Petits Pains for Hungry Kids

Sometimes, when I pick up my 6-year old from school, he’s so hungry that he’s practically crying (even though he’s already eaten breakfast and a snack at school!). It makes for such a pleasant walk home…

In order to get back to our apartment without making a huge American scene on our quiet Swiss streets, I’m starting to pack along small breads—some of which are commonly made for children and appear all over our local boulangeries. The Zopfhasen I made a while back is a good example of this. Pacifying small children with fresh bread seems to be a typical practice.


This morning, I made small, golden saffron buns. Flavored with grated lemon and orange rind and studded with cranberries and golden raisins, this recipe was super easy and thrown together quickly. It can be made without eggs, although I brushed a little beaten egg on the top. As usual, I need to spend more time shaping the dough to make them perfectly round, but these did the trick for today.

Petits Pains au Sucre

Recipe adapted from swissmilk. Make 6 buns. Sorry to my American readers… I’m being lazy and using the metric system today (as the recipe was written) instead of converting it to cups. I’m really enjoying my new kitchen scale!

250 grams farine pour tresse or zopfmehl
1/2 teaspoon salt
40 grams sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 pinch of powdered saffron
100 ml soy milk, lukewarm
1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water (or 1 egg, beaten)
50 grams dairy-free margarine, melted
1 orange and 1 lemon, finely grated zest
2 tablespoons raisins, cranberries or mini-chocolate chips

1 egg, beaten (or 1-2 tablespoons melted dairy-free margarine)
2 tablespoons coarse sugar

1. Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and form a trough in the middle. Separately, add flax meal to the water in a small bowl and set aside. Then, dissolve the yeast and saffron in the warmed soy milk.

2. Add the yeast mixture along with the flax meal mixture and margarine to the trough in the large bowl. Next, add the lemon and orange peel and dried fruit. Stir together until a dough is formed. Then, knead for about 5 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

3. Divide the dough into 6 equal size buns. Place with sufficient distance on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise again for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Brush the rolls with egg (or melted dairy-free margarine) and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Petits Pains au sucre

4. Place in the middle of a preheated 180°C/350°F oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove when lightly browned and place on a wire rack to cool. Best served the same day or freeze for later.

petits pains au sucre
I’ll be working on a local sauerkraut recipe this weekend. Wish me luck… Bon week-end, everyone!

Updated: October 7, 2014


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