French Pains aux raisins

French Pains aux raisins
Makes: 24 pains
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
The dough
  • 200 gr milk
  • 100 gr water
  • 14 gr instant yeast
  • 40 gr sugar
  • 500 gr white flour
  • 12 gr salt
  • 250 gr butter
The pastry cream
  • 250 gr milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30 gr white sugar
  • 25 gr custard powder
  • 200 gr dried raisins
  • 1 egg
The dough
  1. Combine and mix the milk, water, the yeast and sugar. Let the yeast wake up for 5 min.
  2. Add white flour and the salt. Knead the dough until elastic and smooth, about 10 min.
  3. Warp the cold, unproven dough in cling film, and store in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight).
Shaping the butter.
  1. Remove the butter from the fridge.
  2. Roll the butter between two sheets of baking paper into a rectangle about 20x 25 cm. Store in the fridge for later or allow it to become somewhat softer and pliable.
Folding the dough
  1. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 20x50 cm. Put the butter (not too soft nor too hard) on one end of the dough and fold the top over the butter to fully encase it. Seal the edges. The dough should now be about 15x15 cm but higher than when you started. You now have three layers.
  2. Turn the dough so that the fold is at your left. Roll the dough gently again into a rectangle like the one you started with.
  3. Brush away the excess flour, moisten with a little bit of water the dough and fold the upper third of the dough again to the centre and fold the lower third on top. This completes the first turn. You now have nine layers. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 min.
  4. Turn the dough counter clockwise a quarter to get the fold at your left-hand side and repeat the rolling and folding. This completes the second turn. You now have twenty-seven layers. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 min.
  5. Turn the dough counter clockwise a quarter get the fold at your left-hand side and repeat the rolling and folding. This completes the third and last turn. You now have eighty-one layers. Store the dough in a plastic bag (overnight) in the fridge.
The pastry cream and raisins.
  1. Mix some of the cold milk with the egg yolks, sugar and custard powder.
  2. Warm the remainder of the milk.
  3. Pour in the cold milk and bring to a gentle the boil while stirring until the pastry cream thickens.
  4. Transfer it to a clean container, cover with cling film, allow to cool down and store in the fridge until fully cold.
  5. Soak the raisins for at least 30 min in lukewarm water and drain.
The assembly
  1. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it stand 10 minutes to warm up and become more workable. Roll the dough into a rectangle measuring about 30 cm by 50 long. Brush away excess flour.
  2. Spread a thin layer of pastry cream all over the dough leaving an inch free at the bottom nearest to you.
  3. Divide the raisins evenly.
  4. Roll the dough up into a cylinder shape, seal the seam and cut slices about an inch thick. Place them on a tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Let the swirls proof in a draft free sport about 90 min or until doubled in size.
  6. Brush the top with the beaten egg and bake the swirls in the oven preheated at 160 ˚C for 15-20 min or until puffed up, golden and filly cooked.
  7. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.
Stuff to know
This recipe will yield 24 pains aux raisins.
Use cold milk and water to avoid rising when you start making the dough.
If the butter is the cold, it won’t roll and destroy the dough. If it is to soft, it will ooze out of the dough.
Resting the dough in the fridge between turn allows the butter to firm up and the dough to relax.
Don’t let the pains aux raisins proof at a too high temperature or the butter will melt.
It is possible to store the uncooked and unproven pains aux raisins in the fridge overnight. Place them on the baking tray and cover them with cling film. The next morning, allow them to come to room temperature and to proof normally before baking.
This dough is essentially the same as the one used for croissants.