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Easy kouign amann recipe

Easy kouign amann recipe


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I call my version of the famous butter cake from Brittany 'easy' because the folding is shorter than in traditional recipes, you don't need to wait between the turns. If you don't serve it right away, reheat it in the oven for a few minutes before enjoying it, that makes it taste even better.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1/2 (8g) sachet dried active yeast
  • 120 ml lukewarm water
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200g cold butter, diced
  • 1 pinch fleur de sel
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 50g soft butter
  • 50g caster sugar

MethodPrep:1hr ›Cook:35min ›Extra time:1hr30min › Ready in:3hr5min

  1. Dissolve the yeast in half of the water and set to one side until the mixture starts to foam, about 10 minutes.Add flour and salt and mix well to combine. Add the rest of the water and mix again.
  2. Swiftly knead the dough on a clean work surface. When smooth and elastic, shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1.5 hours.
  3. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the dough to a rectangle of about 50x20cm.
  4. Scatter the 200g cold butter over the dough, leaving 1 to 2cm free all around. Dust with fleur de sel and 200g sugar. Gently press the sugar into the butter.
  5. Fold the dough in three equal parts lengthwise by folding over the left 1/3 towards the centre, then folding over the right 1/3 over the two layers.
  6. Now repeat the same width wise by folding over the top 1/3 towards the centre, then folding over the bottom 1/3 over the two layers.
  7. Gently roll out the dough to obtain a rectangle. Be careful not to roll it too much so the butter does not come out. Once you have rolled it out, repeat the 2 foldings as described above.
  8. Preheat your oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Grease it with half of the softened butter and half of the remaining sugar. Roll out the dough to fit the size of the baking tray and place it on the tray. Scatter the remaining butter on the dough.
  9. Bake for about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the tray for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips:

If you prefer your Kouign amann flat, let it rise as much as possible, 2.5 to 3 hours, when the leavening power of the yeast subsides. Or, if you would like it puffier, start to work it after a 1 hour rise.
Fleur de sel, aka fleur de sel de Guerande, is sold at specialty stores and online.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 3/4 cups room temperature mineral water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel (sea salt)
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons high-fat unsalted butter, chilled, plus more melted butter for tart rings
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed fresh yeast
  • 3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling

In a small bowl, combine mineral water and salt. Let stand until salt has dissolved. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour and the melted butter on low speed. Add water-and-salt mixture, and continue to mix until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add yeast, and mix for 1 minute more.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down, wrap in plastic, and place on a baking sheet. Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, on a Silpat (a French nonstick baking mat) or parchment paper, roll the remaining 1 pound butter into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap in parchment paper, and return to refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an 18-inch square. Center the chilled butter rectangle on the dough so that each side of the butter faces a corner of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter to enclose. Seal the edges by pinching them together. Roll the dough into a 24-by-8-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, aligning the edges carefully and brushing off any excess flour. (The object is to ensure that the butter is distributed evenly throughout so that the pastry will puff evenly when baked.) Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes this completes one turn.

Repeat process once, then repeat process twice, dusting the work surface and the dough with sugar, and using 1 1/2 cups for each turn. You will now have completed four turns.

Using a pastry brush, brush 15 ring molds (3 1/2 by 3/4 inches) with melted butter. Transfer to prepared baking sheets, and set aside. Remove dough from refrigerator. On a lightly sugared surface, roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut into 15 squares (4 1/4 inches). Fold up the corners of one square toward the center repeat process. Lightly press to adhere. Turn square over, and gently coat with sugar. Invert, and place in a prepared ring mold. Repeat with remaining squares.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Let rise in a warm place until puffed, 30 to 40 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Immediately remove ring molds, and place on a wire rack until completely cooled.


Easy kouign amann recipe - Recipes

The name may still trip you up, but it shouldn’t stop you from adding kouign amann (pronounced kween ah-mon) to your list of favorite things to eat! Thanks to our simplified recipe, you can enjoy these rich, caramelized French treats straight from your June Oven. Originating from Brittany, the buttery, sticky, salty-sweet, tender and oh-so-flaky laminated pastry is nothing short of a labor of love. Store-bought frozen puff pastry sheets are the time-saving, secret weapon here, so you can concentrate on the folds and not the temperamental dough.

Ingredients

2 sheets frozen puff pastry

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

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Prepare the muffin pan

Spray the wells of the muffin pan generously with nonstick spray.

Make sugar mixture

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar and salt. Set aside.

Preheat the June Oven

With the shelf in the middle position, preheat the June Oven to 375°F on the Bake cook mode with convection fans on using the button below.

