Friday, July 4, 2014

Petit Pains Au Lait (Little Buns of Milk)

(Bread # 17: We Knead to Bake)

The monsoons have hit Kolkata with a vengeance. Its raining torrentially almost every evening. And my little S feels the saddest because she is not able to play in the park. Almost everyday it rains when it time for her to go to the park!!!!

To cheer her up, we (her Dad and I) play all sorts of indoor games with her. When its raining hard outside, we all feel like munching on all sorts of snacks. So pakoras, muri-maakha, chire bhaaja, and other such savories are being made almost every evening. So its crunchy-munchy time, all the time...calories can go for a toss.

This recipe was Bread # 17 at the We Knead to Bake group. I had bookmarked the recipe for a long time but one thing led to another and I never got around to posting the recipe.

Petit pains au lait literally means little buns of milk. These buns or rolls are made up of milk and butter. I mean literally, only water is added to the dough. As a result, you get a lovely rich consistency and pillowy soft buns. They are relatively easy to make.


These buns are designed to make them look very pretty. Take a look at this video to see how to create the pattern. Also, see this video.

I referred to Aparna's detailed recipe that you can view here. I also referred to the original recipe here.

Here is the recipe:


2/3 cup warm milk (you might need a little more; I used toned milk)
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup bread flour*(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.)
1/4 tsp salt
60gm butter, soft at room temperature ( I used a little more than half of a 100 gram bar of Amul butter)
Extra milk for brushing
Pearl sugar for topping (optional)  (I used normal granulated sugar)


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. Let them rest for 15 minutes.

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.

Pre-heat the oven for 10 minutes at 200C. Bake them at 200C (400F) 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.

This recipe makes 10 Petit Pains au Lait. They’re best eaten the same day, though you could warm them up and serve the next day.

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