Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Pain Au Raisin/ Raisin Roll

                               It was  a sweet surprise, when I had this danish pastry in Pondicherry last month. A union territory, that was formerly a french colony,  it’s a two and a half hour drive from Chennai to this beautiful city to explore, shop, admire the french influenced architecture, sink in the aroma of Auroville’s natural products and marvel at the peaceful co-existence of two cultures; the french and the tamil. Though not the first time, this trip to pondy was different as I exploited my visit to get my first taste of many french foods and even carried back some baked food from the famous 'Baker Street'. But nothing swept my heart like the Raisin roll and I knew it won’t be long before I make my own and I made it last week on my birthday. Not that I was celebrating, which is totally not me, but the fact that, there will be more people around to share the food made me fix that day.  Danish pastries are made using a croissant dough and having made a croissant before, just made some additions to the croissant recipe to make this sweet and buttery pain au raisin.

Flour                                  300 g
Milk                                   100 ml
Water                                 100 ml
Sugar                                 4 tbsp
Salt                                    1tsp
Melted butter                   35 g
Fast action dried yeast    7 g (1 sachet)
Cold butter                       150 gms
Raisins                               4 tbsp
Juice of                              1 small orange (optional)
Egg 1 + milk 1/2tbsp for egg wash

Whisk flour and the salt.
To about 50ml of lukewarm water , add a tbsp of sugar and the yeast and leave it to rise for about 10 - 15 minutes.
Add the remaining sugar to the milk and stir to dissolve.
Add the milk, melted butter and the yeast to the flour mixture.
Add the remaining 50 ml of water and knead to a soft dough for about 10 minutes.
( It will be quite sticky for the first 5 minutes, continue to knead and it will soften up gradually)
Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover and leave it to rise for about 2 hours.
Soak the raisins in orange juice.

From here onwards the procedure is same as croissant.
Shape the butter into a square and chill it.
Knead the dough lightly, roll into a square, place the butter in the middle and wrap the dough around the butter.
Flip it over and roll into a rectangle shape and fold 1/3 on both the ends and close it like a book. If the butter is soft and melting, chill for 30 to 40 minutes.

Roll again into a rectangle, fold one end in 3rds and close with the other end. Chill if necessary.
Repeat this rolling and folding for three more times. Chill and use flour to dust whenever necessary.
Finally, roll the dough to a big square, spread the custard on the rolled out pastry dough and sprinkle the soaked raisins.
Cut out strips of an inch wide, and roll the strips like a coil, place it on a  greased baking tray, continue the same with the rest of the dough. Generally, the entire dough is rolled and then cut out into small rolls, but I think my method is much easier.
Whisk the egg and the milk lightly and brush the rolls with this mixture and after 15 minutes, bake for about 15-17minutes at 200*c in  a preheated oven.
For the custard
Can use eggless custard or custard made using custard powder also.
Cream                    200ml
Egg yolks               3
Caster sugar          1/3 cup
Flour                      2tbsp
Butter                     1tbsp
Vanilla                    1tsp

Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Stir in the flour.
Heat the cream and just as it begins to boil lightly remove from heat and add in to the egg mixture, stir until everything is mixed.
On medium heat, stir the custard continuously until it is thick. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes to thicken to a consistency that is required to spread on the roll.
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and the butter, cover with a tight lid, when it is cool, chill in the refrigerator until required.

The dough can be prepared a day or a few days ahead and stored in the freezer until required.
Make sure to chill the dough, every time before rolling and folding to prevent the butter from melting.
For the custard can use full cream milk also.
Can use up to 1/2 cup of sugar for a really sweet custard.

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Hiya all,
Finally on this day of october the 1st, 2012, I have decided to include the comment form, after a long gap of two years. But, I am going to be a bit selfish here and keep all those nice and lovely things that is said for me and only me to cherish and will be sharing any queries that requires clarifications and your experience about the food if you have tried my recipes. So, drop in a word if you have anything to say and thanks a lot for stopping by.
"Have a nice day"

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