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The "healthy" pain au chocolat

July 15, 2009

A (13 months) has the most lovely new trick.

Forget walking or talking or managing to encrust banana in his hair for an entire seven hours before I notice it.  A’s new trick is much more exciting that those tried-and-true baby milestones.

A has learned to sleep in* until 8 or 9 each morning.

*Some of you may disagree over my terminology here given that A still wakes up once or twice each night to nurse.  However, if I have the chance to get in a shower after the sunrise yet before my children awake, then I’m gonna call A’s achievement ’sleeping in’.

I’ve taken advantage of my quiet mornings with leisurely cups of coffee (oh, how I’ve missed them so!), crossword puzzles and Sudoku (hello, brain cells!), and flips through my mom’s stash of People magazine (don’t judge).

And sometimes, when M (3 years old) joins me, I take advantage of my somewhat-quiet morning to spend some one-on-one time with my older son.

Yesterday, I did just that when he and I decided to bake together.

After glancing through my mom’s Cooking Light cookbooks a few days ago, I discovered a recipe for “Chocolate-filled buns.”  While the editors at my very favorite magazine may not have bestowed the most glamorous title upon these scrumptious treats, they did publish a recipe (created by Christina Erickson of Los Banos, CA) that helps to satisfy my craving for pain au chocolat in a relatively low-calorie and low-fat whole wheat bun!  (We get to call it a “healthy” snack if we use whole wheat flour to make it…right?!)

Although I do not possess the food-blogger chops to describe the deliciousness of the chocolate-filled buns in mouth-watering detail, I do have the ability–and the generosity–to copy the recipe here on my blog.


Chocolate-filled buns (from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 packages quick-rise yeast
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 1/4 cups bread flour
Cooking spray
3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I might try dark chocolate next time.)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1. Lightly spoon whole wheat flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

2. Combine milk, 1/2 cup water, butter, and oil in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until mixture is warm (100-110 degrees).  Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir 1 minute.  Add egg; stir 1 minute.  Lightly spoon bread flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Add bread flour to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms.  Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 2 minutes.  (Not surprisingly, the kneading was M’s favorite part of making our “chocolate bread”!)

3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; lightly coat top of dough with cooking spray.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 375.  (This seems like an awfully early time to preheat the oven, but whatevs.  I waited until the buns were almost finished rising to preheat the oven.)

5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and punch down.  Divide dough into 16 equal portions; shape each portion into a ball.  Working with one ball at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll dough into a 5-inch circle.  Place about 1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate in the center of circle.  Roll up dough tightly, jelly-roll fashion; pinch seams to seal.  Place buns, seam sides down, on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray.  Tuck ends under.

6. Lightly coat buns with cooking spray; cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in size.  Lightly brush tops of buns with egg white.

7. Bake at 375 for 17 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

8. Try not to eat all 16 servings in one sitting.

One Comment leave one →
  1. renbeth permalink
    July 16, 2009 8:12 am

    Looks tasty! We’ll have to try them out sometime soon.

    And kudos on A’s sleeping in. Isaac is sleeping through most of the time now, but is still up and chattering at 6 am (if not earlier).

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