March 16, 2014

Pains aux Raisins

Continuing in the myriad uses of croissant dough, we have pains aux raisins. These delicious pinwheels are filled with pastry cream and rum soaked raisins, rolled up, sliced and baked. They are the perfect breakfast treat, and you can feel good about eating them because after all, raisins are fruit!


After last week's troubles with croissant dough, this week the dough was easy to work with once more. I guess my earlier theory of too much moisture in the air was correct!

There are a few more steps to this recipe than the previous ones, so I made the rum soaked raisins and the pastry cream the day before, when I made the poolish. The next day I was ready to roll!

Rolling up the dough with the pastry cream and raisins was super sticky. The rum syrup leaked out the sides a bit and made a mess. The recipe didn't make clear exactly how to cut the dough, so I used a gentle sawing motion, which worked fine. I would have liked to chill the dough before cutting it, because it was soft and sticky, but I couldn't manage to get it off the counter without it all unraveling. I got 10 regular sized rolls and one tiny one (for me!)

After baking, they were golden brown and looked delicious! Even though I'm not a big fan of raisins, they were super tasty. Flaky and buttery, but with bursts of flavor from the raisins. A bit more decadent than plain croissants but not as much as chocolate croissants. I could envision eating two of these with some tea for breakfast in my Parisian apartment in my dreams.

Guest Baker: Mike

To make the pain aux raisins, there are two sub-recipes, Rum-soaked Raisins and Pastry Cream.  Rum-soaked raisins are easy – raisins are soaked overnight in simple syrup and a splash of rum (actually, 30 gm to be more precise).  The pastry cream uses egg yolks, vanilla bean, whole milk, and custard powder and requires constant attention over low-heat for the thickening process.

The croissants had shatteringly crispy outer flaky layers, and were buttery, rich, and delicious. I might have liked a little more pastry cream in the pain aux raisins, but this is a minor complaint. Read the full blog post here.

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