Extremely buttery but somehow light, soft and flaky. Homemade pain au chocolat filled with Terry's Chocolate Orange are the king's of the brunch table.
Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk the egg into the milk, orange extract or zest and vanilla then pour in slowly, mixing with the dough hook on slow until the dough starts to come together - you may not need all of the liquid, stop adding before it gets too wet and sticky.
Allow mixing on medium speed for 5-10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Oil the bowl lightly and cover, allowing to prove until at least doubled in size. This may take 2 hours in cold weather.
Place the butter on top of the dough and fold the top and bottom down to cover it, pinching the sides firmly together - you must cover all of the butter. Roll the dough out into a long rectangle again and then fold the top down a third, the bottom up a third to cover it. If the butter isn't softening too much, do another envelope turn now - if it is really soft, just chill it straight away for one hour, wrapped in cling film. This is an "envelope turn".
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out again to a long rectangle - this time you are going to do a "book fold". With the short edge facing you, fold the top of the pastry down to the middle and fold the bottom upwards to the middle, leaving a little gap so that you can then fold these halves together nicely. Roll out to a long thin rectangle and repeat this book fold. Wrap in cling and chill for one hour.
Repeat this process one final time and then wrap in a large piece of cling and allow to dough to relax and chill overnight/up to 24 hours.
Next morning, take the dough out of the fridge and it's cling film wrapping and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to a large square. It matters less the dimensions of the square than it does in making sure your dough is approximately 3/4 cm thick. (But if it makes you feel better, I roll it about 14 inches square!).
Trim the bare minimum you need off the pastry to give it crisp, sharp edges then cut into 10 rectangles - again, the video will help you here!
Place a segment of Terry's Chocolate Orange on one of the short ends of each small rectangle of dough and roll up firmly, sitting it on a lined baking tray, seam side down. Press it firmly to ensure that the pain au chocolat doesn't unravel on baking. Repeat for the remaining 9 then leave to prove for up to 2 hours when they should have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C and place either a Welsh bakestone or a spare (and preferably heavy duty) baking tray into preheat. When the pain are proved, beat the egg white or yolk you are using and brush the tops well - don't let it trickle down the sides. Bake for 15-18 minutes until very well risen (they have excellent oven spring and puff up beautifully on baking), browned on top and dry to the touch.
Put the caster sugar, orange extract and water or orange juice in a small saucepan and heat until dissolved. Brush generously over the baked pain au chocolat and allow to cool for 20 minutes before tucking in.