J.M. Barrie’s beloved Peter Pan has lasted the test of time. In fact, after a Disney movie and live television production, it’s easy to forget that this beloved story began as a series of novels.
Each and every one of us has an idea of Neverland, a place where we don’t have to grow up and deal with “grown up” things. The idea of Neverland seems pretty good to me right now as I think about earning, saving, budgeting, planning, networking, and choosing. The anxiety of being (a few months away from) mid-twenties and not being certain of goals or direction or finances is ever-present.
But I ruminate over these things and realize that I’m eating chocolate for breakfast and petting my anthropomorphized, humongous dog, and suddenly those scary adult things seem very far away.
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1/8 cup yeast
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
plus 3 tablespoons melted butter
~1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs and an optional dash of cinnamon (for egg wash)
1. Dissolve yeast into water. Meanwhile, whisk flour, salt, sugar.
2. To dry ingredients, add melted butter, whole milk, and finally dissolved yeast. Combine either in standing mixer or with hands.
3. When everything is incorporated, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth. Form into ball, wrap lightly in cling film, and let rise for two hours.
4. Knock back dough (basically, punch dough to let air out) and roll out to rectangle of about 9×7 (approximately a quarter inch thick). Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with cling film, and let rise for an hour.
5. Roll out dough again to quarter inch thickness. Spread softened butter onto two-thirds of the dough. Fold the dough like a posted letter, first with the un-buttered third and then with the remaining buttered third. Roll out, then rotate the letter-like parcel 90 degrees. Fold in the same manner – thirds – and roll out again. Place back on baking sheet, cover, and leave for an hour.
*Any of the resting times can be done in the refrigerator; however, this slows the yeast and may need to be increased to several hours.
6. Roll, rotate, and fold twice more, ending by rolling out entire dough to quarter-inch thickness. Slice into eight triangles. At the tip of each triangle, place three or four chocolate chips, then roll towards opposite side. Place each rolled croissant seam-side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Let rest for at least an hour.
7. Brush each croissant with egg wash. Bake in 375-degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until croissants are deep golden brown.
Enjoy pain au chocolat with J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and check in at http://warandpeach.com for future recipes and book reviews!