Petit Pains Au Lait

Classic French Milk Rolls

These Petit Pains au lait are delicious classic French milk rolls that you can fill with your favourite fillings or just to accompany a bowl of delicious French soup.

Petit pains au lait or classic French milk rolls from French recipes to love


• 450gm (1 pound, 4 cups) unbleached white bread flour

• 50gm (2oz, 1/4 cup)butter

• 1 tablespoons castor sugar

• 2 teaspoons salt

• 280ml (9fl oz, 1 cup) lukewarm milk

• 15gm (1/2 oz fresh yeast) or 1 teaspoon dried yeast


• Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

• Mix in the sugar.

• Rub the butter into the flour until it is very fine like breadcrumbs.

• If using fresh yeast, cream the yeast with 3 tablespoons of the milk.

Stir in the remainder of the milk.

Add the yeast/milk mixture to the flour and using your hands, mix to a dough.

• If using dried yeast, add it to the mixture and then add the lukewarm milk.

Mix to a dough with your hands.

• Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic in texture.

• Put your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clear film or a clean damp teacloth and leave for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

The time it takes depends to a great extent on the temperature. I find it takes longer when the room is cooler. A good idea if it is a cold day and you do not have central heating etc, is to put it in a warm cupboard such as an airing cupboard or on a warm window sill.

• Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface again and knock back (punch it!)

• Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape them into balls for your bread rolls.

• Cut a cross on the top of each one with a sharp knife.

• Cover with lightly oiled clear film or a clean damp teacloth and leave for another hour or until doubled in size.

• Brush the tops of the bread rolls with milk and place in a preheated oven, 200C(400F, Gas 6) and bake for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown in colour.

• Place them on a wire rack to cool.

There you have your Petit Pains Au Lait - they smell gorgeous and taste divine!

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