Pain au raisins from Joanne Chang

This gorgeous pain au raisin recipe comes to us from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery. It’s got a lovely buttery pastry base and is filled with a luscious pastry cream and plump raisins!

pain au raisins

As I mentioned in my last post, I use half of the brioche dough for this pain au raisins. While I LOVE brioche (and yes, I am using all capital letters), I also go crazy for an awesome pain au raisin pastry. In fact, this was my husband’s favorite pastry from our trip to Paris last year. Sadly though, we have not found a bakery that comes close to an authentic version.

So, here I am attempting to correct that. I used Joanne Chang’s recipe from her cookbook, Flour. The pastry cream she recommended was unlike any other that I’ve attempted. It uses cake flour, which is a first for me.

pain au raisins

I made the dough one day and allowed it to chill and rise overnight. The next morning, I rolled out the dough, spread on my pastry cream (which I made the previous day) and sprinkled on the raisins. Assembling the pastries took no time at all since most of the components were already made.

pain au raisins

I put these in my oven and put them on the proofing setting. These rose for about 2 hours in the oven and puffed up quite nicely. After they finished baking, I had Addie make the glaze. She happily doused each pastry in the sweet topping. She did such a good job glazing them that we ran out of glaze and had to make more. That’s my girl.

Once the glaze set, she and I had to taste test one. She excitedly proclaimed that the pain was just as good as the ones we had in Paris. While the ones in Paris were a bit on the softer side, my bet is because they had been sitting out a while so they started getting soggy. The ones I made here were buttery, crisp and flaky. The flavors are 100% there, and I am glad to finally have a recipe that’s similar to the ones in France.

pain au raisins

Husband’s rating: 4 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 5 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Pain au raisins from Joanne Chang

My family and I still talk about the pain au raisins that we had in Paris. This recipe comes very close to the real thing and is from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Chilling and rising time6 hours
Total Time7 hours
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Bread, Breakfast, French
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Eva Bakes


  • ½ recipe brioche dough see below for link to recipe
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Pastry cream

  • 1 and ¼ cups (300 grams) milk
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 cup (140 grams) powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the pastry cream (do this 4 hours in advance and up to 3 days ahead of time)

  • In a medium sized saucepan set over medium heat, scald the milk.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cake flour and salt.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Then add in the sugar mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  • Once the milk is hot (but not boiling), slowly pour it into the medium bowl with the egg yolk mixture. Whisk vigorously so the eggs don't scramble. Then pour everything back into the saucepan and set it over medium heat. Allow it to come to a boil, but continue to whisk vigorously. Once the mixture appears thick like pudding, take it off the stove and turn it off.
  • Transfer to a medium bowl and push a piece of plastic wrap directly on top. Place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

Make the pain au raisins

  • Line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 16" x 12" and about ¼ inch thick so the longer end is facing you. Evenly spread the pastry cream on top of the dough. Sprinkle the raisins on top.
    pain au raisins
  • Starting with the side that's furthest away from you, roll the dough towards you nice and tight so the roll ends up toward you. Trim off and discard about ¼" from both ends.
  • Cut the roll into 10 equal pieces. Place each one, cut side up, on your prepared baking sheet. Cover them lightly with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for about 2 hours.
    pain au raisins
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Bake your pastries in your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until they are golden bowl on the edges and light brown on the top. Allow the pastries to cool on the baking sheet for 20-30 minutes.

Make the glaze

  • While the pastries are cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar with 2 Tablespoons of the water and vanilla. If the glaze is too thick, add more water. You want it thick enough so it's pourable/spreadable but not too runny.
  • Once the pastries have cooled slightly but are still warm, generously brush the glaze on top of each pastry.
    pain au raisins
  • Pastries are best served the same day or within 4 hours of baking.°


Leftover pastries should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day. Reheat in a 300 degree F oven for 5 minutes.
I used half of the brioche recipe from here
Source: Flour: A Baker's Collections of Spectacular Recipes by Joanne Chang

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