Monday, 15 October 2012

Pain au Raisin

I feel like I need to write a list.... of things I should make lists of. Not just things to do but life goals and inspiring quotes and idioms to live by and TV shows to watch and.... Other things that will improve the quality of my life. Sometimes I feel like my life is like when you go to the shop and you know that you really need something at home, like loo roll or milk or something but you just can't remember what it is. And as soon as you get home and slam the door behind you, you remember. And its frustrating.

Anyway back to baking, these pain au raisin are a rainy afternoon project. The puff pastry will not be rushed. Like a fine wine.... Or a narcissistic man.

325g strong white bread flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 x 7g sachet fast action yeast
42g caster sugar
About 210ml lukewarm water
250g unsalted butter cold but not hard

1. To make the pastry sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the yeast and sugar.
2. Then slowly stream in enough water to make the dough come together to a sticky but pliable dough.
3. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to double in size for about one hour in a warm place.
4. After an hour punch the air out of the dough and chill for one hour.
5. Just before the hour is up take out the slab of butter and place between two sheets of clingfilm. Beat with a rolling pin until 10cm x 20cm. Pop back into the fridge.
6. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle 10 x 30cm. Slide the butter over to cover two-thirds of the dough. Fold like an envelope and press the edges together to seal in the butter- I set out some photographs here- Folding Puff Pastry.
7. Put back in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then repeat the rolling and folding twice more.

For the creme patisserie
10g plain flour
10g cornflour
30g caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
150ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp raisins

1. Mix the flour, cornflour, sugar egg yolks and one third of the milk together to make a paste.
2. Heat the rest of the milk in a pan until just boiling. Pour into the egg yolk mix whisking all the time. Unless you want milky sweet scrambled eggs- which you don't. Pour back into a clean pan that is cool on the bottom and cook gently over a medium heat, whisking all the time until thickened- it will only take a minute or two.
3. Add the vanilla and cover with a piece of greaseproof paper. Allow to cool.

To assemble
1. Roll out half of the dough to a large rectangle with the dough about half an inch thick. Smooth over half of the creme patissiere and sprinkle the raisins. Roll up on the long side like these cinnamon buns I made Maple and Cinnamon Buns then cut into thick discs, about 3/4 inch thick.
2. Leave to rise for 20 minutes on greaseproof.
3. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
4. At the end of the rising time brush with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven at 200oC for 20-25 minutes until golden. The filling might seep out. Take carefully off the baking tray and cool on a wire rack.


  1. These look so good! Don't spoil the british bake off final, I'm saving it for saturday morning!