Add the sugar to the pastry

Unfold one sheet of thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the puff pastry with 3 tablespoons of the sugar mixture. Press the mixture into the puff pastry with your hands, covering the entire sheet.

2 sheets frozen puff pastry

Roll the pastry

Starting at any edge, begin rolling the puff pastry up into a tight spiral. Finish with the seam on the bottom of the roll, then press down with the palms of your hands or the rolling pin to flatten the spiral into a long, thin rectangle, with the long edge facing you. Using a knife, pizza wheel or pastry cutter, slice off the open ends to create sharp, even ends.

Fold and roll out the pastry

As if you’re closing a book, fold the rectangle in half so the two trimmed edges meet on one side. Press down again to flatten. Roll the pastry out into an 8” x 12” rectangle, with the long edge closest to you. If the dough is hard to roll out and springs back, cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let it rest 10 minutes before trying again.

Brush the pastries with butter

Brush the surface of the dough with about half of the melted butter. Using a knife or pastry cutter, slice the dough into 4”x4” squares, making one cut lengthwise and 2 cuts crosswise to yield 6 equal portions.

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Coat the pastries in sugar and shape

Press one portion of dough into the sugar mixture and turn it over a few times so it is coated well on both sides. Place the coated square of dough onto your surface with the buttered-side down. Fold the corners inward so each corner touches in the middle of the square. Press down lightly with your finger to help adhere the corners in the middle of the square. Carefully nestle the shaped dough into a well of the prepared muffin pan so the side with the corners touching is facing up. The dough will come up the sides and mostly fill the muffin well. Repeat with the remaining 5 pieces of dough. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the sugar mixture over each pastry in the muffin well. With your second sheet of puff pastry, repeat the steps to create 6 more dough squares, placing them in the muffin pan.

Bake the pastries

Place the muffin pan on the middle shelf of the June Oven. Bake the pastries 40 minutes, until they are just beginning to appear golden brown around the edges. If necessary, follow on-screen instructions to continue cooking.

Unmold the pastries

Remove the muffin pan from the June Oven and set it on a cooling rack. While still very hot, invert the muffin pan over a platter or a piece of parchment paper. Tap the edge of the pan lightly to help dislodge the pastries. Use caution--any caramel that drips out of the pan will be very hot. If needed, use a fork to help unmold any pastries that haven’t come out of the muffin pan.


Kouign-Amann

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 12 pastries

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus proofing time

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes, plus proofing time

Ingredients

For the Dough:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

For the Butter Insert:

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled, plus more for greasing

For Assembly:

Directions

1. Make the dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the milk and yeast, and let sit until foamy, 8 to 10 minutes. With the motor running, add the sugar and salt, followed by the flour. Run the mixer until a dough comes together, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a lightly floured bowl and cover. Let sit in a warm place until it has doubled in size, 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, make the butter insert: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the sugar, flour and salt onto a clean work surface and toss the butter in it. Using a rolling pin, beat the butter until pliable, flipping as needed. Roll the butter into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Chill for 45 minutes.

3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll into an 18-by-14-inch rectangle that's ¼ inch thick. Place the chilled butter insert on one half of the dough, then fold the dough over to enclose it, pressing the edges to seal.

4. Assemble the pastries: Grease a muffin tin with butter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar, then place the tin on a baking sheet. Working quickly, sprinkle a clean work surface with a heavy pinch of sugar. Place the dough on top and sprinkle with another heavy pinch of sugar. With one of the short ends of the dough facing you, fold the dough like a letter, bringing the bottom third of the dough up over the middle, then the top third of the dough on top of that. Roll the dough into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle, using sugar as you would typically use flour to prevent sticking. Repeat this process 3 more times for a total of 4 folds.

5. After the dough is rolled out for a final time, cut the rectangle into twelve 4-inch squares. With each square, bring all the corners into the center and fit into one of the molds of the muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining squares of dough. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar. Cover in plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough has expanded to fill each mold, 30 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately remove each kouign-amann from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, then serve.


Preparation

Dough

Step 1

Brush a large bowl with butter. Whisk yeast and ¼ cup very warm water (110°–115°) in another large bowl to dissolve. Let stand until yeast starts to foam, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, salt, 3 cups flour, 2 Tbsp. butter, and ¾ cup cold water. Mix until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed, until dough is supple, soft, and slightly tacky, about 5 minutes.

