Throughout my years in high school and during my undergraduate career, I worked in a local artisan bakery. Everything was made from scratch that very morning, meaning it was usually small batch and would sell out by mid afternoon.
I remember specifically looking forward to working Thursday mornings, when one special head baker would make the most decadent delight: Kouign Amann. Only 24 came out every Thursday, and I was sure to grab at least two: one to get me through the morning rush, and one to eat on my way home after a hard day. Eventually, as that head baker disappeared, so did the Kouign Amann, but the sweet and savory taste never left my mind.
Adapted from Chef John’s “Kouign-Amann” recipe from All Recipes.
- Prep time 3 hours 50 minutes
- Cook time 30 minutes
- Makes 12 kouign amann
- For the Dough:
Active dry yeast
Raw or Morena sugar
Unsalted butter, melted
Bread flour, plus more for kneading
Sticks of butter, kept in the freezer until it's time to use
butter for the muffin pan
Dark chocolate chips or Sesame Seeds to add a little pizazz
- For the Seasoned Sugar
Raw or Morena sugar
- Combine warm water, active dry yeast and the 1 teaspoon of sugar in a bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes to feed!
- Add melted butter, 2 cups of flour, and salt. Stir using your favourite mixing spoon (I prefer a wooden spurtle) and combine into a wet dough.
- Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and begin kneading, adding more flour as needed. I ended up using about 2 ¼ cups of flour total.
- Keep kneading until the dough is slightly soft and elastic. Transfer to a buttered bowl, cover, and let sit until doubled in size, about one and a half hours.
- While the dough is resting, combine sugar and sea salt. Set aside. Easy.
- Brush the muffin tin over with melted butter.
- Spoon sugar into each muffin cup and shake to coat the sides.
- Dump the remaining sugar out and SAVE IT. You will continue to use that for a later step.
- Optional Step 1: Do you like those Sesame Crunch candies? If you like that deep, sweet, toasty flavour I recommend you sprinkle sesame seeds all around the muffin tins as well. I always do this for three of the twelve, because my dad is OBSESSED.
- Once the dough is risen, deflate and transfer to a floured surface.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle, about ⅛ inch thick. Mine ended up being a 9-inch by 12-inch rectangle, but yours may be different! Depends on how your dough rose.
- Take one stick of butter out of the freezer. Flour your hands real good, but dust off any excess. Using the cheese grater, grade the entire stick of butter over your dough.Gently press the butter into the dough so it doesn’t move around for the next step.
- To begin the lamination process of our puff pastry: Fold one third of the dough into the middle, and cover with the other third so you are left with a long rectangle.
- Once chilled, place back on floured surface. Roll out into another rectangle (about the same size as the first,) and repeat step 3 with your other stick of butter. Fold into thirds again. Don’t chill!
- Roll out into a rectangle again. Repeat folding into thirds, and repeat the roll and fold one final time before transferring back to sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in fridge for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of seasoned sugar onto rolling surface. Place chilled dough on top. Sprinkle more sugar on top of the dough (see how we’re using sugar here instead of flour?) and roll out into our rectangle. As you’re rolling out the dough, continue to add more sugar mixture both on top and underneath until almost all sugar is used.
- Optional step 2: Take a pizza cutter and trim the edges. I didn’t do this, but it makes your kouign amann’s look more consistent with each other so you can see ALL of the delicious layers for EACH one.
- Using the pizza cutter, cut twelve equal squares out of the dough. Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.
- Optional Step 3: If you love chocolate croissants, I’d recommend putting one or two chocolate chips in the middle of the kouign amann before folding to add a little chocolatey goodness to each packet. I usually make three of these along with the sesame, and have six regular ones.
- Continue folding until all kouign amann are made. Let rest for 10-15 minutes for one final proof. If you have more sugar left, why not add it here? Not necessary though.
- Transfer to oven, and let bake for 25-30 minutes. I lean more towards the 30 because I like the deep, caramel colour.
- Give them about 30-45 seconds to cool, and brace yourself. You gotta pull these babies out while they’re hot, otherwise the caramel will make them stick to the tin! I give them a little twist to release, then transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely for about 15 min.
- Get ready, set, devour!