Brioche dough vs Croissant dough

A popular viennoiserie like Pain aux Raisins can be made with either brioche dough (sweet bread) or croissant dough (flaky puff pastry). Take your pick.

Brioche dough is made of :

Flour T45, Yeast, Salt, Granulated sugar, Eggs, softened butter and some water.

Chef starts adding in a Kitchen Aid (using hook attachment) flour, yeast, salt, sugar and add eggs gradually. Adding a little bit of water to pick up the dry ingredients. It takes around 15-20 mins or until the dough is not sticking to the side of the bowl. Then, add the softened butter little by little gently kneading but not excessively. Your dough is done once butter is mixed in and you should here the dough making a slapping sound against the bowl. It’s ready!

Place the dough in a prover. If you don’t have a prover you just need to create a warm environment for the dough to rise. You can for example put plastic over the dough with air surrounding it.

When the dough has risen, punch it down (“rompre” or “rabattre” in French) and put in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Punch it down again a second time, shape and rise at 30°C.

Baking 220°C for around 5 minute and then turn down to 180°C to finish

Note: In a recipe similar to this one you may see instructions to make a “yeast starter”  or in French a “poolish” this is mixing the yeast with a little water and a little flour from the recipe.

 Croissant dough or in french it’s called either, Pâte à croissants or Pâte levée feuilletée, this is made of:

Flour (farine) sifted type T45 and type T55, Salt (sel), Sugar (sucre), Yeast (levure), Milk (lait)

Pâte à lever feuillettée translates to dough rising pastry sheets, the rising is due to the yeast.

Knead a détrempe with the sifted flour, salt, sugar, yeast and add milk gradually**.

** Sift together flour and salt then make a well. Add the sugar in the well. Now add milk. You can add a tiny part warm water to your yeast before adding to the well. Warning: Do not mix the salt and the yeast together because the salt kills the yeast.

Stop kneading once the dough is homogenous and give body to the dough – measure temperature 23°C – 25°C.
Let the dough rise in a temperature environment.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and keep it in the fridge for use the next day.
Add the butter as in the feuilletage procedure.
Give one double turn and one simple turn.
Let the pâton rest in the fridge for half hour, taking care to cover it with plastic film.
Roll out the dough (60cm x 40cm) and cut to size/shape. Place the croissants on a baking sheet and egg wash a first time.
Let croissants rise about two hours in a prover at 25°C.
Egg wash a second time and bake at 220°C.


These instructions are taken from the cookbook Pastry Recipes Anglophone Pâtisserie created by Ferrandi Chef Averty.

Brioche Suisse

IMG_2373Since starting the pastry course I’ve had many, ‘Aaahh haaa, so that’s how you do it!, moments, when something is finally revealed to you after having wondered about it.

Brioche Suisse is one of those ‘Aaah Haaa!’ moments. I found out how you get those swirls into a round pastry cake – rolling dough into itself and then cutting rounds and placing them neatly in a round baking tin and as they cook they will expand and stick together, and VOILA you have one whole brioche cake, or Brioche Suisse! I refer to the very last photo.

In class, we could choose the flavour to fill the Brioche Suisse. I chose to layer my brioche dough with a marmalade confiture (made in an earlier class) and over this I sprinkled chocolate pelettes (64% Cacoa Barry). The scent of sweet oranges soaked in syrup & Cointreau and chocolate is such a perfect combination and agrees to every pheromone.

Once we finished layering the filling, we rolled the dough into itself. Then, divided into 7 rounds and placed them touching in a cake tin.  Then, into the proover. And before popping them into the oven, a coat of EGGWASH. And I write EGGWASH in capitals because it’s one of the steps frequently forgotten by students. We’re just too much in a hurry to get our little beauties baked and eaten!

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Brioche Suisse recipe:
22cm diameter baking dish
Brioche dough, 300g
Pastry cream, 70g
Chocolate buttons, as many as you like
Rum soaked raisins, 50g
Layer of dough 20cm by 20cm


This recipe is from the student class recipe book, Anglo Pastry 2013, created by Chef Patissier, D. Averty of l’ecole FERRANDI . The recipe can be subject to change at the discretion of the Chef or any other Chef at any time. The success of this recipe depends on a number of factors such as the quality of ingredients, temperature and quality of appliances, temperature of the kitchen, skill of the student and/or patissiere and  timing. This recipe does not include additional notes taken by miss pirisi at the time of making the recipe.

Pain aux Raisins like escargots

They are shaped like escargots. They unwind like a yo-yo but you pull them apart like scotch tape. These puff pastry escargots are perfect when you envy the flakiness and crispiness of a croissant but you are famished and really want something more substantial. Pain aux Raisins, or as I call them, Escargots, have their interior filled with light pastry cream (cream patissiere) and rum soaked raisins.