Step 2

Place dough in prepared bowl and turn to coat with butter. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, place in a warm, draft-free spot, and let dough rise until doubled in size, 1–1½ hours. (This process of resting and rising is known as proofing.) Punch down dough and knead lightly a few times inside bowl. Cover again with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until dough is again doubled in size, 45–60 minutes.

Step 3

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 6x6” square. Wrap in plastic and chill in freezer until dough is very firm but not frozen, 30–35 minutes. (Heads up: You’ll want it to be about as firm as the chilled butter block.)

Butter block

Step 4

Beat butter, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer on low speed just until homogeneous and waxy-looking, about 3 minutes. Scrape butter mixture onto a large sheet of parchment. Shape into a 12x6” rectangle ¼” thick.

Step 5

Neatly wrap up butter, pressing out air. Roll packet gently with a rolling pin to push butter into corners and create an evenly thick rectangle. Chill in refrigerator until firm but pliable, 25–30 minutes.

Assembly

Step 6

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 19x7” rectangle (a bit wider and about 50 percent longer than the butter block). Place butter block on upper two-thirds of dough, leaving a thin border along top and sides. Fold dough like a letter: Bring lower third of dough up and over lower half of butter. Then fold exposed upper half of butter and dough over lower half (butter should bend, not break). Press edges of dough to seal, enclosing butter.

Step 7

Rotate dough package 90° counterclockwise so flap opening is on your right. Roll out dough, dusting with flour as needed, to a 24x8” rectangle about ⅜” thick.

Step 8

Fold rectangle into thirds like a letter (same as before), bringing lower third up, then upper third down (this completes the first turn).

Step 9

Dust dough lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and chill in freezer until firm but not frozen, about 30 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator continue to chill until very firm, about 1 hour longer. (Freezing dough first cuts down on chilling time.)

Step 10

Place dough on surface so flap opening is on your right. Roll out dough, dusting with flour as needed, to a 24x8” rectangle, about ⅜” thick. Fold into thirds (same way as before), rotate 90° counterclockwise so flap opening is on your right, and roll out again to a 24x8” rectangle.

Step 11

Sprinkle surface of dough with 2 Tbsp. sugar fold into thirds. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and chill in freezer until firm but not frozen, about 30 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator continue to chill until very firm, about 1 hour longer.

Step 12

Place dough on surface so flap opening is on your right. Roll out dough, dusting with flour as needed, to a rectangle slightly larger than 16x12”. Trim to 16x12”. Cut into 12 squares (you’ll want a 4x3 grid). Brush excess flour from dough and surface.

Step 13

Lightly coat muffin cups with nonstick spray. Sprinkle squares with a total of ¼ cup sugar, dividing evenly, and press gently to adhere. Turn over and repeat with another ¼ cup sugar, pressing gently to adhere. Shake off excess. Lift corners of each square and press into the center. Place each in a muffin cup. Wrap pans with plastic and chill in refrigerator at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours (dough will be puffed with slightly separated layers).

Step 14

Preheat oven to 375°. Unwrap pans and sprinkle kouign-amann with remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar, dividing evenly. Bake until pastry is golden brown all over and sugar is deeply caramelized, 25–30 minutes (make sure to bake pastries while dough is still cold). Immediately remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack let cool.

How would you rate Kouign-Amann?

Any chance you could provide a phonetic spelling? There's discourse about the correct pronunciation. Thank you!

I had the same issue as a previous reviewer: freezing the dough led to the sugar liquefing, seeping out, and ruining the pastry. I tried it twice now, with the same thing happening I haven't had this issue with regular puff pastry. A friend did make the recipe with only using the fridge for chilling the dough and it worked fine for her.

I made these last night and timed it so that I could fridge them right before bed. I baked them off this morning and they were amazing. They were salty and sweet and crunchy and fluffy and everything else. Just overall amazing. I’m not really sure why people were complaining about the butter block as mine didn’t liquify from the sugar. Maybe you didn’t use organic sugar or it could be that you either mixed it too little, or too much. I also didn’t have a problem with the yeast because it doesn’t need sugar to foam. Honestly you could probably skip waiting the five minutes as long as you know your yeast isn’t dead.

So yesterday I didn’t even know what Kouign-Amann was and today I’m reviewing the recipe I used to make it. Each bite is toffee like, buttery goodness. I used the ingredients I had in my house, which included salted butter. I’m thankful that’s what I had as halfway through the preparation, I read the reviews that said the taste wasn’t great with unsalted butter. Speaking of halfway through the preparation, I wish this recipe listed a total prep time as the rising and chilling alone is between 15-19 hours. That doesn’t include all the rolling and folding. Thankfully I made these on a Saturday just for fun as I ended up baking them Sunday morning.

