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Pain Suisse Recipe

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One of my favorite French viennoiseries is this Pain Suisse recipe. Buttery brioche dough is filled with heavenly custard and plenty of chocolate chips for a combination that’s absolutely irresistible!

What is Pain Suisse?

Pain Suisse, translated as “Swiss Bread” from French, is a traditional French pastry that boasts layers of buttery dough enveloping a rich, custard filling.

It’s also referred to as brioche suisse, as the dough that’s used to make it is known as a brioche dough.

This indulgent delight is often enjoyed as a breakfast item or as an accompaniment to afternoon tea or coffee, adding a touch of decadence to your day.

pain suisse on a tray image

Pain Suisse Pastry: the Dough

Typically, pain suisse can be super flaky (almost like croissant dough), or it can be a little more dense and fluffy like a classic brioche dough.

Either way, you can expect to use flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and yeast to create your dough.

A proper pain suisse can take a bit of time, especially if you’re going the flaky route. In that case, you’re conducting a lamination technique that’s similar to croissant dough, and that’s usually a 2-3 day affair.

pain suisse dough being filled and folded

I think this version below is a nice compromise. You still get all the delicious components of pain suisse, but I’ve condensed the steps needed to make the dough so that it’s not a total labor of love.

Pain Suisse is also a great item to add to a brunch menu if you’re ever entertaining a few friends or family members. It has a gorgeous, glossy finish that makes it a show stopper, plus it’s mouthwateringly good!

pain suisse dough divided before baking

Pain Suisse au Chocolat

As you bite into a freshly baked pain suisse, you are greeted by a symphony of textures and flavors.

The delicate crunch of the golden pastry gives way to a creamy, luscious filling that dances on your palate.

And just when you think that things can’t get better, you’re greeted with tender, chocolate bits that make for a perfect combination with the pastry.

It’s why you can eat pain suisse for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up!

close up shot of pain suisse recipe

Tips for Making Pain Suisse

If you don’t have much experience making pastry doughs or custard, here are some helpful tips to guide you through the process:

  • Pastry dough is sticky. Use a silicone baking mat as your work surface to minimize the amount of flour you have to use to keep the dough from sticking.
  • Dough with yeast likes a warm, draft-free environment to rise in. I recommend using your oven as the perfect spot. Turn on the oven’s warm setting for 30 seconds, then turn the oven off, and place your covered bowl of dough into the oven to rest until it’s almost double in size.
  • A bench scraper is a super helpful tool to have when you’re making most types of dough, including this one. While it’s not absolutely necessary, it just makes everything so much easier when it comes to lifting your dough off the mat, or dividing it nicely.
  • When you’re making custard, it’s really important to slowly incorporate your hot milk into your egg mixture to avoid scrambling the eggs. And when you’re whisking the custard over the stove, be sure to keep your eye on it the entire time – don’t walk away!
pain suisse recipe featured image

Pain Suisse Recipe

Yield: 6



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar + 2 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, heated to 105°F to 115°F
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 extra egg, beaten to create the egg wash


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • Pinch of salt
  • Splash of vanilla extract (1 tsp)
  • 6 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Create the brioche by first activating the yeast. Pour the yeast into a small bowl, followed by the  1 1/2 tsp sugar and the warm milk. Give it a gentle stir then let it rest for 5 minutes, until foamy and bubbly. 
  2. To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, remaining 2 tbsp of sugar, and salt. Give everything a mix over low speed. Add the eggs and the activated yeast mixture, then stir everything until it’s combined and you get a shaggy, dry dough. 
  3. Add the unsalted butter to the dough and stir again over low speed until it’s incorporated into your dough. The dough should look sticky and moist now. 
  4. Place a silicone baking mat (or wooden board) onto your counter, and sprinkle flour all over the surface. Turn your dough out onto this surface and use floured hands to form a compact ball with the dough. Then, begin kneading the dough for a good minute, using the heel of your hand to dig into the dough to slightly elongate it, before folding the dough onto itself, then rotating the dough clockwise and repeating this motion. Repeat this step over and over for a minute. 
  5. Grease a large bowl with the used wrapper of the butter or some baking spray. Transfer the brioche dough, smooth-side up, into the bowl, then cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a warm, draft-free spot for at least 2 hours, until it’s doubled in size. Tip: a good spot is inside an oven where the oven has previously been set to the warm setting for 30 seconds before it’s turned off and then the dough is placed inside.
  6. While the brioche is resting, create your pastry cream. Whisk the egg, egg yolk, sugar, flour, salt, and corn starch together in a medium bowl.
  7. Warm the milk in the microwave until there’s steam rising (try not to let the milk boil in the microwave). Gently stream the hot milk into the egg mixture, little by little, whisking the egg mixture as you do. This will help temper the eggs so that they don’t scramble. Once you’ve poured all the milk in, transfer the entire batter to a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  8. Whisk the pastry cream over medium heat the entire time, never stopping to step away as the cream will thicken in the blink of an eye. After a couple of minutes, the cream will start to thicken. Right before it actually looks like pudding, you’ll want to pull it off the stove and continue whisking off heat to smooth it out and help thicken it to the last stage in which it will actually look like vanilla pudding. 
  9. Whisk in the splash of vanilla extract before transferring the cream to a clean bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding to prevent a filmy layer from forming. Refrigerate the pastry cream until you’re ready to use it. 
  10. Once the brioche dough has doubled in size, you’re ready to use it. Return the dough to your silicone baking mat or wooden board. Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the dough, then use a rolling pin to help you roll the dough out into a rectangular shape that’s almost as big as your baking mat.
  11. Spread most of the pastry cream over the bottom half of the rectangle - this is the long side that's closest to you (the remaining cream is extra, so you can keep it refrigerated and use as you please). Sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the pastry cream, then take your rolling pin and very gently roll it over the top of the chocolate chips to embed them into the cream. 
  12. Grab the top edges of the empty side of your dough and gently lift it, folding it over the garnished side of the dough. Swipe your rolling pin clean with a paper towel before gently rolling it over the top of the dough to slightly smooth it out and get rid of any possible air bubbles. 
  13. Take a sharp knife, pizza cutter, or bench scraper and use it to divide the dough into 6 or 8 rectangles. Prepare a baking sheet by either using a shset of parchment paper, or just eventually transferring the baking mat that you're using. Space the rectangles of dough out onto your parchment paper or baking mat. Gently cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the brioche rectangles with a beaten egg and bake them for approximately 18 to 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown on top. Let the finished pain Suisse cool until they’re room temperature and ready to enjoy!

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  1. I made this today, learned so much and was delighted that they came out just like pictures I’ve seen.

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