The pain aux raisins is one of the most underrated French pastries. No one uploads a picture of these beauties to their feed, and that’s a shame because these are glorious!
Think of flaky bread with a stretchy but airy texture, a golden crust, a hidden pastry cream layer and a few raisins here and there. That’s one good piece of bread, especially if served fresh out of the oven with a cup of French-press coffee. Here’s how to make traditional pains aux raisins, the French pastry you didn’t know you needed.
To make French pastry dough, you’ll need flour, self-rising yeast, salt, sugar and butter. Milk helps bring everything together, and a dash of vanilla is always a nice touch. You’ll also need to add an egg to give body to the dough, but making the dough is not the challenging part though, but shaping the pastry.
After you let the dough rise, you’ll need to roll the pastry dough and coat it with pastry cream and raisins. Then, roll it to create a log and cut it into several pieces. Now you’re ready to bake these beauties. If too thick, they won’t cook evenly, so don’t make your slices too big, keep in mind they’ll double in size in the oven. Fear not, you’ll get it right, and you’ll learn a lot about classic French baking specialties!
Sift the flour into a bowl and combine it with the yeast, salt, sugar, vanilla extract, butter, egg and milk.
Use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer to form a thick dough. Fold in half the raisins.
Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Flour a clean surface and roll the dough until one-half inch thick. Spread the pastry cream and top with the rest of the raisins. Roll the dough into a log and cut into two-inch slices.
Place the slices in the baking tray and bake for 35-40 minutes. Alternatively, brush the slices with egg white for a glossier look.
Cool completely before serving.