CAN I LEAVE THE DOUGH OVERNIGHT AFTER PROOFING I STARTED TOO LATE AND IM SLEEPY

This recipe is terrible. BA is usually spot on. After reading several other recipes I decided to go with this once since BA is a trusted source. I am an advanced baker and have made puff pastry more times than I can remember. Mixing the sugar into the butter packet and freezing it is NOT an acceptable method. When you freeze sugar it liquefies. The results is improper lamination of the dough. The butter seeps out of the pastry when cooked and you're left with rock hard inedible pastries. I made two other recipes and they came out perfectly! Please skip this recipe folks!

@Breton is correct salted butter, from Brittany (available at Whole Foods, The Fresh Market and specialty stores), if possible, is essential for a proper Kougin-Amann. Also, as a professional pastry chef, I can say,@Anonymous, that @PB1996 is also correct. Sugar is absolutely not needed to “jump start” yeast. You may use a bit to test it if you suspect your yeast is old or dead, but healthy, fresh yeast needs only very warm (not hot) water to grow. If you follow your recipe properly and give the yeast the right temp water, add it to your ingredients at the proper time, mix or knead it as directed and allow it to grow in a warm environment, there should be no issues at all. Yeast is a very forgiving and willing organism.

Hi I'm from Brittany and you need salted butter for this recipe (and about everything else regarding pastries) I am unpleased.

Anonymous - That is not true. Sugar is not necessary to proof active dry yeast. It can proof in slightly warm water only.

I made these this weekend and they came out beautifully!

I'm about mid-recipe, so I will have to add final comments when I'm done, but right off the bat there was a problem. The recipe fails to mention that you need to add a pinch of sugar to the water & yeast to get the process moving! Fortunately I've made enough dough to pick up on this, but since this is a new recipe I wasn't thinking - just following the instructions. Please edit this recipe. The poor rating is for this reason alone. Stay tuned on a rating for the finished product!!


Kouign Amann

Special Equipment: Eight 4-by-3/4-inch pastry rings*

Ingredients US Metric

  • 3 cups minus 1 1/2 tablespoons bread flour, lightly spooned and leveled off
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 cup water, cool room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, preferably high butterfat, 60° to 70°F (16° to 21°C), plus more for the rings
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, preferably superfine (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hand whisk, mix together the flour, yeast, and then the salt. Add the water and the melted butter.

Attach the dough hook and, starting on low speed, mix until the flour mixture is moistened, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Continuing on low speed, beat for 4 minutes. The dough will be silky smooth and have cleaned the sides of the bowl, but it will stick to the bottom and be very soft and slightly sticky to the touch.

Cover the bowl and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the butter square. Place the softened butter on a large sheet of plastic wrap and wrap it loosely. If the butter is cold, pound it lightly with a rolling pin to flatten and soften it. Then knead it together using the plastic wrap and your knuckles to avoid touching the butter directly. Shape the butter into a 5-inch square (it will be about 3/4 inch high). At this point, the butter should be firm but workable—68° to 70°F (20° to 21°C). Use it at once or set it in a cool area.

Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to an 8-inch square.

Place the plastic-wrapped butter square diagonally in the center of the dough square and lightly mark the dough at the edges of the butter with the dull side of a clean ruler or a knife. Remove the butter and roll each marked corner of the dough into a flap. The dough will be slightly elastic.

Unwrap and place the butter on the dough. Wrap the butter by stretching the flaps slightly to reach across the butter square. Brush off any flour on the first three flaps before stretching over the fourth flap to wrap the butter square securely. It will form a 5 3/4-inch square dough package. Pinch together the seams to seal it well.

On the well-floured surface, keeping the dough seam side up and lightly floured, gently roll the dough package into a 13-by-7-inch rectangle. It will be about 1/4-inch thick. Roll into the corners and use a bench scraper or a ruler to maintain an even rectangle. If the dough blisters, gently press the blister down. If the butter breaks through, dust the area lightly with a little flour before brushing off all excess flour from the surface of the dough.

Fold the dough into thirds as you would fold a business letter. This is the first turn. Wrap the dough package with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour. The dough should weigh about 2 pounds (900 grams).

Before each turn, move the dough so the closed end is facing to the left. Repeat the same process of rolling and folding as for the first turn, but every once in a while, flip over the dough to keep the seams aligned. (The upper part tends to roll more than the bottom.) Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for another hour.

