One of the things I miss the most about Paris is Paul and more particularly their pain aux raisins (or L'Escargot). I've tried it in almost every Paul boulangerie in the city as well in many other pastry shops and can definitely say that the best pains aux raisins or at least my favourite are in Paul at Palais des Congrés. They are always warm and generously glazed, shiny and crunchy. (The thing I hate the most is to walk all the way through Paris to get to Palais des Congrés and see there are none of those little rolls left.)
The glaze is what distinguishes those pains aux raisins from all others. I can't define for sure what exactly the glaze is. Sometimes I could definitely say it's quince jelly, but the next time I try it I'm sure it's fig jelly, other time – apricot one. I'm not sure if my palate is deceiving me or simply they are changing the glaze all the time. But no matter what the glaze is, it's always in abundance and those are indeed the best pains aux raisins. We've tried to replicate them many times and I think we are finally very close or maybe we've just glazed them really generously. I don't know.
And when speaking about Paris, I wouldn't have loved this city so much if it wasn't my sister living there. For me Paris always means good time with Dessi. It's been awhile since Dessi and Frederic are totally into their new project Bakchich Baba. Both of them are yoga instructors and this is the next level displaying their philosophy about life according to their principles of sustainability and fair trade. For now Bakchich Baba is just a small shop for yoga materials, accessories, spirituality pieces, but every object there has it's own history and positive energy. Sis, we wish you good luck in your new initiative!
Currently Bakchich Baba presents the exposition L'Inde Sacreé at the organic and fair trade boutique Le Papillon Vert, 18 rue Mouton-Duvernet, 75014 Paris.
Pain aux Raisins Recipe:
Makes around 8-10
For the Raisins:
- 100 gr raisins;
- 40 ml rum;
For the Pastry Cream:
- 250 ml milk;
- 1 tsp vanilla extract;
- 2 egg yolks;
- 50 gr granulated sugar;
- 20 gr all purpose flour.
In a small saucepan bring milk and vanilla extract to a simmer then pour it in a thin stream over the yolk mixture beating all the time. Return the mixture into the saucepan and cook to 85ºC (until it thickens). Place the cream in a bowl and cover tightly with stretch foil in order not to form skin. Leave to cool.
For the Pastry:
- 250 gr all purpose flour, sifted;
- 150 ml lukewarm milk;
- 35 gr granulated sugar;
- 4 gr salt;
- 6 gr fresh yeast (or 2 gr powdered dry yeast);
- 125 gr butter – for laminating the dough;
- 1 egg yolk + 1Tsp milk - for glazing before baking;
- apricot, quince or any other jam or jelly which is light in colour, or just simple syrup, for glazing after baking.
Roll the butter out between two plastic sheets to form a small rectangle, then chill in the fridge.
Lightly dust the counter with flour. Roll the dough from the four sides forming a cushion mat in the middle. Lay the butter on that mat and fold the all four sides of the dough sealing the butter inside. Roll the dough out to an A4 size rectangle then fold it like you would fold a business letter. Rotate the “letter” short side down, roll and fold again. Cover in a bowl and place in the fridge for an hour to chill.
Repeat the rolling-folding procedure two-three more times with an hour interval after each procedure.
Lightly dust the counter with flour and roll the dough out to a rectangle(around 30x35 cm). Spread an uniform thin layer of pastry cream and distribute the raisins evenly. Roll the rectangle up starting from the short side. Using a sharp knife cut the big roll to around 3 cm wide small rolls and place them to a paper lined baking pan. Cover and leave to proof for 40-50 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180º C. Glaze the rolls with the yolk-milk mixture and bake till golden brown (around 20 – 25 minutes). While still warm, glaze the rolls generously with neutral in colour jam or jelly. We did that with the liquid left from the candied orange peel we made last month.
We've linked this post to Lisa's event Sweets for Saturday where you can find many more sweet goodies and we are sending it to YeastSpotting on Wild Yeast.