Pain au Chocolat

6 teaspoons instant dried yeast

¾ cup warm water

5¼ cups bread flour

½ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons salt

¾ cup milk

4½ tablespoons butter, melted

1½ cups butter, room temperature

15 snack-size (3-by-1½-inch pieces) semisweet chocolate bars (your choice)

Egg wash

2 eggs

3 tablespoons milk

Sugar, for garnish

In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water until well integrated. In a stand mixer on medium speed, blend the yeast and water mixture with flour, sugar, salt, melted butter and milk for 2 to 3 minutes. If dough feels a bit sticky, add more bread flour a little at a time until it firms up.

Form the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap (to prevent from drying) and let rest at room temperature 45 minutes.

Divide dough into two or three equal portions and, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into manageable size, about the size of the cookie sheet. Cover with plastic and let rise for 45 minutes.

Take sheets of dough and brush liberally with room temperature butter, fold in half and then half again, like a bed sheet.

Roll back to its original size, brush again with butter, fold and roll then wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour. Roll, brush, fold and roll one more time.

Cut dough into 4-by-8-inch rectangles. Place one chocolate bar on the edge of the rectangle and roll up dough tightly, enclosing the chocolate. Repeat with remaining dough and chocolate.

Place, seam-side down, on greased baking sheet 1 inch apart. Cover with plastic and let rise 1 hour or until they double in size (they can be made one day ahead for next day cooking).

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush the tops of pastry with egg wash; sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake until golden brown, less than 15 minutes.

Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 15.

Chef Yamandu Perez, Zak’s Place, Hinsdale

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