Clean the work surface and sprinkle with about 1/2 the sugar in a rectangle the width of the dough. Set the dough on top and sprinkle most of the remaining sugar on top of it. Roll the dough again into a 14-by-8-inch rectangle, flipping it over from time to time. Scrape sugar from the work surface and sprinkle it and some of the remaining sugar on top of the dough until all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sugar have been rolled into the dough. With a bench scraper, form the dough into an even rectangle.

Fold the dough into thirds, wrap it with plastic wrap, and freeze it for 30 minutes. Then move it to the refrigerator and leave it there for 30 minutes.

Line a 17 1/4-by-12 1/4-by-1-inch half sheet pan with aluminum foil, dull side up. Set the pastry rings on the foil and lightly coat the insides and bottom with butter.

Spread the remaining sugar on the work surface in a rectangle. Set the dough on top of the sugar and roll it from the center to the edges, then as necessary to form a 16-by-8-inch rectangle. It will be about 3/8-inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Each will be about a 4-inch square with an average weight of 5 ounces (140 grams). The dough will now be somewhat sticky as the sugar becomes syrupy.

Roll 1 of the squares into a 5 1/2- to 6-inch square. Bring up the 4 corners to the center and press down firmly over the top of the dough. Cup the dough square into the palm of your hand to support it and keep the 4 corners together. Repeat folding, bringing up the corners to the center a second time. This will be more difficult because the dough is now thicker, but simply press it down in the center (if necessary, dip your fingertip in sugar) and push it together as well as possible.

Place the dough in a prepared pastry ring on the sheet pan. Repeat with the other dough squares. Each one will open up slightly and take its own shape, which is part of the charm.

Cover the shaped dough with an 18-by-12-by-2-inch sheet pan, or loosely with plastic wrap that has been lightly coated with butter, and let it sit in a warm place [ideally at 75° to 80°F (24° to 27°C), but no higher than 80°F (27°C)] for 30 to 50 minutes, or until the dough has risen about 1 1/2 times and most of the dough touches the sides of the rings.

At least 30 minutes (or longer) before baking, set an oven rack at the middle level. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Bake for 12 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway around. Continue baking for 8 to 15 minutes, or until the pastries are caramelized and the edges are deeply browned and an instant-read thermometer reads a minimum of 212° to 215°F (100° to 102°C). Be certain to check the pastries often toward the end to avoid overbrowning.

Set the pan on a wire rack. Use tongs to lift off the pastry rings and a pancake turner to lift each kouign onto another wire rack that has been lightly coated with butter and set over paper towels to catch any leaking butter. (About 2 tablespoons of butter will have leaked from the kouigns onto the aluminum foil.) If any of the kouigns cannot be removed from the rings, return them to the oven for a few minutes to soften the caramel.

Let the kouigns cool for about 10 minutes. The texture is softest and the kouigns most delicious when eaten just baked and while still warm. Store any leftover kouigns in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 days. To reheat, warm it for 8 to 10 seconds in a microwave or 3 to 5 minutes in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven.

*How to make your own pastry rings

You can easily fashion disposable pastry rings from heavy-duty aluminum foil or make reusable rings from aluminum flashing (available at most hardware and home improvement stores).

To make a disposable aluminum foil pastry ring, cut a 14-by-4-inch strip heavy-duty aluminum foil. Mark the foil along its length at 7/8 inch. Fold the foil lengthwise along the markings. Fold the foil lengthwise 2 more times to form a 14-by-1-inch strip with 4 layers of foil. Repeat for each ring. Wrap each ring around a 4-inch diameter can. Use 2 small paper clips to secure the overlapping ends to form a ring. Remove the ring from the can and adjust it to be as round as possible.

To make a reusable aluminum flashing ring, use metal shears or sharp utility scissors to cut a 14-by-1-inch strip of aluminum flashing. Repeat for each ring. Wrap each ring around a 4-inch diameter can. Use 2 small paper clips to secure the overlapping ends to form a ring. Remove the ring from the can and adjust it to be as round as possible.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This kouign amann recipe is not for the faint of heart nor the novice baker. That said, the recipe is so detailed, it could be used by less experienced bakers as a first foray into making a pastry based on a laminated dough. You absolutely need 6 full hours to make this recipe from start to finish. At the first turn, my dough package weighed 851 grams, slightly less than the 900 grams stated in the recipe. If you follow the recipe exactly as written, the rolling and folding will go very smoothly.

