Days are very hot these days and kitchen is the most hated place! I know I know, you would say how can a food blogger speak like that? Believe me friends, the heat and humidity takes away all the enthusiasm and the only thing I want to do is sip cold water and eat very light food. I’m just back from my vacation and after all the fun and relaxing, I hate to get back to the regular grind. The school would reopen in two more days and then the most hectic schedule would start.
Probably it’s the change of climate that after coming back, both I and S are under the weather. As I said, the temperature here is quite high and more than that the humidity is killing. The sweating enervates me completely. Moreover, the heat causes dryness in my eyes leading to severe headaches, so I have to ensure that I keep washing my eyes, drink loads of water and also put eye drops at regular intervals.
I was feeling very low because of the high temperature and my eye problem, so thought that I would complete my this month's ‘We Knead To Bake Challenge’. I hope you remember, I always have said that baking is therapeutic for me and I did indulge in baking believing that it would leave me energized but not this time. The sole happiness came by looking at the kid, who loved eating the bread.
Anyways, the bread was all the worth as it was devoured by the kid. The Petit Pains Au Lait (Petit Pains means bread roll and Au Lait means milk in french) basically means a milk bread or roll. The bread is golden brown outside and soft, flaky inside because of the way the dough is rolled and shaped. The dough, which is an enriched kind because of the addition of butter and milk, is itself quite easy to handle.
The rolls can be shaped differently, patterned, stuffed with custard/ chocolate or sprinkled with sugar, the choice is completely up to baker. I made a pattern on mine (which I should have made more deeper) and sprinkled with some sugar crystals but if one has some decorative sugars, those can be added too.
Petit Pains Au Lait or French Milk Bread/Roll
Preparation Time:10mins | Rising Time:1:30hrs | Baking Time:15-20mins | Makes:10 | Serves:3-4 | Difficulty Level: Moderate
Ingredients ( Recipe adapted from Gourmet by Kat)
2/3 cups of warm milk (one might need a little more; I used milk slim milk)1- 2/3 cups of all purpose flour (maida)
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup bread flour*
1/4 tsp salt
60gms of unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
Extra milk for brushing
sugar crystals for topping (optional)
Sift the flours. (*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 warm milk, yeast and sugar together and whisk it to mix the sugar or pulse it in the food processor.
One can mix the dough with hands but I used my food processor. Tip in the flours and salt and knead the dough. If required add more warm milk ( I didn't need any extra milk). Knead well for 3-4mins and then add the butter and let it mix in the dough.
Place the dough in an oiled container and cover it. Let the dough rise to double it's volume.This can take anywhere between 1-2 hours depending on the temperature of the room. Mine was double in less than an hour.
Punch down the dough and then knead it well once. I used my kitchen station to do that.
Divide the dough into two equal parts.
Divide the two equal parts further into 5 parts. Thus one gets 10 parts in total.
Make balls using each part and then roll using a rolling pin to a disc of width 4inches.
Start rolling the disc from one end to the other. Seal the ends and place the rolls with the seam side down.
Loosely cover the rolls and let them rise to double the size. Apply milk on the roll using a brush.
Using scissors make pattern on the roll, make deep cuts else the gaps get filled during baking and the pattern disappears.
Bake the rolls in a preheated oven at 200C for 15-20mins or less, till the bread turns golden brown in color.