Coconut and Chocolate Pains au Lait

I’m sorry! It’s been ages since my last post! But I promise I have a good excuse—actually, I have a few: I moved in with my brother temporarily, I partied, I said my goodbye to San Francisco, I partied 😛 … and now I am home again. Back to the bird’s nest for 10 days of recharging my batteries and soaking up as much family love as I can before the big move to Perú. (Did I mention already that I’m moving? I can’t remember. Why? For love (when did my life become a cliché?), and I need to find out if it will finally find peace there. When? In 5 days!!)

Life in Oregon is slow—slow driving, slow moving, slow talking, slow everything. It’s taking some getting used to on my part, but it feels kind of good to have time to think and talk. And bake.

I’m so excited about this recipe. It’s one I found a while back on a beautiful blog called Sweet Temptations, and it couldn’t be easier to prepare. The dough is gorgeous—smooth and glossy—and the buns—soft, buttery and briochy. They’re also pretty tasty the next day, especially if you toast them.

The original recipe called for Nutella, which I probably would have used if I’d had it….but I didn’t. My mom had white and dark chocolate chips, flaked almonds and flaked coconut in her cupboard, so I used them instead. A variety of fillings and toppings would work just as well. Another small adjustment I made was to increase the sugar amount from 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup—wanted something a little sweeter for the family.

Enjoy!

Milk Bread with Coconut and Chocolate (recipe adapted from Sweet Temptations)

INGREDIENTS

320 ml (1 1/3 cups) milk

28 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temp.

1/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2/3 tsp salt

540 g (5 cups) all-purpose flour

1 packet (11 g) instant dried yeast (or 4 1/4 tsp active dry)

chocolate chips – dark and white

almond flakes (optional)

brown sugar (optional)

coconut flakes (optional)

METHOD

  1. Beat the eggs, and then whisk in the butter, sugar and milk.
  2. In your stand-mixer, mix together flour, yeast and salt. Make a well in the center. Add 1/3 of the egg mixture and allow to knead (using dough hook attachment) until somewhat combined. Then add the rest of the liquids and knead for another 10 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Put the dough into a large bowl dusted with flour and allow to proof for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Once the dough has proofed, form small balls in your hand and flatten lightly. Add about a tablespoon of chocolate chips and almond flakes in the middle and seal. Continue the process until all the dough has been used. Let the little dough balls rise on a baking sheet for another 45 minutes.
  5. Brush the beaten egg over the pains and then sprinkle some brown sugar and/or coconut flakes over the tops. Put the buns on the middle rack of a pre-heated oven (350 deg. F) and bake for 20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, you may want to rotate the buns to ensure even baking and browning.
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