Another important factor is to make sure that the butter and dough are the same consistency to ensure that the butter distributes evenly when you are rolling and folding. Shaping the squares before placing them in the pastry rings is going to take “the courage of your convictions,” to quote Julia Child. The dough needs to be pressed down as you are bringing the corners together. It may not look all that perfect and they may open up slightly, but as Rose states, that is part of the charm of these pastries.

The instructions for making your own disposable pastry rings out of aluminum foil work perfectly and are a really great way to avoid buying another kitchen item that you'll probably only use once in a while. The baking time was an initial 12 minutes and another 8 minutes after rotating the pan. That may have been a few minutes too long in my preheated oven, as the bottoms of the pastries got very dark and needed to be scraped a bit after they cooled. Next time, I may lower the oven temperature to 375°F and slightly reduce the baking time. These pastries are delicious anytime—for breakfast, as a dessert, or with a cup of tea or coffee any time of day. They are buttery, sweet, flaky, and unlike any other pastry I know. Highly recommended!

Wow. This is the most successful I've ever been at making a laminated dough. All the time and effort were worth it for the amazing pastry you get at the end. The kouign amann are buttery and salty-sweet, and the sugar on the outside is caramelized while the inside is slightly gooey. I definitely think using superfine sugar and adding it on the last turns keeps the sugar from cutting through the layers.

I took the butter out of the fridge after I made the dough, wrapped it in plastic, and beat in into shape with a rolling pin, and by the time the dough was ready, the butter was at the right temperature and consistency. When I rolled it into a 13-by-7-inch rectangle, it was about 3/8 inch thick. The second rolling was about the same. I did need to keep turning it to get it to remain in an even rectangle. I had trouble rolling the 8 squares evenly since the cut edges rolled out farther than the folded edges. I ended up cutting about a 1/4 inch off the folded edge of each square, and it worked much better.

The last few squares were very sticky from the melting sugar. I left the squares on the counter to shape them, as I found it easier than cupping in my hand. When they got sticky, I used a little sugar. The shaped pastry opened up a little bit as they rose, some more than others. I used English muffin baking rings that are 3 3/4 inches in diameter, and they worked well. My dough took 50 minutes to rise.

I baked the pastries for 30 minutes but should have taken them out a little sooner. I'm definitely glad I covered the sheet pan in aluminum foil. Holy burnt sugar! The pastries lifted out of the rings easily and didn't leak much butter. They're definitely best the first day but were still very good when heated in the microwave over the next couple of days.

Let me start off by saying that this is not an "easy" recipe. It's not something you come home and decide to simply whip up. It needs some time and a bit of skill to complete. That being said, it is very much worth the effort and the final result is such a special and unique treat that it validates all the time, effort, and rolling of dough! Usually Kouign-Amann is more of a single large cake that you slice into wedges and serve, but here it's baked in individual muffin cups and the little cakes end up with a brilliant texture. The outside is crispy crunchy and caramelized and the inside is sweet, soft, and rich. I also love that the author provides proper weights for the recipe and not just inaccurate volume measures.

I made the cakes for breakfast thinking that we'd have a few left for an after-dinner dessert with some whipped cream and berries. No such luck. They were all devoured before noon.

A few helpful points to keep in mind when attempting to this:
Read the recipe carefully. It's long but you need to follow the instructions carefully. Unless you have a lot of experience with laminated dough, you really should not improvise when making this Kouign-Amann for the first time.

When the butter is spread on the dough, it's really helpful to leave a 1/4 inch or so of butter-free dough so that the 2 layers can seal better.

When you roll the dough and the edges aren't exactly straight, I like to (based on a croissant recipe I make) trim those edges to straight lines. This way when the dough is folded everything matches up and the dough is easier to roll. The extra dough that might be trimmed can be incorporated back in.

Kouign-Amann is usually made with salted Brittany butter. It really will make a big difference in the final balance of the recipe if you sprinkle a bit of salt on the butter layer or use all or half salted butter. The cakes are sweet and some salt is a great addition.

The recipe is very forgiving when it comes to rest times in the fridge. I was making it throughout the day and ended up putting the folded dough in the fridge several times. Just make sure to let it warm up a little bit before rolling for the next fold.

