Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kouign Amann

Blogging with a dog on my lap is difficult, but I will try my best. I'm at home for a bit before my next (and final) semester begins. Gah. Last semester. I won't lie to you. I'm scared. It's the biggest unknown yet. What does it mean to be part of the real, adult world? What does success even look like? Different things for different people. I need to spend some time thinking long and hard about what brings me joy, and not what I'm expected to do. I'll let you know if I figure that one out. 

SO MUCH BUTTER.

Right now...yeah, I know I need to figure my life out, but I'm also trying to take advantage of the fact that I am currently surrounded by friends. Everyone will scatter soon, opportunities drawing them to all corners of the country. Is real life lonely? I don't want to spend my days working, then going back to an empty house, eating alone, then reading or watching tv until it's an acceptable hour to go to bed. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Ah. No. Okay. 


We're going to talk about nice things now. Kouign Amann is nice (pronounce it like queen ahmon. I love saying it). It literally means butter cake in Breton, which is basically what it is. Flaky, croissant like dough, with tons of crunchy sugar on top. It is pretty ugly (rustic!), but it's easier than something like croissants or danish. A good gateway to the pastry world. Make a ton of dough and freeze some for later, to pull out when friends are visiting. Or eat it all if you don't have friends, like me in the future (just kidding! I hope.) 



Kouign Amann 
from Joe Pastry
(This makes about four, nine inch pastries)

1 lb. 12 ounces all-purpose flour
1 ounce melted butter
14 ounces water
1 tablespoon, two teaspoons instant yeast
1 lb. lightly salted butter
egg wash (2 beaten eggs plus two teaspoons water)
1 cup granulated sugar for topping (this is the amount of sugar you need to top FOUR of them. Keep it in mind). 


Combine the flour, melted butter, water and yeast in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle. Stir until all ingredients are moistened and switch to the dough hook. Knead for 1-2 minutes, until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, apply cooking spray or a small amount of oil, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to sit for 1/2 an hour, until about doubled. 

About ten minutes before the dough is ready, make your butter block. (If you're unfamiliar with laminating dough, go here). Make your dough packet, roll it out and give it two turns, resting the dough for 20 minutes in the refrigerator after each turn, covered with plastic wrap. The dough will rest happily in your refrigerator for 2-3 days days at this point, or it can be frozen for three months. 

When ready to make your pastries do a final turn, this time sprinkling sugar over the dough before you fold it. Cut the dough into four pieces (just under 16 ounces each) and roll them out to 8″ to 9″ circles. (alternately, you can roll the dough out flat, cut it into small square and shape the squares as you would cheese Danishes). Place the circles into parchment-lined pans, cover with plastic wrap and let them rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until puffy. 

While the kouigns are proofing, preheat your oven to 400. When they’re fully proofed, paint them with egg wash, sprinkle them liberally with sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes until browned. Serve warm.

6 comments:

  1. If you keep baking like this, you will have TOO many friends!

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    1. That is a problem I would love to have!

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  2. Yum. A weekend project for me I think! Can't wait to try these.

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    1. Yeah, it's kind of time consuming but totally worth it.

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  3. This looks so delicious!!! Oh goodness, your post brings back lots of great college memories for me, a time in my life I was sad to see come to an end and I would go back to in a heartbeat. You will figure it out!

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    1. Thank you so much, your comment means a lot to me. Gotta try and make the most of the time I have left!

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