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Pain Viennois

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Pain Viennois are richer breads and pastries. They are developed from methods originally brought over from Austria. You will find this bread throughout France.

The dough is very versatile and can be formed into a variety of shapes and sizes. Make a large round loaf to serve with dinner. Make small cigar shaped loaves to eat as snacks, or fill and take for lunch.

This dough may be used as an alternative to brioche.

The French serve the small loaves as after school snacks. They slice the small loaves length wise and place a thin chocolate bar inside. I have found that Nutella spread also works very well.

This is very wet dough so do not try to knead it by hand. Use a stand mixer to knead the dough, or follow the directions below.

It is best to weigh all of the dry ingredients for this dough.

This Recipe will produce 2 large Pain Viennois or 12 individual rolls.

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk not hot

1/4 ounce of active dry yeast (do not use the rapid rise yeast)

1 pound 2 ounces of bread flour

4 ounces of unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 ounces superfine sugar

1/3 ounce salt

2 large eggs

Directions:

Place the warm milk, sugar, and instant yeast into a large mixing bowl. Stir mixture until dissolved; allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.

Next add the flour and salt until combined. Mix the eggs into the dough until a wet, sticky dough forms. The dough will appear to be very wet.

Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto an un-floured surface. Do not add more flour. You will start working the dough by stretching then folding it over onto itself. This traps air in the dough and it will become smooth, supple, and cohesive.

Slide your fingers underneath both sides of your dough.

With your thumbs toward you, raise the dough off of the surface about 12 inches. In one continuous motion, swing the dough down, slapping bottom of the dough onto your work surface. Then swing dough back up and over itself in an arc.  This will trap air in the dough. Set the dough back onto the work surface and repeat the lifting, slapping, and swinging. Using a bench scraper to scrape the work surface as needed. Continue until the dough is soft and supple. It should start to bounce back slightly off of the work surface without sticking when it is ready. This will take about 10 minutes.

Place your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into a ball by the folding edges, into center of the dough. Press down with your thumb, rotating the dough until all edges have been folded over and you have a dough ball.

Turning the dough ball over, place it into a lightly floured bowl. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let rise in a warm, draft free place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size

Once the dough is ready place it on clean very lightly floured surface. Now cut your dough into either 2 large pieces, or 12 small pieces, or 1 large piece, and 6 small pieces.

With the large pieces of dough shape them into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. To shape the small pieces, flatten each piece into a rectangle with your hands. Working along the length of the dough; fold 1/3 of the rectangle over to the center of the dough. Repeat with the other side. When both sides are folded, press the dough lightly to create a seam down the center. Now with your hands mold each piece into a cigar shape. Place these rolls onto lightly oiled baking pan.

Brush the Pain Viennois loaves or rolls with an egg wash. With a sharp knife make a few small deep cuts diagonally along the top of each loaf or roll and place in a warm draft free place for 1 hour. Do not cover.

Pre-heat your oven to 425F.

When the Pain Viennois loaves, or rolls are ready, brush with another egg wash.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 10 - 15 minutes for the rolls, 20 – 25 minutes for the loaves. They are ready when the tops are golden/dark brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Remove the Pain Viennois from the oven and place the loaves or roll on a rack to cool.

Enjoy!

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