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Dough

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz, 180ml) warm water
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 oz, 21g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (10 oz, 280g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28g) salted European butter, room temperature

Laminating

  • 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) salted European butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) granulated sugar

How to Make Kouign Amann

Yield Makes 12 individual pastries

  • shellfish-free
  • kidney-friendly
  • fish-free
  • alcohol-free
  • low-potassium
  • vegetarian
  • peanut-free
  • pork-free
  • pescatarian
  • sugar-conscious
  • egg-free
  • soy-free
  • tree-nut-free
  • red-meat-free
  • Calories 274
  • Fat 17.9 g (27.5%)
  • Saturated 10.3 g (51.6%)
  • Carbs 24.8 g (8.3%)
  • Fiber 1.0 g (4.2%)
  • Sugars 0.1 g
  • Protein 3.8 g (7.6%)
  • Sodium 171.7 mg (7.2%)

Ingredients

active dry or instant yeast

(2 sticks) cold salted butter, plus extra to grease the pans (See Recipe Note)

sugar, divided, plus extra for shaping the pastries

Equipment

Wooden spoon or stiff spatula

French rolling pin (see Recipe Notes)

Ruler (not essential, but handy!)

12-cup muffin tin or 12 pastry rings

Pizza wheel or chefs knife

Instructions

Mix the dough: Combine the water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl, if kneading by hand). Let stand for a few minutes to dissolve. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour (reserving 1/4 cup for later) and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until a floury, shaggy dough is formed.

Knead the dough: Fit your mixer with a dough hook attachment and knead the dough at low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until the dough is slightly tacky but smooth. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and knead until the dough is smooth. If the dough feels very stiff and dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and knead until the dough is smooth. Alternatively, knead the dough by hand against the counter for 5 to 8 minutes until smooth.

Let the dough rise for 1 hour: Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise for one hour, until doubled in size. (If your mixing bowl is very floury, clean it before letting the dough rise I don't usually find this to be necessary.)

Chill the dough: Once the dough has doubled in bulk, place it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Chilling the dough makes it easier to roll out and prevents the butter from melting in the following steps.

Begin pounding the butter: When you are ready to roll out the dough and make the kouign amann, pound the butter. This step softens the butter enough to roll it out with the dough, but while keeping it chilled — warm butter will be absorbed by the dough rather than forming layers.

Sprinkle your counter with a tablespoon or two of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Lay the butter on top and sprinkle with another tablespoon or two of flour. Gently begin tapping the top of the butter with your rolling pin, and then pound more forcefully once the flour sticks to the butter.

Continue pounding the butter until supple: Pound the butter flat, then fold it in half using the pastry scraper. Try not to touch the butter with your hands. Pound the butter flat and fold it in half again. Repeat another 2 to 3 times until the butter is very supple, flattens within a few hits of the rolling pin, and folds easily. Sprinkle with additional flour as necessary to prevent the butter from sticking or smearing on the counter or rolling pin.

Pound the butter into a rectangle roughly 6 inches by 10 inches. Transfer for a baking sheet and refrigerate while you roll out the dough. (Do not refrigerate the butter for longer than 15 minutes or you will need to pound it to suppleness again.)

Roll out the dough: Sprinkle your counter with flour and transfer the dough on top. Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 12 inches by 20 inches.

Wrap the butter in the dough: Remove the butter from the fridge and transfer it to the middle of the dough. Fold one half of the dough over the butter and fold the other half on top, like folding a letter. Roll it out slightly to press the layers together, then fold it again into thirds.

Begin "turning" the dough: A "turn" is the process of rolling and folding the dough in order to create very thin layers of butter and dough. You will complete 4 total turns to make the kouign amann: 2 turns now, chill the dough, and then the final 2 turns. If the butter squishes through a layer of dough at any point, rub it with a little flour. If it is very warm in your kitchen and the butter seems to be melting, chill the dough for 30 minutes between every turn rather than after 2 turns. Keep the counter, your rolling pin, and the surface of the pastry well-floured.

"Turn" the dough 2 times: Rotate the package of dough and butter so that the narrower, open end is facing you, like you're about to read a book. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 12 inches wide by 20 inches long. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up, like folding a letter.

Rotate the dough 90 degrees so that the open end is again facing you, like a book. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 12 inches wide by 20 inches long. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up, like folding a letter. You have now completed 2 turns.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes: Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes. Do not refrigerate much longer than 30 minutes or the butter will start to become brittle and may break as you try to roll it out

"Turn" the dough another 2 times and sprinkle with sugar: Remove the dough from the fridge and transfer it to a well-floured counter. With the open end facing you (like a book), roll the dough out to a rectangle 12 inches wide by 20 inches long. Sprinkle it all over with 3/4 cups of sugar and press lightly with the rolling pin to help it stick. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up, like folding a letter.

