Rock’s post: Pain au Raisin (Danish Pastries)

There is some difference between french Canadian and the french from France.  What we call “danoise” in Quebec is actually called “pain au raisin” in France.  Our friend Krista is dating a french, Alex who is very nice guy,  and  she asked me to pick up a “pain au raisin” for her…  I could not find it so a brought a “danoise”.  So now I bake some very good danoise but today I will call it pain au raisin for her.

20 gr of yeast  /  625 g of strong white flour plus extra for dusting  /  1.5 tsp of salt  /  75 g of caster sugar  /  500 g of butter  /  water to mix  /

For the filling:  250 g of sultanas or raisins  /  1.5 tbsp of cinnamon  /  1 egg beaten for eggwash  /  100 g of marmalade or apricot jam

For the custard:  2 cups of milk  /  2 egg yolks  /  0.5 cup of sugar  /  1 tbsp of flour  /  1 tsp of vanilla extract

Icing sugar for presentation

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The dough is actually my croissant dough recipe.  Don’t need to go back reviewing the old post,  I write it for you again:

Dilute the yeast in warm water.  In a large bowl, put the flour, salt and sugar.  Using a wooden spoon, slowly mix with the yeast water until the dough becomes pliable.  Add water is required to reach the pliable stage.  Set the dough on a lightly flour surface and knead until it feels elastic.  Put the dough back in the bowl and put in the fridge for a hour.

This is the right time to make the custard.  This is a very easy way to make a tasteful custard.  Heat the milk in a sauce pan while stirring until it almost boils.  Remove from the heat.  In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, sugar and flour until to get a consistent mixture, it will look like a yellow paste.  Whisk it in the hot milk.  Cook over medium heat, don’t stop whisking., until it comes to a simmer.  Cook for one more minute or until of get a very creamy texture.  Add the vanilla.  At that point I added the cinnamon too, the result was a very nice custard but next time I won’t add the cinnamon in the custard.  I will just sprinkle the cinnamon over the pain au raisin before baking instead.  Put the custard in the fridge until the last step of the pastry.

Get back to the dough.  Take the chilled dough out of the fridge to the lightly flour surface and roll it into a rectangle 60 x 31 cm.  Take the butter, split it 1 cm thick slices, set on the middle third of the flattened dough.  Bring the uncovered third of the dough over the centre third and then fold the other third over, like the way you fold a letter.   So now you have three layers of dough.  Return the dough in the fridge for a hour.

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After the waiting, flatten the dough in the rectangular shape again, turn it 90 degree and fold it again in three layers.  You will need to repeat the process  three more times.  After the last time, return the dough in the fridge for the night (about 8 hours).

The next morning, flatten the dough in 3mm thick rectangular.  Spread the custard over and sprinkle with sultanas, raisins and cinnamon.  Roll the dough in a nice log.  Cut the log into 2.5 cm thick slices.  Set on a baking sheet to rise for 90 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 400F.  Brush the pain au raisin with the egg wash and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.  Transfer to a cooling rack and brush with marmalade jam.  The real recipe is made with apricot jam but I just really like marmalade…  When the pastries are cool, you can sprinkle some icing sugar over them or make a simple icing sugar mix with water.

Like the croissant, you need to start the process the day before, but you won’t work in vain, the result is an amazing pastries…

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