Kouign Amann
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 pieces
 
Very slightly adapted from David Lebovitz's recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon/12g active dry yeast, not instant
  • ¾ cup/175mL tepid water
  • 2 cups/260g plain/all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup/200g sugar plus extra for rolling out
  • 1 stick/113g salted butter, cut into ½ inch (2 cm) pieces and chilled
  • 2-3 tablespoons additional salted butter, melted
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast and a pinch of sugar with the water and stir to mix.
  2. Put aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix the flour and salt together.
  4. Add the flour and salt mixture to the yeast in the bowl and mix to form a soft dough.
  5. Dump out the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 2-3 minutes.
  6. The dough might be sticky and might require the use of a scraper to help you turn it over and knead.
  7. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour until it no longer sticks to your hands.
  8. Make into a ball and put inside a butter greased bowl and cover.
  9. Put aside in a warm place to rise, about an hour.
  10. Meanwhile, line a large plate with plastic wrap and put aside.
  11. On a lightly floured counter top, roll out the dough into a rectangle.
  12. Roll out to 12"x18" with the longer side towards you.
  13. The dough will be sticky and again use your scraper to help shape the dough if needed.
  14. Down the middle of the rolled out dough, place the chilled butter cubes and sprinkle a ¼ cup/50g of the sugar.
  15. Take one side of the dough and fold it over the butter.
  16. Take the other side and fold that over...like a letter.
  17. Sprinkle another ¼ cup/50g sugar down the entire length of the dough.
  18. Fold the dough from the bottom to the middle again
  19. Fold down the top ...again like a letter.
  20. Place the folded dough onto the plastic wrapped plate and place in the fridge to chill, an hour.
  21. Once chilled, remove the dough from the fridge.
  22. On a counter sprinkled liberally with sugar, place the dough to roll out.
  23. Roll out the dough again, sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar, pressing in it in, and fold into thirds like before and chill again for 30-60 minutes.
  24. Preheat the oven to 425℉/220℃ and brush a 9"/23 cm pie plate, preferably non stick, with melted butter.
  25. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out into a circle to fit the pan.
  26. It will be sticky and will want to break.
  27. Place in the pan and patch up the pieces if necessary.
  28. Sprinkle the top with the last remaining ¼ cup of sugar and pour over 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
  29. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is deeply caramelised.
  30. Remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes and then run a spatula around the edges and slide the bread onto a cooling rack.
Notes
David mentions a sticky dough, mine was manageable at all times, in fact I had to add a bit more water but that's usually the case at high altitudes. I used a 9" cast iron skillet, on second thought, maybe not a good choice. It was non stick and the kouign amann came out beautifully, but I feel it got a little too caramelised at the bottom. The cast iron is great at retaining heat so maybe that's why mine browned quite a bit on the bottom but not enough on top. Of course, the best bits were the over caramelised bottom bits. I used a European Style butter: my local grocery store had Challenge European Style. My only concern is that, even though there were layers in the end product, some of them were a little dry. I think maybe a butter paste might work better (I made my croissants with a paste and they were beautifully moist and flaky) or could try smaller chunks to get better butter distribution. Other than that, the bread was very decadent and delicious; buttery and sweet with the perfect salty balance.
Recipe by Coffee and Crumpets at http://www.coffeeandcrumpets.com/kouign-amann/