I am a few days late in posting the Petit Pain au Lait – the bread of the month for the “We Knead to Bake project”. It’s been happening a lot lately. I do cook and bake a lot. I just don’t get around to posting them or writing about them. Sometimes I don’t even get around to photographing them. That is something that does happen when family is visiting and you are busy enjoying the time together and making memories. And for me memories around food are always the best kind.
For this month’s We knead to Bake, We had the Petit Pain au Lait – or simply put Mini Milk Bread. The only thing little about this tiny bread is its size. They are extremely flavorful and soft as clouds. They are nice and gold on the outside. Though the photos don’t show the rich golden color and for that I take personal responsibility on behalf of my oven. It has been acting really weird these past few weeks and I think it’s time I got its annual physical tests done. Anyhow, back to the bread on hand.
With a crisp exterior and really cloudy soft interiors, speckles of sugar on top and a sometimes a filling of your choice – these little breads though named simply are divine in taste. I think they are quite elegant in looks as well. It is a perfect little bread to savor with your coffee. In fact, the next batch I am making tomorrow will be brought to my new neighbors who just moved in a week ago. A pack of coffee and some mini bottles of jams in various flavors and a bag of the Petit Pain au Lait. It feels good to share something delicious.
- 2/3 cup warm milk (Plus a few tea spoons more in case you need it)
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup bread flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 60gm butter, soft at room temperature
- Extra milk for brushing
- Demerara Sugar for topping (optional)
- Put the warm milk, yeast and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Using the Paddle attachment, Stir to mix.
- Add all the flour and the salt and mix until it looks crumbly. Switch to the dough hook, 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. (About 1.5 hours to 2 hours)
- Turn the dough out onto your working surface.
- Deflate the dough gently, and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Cover the dough pieces and let them rest for about 15- 20 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 until almost double in size.
- Brush them lightly with milk and using a pair of sharp scissors, make diagonal incisions on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle the Demerara sugar on top.
- Bake at 400F for about 12 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
*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 well.