Nothing says love like homemade flaky pastry. This particular flaky pastry is filled with vegan custard and soft bursting sultanas. They're worth all the time, effort and rolling - I promise.
You might notice when reading the recipe that the prep time says two days, and you'll probably hope that I've made a mistake when typing that. The bad news is that I haven't made a mistake, but the good news is that those two days are more off than on, and just require patience in letting the dough rest, rise and chill. It's especially important not to rush the dough on day one, in between the different roll outs and folds, as keeping the dough cool is what makes for flaky and buttery layers. I sometimes like to double the recipe and freeze half of the pain aux raisins after step 20, as it means I'm only a few hours away from pain aux raisins on any day of the week. If you are freezing a portion of the recipe, let it thaw at room temperature and then proceed with step 21.
2 days (on and off)
250g plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
80ml plant based milk, at room temperature
80ml water, at room temperature
150g + 25g plant based butter block*, separated and at room temperature
200ml alpro custard
2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
1 tbsp plant based milk
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp maple syrup
*Naturli works best
On day one: add flour, salt, instant yeast and sugar to a large bowl. Whisk together to combine.
Stir in the milk, water and butter and mix together with a spatula. Once a rough dough has come together, tip it onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, until it feels very soft, springy and elastic. Place it into a lightly oil bowl, cover tightly with cling film and place in the fridge to rise for at least 3 hours (but up to 12-14).
In the meantime, prepare your block of butter. Measure out a 10x10cm on a sheet of parchment, and use a pencil to outline the square. Flip the sheet around so the pencil outline is on the other side.
Place 150g of butter onto the parchment paper within the outline of the square. Use a spoon to spread the butter throughout the square - it doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to not go too far out of the lines.
Fold the edges of the sheet of parchment over the butter to enclose the square and wrap the butter up. Use a rolling pin to even it out within the square. Place the butter block in the fridge until the dough is ready.
Later in the day (or the day after): remove the dough from the fridge, and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a roughly 20x20cm square.
Unwrap the butter block and turn it by around 45˚ so it looks like a diamond. Place the diamond shaped butter block onto the square of dough.
Lift the flaps of dough and fold them over the diamond of butter, enclosing the butter in the dough. You shouldn’t be able to see any butter by this stage. Pinch the edges of dough together to seal the seams.
Use a rolling pin to tap and press the dough down - this is called ridging. Once you’ve done this throughout the length of the dough, roll the square out into a rectangle that’s around 35x15cm long.
Fold the dough like you would a letter - lifting the bottom ⅓ into the middle, and then folding the top ⅓ over the middle. Wrap it up in cling film and let rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and back onto a lightly floured surface. Place the dough so that the shorter side of the rectangle is facing you. Now roll it out in that direction, until it’s 35x15cm. Fold the dough the same way you did before, and wrap it up. Let it sit in the fridge for 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and repeat the rolling and folding process. Wrap it up and let it sit in the fridge overnight (or for at least 10 hours).
On day two: start by preparing the filling. Add the custard to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Once hot, whisk in the cornstarch (or arrowroot) and mix for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl to cool and set.
Next, soak the sultanas in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat them dry.
Remove the dough from the fridge and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle until it’s ½ cm thick.
Spread a thin layer of custard on top of the dough. Sprinkle with the sultanas.
Starting from the shorter side of the rectangle, roll up the dough into a log.
Cover the rolled dough and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes - this will make it easier to slice.
Use a very sharp knife to cut the log into around 3.5cm pieces - you should have around 10. Place the pain aux raisins on two large baking trays lined with parchment paper, leaving 4-5cm of space between them.
Cover the trays with cling film and let them sit to rise at room temperature for around 2 hours, until the pain aux raisins have doubled in a size.
Preheat the oven to 190˚C. In a small bowl combine the plant based milk, oil and maple syrup to make an egg wash. Use a pastry brush to very gently brush the ‘egg wash’ mixture onto the pain aux raisin.
Bake for 17-20 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the tray half way through to ensure they bake evenly. Let cool for 15 minutes before tucking in.
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.