23 maggio 2014

Petits Pains au Lait - French Sweetbread

la ricetta in italiano qui

So glad to be back again baking with Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen's group We Knead to Bake.
For this month the challenge was about Petis Pains au Lait, a simple and very easy French bread, ideal for breakfast or teatime. The dough is slightly rich and sweet but not as rich as brioche dough and do go for a little pearl sugar on top, will be then more elegant and greedy.
My scissor cuts were not so deep and you can hardly notice (I was a little afraid to make a mess) as the little buns still grow while baking, so be more determinate to have a lovely pattern.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet by Kat.

petits pains au lait

Serving 10 Pains au Lait:

2/3 cup warm milk 
(you might need a little more)
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup bread flour *
1/4 tsp salt
60 g butter, soft at room temperaturee
extra milk for brushing
pearl sugar for topping (optional) **

* If you don’t have bread flour, put 2/3 tsp vital wheat gluten in your 3/4 cup measure and top up with all-purpose flour. Mix this well. If you don’t have vital wheat gluten, then just use 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.

**This topping is optional. The pearl sugar looks pretty and adds a little crunch. You can also use large crystals of sugar or a bit of regular granulated sugar.

petits pains au lait

You can knead by hand or use a machine. I used my hand food processor. 
Put the warm milk, yeast and sugar in the bowl. Pulse a couple of times to mix. Then add all the flour and the salt and run the processor until it looks crumbly. Add the butter and knead until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough that’s not sticky. Add a little more milk (in teaspoonful at a time), if your dough is dry, until you have the required consistency of dough.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat with oil. Cover loosely and set aside to rise until double in volume. This should take about 1 1/2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto your working surface. You shouldn’t need any flour, but if you feel the need, just lightly dust your palms with it. Deflate the dough gently, and divide it into 10 equal pieces (about 70 g each). Let them rest for 15 minutes.

 making petits pains au lait

Roll out each piece of dough, one at a time, into a circle about 4” in diameter. Slowly roll up the circle from one end, Swiss roll/ jelly roll style into a cylinder. Pinch the seam closed neatly, and place them on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet with the seam side facing down. Cover loosely and let them rise for an hour or so till almost double in size.
Brush them lightly with milk and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts (not too deep) on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle pearl sugar/granulated sugar.
Bake them at 200° C (400° F) for about 15 minutes or so until they’re golden brown. Let them cool on a rack. Serve them warm or at room temperature with coffee or chilled flavoured milk, or at breakfast.
They’re best eaten the same day, though you could warm them up and serve the next day.

This recipe also goes to Susan's weekly YeastSpotting

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