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These vegan Chocolate Croissants are a dream come true. They're super crispy in the outside and soft in the inside. The flavor is rich and delicate. In other words: you have to try this recipe!
Making them is easy but the whole process requires a little time. That said, these chocolate croissants will literally blow your taste buds, so trust me when I say that's totally worth the effort!
- Butter Substitute
- How to Make the Dough
- Laminating the Dough: Part 1
- Laminating the Dough: Part 2
- Size: Regular vs Large
- How to Shape the Croissants
- Resting Time
- Baking Time
- How to store the Croissants
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- 📖 Recipe/Rezept
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- 💬 Comments/Kommentar
I always use "stable" margarine to make croissants. It's important NOT to use a spreadable margarine because we don't want our block of "butter" to melt easily (or the whole recipe is going to be a big mess!). So any traditional butter substitute that doesn't get hard in the cold cannot be used for this recipe.
There are some recipes that take multiple days to prepare pains au chocolate. Mine takes a little over 5 hours of which only 1 we will actually have to "actively work", the other 4 hours are rising or resting times for the dough in the fridge.
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this recipe: yeast, flour, sugar, salt, chocolate and water. Also, instead of brushing the croissants with egg we will use vegan oat-cream or soy milk (use whichever you prefer).
How to Make the Dough
The dough for our vegan pains au chocolate is super easy to make! We just have to mix, flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water. Then we knead the dough until it's smooth and lumps-free. If you prefer you can of course use a kneading machine (I would too if I had one :)).
The Beurrage is nothing more than a block of butter (or in our case margarine) that will allow us to create the puff pastry with which we will make the croissants. The block is done by cutting the margarine into slices and placing these on a sheet of baking paper. Then we wrap the margarine with the baking paper and flatten the butter forming a 20x20 cm (8x8 inches) square.
The block of butter should never melt while we are making the pastry. This is why it's important that the block is well chilled before we start making the puff pastry.
Laminating the Dough: Part 1
This is the most fun part of this recipe (after eating the chocolate croissants of course ;))! Before we start: It's very useful to have a measuring tape at hand so that we can roll out the dough following the measurements given in the recipe.
We start by taking the dough out of the fridge and to form it (using our hands) into a 25x25 cm ( 10x10 inches) square. Then we use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a 45x25 cm (18x10 inches) rectangle. We place the block of margarine on one side of the rectangle and fold the other side of the dough up and over the margarine.
Now we gently roll out the dough forming a rectangle of 45x25 cm (18x10 inches). We grab the bottom of the dough and fold it ¾ of the way up the rectangle. Then we take the top half and fold it the remaining ¼ of the way until both ends meet.
Then we fold the longer part over the short one, making a long rectangle. We wrap the rectangle in baking paper and let it rest for 1 hour in the fridge. Et voilà! The first lamination is already over! One more to go!
Laminating the Dough: Part 2
The second part of the process is much easier than the first. We only need to roll out the dough into a large 60x25 cm (24x18 inches) rectangle. We grab the bottom of the dough and fold it ⅓ of the way up the rectangle. Then we take the top half and fold it over so that it covers completely the other one. We should have a square. We wrap it in baking paper and set in the fridge for 1 hour.
Size: Regular vs Large
After the dough has rested in the fridge for 1 hour we can take it and roll it out into a 30x50 cm (12x20 inches) rectangle.
Then we can either cut the dough in half (lengthwise) and make 10 regular vegan chocolate croissants or leave the dough as it is and make 5 larger ones. Below you see the difference.
I always use vegan dark chocolate with at least 70% of cacao. I cut the chocolate in sticks myself because it requires no effort. That said, you can obviously use store-bought vegan chocolate sticks.
How to Shape the Croissants
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 5 (large) or 10 (regular) rectangles. Place a stick of chocolate on the edge of the dough and roll tightly enclosing it in the dough. Then place a second chocolate stick on the dough and roll tightly. Place the croissants on a baking sheet, seam side down, leaving some space between them.
