Pain Suisse vs. Pain au Chocolat: What’s the Difference?

Pain Suisse vs. Pain au Chocolat
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One of my favorite things to write about is the differences between sweet delights, mainly because to write about them, I must try them, which is the best part! Pain Suisse is among my most enjoyable desserts to make; it includes baking, cooking, filling, decorating, and the whole package. Still, let’s not underestimate Pain au Chocolat, which is also a pleasure to make in a whole different style. 

In this article, I will discuss the differences between these two pastries and tell you what makes them unique. They may appear similar, but they deserve time under the spotlight to celebrate their differences! 

The Glossy Appeal of Pain Suisse and Matte Finish of Pain au Chocolat

Pain Suisse is also known as “Swiss Pain” or “Swiss Chocolate Roll,” so you can probably already guess what it is. Still, to save you the guesswork, it is a delicious rolled-up pastry with a golden-brown color and a flaky exterior that looks like a croissant, but it is actually a roll. It has a glossy striped crust, which is exceptionally inviting and is also its most recognizable trace. 

Pain au Chocolat Pain means “Chocolate Bread” here, too; you probably already know what it is. It has a similar appearance to the pain Suisse minus the glaze, which means it has a matte-looking, flaky exterior. It often has a rectangular or cylindrical shape with crisp, buttery dough layers.

Versatile Serving Styles for Both

Pain Suisse on the left and Pain au Chocolat on the right

Here is where the magic happens! Both pain Suisse and pain au chocolat are perfect for many occasions and will definitely make your day. I love them at any time of day and for any occasion. Still, the best thing is you can serve them as simply as you want or go nuts and serve them in the fanciest possible ways you can think of. 

Still, if I’m being technical, pain Suisse is often enjoyed as a breakfast treat or a snack. Its sweet, chocolatey filling makes it a popular choice alongside a cup of coffee or tea; however, I prefer it with cocoa or freshly squeezed orange juice. You can serve it whole or cut it in half. 

I usually serve it cut in half, with one half on top of the other, topped with whipped cream and berries. 

Pain au chocolat is very similar to pain Suisse, and you can enjoy it for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. It ordinarily comes as a single piece, and it doesn’t normally include the fancy elements, which doesn’t mean that you can’t go wild with decorations and experimenting. 

Both Treats Share French Origins, Despite Their Names

You may think that pain Suisse has Swiss roots, but it does not originate from Switzerland. It is a French pastry, which explains its flaky style. Its exact origin is somewhat unclear, but it has been around for a long time, which contributes to its popularity.

In the case of pain, au Chocolat, the name isn’t misleading, so if you thought France, you are right. This is another French masterpiece and a staple of French bakeries and patisseries. Its creation was inspired by viennoiseries, a category of baked goods that includes croissants.

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Pain Au Chocolat vs. Chocolate Croissant: Differences

Pain Suisse Deserves More Recognition, while Pain au Chocolat Reigns Supreme

To my big surprise, pain Suisse isn’t as popular as I thought, which is a borderline crime! I really thought that everyone loved it as much as I did; I was stunned to find out that most of my friends, even my fellow cooking enthusiasts, hadn’t heard about it. 

I sincerely urge you to run to the closest bakery and buy one, if they have it. If you can’t find it, have fun making it; there are many available recipes online. 

Pain au chocolat is another story. It is an incredibly sweet pastry popular not only in France but also internationally. I think that what makes it so popular is the simplicity of its taste. It is one of the things that everyone loves. 

Crafting These Pastries Requires Skill and Patience

Both pastries are complicated to make, especially if you are a newbie. It took me a few unsuccessful tries before I made my first successful batch. My point is, if you mess it up the first few times, it’s not you, but the process takes practice.  

Making pain Suisse involves preparing croissant-like dough, filling it with chocolate chips or chocolate batons, and finishing it with a sweet glaze. The dough is rolled, cut, and baked until golden and flaky. 

Pain au Chocolat is made with laminated dough, similar to croissants. Chocolate bars or sticks are placed in the dough, which is then folded and rolled before baking.