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Recipes from a lactose-free kitchen

Pain aux raisins

Pain aux raisins

Our travels this summer took us back to France. We spent a delightful week in a small village near Lyon with the most amazing boulangerie. On the few occassions I was awake early enough to get the bread, I would stand outside the bakery marvelling at the range of breakfast pastries on offer. If you've visited my blog (or seen my Instagram feed) you will know I enjoy a breakfast pastry. I've been making my own croissants for the last few years. I like to think my technique has improved, I've gathered together everything I've learnt so far into this (hopefully) helpful step-by-step guide.

Anyway, while I've more-than dabbled with croissants, trying out chocolate and almond fillings, I've never toppled the pinnacle of breakfast pastries, the holy grail, the pain au raisin! It was never something that particularly interested me as a dairy-consuming child but since becoming lactose intolerant I've become somewhat obsessed with that which I cannot have, in this case the beautiful, raisin-stuffed spirals of joy... (see, I've built them up massively). I've never had the nerve to try making my own until now. Why, you ask? Well, the thought of making my own, dairy-free creme patissiere has always stopped me in my tracks. I did some research into 'cheats' pain aux raisins that would skip over this step but my Google foray led to dead ends. I would simply have to get face my fear and make my own. Having done so, I'm not entirely sure what the fear was all about. In fact, it turns out I've made it several times before for a little something my family likes to call Chocolate Cream Pie (hold that thought, we'll return to this another day). I've no life-changing tips to offer, just keep your head and have a go.

So here it is, my dairy free pain aux raisins. This recipe made enough for 6 pain aux raisins with around half of the croissants dough. I used the rest of the dough to make croissants (novel idea, I know!).

You will need:


  • 1 quantity croissants dough
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1 egg
  • 200ml soya or almond milk
  • 50g raisins
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon

I'm assuming you can make the croissants dough. If not, look here for my step-by-step guide.

1. Beat the sugar, cornflour and egg together in a bowl.

2. Heat the milk in a saucepan until it just starts to boil.

3. Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture, stirring it constantly.

4. Put the mixture back into the saucepan and gently heat, still stirring all the time. Once this thickens (this should happen pretty quickly, maybe 3 minutes or so) remove from the heat and leave to cool.

So now to put everything together...

5. Cut the croissants dough in half, use half for making croissants and the rest will be for pain aux raisins. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 0.5cm thick.

6. Spread the cooled creme patissiere over the dough, sprinkle with raisins and cinnamon. Tightly roll the dough up along the long side. Cut into 6 discs, around 1-2cm thick.

7. Leave the pain aux raisins to prove for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

8. Cook for 20-25 minutes at 180C.

PS. Don't forget to make the rest of the dough into croissants!