We brush the pain au chocolate with water and allow them to rise for 2 hours. I like to let them rise in the oven with the door closed so that they don't dry out.
After two hours the pain au chocolate should've doubled in size. We can now brush them with oat cream or soy milk and bake them at 200 °C (360 °F) for 15 minutes. Et voilà our super delicious vegan pain au chocolate are ready!
How to store the Croissants
The croissants can be stored either in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
- Refrigerator: Put the croissants in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Before serving, moisten with a little water and bake in the oven at 180 °C (340 °F) for 3-4 minutes until crispy.
- Freezer: put the vegan croissants in an airtight container and place in the freezer. Before serving, take the croissants out of the freezer and defrost them in the refrigerator (preferably overnight). Once defrosted, moisten the croissants with a little water and bake in the oven at 180 °C (340 °F) for 3-4 minutes.
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If you like these vegan pain au chocolate you might also like the recipe to make the best vegan croissants. Click here to check it out
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If you tried this recipe and you now know how to make the best vegan croissants ;), let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #carlocao or #vegaliciously on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
How to make vegan Pains au Chocolate
- 500 g all-purpose flour ((4 cups))
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 package dry yeast
- 300 ml water ((1 ⅕ cups))
- 2 tbsp oat cream (soy milk or maple syrup work too)
- 250 g stable margarine (NOT spreadable!) ((1 cup ))
For large Pain au Chocolate
- 100 g dark chocolate ((3 ½ oz))
For regular Pain au Chocolate
- 150 g dark chocolate ((5 oz))
- Start by making the dough. In a bowl mix flour, sugar, salt, yeast and water. Knead until the dough is elastic and smooth.
- Set the dough into a bowl, cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Meanwhile prepare the margarine block. Cut the margarine into thick slices and place them side by side onto a sheet of baking paper to form a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inches) square.
- Then wrap the margarine with the baking paper (see pictures above) and using a rolling pin, roll out the butter into a perfectly levelled 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inches) square.
- Set in the fridge.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and form it (using our hands) into a 25 x 25 cm (10 x 10 inches) square.
- Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a 45 x 25 cm (18 x 10 inches) rectangle.
- Place the block of margarine on one side of the rectangle.
- Fold the other side of the dough up and over the margarine.
- Now gently roll out the dough forming a rectangle of 45 x 25 cm (18 x 10 inches).
- Grab the bottom of the dough and fold it ¾ of the way up the rectangle. Then take the top half and fold it the remaining ¼ of the way until both ends meet.
- Then fold the long part over the short one, making a long rectangle.
- Wrap the rectangle in baking paper and let it rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
- Unpack the dough and roll it out forming a large 60 x 25 cm (24 x 10 inches) rectangle.
- Grab the bottom of the dough and fold it ⅓ of the way up the rectangle.
- Then take the top half and fold it over so that it covers completely the other one.
- You should now have a square. Wrap it in baking paper and set in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Then use a rolling pin to shape slowly and carefully the dough into a 30 x 50 cm (12 x 20 inches) rectangle.
- For large pain au chocolate: cut the dough into 5 large rectangles widthwise and cut the chocolate into 10 sticks.
- For regular pain au chocolate: cut the dough in half lengthwise, then cut the dough into 10 rectangles widthwise. Cut the chocolate into 20 sticks.
- Then starting at the base of each rectangle, place a stick of chocolate.
- Begin rolling, then place a second stick of chocolate and keep rolling making sure the end of each rectangle ends up tucked under the pain au chocolate to hold in place.
- Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving some space between each croissant.
- Brush the pain au chocolate with soy milk or water, put them in the oven and close it. Allow to rise for 2 hours or until they've doubled in size.
- Brush them with oat cream (or maple syrup/soy milk).
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C (390 °F) and bake for 15 minutes in the middle of the oven. Bake until the croissants are golden and crispy.
- Allow to cool and ENJOY!
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For step 24 you say to “put them in the oven and close it. Allow to rise for 2 hours or until they've doubled in size.”
Should the oven be on or off during this time?
