The pastry week technical was a Breton pastry called a kouign amann. I’m quite pleased to say I managed to find one to eat at a local place called Prep & Pastry. It’s like a flaky muffin. The folding of the layers makes me think of croissants. The ingredients are surprisingly straightforward, but we’ll see if my technique to create the proper layers is up to snuff.
- Make the Dough
I nearly messed up straight from the start. I saw to mix all of the ingredients in the mixer, but I was supposed to put in the flour first! The mixer kneaded the bread longer than I usually do, so I think this was a good lesson in kneading. My only concern was the rise. It did rise and there were air bubbles, but this wasn’t like a bread rise where the dough doubles in size.
2. Prep the Butter
I had to buy Amish butter to get a big giant block of butter. I will admit I had fun bashing the butter flat. Thank God for wax paper or this would have been a mess!
3. Creating Layers
The instructions call for 3 “turns”, meaning I fold the layers, roll the dough out long, and then fold again and let cool in the fridge. Doing this creates the layers needed for the pastry.
This was tough! The butter had become warm and so the dough became sticky. I think I managed a rough approximation of the intended “clover” shape. I don’t think I sprinkled enough sugar on top.
5. The Bake
I started at 30 minutes, checking halfway through to make sure the pastries weren’t browning too quickly.
I am shocked this got picked as a technical when there was so much waiting! Without decor or filling, there was nothing to do in between the waits. An hour long prove, followed by multiple half hour chilling. The real contestants only had 3 1/2 hours. So 1 hour bake + 1 hour chilling + 30 minute bake means they were right at the time limit! Since I’m not timing myself, it took me most of the day, but it was worth it for these buttery, flaky morsels.