People pay a small fortune for one of these in upscale bakeries, but you can make your own for a fraction of the price, with much better flavor and freshness. Your family will love them.
French Chocolate Buns (Pain au Chocolat)

French Chocolate Buns (Pain au Chocolat)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Baked Goods
Cuisine: French
Serves: 12 pieces
Yeasted Pastry Dough:
  • 5 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1/2 Cup warm water
  • 1 Cup warm milk
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 Cup butter (1 stick); softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely-minced lemon zest
  • 4 1/2 Cups flour (to 5 1/2 Cups)
  • nonstick cooking spray; for greasing
  • 2 Cups coarsely-chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • granulated sugar
  • coarse sugar; (optional)
For the Yeasted Pastry Dough:
  1. Stir together yeast and water in large bowl. Let mixture stand 10 minutes to proof yeast. Whisk in warm milk, then sugar, salt, egg, egg yolks, butter, vanilla and lemon zest. Combine until dough is too stiff to mix, adding just enough flour so that dough holds together and is still a bit moist.
  2. Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and knead until soft, smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, then place bowl in a large plastic bag. Close bag loosely and let dough rise until puffy, about 45 minutes. Gently punch down dough and divide it into 12 equal portions. Let rest 10 minutes.
For the Filling:
  1. Toss chopped chocolate with sugar and cinnamon.
For Assembly:
  1. Roll or press dough into 12 ovals, each about 7 inches long, and divide chocolate mixture equally among ovals, placing it in center of each. Fold in ends, then sides, of each oval and press gently to seal. You will have 12 small cylinders.
  2. Place buns on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and set sheets in a large plastic bag. Loosely close bag and let buns rise until puffy, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Whisk together egg and a dash of granulated sugar to make an egg wash. Make 3 to 4 slits on each bun, then brush buns liberally with egg wash. Sprinkle each bun with granulated or coarse sugar, about 1 tablespoon total, and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes.
This recipe yields 12 buns.

Each bun: 563 calories; 352 mg sodium; 100 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 92 grams carbohydrates; 570 grams protein; 3.45 grams fiber.

Serve them with hot coffee, warm or cold milk or tea for a great breakfast. Perfect with raspberry jam or preserves.

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