Hi Martin, the oven has to be off. X Carlo
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When initially making the dough how long do you knead it? What texture should it be? Is it at all dry or flakey? Thank you! Such a yummy recipe!
Hi dear, I cannot tell you how long you have to knead it for because it really depends on your technique, just knead it until it's smooth and elastic 🙂 it should not be dry, but not too sticky either. I hope this helps. Best, Carlo
If you want to prepare them the day before so that you can bake them the next morning, at which step would you put them in the fridge overnight?
Hi Aaron, Shape them and place them on a tray covered with baking paper. Set them in the fridge to rise overnight and bake them the next morning. If they‘re not doubled in size yet just let them sit at room temperature until doubled. Let me know how they turn out. Best, Carlo
Hi! In in the middle of making these and I doubled the recipe. I added 4 cups of flour and 600ml of water to the dough and it’s too liquidity. I’m new to baking and I don’t know what to do. I think I need to add more flour but I don’t want to throw off the proportion. Could you tell me what to do?
These look delicious! My husband is a big pain au chocolate fan, so I can’t wait to try these.
Can the dough be frozen before assembling and baking? I’m hoping to make a double recipe, use half for pain as chocolate and half for my Christmas Wellington.
Dear Tonya, yes you can do it. You just have to shape them first, than freeze them on trays and then bag them. To bake them: If the kitchen is not too warm, take them out of the freezer and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper before bed. So they'll thaw and proof overnight. They'll be ready for the oven in the morning. Best, Carlo
Do I need to let yeast activate in warmed water first? Or just throw it in dry with the rest of the the ingredients?
Hi Sarah, I normally never activate dry yeast. Best, Carlo
Would this work with any type of gluten free flour?
Hi Robin, I never tried with gluten free flour so I cannot answer your question. If you try, please let me know how they turn out 🙂
Robin, I tried this recipe with a gluten free flour, and it didn’t work: the dough lacked elasticity, fell apart, and didn’t rise. I may try again adding xanthum gum.
I also tried spelt flour and it worked great! Spelt flour is not gluten free but the kind of gluten it has is less and different from that of wheat, if that helps.
In your second lamination you said the dough should be rolled into a 60cm x 25cm rectangle, which is actually 24” x 10” and NOT 24 x 18 like you mention.
Cant wait to try this. Thanks
I tried this and the chocolate I used and the chocolate I used oozed out a ton while baking, ended up on the bottom of the oven causing a ton of smoke. (I used an cookie sheet with no rim… probably should have thought about that beforehand, so my bad!)
The vegan butter (miyoko's) also seemed to leak out while cooking.
It also took much longer to bake. About 35 min. That's probably because they were under-proofed & still a bit cold when going in the oven.
Once the smoke cleared, they turned out tasty, though. I'll probably give it another go sometime.
Hi dear, it's normal for a little butter to leak, don't worry. 35 minutes sound like way too much time to bake croissants, are you sure your oven was preheated? Also if the chocolate oozed out it's because you put too much chocolate in your croissants, look at my pictures, you only need a small amount 🙂 let me know if you try them another time 🙂
Loved making these! Definitely helps to make sure the margarine is super cold. I cannot believe how flaky they turned out!
Thank you so much for your feedback! I'm so glad you loved them! Hugs, Carlo
It would help if you provide an example of a good vegan margarine brand to use. Tried to make it with the only vegan certified margarine I found at the supermarket (which did not call it a "spread") and it was a total disaster 🙁
Can you tell me exactly what went wrong, only so I can try to help you out. I use the alnatura margarine block (the one that comes in a orange package). Any margarine that gets rock hard when cold will do the job.
After I folded the dough over the margarine square and started rolling gently, the margarine got squeezed out and was all over the place. It was too soft, and all the other solid margarine blocks I found in the supermarket were not vegan. Would vegan butter work instead? I have solid blocks of those.
From what you're telling m your margarine block was definitely not cold enough. The block has to be hard. You can definitely use vegan butter. It simply has to get hard as a rock once cold. If it gets hard than you can perfectly use it for the croissants. I hope this helps 🙂