Kouign Amann is a croissant dough with sugar layered in during the last turn so after it’s baked the pastries are sweet, crunchy, buttery and super flaky.
Now that we tackled croissants last week you might like to us any left over dough you have. If you don’t have any these tasty treats are enough to prompt you into making another batch of dough just for these.
To make kouign amann you need to make a laminated dough, which is a simple yeast dough that you wrap around a butter block. I used quick rise or rapid yeast so I could mix the yeast in with the flour which speeds up the process. There’s great tips on using quick rise yeast on the Red Star website, including using a thermometer to determine the correct water temperature.
The recipe uses European style butter because it contains less water and will make your pastry flakier. You roll out the butter to create a butter block to put in the middle of the dough. A quart size plastic bag is the perfect tool to help easily create the 6-inch butter square you need.
Once you’ve encased the butter in the dough, you roll out the dough in to a rectangle, fold the bottom third up and the top third down on top of the bottom third. Then you’ll cover the dough and put it in the refrigerator to chill for thirty minutes.
After thirty minutes, you turn the dough so it opens like a book and then roll it out again. You’ll do four of these “turns”, refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes after each turn so that the dough and butter stays cold.
I roll mine right on the counter (I have granite which stays cool) be sure and keep your counter floured, and use a pastry scraper if necessary to loosen the dough from the counter. You can roll your dough out on a silicone mat which make it easy to fold the dough for the turns.
The pastries come out of the oven extra crispy but soften up as the day goes on, so be sure to savor them the day you make them. If you have any leftover place them in a plastic zip bag and freeze. Be sure to reheat them in the oven at 350° for about 10 minutes.
- 2 1/2 plus extra for dusting the counter top all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Red Star Instant Yeast (Platinum or Quick Rise)
- 3/4 sea salt teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup warm water, no hotter than 120°
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup or 2 sticks cold unsalted European butter such as Kerry Gold
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon Flor de Sal or fine sea salt (If you’re not using Flor de Sal add the extra 1/4 teaspoon of salt to your dough)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt. Add warm water and melted butter to flour mixture. Beat 1 minute at medium speed. Switch to the dough hook and gradually mix in remaining flour to make a smooth dough, add more or less flour as necessary. Knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to oil the top. Using a razor blade or sharp knife cut an X across the top of the ball of dough Cover; let rise until dough doubles in size.
- While dough rises, make butter block. Put butter in a quart size zipper bag and with a rolling pin, roll out in to a 6 inch square. Place in the fridge to chill.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 8 inch square. Place the butter in the center 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.
- First turn: Roll the dough into a 18 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold the bottom third of the dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough over, like folding a letter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Second turn: Turn the dough so the open end is on the right (like opening a book) and roll the dough into a 18 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold the bottom third of the dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough on top of the bottom third. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Third turn: Rotate the dough so the open end is on the right and roll the dough into a 18 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold the bottom third of the dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough on top of the bottom third. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Fourth turn: Rotate the dough so the open end is on the right and roll the dough into a 18 x 6 inch rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with 1/2 cup superfine sugar and sea salt. Press lightly with the rolling pin to help it stick. Fold the bottom third of the dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough on top of the bottom third. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with 2 tablespoons superfine sugar and cut the dough into 12 squares.
- Grease a 12-cup muffin pan well with butter. For each square, pull the four corners towards the center, so it looks like a four-leaf clover. Press the corners together and place in a muffin cup. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons superfine sugar.
- Cover the kouign amann loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes or until slightly puffed up.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake the pastries for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cover with foil halfway through to prevent burning.
- Remove from the oven and cool for several minutes in the pan. Use a spatula or butter knife to loosen the pastries from the muffin cups and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Do not let the pastries cool in the pan or they will be difficult to remove.
Kouign Amann is best eaten the day they’re made. If you don’t polish them off in one day, put them in the freezer and warm them in the oven to crisp them up before serving.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” -C.S. Lewis