I’d had a big lunch and didn’t fancy dinner. I know, I’ll make pain au raisin.
Not that I had much of an idea where to start; digging through some old magazines I found a great article on making your own danish pastries. Turns out it’s a lot like making croissants: tons of butter rolled into puff pastry. Roll, fold, rest, roll, fold, rest… lots of interim rolling stages.
But was it worth it? Sure they were tasty (anything with that much butter and sugar has to) but given the relative cost of buying them from a baker’s versus the time and effort you put in, they were significantly better than what you can buy. An interesting experiment, but not one I think I’ll be repeating.
Pain au raisin (makes about 16):
For the dough:
7g sachet yeast
3 teaspoons caster sugar
110ml milk at room temperature
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the filling:
75g caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
- Whisk the yeast, sugar, egg and milk together and cover loosely. After ten minutes it should be quite heady.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt together and stir in the milky yeast. Combine to a soft dough and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Chill and rest in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Roll into a rectangle and dot the top two-thirds with butter. Fold both ends into the middle and roll into a rectangle again. Cover and chill for another 30 minutes. Repeat that process 3 more times, before leaving the pastry to rest overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Beat the butter, sugar and cinnamon together. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle again and spread the mixture all over it. Scatter with raisins and roll up into a sausage. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1cm thick slices and move to a baking tray. Brush with egg and bake for 20 mins until golden brown and puffy. As you get it out of the oven to cool sprinkle with sugar.