Friday, January 21, 2011

Kouign Amann also known as Breton cake

Have you ever heard about this? Till yesterday I had no idea what this was. It looks like caramelized cake, but looking at the ingredients it’s more like a sweet bread. You have to try it for yourself.

Searching for another sourdough bread I found it on an Australian website; Sourdough companion. I saw David Lebovitz also made it. I followed David’s instructions, his pictures looked delicious. Both Karnie and David are so enthusiastic about this Kouign Amann.

David says; ‘Is there anything more fabulous than something created through the wonder and miracle of caramelization?

And Karnie says; ‘We made this heavenly french dessert as part of our bread making night at Boulangerie L'epi (St Michaels Ave, Ellerslie, Auckland) a few weeks ago, and it was S O delicious’. I couldn’t resist.

It’s ok to have expectations, as long as you keep an open mind. When the Kouign Amann was ready I was happy with the result, it looked like the one David baked. In the evening we ate a piece and we had the same thought; ‘it’s ok’. We were surprised, because of the reactions of the others. The next day we ate another piece and enjoyed it. Without the expectations it was a delicious “something”, we had nothing to compare it with. It is sweet, crunchy, smells nice and taste nice. I will bake it again.

I did't have enough real butter and added a bit of margarine. It is probably a sin, but I have to work with what’s available.

It seems it’s a challenge to make a good Kouign Amann. So, David gives some tips on how to make this:
Use the best salted butter you can find. It is a sticky dough, use a spatula. Work fast and roll quickly. Don’t think about diets.

This is what I used:
Makes about 8 to 10 servings

12 g dried yeast
175 ml lukewarm water
260 g all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
200 g sugar (used in portions of 50 g each)
110 g salted butter, cut into 2 cm pieces and chilled

2-3 tablespoons salted butter, melted

This is what I did:
In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.

In a bowl mix the flour and salt. Add the yeasted water and mix the dough. The dough should be soft, but not too sticky. Transfer the dough to a flour dusted countertop. Knead the dough with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic, it took me about 10 minutes. Only if the dough is very sticky, knead in just enough flour, one tablespoon at a time. If you keep kneading the dough will become smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, covered container. Ferment in a warm place for one hour.

On a lightly floured countertop, roll the dough into a rectangle about 30 x 45 cm with the shorter sides to your left and right.

Divide the butter in the center of the dough and sprinkle with 50 g of sugar. Like a letter; fold the left half over the middle and then fold the right half.

Sprinkle over the entire dough 50 g of sugar and fold again into thirds, as before.

Place in a plastic bag and chill for 1 hour.
David let the dough without plastic in the refrigerator, it became dry. With a plastic bag it will be moist.

Once chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Sprinkle a handful of sugar on your countertop. Place the dough on top.

Sprinkle with 50 g of sugar, press it in a bit with your hands, and roll into a rectangle for the last time.

Again, fold into thirds and let rest in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220° C and brush a 23 cm pie plate, preferably non-stick, with melted butter.

Remove the dough from refrigerator. Roll dough into a circle about the size of the baking pan. If it is sticky; dusting the top with a sprinkle of sugar will help.
Once rolled, lift the dough and place it into the pan.

Sprinkle with the last 50 g of sugar and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is deeply caramelized. Let stand a few minutes, run a spatula around the edges to release the Kouign Amann and slide the cake from the pan onto a cooling rack.

I found the recipe on:
Sourdough Companion
David Lebovitz
I will send this to Yeastspotting


  1. Don't think about diets ... now that's rich.
    It's just ok but good enough to do again ... It's been on my list awhile. I'm sure you know that list, it's sooooo very long,

  2. Hi Tanna, yes I know about that list, mine is also very long. And every day something adds to it. But, that's what I love about bread blogs and baking. This Kouign Amann is delicious and too much sugar is bad, but still ones in a while .....