I was really impressed with what we made today, and I think Chef’s recipe is the best Pain aux Raisins I’ve had – and i’ve been eating them since I was a kid. I believe it’s due to our puff pastry dough (plus my technique!), and a our pastry cream. The pastry cream uses no butter, and little flour but we add a full vanilla bean which gives a good full round flavour. Plus, the rum soaked raisins give that extra Ooomf.

Yesterday, we made the Pain au Raisins with Brioche dough, but I prefer the Pain aux Raisins of today because we made it with Croissant dough. As usual, make the detrempe and encase the butter inside of it. Then, roll out. Do a single turn, then a double turn. After refrigeration we rolled out the dough to the size of our wired racks. We then halved the dough horizontally. With one half we made traditional croissants (almond croissants for tomorrow) and the other half was to make the Pain aux Raisins, as shown below. We took our one half and spread a thin layer of pastry cream (mix well in a bowl to obtain spreadable texture). Then, from a pre-prepared batch we took a handfull of rum soakd raisins and sprinkled them over the pastry cream. Then, rolled the dough into itself. Cut into 9 pieces. Onto a baking tray with baking paper. Egg washed. Into the oven prover for 2 hours. Then, into the oven. And PUFF! you have puff pastry escargot beauties.

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6 pieces
Brioche or croissant* dough
Pastry Cream (Creme patissiere)
Sultanas or raisins

Roll out the dough about 15cm by 40 cm
Spread out the pastry cream in a thin layer
Sprinkle with raisins
Roll the dough on itself to make a roll
Cut in six slices
Place the slices on a buttered baking sheet and eggwash a first time
Let the pain aux raisins rise about two hours in a prover** at 30C
Egg wash a second time and bake at 220C
Finish with a blong glaze, syrup or glace a l’eau

* In class we preferred the pain aux raisins made with croissant dough.
** A prover is professional equipment, it looks like a fridge. If the prover is not available we can create our own type of proving action: cover the pain aux raisins with a plastic bag (the pastries are on racks and those racks are on a tall trolley and over the trolley we put a plastic film/bag).

[This recipe is the owner of Chef Patissier Averty from l’ecole FERRANDI. Last updated, February 2013]. 

Pain au Chocolat

It’s a short blog tonight. I’m very tired. My eyelids are drooping since 8pm. But, commited I am or at least I try to be , it’s my way of revising what we do in class each day. The alarm clock goes off at 6am so that I can be in class by 8am. Add minus (-) degree temperatures plus I’m working from my bed managing my laptop and a bowl of Poireaux St Jacques soup, I’m as they say in French, “on va faire do-do”, about to doze off. Whether you’re in Cuisine or Pastry you are well tired by the end of your day. But, I believe it to be a good tired. You do a lot, you learn a lot and you produce a lot. For example, today we continued on the Viennoserie route making Pain au Chocolate and various types of Brioche.

I always wanted to know how you make Pain au Chocolat. Voila, secret revealed. To make the pastry dough for Pain au Chocolat, we followed the same Pate Feuillette recipe for Croissants, so the detrempe measurements were: 500g of flour [250gT45 + 250gT55], 12 of salt, 50g of sugar, 15g of yeast and 300g of milk and table of butter to incorporate (or to be encased) into the detrempe.

I found rolling out the dough challenging as it’s always retracting or shrinking and that’s partly because it’s quite elastic. It’s a constant fight with the dough. I know my colleagues have similar problems. Chef was saying something today regarding the T45 flour, that perhaps there’s too much gluten in the dough which makes dough more strong/tough, and next time we’ll try using only the T55.

Another thing that’s not so obvious to the average customer is knowing how to get those little chocolat batons side by side into the Pain au Chocolat.

Here’s a couple of steps from today’s class. Bonne Soir.

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Brioche, the sweet bread of French breakfast. I have to agree with my international classmates here that I don’t get what all the fuss is about, why so many French just love Brioche and seem to only eat this as their dietary breakfast along with some wholesome black coffee. Of course, there’s the added confiture to have with the brioche. So, of course when it came time to making it today, I knew this was like my Bapstism/initiation to French culture. Alomst every Frenchie knows how to make or at least has seen a brioche made in their home.

In a KitchenAid [KA] bowl we added: 250g of flour [T45], 10g of yeast, 5g of salt, 25g of granulated sugar and 175g of eggs. All this was mixed for easily 15-20minutes using the hook attachment on the KA. Once the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl, we added softened butter pieces by piece, altogether we had 150g of butter. This recipe makes enough for one person. In class, we usually double or triple the recipe to share between 2 people. The dough is ready when it starts to make a slapping noise hitting the sides of the bowl as the mixer turns. The dough was then removed from the bowl, and with the hands we pick up the dough and throw it to the bench and as we do we roll our hands over the ball, and repeat this. It’s difficult to explain this step because it’s even more difficult to actually do. Then, we putt the dough in an open plastic box. We put a plastic wrap tightly over it. We allow the dough to rise. When the dough has risen, we punch the dough a few times to deflate. Put it back in the fridge. The recipe says overnight, but in a classroom that’s not always possible.  Then we begin to shape in tins.

