Last weekend’s kouign amanns had the right taste, more about but they weren’t pretty. Since pastries are first eaten with the eyes, order I knew that I’d be in the kitchen again. Plus, I really like kouign amann – evil carmelized pastries that they are.
While the recipe is easy, I also found that resting the dough to be slightly awkward. In the fridge or freezer, the sugar melts and the simple syrup penetrates the dough. After baking, each layer is encrusted in caramel. However, layers aren’t as distinct and pastries were a little dense for me.
This time around, I made the dough, fold in the butter, cut and shape, proof for 30 minutes, and then put it in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Kouign Amann Recipe (adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe)
Makes 6 koiugn amann Breton butter cakes.
- 260 g all-purpose flour
- 4 g instant yeast
- 4 g kosher salt
- 175 g tepid water
- 150 g sugar, divided into 50g batches
- 1 stick salted butter, sliced horizontally into 9 planks
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Mix flour, yeast, and salt
- Mix in water until ingredients are incorporated
- Rest for 20 minutes and then fold the dough*
- While dough is resting, create a solid piece of butter by laying out the horizontal planks 3 x 3 on parchment paper. Then take a rolling pin to flatten and make one cohesive block of butter 6″ x 12″ large. Place back in fridge to harden up again.
- Rest for 20 minutes and then fold the dough
- Rest for 20 minutes and then roll dough into a 12″ x 12″ square
- Place the butter on the dough, and sprinkle with 50 g of sugar
- Fold the dough so that the butter is completely covered
- Sprinkle with 40 g of sugar, and then double fold the dough **
- Sprinkle with 10 g of sugar, and then book fold the dough
- Roll the dough out, sprinkle with 50 g of sugar and letter fold the dough
- Roll the dough out into a 8″ x 12″ rectangle
- Trim edges off
- Cut into 4″ x 4″ pieces, yielding 6 squares
- Fold the corners onto themselves and place the squares into a buttered/oil muffin pan.
- Proof for 30 minutes
- Bake for 20 minutes, rotating at the 1/2 way mark to promote even browning
- Take out of the oven, let cool a minute or two, then remove the kouign amann from the pan and cool on a wire rack
* Grab the end closest to you, stretch it over the top. Grab the end furthest from you, stretch it back over the top. Grap the right end, stretch it over the top to the left. And finally, grab the left end, stretch it over the top to the right. This is one fold. Once complete, flip the dough over so seam side is down.
** Double fold, book, and letter folds were done ala Shantilly Star’s recipe.
First food product I ever learned to make were Rice Krispies Treats. And for many many years, it was the only thing I knew how to make. Fortunately, the hot wife loves Rice Krispies Treats, so I get the chance to make them quite often. We like a healthy marshmallow to cereal ratio, so that every kernel is well coated in marshmallow goodness. In addition, we like Rice Krispies Treats that remain pliable when cooled.
According to the all knowing Internet, the original recipe had 5 cups of rice krispies cereal and 4 TB of butter. The current Kellog’s recipe has 6 cups of rice krispies and 3 TB of butter. Those ratios are too marshmallow rich for me.
Here’s my Rice Krispie Treats recipe.
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter*
- 10.5 oz / 1 bag of Jet-Puffed Mini Marshmallows**
- 10 cups of rice krispies cereal
- Butter or spray a 9×13 pan or tupperware
- In a large non stick pot, melt butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring constantly
- When marshmallows are 3/4 melted, turn off heat and add the cereal***
- Stir/fold/mix till well coated
- Pour into the pan and let cool for at least a couple of minutes.
* I used to add salt, but refrained recently. Pure without the salt.
** Use the best marshmallows you can find. To save money, I had used store brand marshmallow minis. The taste of artificial vanilla was overpowering.
*** Cook marshmallows too long and they become candy when it cools. This results in hard rice krispie treats.
My home bread making has taken a significant leap forward. Thanks to Marcel for introducing me to a stone oven, suitable for in home use – the Haussler electric stone bread oven. The downside of the oven is that there are no US distributors, so Marcel had to order directly from Germany. After many weeks at sea and a few weeks at the port of Oakland, it’s now sitting in my garage ready for installation.
To be able to bake 9 loaves at once …
My friend Lesley is the best of foodie friends. She’s always in the know of all good eats, mind and she enthusiastically shares everything. For a party in her honor, what is ed she brought pasties, and kouign amann in particular. While these breton butter cakes have been taking San Francisco by storm, I’ve been blindly noshing on less decadent pastries. One bite of Lesley’s offering, I vowed to upgrade.
Thanks to the Internet, there’s a few compelling recipes a mouse click away. The #1 search result is David Lebovitz’s kouign amann recipe from 2005! I’m already 6 years behind, so I have a lot of baking and eating to do.
Using Lebovitz’s recipe with minor tweaks*, combining it with Shanti Star’s kouign amann recipe’s folds, I get some snacky desserts on the second attempt. The first attempt were hockey pucks as I had to leave the dough in the fridge for 8 hours.
The resulting mini cakes were rich and caramelized goodness. However, I would have preferred a lighter pastry and will need to experiment with proofing times before baking.
* ex. 6 grams of SAF instant yeast, instead of the 12 grams of active yeast. Also instead of adding more flour for the dough to come together, I fold the dough to build structure.