100g (3½oz) plain dark (bittersweet) chocolate, broken into 16 lengths
1 egg, beaten
Makes 8 pastries
Preparation time: 2½ hours, plus 24 hours resting
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Put the flours, yeast, 50g (1¾oz) of the butter, the sugar, milk, measured water and vanilla seeds in a bowl and mix together. Knead the mixture
vigorously until you have a firm dough, then add the salt and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and firm. Seal in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and leave to rest in the refrigerator for a day (it is advisable to prepare the dough the morning of the day before baking).
Flatten the remaining butter as much as possible between 2 sheets of nonstick baking paper with a rolling pin. Roll the dough out on a well-floured work surface. Place the butter in the centre and fold in the edges of the dough to cover.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down, press the edges with the rolling pin to seal and make a quarter turn. Repeat, cover with clingfilm and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Repeat twice more.
Roll the dough out and cut it into 4 rectangles, then into 8 squares. Place two lengths of chocolate on each square of dough, then fold the dough in on itself to enclose it completely. Transfer to a baking tray (cookie sheet), brush with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 15 minutes.