After reading this we’re pretty sure that some of you are going to want to try making this, and lots of guests will be making this treat as part of our customized Team Building programs this fall.
Kouign-amann (pronounced [kwiɲˈamɑ̃nː] is a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, made with viennoiserie dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers.
The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in the layered aspect of it) and the sugar caramelizes.
About 8 to 10 servings
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) active dry yeast, not instant
- ¾ cup (175 ml) tepid water
- 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar (which will be divided later)
- (Plus additional sugar for rolling out the pastry)
- 1 stick salted butter (110 g), cut into ½-inch (2 cm) cubes and chilled
- 2-3 tablespoons additional salted butter, melted
- In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water with a pinch of sugar. Stir briefly, then let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.
- Gradually stir the flour and salt. The dough should be soft, but not too sticky. Lightly dust your countertop with flour and transfer the dough onto it. Knead the dough with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. If the dough is very sticky, knead in just enough flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands.
- Brush a medium bowl with melted butter, put the dough ball into the bowl. Cover, and let rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, line a dinner plate with plastic wrap and set aside.
- On a lightly floured countertop, roll the dough into a rectangle about 12″ x 18″ with the shorter sides to your left and right. The dough may be sticky and difficult to handle. Use a metal pastry scraper to coax the dough into shape, and a minimal sprinkling of flour, as necessary. (It will all be beautiful later, trust me.)
- Distribute the cubed butter in the center of the dough and sprinkle with ¼ cup (50 gr) of sugar. Grab the left side of the dough, lift and fold it over the center, than do the same with the right side (like a letter). You should have what resembles a 3-level pastry.
- Sprinkle the entire length of the dough with ¼ cup (50 gr) of sugar and (without rolling) fold again into thirds, as before.