Rotate the dough 90 degrees so that the open end is again facing you, like a book. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 12 inches wide by 20 inches long. Sprinkle it all over with the remaining 3/4 cups of sugar and press lightly with the rolling pin to help it stick. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up, like folding a letter. If any sugar falls out, press it back into the folds. You have now completed 4 total turns.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes: Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Prepare the muffin tins or pastry rings: Rub the insides of the muffin tins or pastry rings amply with butter. Arrange the pastry rings on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Set aside.

Roll out the kouign amann dough: Sprinkle the counter with sugar. Remove the dough from the fridge and transfer it to the counter. Sprinkle a little additional sugar over the top of the dough. Roll the dough out to a rectangle roughly 8 inches wide by 24 inches long and roughly 1/4-inch thick.

Shape the kougin amann: Slice the dough down the length to form two strips that are 4 inches wide by 24 inches long. Cut each strip into 4-inch squares to create 12 squares. Fold the corners of each square toward the center. Pick up each pastry and tuck it firmly into the muffin tins or pastry rings. If cooking in a muffin tin, it will feel like you're squishing the pastry this is ok.

Make Ahead Tip: At this point, the kouign amann can be covered and refrigerated overnight. The next day, let the pastries come to room temperature and rise for about an hour before baking.

Let the kouign amann rise: Cover the kouign amann loosely with plastic and let them rise until slightly puffy, 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack placed in the center of the oven.

Bake the kouign amann: Set the muffin tin on a baking sheet to catch butter drips during baking. Place the kouign amann in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350°F. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through baking. Pastries are finished when the tops are deep golden and the tips look like they might be just starting to burn.

Cool briefly and then remove pastries from pan: Transfer the pan of kouign amann to a cooling rack and let the pastries stand until they are just cool enough to handle. Gently wiggle them out of the muffin tins or pastry molds, and set them on the cooling rack to finish cooling completely. Do not let the kouign amann cool completely in the pan or the sugar will harden and make the pastries impossible to remove.

Serve kouign amann immediately: Kouign amann can be served as soon as they are cool enough not to burn your mouth or you can let them cool to room temperature. They are best if served the same day they are made.

Recipe Notes

Using Salted Butter: Salted butter is traditional for kouign amann, and I recommend using the best brand you can find or afford. I used Kerry Gold when developing this recipe.

French Rolling Pin: A french rolling pin is a solid piece of wood and is the best tool for pounding the butter. However, the butter can also be pounded with a ball-bearing rolling pin (grip it by the pin itself and not by the handle) or with the smooth side of a meat mallet.

Making a Single Kouign Amann Cake: To make a single kouign amann cake instead of individual pastries, roll the final dough out to a large square shape and fold in the corners, like making one gigantic kouign amann. Transfer the cake to a buttered 10-inch cake pan and bake as directed.

Variations (a.k.a Things to Stuff in the Middle): a square of chocolate, a spoonful of jam, or a few fresh berries or chopped fruit. You can also mix a little cinnamon into the sugar sprinkled into the layers to make cinnamon-sugar kouign amann.

Inspiration and methods for this recipe were drawn from several different sources, namely Flour, Too by Joanne Chang, Patisserie by Christophe Felder, and David Lebovitz's Kouign Amann recipe. A debt of thanks to each.


  • 300g/10½oz strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 5g fast-action yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200ml/7fl oz warm water
  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 250g/9oz cold unsalted butter, in a block
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Put the flour into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Add the water and melted butter and mix on a slow speed for two minutes, then on a medium speed for six minutes.

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Put into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for one hour.

Sandwich the butter between two sheets of greaseproof paper and bash with a rolling pin, then roll out to a 14cm/5½in square. Place in the fridge to keep chilled.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20cm/8in square. Place the butter in the centre of the dough diagonally, so that each side of butter faces a corner of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter to enclose like an envelope.

Roll the dough into a 45x15cm/18x6in rectangle. Fold the bottom third of dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough over. You will now have a sandwich of three layers of butter and three layers of dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This completes one turn.

Repeat this process twice more, so you have completed a total of three turns, chilling the dough for 30 minutes between turns.

Roll the dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and fold into thirds again. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large 40x30cm/16x12in rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with caster sugar and cut the dough into 12 squares.

Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with oil. Gather the dough squares up by their four corners and place in the muffin tins, pulling the four corners towards the centre of the muffin tin, so that it gathers up like a four-leaf clover. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up.

Preheat oven to 220C/200C(fan)/425F/Gas 7. Bake the pastries for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cover with foil halfway through if beginning to brown too much. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Be careful not to burn yourself on the caramelised sugar, but don’t leave them to cool for too long, or the caramelised sugar will harden and they will be stuck in the tin.