We’ve made two forms of Brioche today, the first is what I call, le petit bon homme which is baked in a flower shape tin, and when the dough is formed it sort of looks like a sunflower. The second brioche we made was the braid, in French, it’s called, Une Tresse. 

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Flour T45, 250g
Yeast, 10g
Salt, 5g
Granulated sugar, 25g
Eggs, 175g
Butter, 150g


This recipe comes from the cookbook Anglo Patisserie created by Ferrandi Chef, Didier Averty.

Making of the French croissant

In French patisserie the croissant is referred to as a pâtes levées feuilletées or pâte à crossiant. Pâtes levées feuilletées translates to dough rise pastry sheets. The key word in this name is “levée” or rising which indicates the croissant recipe contains yeast, or in French, levure.

The day started with heavy snow, cancelled trains and sneezing snifling students. However, it wasn’t all snifles.

Today, we made the ultimate of all French pastries, les croissants. We began by making the traditional Pate Feuillettee (PF)* to which we gave one double turn and one simple turn refrigerating in between. We then rolled out the PF into a rectangle, 60cm x 40cm. Then, we cut this in 2 equal parts horizontally. Placed the 2 pieces on top of each other. Chef then handed out his special croissant rulers. Using this we are able to mark the meausurements to cut perfect triangles. At the bottom of each triangle we make a little cut or slit. Then, we rolled our triangles (or Eiffel Towers) from the bottom to the tip. Then, egg washed. But, before the croissants could be baked they needed to rise in a prover. To immitate a prover machine at home, put a bowl of hot water under your tray of croissants and cover to create an insulation, 2 hours is recommended. The croissants will inflate in size. Then, a second egg wash before putting them into the oven. We began baking them at 220C but then chef turned down the overn to 200C. Voila! Crispy croissants! 

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*Pate Feuillette tradionnel: encase the butter into the detrempe

Detrempe recipe for 18 croissants provided by our Chef: 500g of sifted flour [250g T45 + 250g T55], 12g of salt, 50g of sugar, 15g of yeast and 300g of milk. Knead dough by hand or machine (use hook attachment). Reach temperature of 23 – 25 Celsius (use thermometre to measure). Refrigerate. Then, beat to deflate. Roll out into a square shape. Then, place the square tablet of butter like a diamond in the square of detrempe. Fold corner of detrempe into the centre of the butter. Roll out to do a double turn. Refrigerate. Roll out for a single turn. Refrigerate.

Italian slippers

Chaussons Italiens, cutely translated to Italian slippers. They are pocket sized puff pastries (*feuilletage) filled with a mixture of creme pâtissier, pâte à choux cream and rum soaked raisins or orange flavoured water. Here’s a quick snap shot of how puff pastry dough transforms into Chaussons Italiens.

*Feuilletage means creating leaves of pastry. To create leaves we give “turns” to the pastry dough by which we fold the dough.

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10 to 12 pieces

Puff Pastry dough (5 turns), 500g – Note: There are 2 recipes : Feuilletage “Normal” and Feuilletage “Inversé”, refer below.
Pastry Cream, 165g
Pâte à Choux, 330g
Rum raisins, 150g
Rum or Orange flower water, 15g

Rollout the puff pastry to 2mm thickness and 1 meter length
Spread softened butter on the dough sheet and sprinkle lightly with sugar
Roll up the dough sheet immediately along its length, the roll should have at least 7 cm diameter
Harden the roll and cut into sections of 1cm thickness
Elongate the sections with rolling pin and flour generously till they do not stick to the rolling pin
Fill each slice with the following composition:
– 2/3 sweet pâte à choux
– 1/3 pastry cream
– Malagua raisins soaked in rum
Flavor with run or fleur d’oranger
Fold over like the chausson aux pommes without moistening to seal the edges
Bake without egg wash in a medium oven 200°C
Powder with icing sugar after baking.


Recipe N°1 : for Feuilletage “Normal”:
Flour, 400g
Butter, 50g
Salt, 8g
Water approx, 200g
Butter, 250g (Block of butter to fold into the détrempe)

Recipe N°2 : for Feuilletage “Inversé”:
Flour, 270g
Salt, 10g
Water approx, 140g

Beurre manié
Butter, 400g
Flour, 130g

In the recipe inversé you put the détrempe inside the beurre manié.


These recipes are taken from the student class recipe book, Anglo Pastry 2013, created by Chef Patissier, D. Averty of l’ecole FERRANDI . These recipes can be subject to change at the discretion of the Chef or any other Chef at any time. The success of these recipes depends on a number of factors such as the quality of ingredients, temperature and quality of appliances, temperature of the kitchen, skill of the student and/or patissiere and  timing. These recipes do not include additional notes taken by miss pirisi at the time of making the recipe.