We love cooking shows. And the Great British Baking Show always gets a rise out of me. One rainy Sunday we were watching and they made Kouign Amann. It had five ingredients, a lot of complicated folding, but it looked rather simple if technical.
“I bet I can make it.” I announced.
And I did. The only problem I had was at the end. I miss-measured and cut for nine instead of twelve. I don’t know why my brain farted but it did, and I made my long side too short. So that was my only fuck up.
My recipe is from PBS, who got it from The Great British Baking show, but I did alter it slightly.
- 300g (10½ oz) alove purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 5g regular yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 200ml (7 fl oz) warm water
- 25g (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 250g (9 oz) cold unsalted butter, in a block
- 100g (3½ oz) ultra fine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
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, pause it and fold in anything stuck on the sides and bottom, then on a medium speed for six minutes.
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 and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half. If you used instant yeast, you can do an hour.
Sandwich the butter between two sheets of greaseproof paper and bash with a rolling pin, then roll out to a 14cm (5½ in) square. Place in the fridge to keep chilled.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20cm (8 in) 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.
Roll the dough into a 45x15cm (18×6 in) 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 30 minutes. This completes one turn.
Repeat this process twice more, so you have completed a total of three turns, chilling the dough for 30 minutes between turns.
Roll the dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and fold into thirds again. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large 40x30cm (16×12 in) rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with caster sugar and cut the dough into 12 squares.
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 caster sugar and leave to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up.
Preheat oven to 350 F. 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 caramelized sugar, but don’t leave them to cool for too long, or the caramelized sugar will harden and they will be stuck in the tin.
Serve warm or cold.
They worked out surprisingly well for as goofy as my cuts were. The size of the pastries is hugely important. Too small and they’re greasy and heavy. The medium ones were perfect.