Pain Suisse

For our classic take on Pain Suisse, we use the original brioche dough to create buttery bookends for a vanilla bean and chocolate chip dotted custard. A bit of orange zest adds a touch of citrus to the dough, while a coating of Orange Blossom Simple Syrup introduces a delightfully complimentary floral note.

Pain Suisse
Makes 8 pastries
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 grams) warm whole milk (110°F/43°C to 115°F/46°C)
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons (4.5 grams) instant yeast
  • 6 teaspoons (24 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 to 21⁄3 cups (250 to 292 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) tightly packed orange zest (about 1 medium orange)
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature and divided
  • 1⁄3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream (Recipe follows)
  • 1⁄3 cup (61 grams) 60% to 64% cacao mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
  • Orange Blossom Simple Syrup (Recipe follows)
  1. In a small bowl, stir together warm milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon (4 grams) sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups (250 grams) flour, salt, orange zest, and remaining 5 teaspoons (20 grams) sugar. Add warm milk mixture and 2 eggs (100 grams); using the paddle attachment, beat at low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium-low speed until dough becomes smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky, about 15 minutes; add up to remaining 1⁄3 cup (42 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky. Add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, beating until combined after each addition (7 to 8 minutes total). Beat until a smooth, elastic dough forms, 12 to 14 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 5 to 8 times. Shape dough into a smooth round.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  5. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Whisk Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream until smooth.
  7. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, gently roll dough into a 12x10-inch rectangle, one long side closest to you. Using a knife or offset spatula, evenly spread Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream over dough, leaving a 1⁄2-inch border along both long sides. Sprinkle chocolate chips over bottom half of pastry cream, and gently press down with your hand, making sure chocolate completely adheres to pastry cream. Fold top half of dough over to cover pastry cream and chocolate. Lightly press seam to seal. Using a long knife or pastry wheel, cut into 8 (5x1 1⁄2-inch) strips. Place strips 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Loosely cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 45 to 55 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. In a small bowl, gently whisk together 1 tablespoon water and remaining 1 egg (50 grams). Lightly brush egg wash over dough. 10. Bake until tops are golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 30 to
  10. minutes. Using a pastry brush, immediately brush a thin layer of Orange Blossom Simple Syrup on top of pastries. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Serve warm, or remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
Makes 1 cup
  • 3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 grams) whole milk
  • 1⁄4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large egg yolks (56 grams), room temperature
  • 5 teaspoons (15 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk, 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steaming. (Do not boil.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar. Add hot milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture starts to boil. Cook, whisking constantly, until cornstarch flavor has cooked out, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium heatproof bowl. Stir in butter until completely combined. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cooled, at least 1 hour. Whisk well before using.


Note: If you’d prefer to prep ahead, both the pastry cream and the dough can be made a day in advance and refrigerated overnight.

Orange Blossom Simple Syrup
Makes 1⁄3 cup
  • 1⁄4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) water
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) orange blossom water
  1. In a small saucepan, heat sugar, 3 tablespoons (45 grams) water, and orange blossom water over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes.


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