Sunday, February 01, 2009

kouign amann #4.


this is the 4th & last installment in my Kouign Amann series because the only thing left for me to do now is travel to Brittany so i can taste the real thing & believe me-- it's on "the list".

it's been awhile, but the buttery cake with the crackling sugar top & caramely sides is every bit as good as i remember. speaking of which, when i went looking for the last incarnation of the recipe, i found that i'd never written it down in final form. so, after much hunting & pecking through my past posts i strung the pieces together & here it is--

Kouign Amann
adapted from Gale Gand's recipe in butter, sugar, flour, eggs & David Lebovitz.

1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 C warm water
2 1/4 C AP flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
10 T lukewarm water
4 oz Pamplie butter (available at Whole Foods), cut into 1/2" pieces & slightly chilled.
1 1/2 C granulated sugar

In a small bowl, stir together yeast & 1/4 C water. Let stand till foamy.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Add yeast & mix with your hands. Add the 10 T water and continue mixing until dough comes together. If dough is too dry, add a tiny bit more water until it does.

Turn dough out onto silpat. Knead for about 4 minutes until elastic. Dough will be sticky.

Oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, cover with a towel & let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. I proof in my oven with a bowl of steaming water on the bottom shelf.

Do 4 turns as for puff pastry. I've described it below, but I recommend watching this video for technique--> start at 2:10 to hear what they say about the butter. Technique for turns follows that.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface. Roll to an 8x14" rectangle (approximately), short ends at top and bottom. Distribute butter in the center, sprinkle with 1/4 C sugar. Fold top end down over butter, then bottom end up over the top piece so that you have little package that encases the butter. Give dough 1/4 turn to the right (1 turn). Sprinkle top of dough with sugar and roll to 8x14" rectangle again, sprinkle with more sugar, fold top end down, then bottom end up. Give 1/4 turn to the right (1 turn). Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 10 minutes. (That was 2 turns total)

Do 2 more turns as above, chilling 10 minutes in between each turn.

Heat oven to 400.

Spray a 9" cake pan with cooking spray (I have done this in a 9" pan, but I prefer splitting the dough in half & baking in 2 (7") cake pans).

Roll dough to a 10" (8" if using 7" pans) circle and place into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with more sugar, cross hatch top with lame or exacto blade.

For 9" cake bake bake 30-32 minutes, or until top is caramelized to deep golden brown
for 7" cakes bake 28-30 minutes, or until top is caramelized to deep golden brown.

Cool cake in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan - don't let it sit in the pan for too long or you'll never get it out of there!