Pain Suisse are small, custard-filled brioche fingers that fueled many a long day working when I was a junior commercial lawyer in London. Here, the filling is updated, so plain vanilla custard gets replaced with a banana miso pastry cream, flecked with lots of chocolate chips. I am not sure when I first encountered banana and miso in the same dish but I adore that sweet, salty, and ever-so-slightly funky flavour combination. —Sophia R
strong flour (bread flour)
dried active yeast
large egg yolk
Banana miso pastry cream
large egg yolks
In This Recipe
Start by making the brioche dough. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 25 grams of the sugar, yeast, and a pinch of salt. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Set aside to cool a little bit before whisking the 3 eggs into the butter. Pour these liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Knead the dough until it passes the window pane test. This is easiest done in a stand-mixer, but I just do it with the dough hooks of my handheld mixer (a bit of an arm workout but doable with such a small quantity of dough), which takes about 7 to 10 minutes.
If you want to bake the brioche on the same day, cover the bowl and set aside somewhere warm to proof for 3 hours. Alternatively, cover the dough and place it in the fridge overnight. I have tried both methods for this and prefer the overnight method. Not only does it mean I can enjoy the pain suisse warm from the oven for breakfast—but, given the high butter content, the cold dough is also easier to handle when it comes to filling and dividing the pain suisse.
Make the miso banana pastry cream. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it starts to steam. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and yolks with the cornstarch and sugar. Pour 1/3 of the steaming milk over the eggs, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Return the mixture to the saucepan with the milk. Whisking constantly, cook the pastry cream on a low to medium heat until very thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
When you are ready to fill the pain suisse, add the miso and banana and blend into the pastry cream using an immersion blender (or a food processor). Cover and set aside to cool. Waiting to add the miso and banana at the very last moment prevents the pastry cream from discolouring.
Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).
Knock the brioche dough back and briefly knead before rolling out into a 45 by 25 centimeter rectangle, with one of the shorter sides of the rectangle facing you.
Spread the pastry cream evenly over the bottom half of the dough, leaving a 2-centimeter border. Scatter the chocolate chips over the pastry cream and gently press into the pastry cream with the palm of your hand. Fold the border over the filling, then fold the top half of the dough over the bottom half. If they are uneven, cut off the edges of the rectangle, so you end up with a rectangle with straight sides all around.
Cut the rectangle into 8 evenly sized fingers and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover and set aside to proof for 1 hour.
Whisk together the egg yolk with a splash of milk then brush this over each pain suisse.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the pain suisses are well-risen and golden brown in colour.
While the pain suisses are baking, prepare the sugar syrup by heating the remaining 50 grams sugar and 50 grams water until the sugar is completely melted. Brush a thin layer of syrup over each pain suisse to give it some extra shine.
Hi, my name is Sophia and I have a passion (ok, maybe it is veering towards an obsession) for food and all things food-related: I read cookbooks for entertainment and sightseeing for me invariably includes walking up and down foreign supermarket aisles. I love to cook and bake but definitely play around more with sweet ingredients.
Current obsessions include all things fennel (I hope there is no cure), substituting butter in recipes with browned butter, baking with olive oil, toasted rice ice cream, seeing whether there is anything that could be ruined by adding a few flakes of sea salt and, most recently, trying to bridge the gap between German, English and Italian Christmas baking – would it be wrong to make a minced meat filled Crostata?