Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pain au lait: Delicious mini milk bread!

I just got this book about 2 months ago (actually my friend, who went to Japan, she saw this book and told me that it's great!, So when I ordered the book from Amazon jp. I really believe her, haha).

I want to try some recipe from this book, because the book is full of interesting recipe (and a lot of photos too). And after browsing through the book a lot of time, until I think that why don't try the easy and simple one, because if the simple one is great, the more complicate will be worth trying.
I choose the "Pain au lait" or milk bread, the soft bread that can be served as a breakfast with a cup of coffee.
If you like to make bread from the Japanese recipe you will notice that most of them will be softer than other recipe (from the western).
This bread is very soft and lightly sweet, from the kind of flour (I adapt the recipe by mixing the all purpose flour with the bread flour) and a lot of butter. All purpose flour has less gluten than the bread flour, so then bread will be soft and not chewy. You can serve this bread plain (as it has a sweet taste), or turn it in to   sweet sandwich (I think about split it in half and brush with chocolate ganache).
 As always, making bread is not hard but it take time and attention but the result that you will get is worth trying. The feeling when kneading the dough, and it transforms from the sticky mass into the soft and silky dough is like a magic, all the time that you wait for the dough to rise and getting bigger like a balloon, all of them will make your day full of delight and wander ^ ^.
And the most magical moment is when the freshly baked bread comes out of the oven and fill your home with delicious aroma, well, I think you should start baking bread now!

Pain au lait
Makes 10 small bread

230g ............................... All purpose flour
60g ................................. Bread flour
125g ................................ Whole milk
4g .................................... Instant yeast
50g ................................. Egg (about 1)
38g ................................. Sugar
5g ................................... Salt
63g ................................. Unsalted butter
........................................ Pearl sugar, for sprinkle at the top 

Mix the milk and yeast together, set aside.

Put the bread flour and sugar in a bowl, whisk to combine, add the salt whisk again. Pour the liquids mixture and egg into the bowl.
Use large spoon (or pastry scraper) to mix everything together, and knead briefly to bring all the ingredients together.
Take the dough out of the bowl and knead.

Knead by using the heel of your hands to compress and push the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself (see the picture here). Until all the dough are moisten.

Add the soften butter, give the dough a little turn and repeat. Put the weight of your body into the motion and get into a rhythm. Keep folding over and compressing the dough.

Knead for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is soft, pliable, smooth and slightly shiny, almost satiny, the dough will stop sticking to your hand.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel  or cover with the plastic bag and leave the dough to prove for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 210°C

Gently press down the dough and cut the dough into 10 pieces, let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle, about 8 cm. Fold the dough and roll into a small batard.

Cover the shaped dough; let rise until almost doubled in volume, about 30-40 minutes. Before baking, brush the dough with egg wash and use a scissor to cut the top of the dough. Sprinkle the pearl sugar on top.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the bread is golden.

Pain au lait: Delicious mini milk bread!


  1. i made these yesterday and they were yummy! they're soft and fluffy, i love soft bread :D
    thanks for the recipe!

  2. Hello Pook...
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. I've tried baking them a few days ago. Though mine doesn't look as pretty as yours, but they are yummy! Allow me to post the recipe at my blog for my future reference. Thank you and take care!

  3. loves your blog....easy to make recipe, great photos and most of step by step picture...keep on the great work!

  4. I just realised I didn't leave you a note to say that I've made these.

  5. The bread look so fluffy and soft. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  6. Do you brush them with butter after they baked?

  7. Hi, Sam I didn't brush them with butter.

  8. Aww these little cuties look so cute and I'm so eager to give them a try right on today. It seems easy to make, too.

    But, why did you use whole milk? Does it make any difference in the result (texture, taste,...) from plain milk? Because whole milk has quite high fat so I'm a bit...worried for my belly.

    Plus, why do we have to pre-heat the oven even before the second rise of the dough? Does it mean...we have to pre-heat it for approximately 1 hour...? Or this is just a mistake? So confused >.<

    Thanks for reading my questions. And I really enjoy your blogs, because of how you always choose to symplify everything, hence cooking sounds a lot easier and even more enjoyable than it already is.

    Have a nice day ^^

  9. Hi, Mou
    Whole milk has more fat (yes, I know that you're worried about it, haha), but fat make bread softer too. You can change into skim milk but the bread will be less rich and chewier.
    For preheating the oven, you don't need to preheat for 1 hour, but it will be good to have the oven ready before the bread. So, when the bread is almost double in size (it can be less than 1 hour if the weather is hot), you can put it in the oven immediately.

  10. Hi, is it warm milk that you use to put the yeast in? I tried using cold milk and the bread didn't rise much :(.

  11. It depend on the freshness of the yeast and the room temperature too, if the temperature is cool it won't rise much.

  12. May I have the name of the book that you got this recipe from? Thanks

  13. Hi, I adapted this recipe from Japanese website not from book ^^.



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