Pains au lait are delicious sweet buttery buns, perfect for breakfast or sweet afternoon snacks. They are easy to make, and kids love them! Pain au lait is a little similar to brioche as it is sweet bread, yet different, in that the only liquid used is milk. Hence the name: “pain” means “bread,” and “lait” means “milk”. You can make the little buns plain or with chocolate chips, which is my favorite.
In this order: put the milk, fresh yeast, sugar, flour and salt in your food processor with the dough blade on (or any other kneading machine you have). Knead for about 5 minutes. (You can also knead by hand if you are up to it, but this will take longer). Add the butter. Knead again for about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips (30g). Knead for a few seconds. The result should be a uniform dough with chocolate chips. Gather the dough in a ball (see picture). Place the ball in a big bowl, and cover with a kitchen towel for 1 hour.
During that hour, the dough should rise. See picture. Apply your fist to the dough multiple times to remove any gas that might be in the dough. With the dough make 12 little cylinders (the buns) that you place on a baking pan covered with parchment paper. Cover your buns with a kitchen towel for 45 minutes. The dough will rise again.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. With a pastry brush, apply a beaten egg on your buns (egg wash). Sprinkle the buns with chocolate chips.