Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Kouign Amann

I love Kouign Amann, pronounce Queen Amann, which are a delicous French pastry.   Made with laminated dough, with yeast included for extra rise, the dough has sugar folded into it and on the outsides to create a lovely crunchy exterior and a light and puffy interior.

Traditionally Kouign Amann was made as a large round, in a cake ring.  But often these days smaller versions are made in small rings, muffin rings and also in muffin tins.  For mine I used a muffin tin.

I have made these before and the same recipe is used here, which is from Paul Hollywoord on the BBC Food website, but with a couple of minor changes to the amount of resting time. The reason for doing them today is that I haven't made a video of Kouign Amanna and they are so delicious that they deserve a wider audience. 

The process is quite long-winded as it requires time to prove and then several periods of chilling during the rolling out process.  But the end result is more than worth all the effort.

Mine turned out very well and they taste wonderful, with the sweet exterior, which is nice and crunchy and the soft and fluffy interior.  Not over sweet  as there is only 100g grams of sugar, they are very buttery too. These are a very special treat.
Kouign Amann

                                        Kouign Amann - Video
Ingredients:
  • 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
Method:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 one hour. This completes one turn.
  6. Repeat this process twice more, so you have completed a total of three turns, chilling the dough for 30 minutes between turns.
  7. When the dough has rested after the third trun roll it into a rectangle as before,. Sprinkle the dough with some of the caster sugar and fold into thirds again. This completes a fourth turn, but with sugar incorporated.
  8.  Working quickly, sprinkle caster sugar on the work surface androll the dough into a large 40x30cm/16x12in rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with the remaing caster sugar.
  9. Trim the edges to make them straight and cut the dough into 12 squares, so the short side is cut into 3 lengths and the longer side is cut into four to make the squares.
  10. 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 a little extra caster sugar and leave to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up.
  11. 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.

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