If you've been to France and tasted the authentic chocolate croissant known as pain au chocolate, there is no possible way you can eat and be satisfied with the croissant from Starbucks, the local grocery store and most definitely not the store bought Pillsbury dough which attempts to trick you into thinking it's homemade. A true french pastry is delicate, delicious and a work of art. It isn't overly sweet, bland or heavy. It is light, flaky, rich in flavor and a delight to eat! Oh, to sit at a cafe and sip on a cafe au lait and eat a pain au chocolate.
The delightful experience of relaxing and eating a pastry described above doesn't happen every day in my home. I have however made it my goal to learn the art of making croissants and I believe I have come close. I don't know if I can ever beat out such bakeries as Cafe Besalu in Ballard, Seattle or the street cafe in Paris but, I will tell you that this pastry can be done at home with a little thought, practice and patience.
I started practicing the art of making authentic french pastries over two years ago. The product has gradually gotten better and I am beginning to master it. I started using this recipe adapted from Jacques Torres. I have made a few minor changes and the result I came out with this last week is this:
I purchase bittersweet chocolate batons from chocosphere.com to fill my croissants. I much prefer these over chopping chocolate to put in the croissants. I use a little over 3 sticks of butter in my dough and the process of making my dough takes 3 days.