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Pain au Beurre

I first had this bread when my host mom, here on Reunion Island made it for her son's first birthday along with a cup of hot chaudeau (chodo), which is a common drink among the french caribbean islands commonly called the west indies or les antilles, and my oh my. I must say, i fell in love with this beautiful, rich butter bread. From the smell, to the texture and the taste. It was heaven in a bite! A foodgarsm so powerful, that i immediately had to know how to make it along with the creamy chaudeau drink. So of course I asked for the recipes, went online to do a bit more research and voila! After enjoying this bread a few times here is my take on what worked best for me.

Ingredients

  • 1kg all purpose flour
  • 3 tbspns sugar
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 250gms butter
  • 3 tbspns instant yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100ml milk
  • 80ml water  

Method

  1. Pour the milk and water into a bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds to make it warm.
  2. Add in the sugar and salt and stir to dissolve. And in the yeast and eggs. Mix well and let the mixture sit aside.
  3. In a different bowl, pour in the flour and the butter that has been cut up into small cubes. Mix the two until you have a crumbly sort of dough. Slowly add in the egg mixture will kneading the dough. Add flour as needed.
  4. When you have a soft solid dough, add some vegetable oil making sure it is completely covering the dough. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, knead your dough again, cover it and set it aside for 15 minutes.
  6. Cover your kneading surface with flour. Divide your dough into 6 equal portions and roll them into long strands of about 40cm. take one end of the 3 strands, press them together and start braiding secure the end by pressing the 3 strands down and tucking them under the braid. Repeat the same process for the other 3 strands. Using a scissors, make random small snips to the surface of the braids.
  7. Place the two braids in a ‘C’ shape on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and with adequate space in between. Pre-heat your oven at 180 C for 30minutes while the dough rests.   
    In a small bowl mix the egg yolk with about a tablespoon of milk and lightly brush the surface of the dough. Put it in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the surface is a nice golden brown.
  8. In a small bowl mix the egg yolk with about a tablespoon of milk and lightly brush the surface of the dough. Put it in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the surface is a nice golden brown.

I find that this bread tastes amazing with a hot drink, a soup or even just by itself. Savory or sweet, you can't go wrong with it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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