Kouigns Amann

I’m back on the bake-along bandwagon!  This time around, Rose’s ‘Alpha’ Bakers are starting off with a bang – we’re baking Kouigns Amann, which are the recipe that made the cover of The Baking Bible.  These are a laminated pastry, which means they’re made with thin layers of dough and fat – in this case, bread dough and butter.  Think croissant, but with some sugar in the mix. In other words, they’re delicious. I made these once before, as part of the group that helped test some of the recipes, but I couldn’t blog about them at that time, under a strict non-disclosure agreement!

Oh, and I apologize for the lousy pictures in this post. I think it’s going to take me a bit to get back into the swing of things with the bake-along blogging. I did my photography today with my phone’s camera, which is usually pretty decent, but I wasn’t paying enough attention and ended up with several blurry shots.

Laminated doughs aren’t actually all that difficult, as long as you’re patient. It’s all about keeping the butter & dough at the right temperatures.  You start out by making the dough, and letting it rest. While it rests, you shape your butter into a square (5″ in this case). I used Stirling Creamery’s 84% “Euro style” butter for the first time for this recipe, and I think it was worth it!  Shape the dough into a larger square (8″ here), and lay the butter square on top, at a diagonal.

Dough ready for the butter square
Dough ready for the butter square

Mark where the butter lines up, then roll out the corners of the dough from that point outwards. At this point, the butter should be close to room temperature, and warm enough that it’s a similar consistency to the dough. Follow the recommended temperature in Rose’s books, and you’ll never go wrong.

Dough flaps rolled out and butter in position
Dough flaps rolled out and butter in position

Then, fold the flaps in and over, covering the butter, and pinch the seams to seal all that butter inside.

Butter enveloppe
Butter envelope

Then, roll it into a rectangle, and fold it up like a business letter.

Getting ready to rest for an hour
Getting ready to rest for an hour

After you’ve wrapped it up in plastic wrap, it goes into the fridge for an hour to rest. After the first ‘turn’, it has 3 layers of butter. For the second turn, you repeat the process – roll it out into a rectangle, then fold it again (it now has 9 layers of butter, if you’ve been keeping track), then back into the fridge for another hour. The 3rd turn is a bit different.  You clean all the flour off your work surface, and sprinkle it with sugar instead.

Rolling it out in sugar
Rolling it out in sugar

The sugar works surprisingly well at keeping it from sticking to the counter, and on the plus side – sugar! You do the tri-fold again (27 butter layers, now!), then it goes into the freezer for 1/2 an hour, and then back into the fridge for one last 1/2 hour rest.  From here, it’s simple – roll it out into a large rectangle and cut it into 8 pieces. Each square is then rolled a bit thinner/bigger.

Final rolling and shaping
Final rolling and shaping

Then you fold the corners into the middle, then fold them in again, and try to pinch it shut. They won’t stay pinched shut, but that’s ok.

After resting, ready for the oven
After rising (a little bit), ready for the oven

They look a little alien blob-ish, but they fluffed up and browned nicely in the oven.

Finished Kouigns
Finished Kouigns


These are delicious, but they’re definitely not light! Jay & I split one with tea before supper, while we waited for our turkey to finish cooking, and split another one after supper, and … well, maybe it’s the turkey dinner talking, but I’ve definitely had my fill tonight!

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13 thoughts on “Kouigns Amann

  1. evilcakelady, The place I got my pastry rings (vanillafoodcompany.ca – love them!) ran out of stock at 5, and they didn’t know when they’d have more in. So, when I dug them out of the cupboard, I noticed that I had the mini tart pans, and I figured they’d work well enough as rings. Turns out I was right. 🙂

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  2. I agree about laminated doughs and patience…I like how lots of other activities can be fit into the schedule. For a procrastinator like me, it’s a useful time management tool.

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  3. ב”ה

    Love that marble rolling pin. Does it work better than others?

    Perhaps rolling out a bit thinner would have helped with the shaping.

    They are indeed delicious.

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  4. I’m amused by the fact that two of you have commented on the rolling pin. 🙂 I actually received it from a neighbour who didn’t want it and knew that I liked to bake. It came with a marble slab, which is great for things like fudge.

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  5. LOL! I have that marble rolling pin too.. but i forgot about it. LOL! It’s so funny.. i have to go take out my marble rolling pin.. After I saw Pat’s post, i remembered i have pastry cloth somewhere too.

    I like how you baked yours in tart tin and they turned out pretty too! Did we need to roll again the 4″ square that we cut before we shaped it? Somehow I kind of missed reading that part..

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  6. I was also thinking how clever you were to remember to use a marble rolling pin to make a super-buttery dough. I think you should just modestly acknowledge your cleverness without mentioning the fact that the rolling pin is a castoff! Or you could say that it’s a castoff that only you recognized the value in. Anyway, they look great!

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  7. Hi Kristina, I couldn’t help laughing at your description of the shaped dough as aliens and when I looked at them I have to agree – they look like they’re trying to get out of the tins! They look lovely cooked.
    Catherine

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