Kouign-Amann French Pastries

Bonjour, fellow culinary fanatics! What’s cracking in the kitchen today? Well, let me tell you about the marvelous transformation happening in my own cozy nook. As dawn broke and the morning sun peeped through the window, I turned on some Edith Piaf and decided to dedicate the day to crafting the ultimate comfort food – the ethereal French pastry, Kouign-Amann.

Whew! It’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Pronounced queen a-mahn, this Breton delicacy is simplicity and sophistication beautifully woven into one treat. The butter, the sugar, and the yeast dough, brought alive with a bit of flair and finesse, creates a harmony rivalling any symphony.

Alright, alright, butterfingers at the ready, my friends! We’re about to dive into the naturally sweet yet surprisingly salty world of Kouign-Amann. No shortcuts, folks, we’re not microwaving popcorn here! That’s right, Kouign-Amann warrants patient kneading, more tender loving care than your grandmother’s muffins.

The dough, oh, mon Dieu! The first time I laid my eyes on its fluffy magic, I couldn’t help but swoon. A gentle push of the heel of your hand, a sprinkle of cracked sea salt, a generous dollop of sugar…and voila! Your canvas is ready for the butter paint.

Like skirting around a chat with your ex, you don’t want to rush laminating the dough. It’s a delicate dance really, introducing the dough to delicious layers of glorious French butter. Ah, baking truly is an echo of life’s greatest lessons.

L’embarras du choix — the embarrassment of choices! Serve it up for brunch with a steaming latte, or save it till after supper. There’s really no wrong way to relish these pastries. The journey won’t be easy, but then “C’est la vie”, right? So, pop on that apron, and let’s make some Kouign-Amann magic together!

Let’s Taste This Dish!

Sure, here is a simple Kouign-Amann recipe:

  • Gather all your necessary ingredients: 1 cup warm water (about 110°F), one 1/4-ounce packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast, 2 3/4 cups bread flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter (preferably European-style), 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the water and yeast, letting it sit until the yeast dissolves.
  • Mix the flour and salt into the yeast mixture until it forms a sticky dough.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, then place it back in the bowl, cover it, and let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface, pat it into an 8-inch square, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • While the dough is chilling, shape the butter into a 5 x 5-inch square and refrigerate it.
  • Roll out the dough into a 12 x 12-inch square, place the butter block diagonally, and fold the corners of the dough over the butter, sealing the butter fully.
  • Roll the dough into an 8 x 24-inch rectangle.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over the dough, then fold it in thirds like a business letter.
  • Rotate the dough 90 degrees, roll it out into an 8 x 24-inch rectangle again, sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over and fold again in thirds.
  • Fold it again into an 8-inch square, wrap it in plastic, and chill it for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F, and butter a 12-cup muffin tin.
  • Sprinkle a clean surface with 1/4 cup sugar, and put the chilled dough on it.
  • Cut the dough into 12 squares, sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and press each down lightly to flatten it.
  • Snugly fit each square into a muffin cup, sprinkle the tops with the sea salt, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and puffed.
  • Let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to cool completely.

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