Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kouign Amann: an experiment in butter and sugar

A couple of months ago I stumbled onto David Lebovitz's website and a most delicious looking photo of a dessert I'd never heard of: Kouign Amann. I had to try it. While I overbaked my first attempt slightly, it was still absolutely delicious - buttery, but not too rich, and surrounded by a chewy caramelized sugar dough.

I had a slight problem with the dough "weeping" after it rested in the fridge, so it was a sloppy mess by the time I got it in the pan to bake. This didn't seem to affect the taste, but did make a big, sticky, sugary mess when rolling out and handling the dough. (This happened to me another time with palmiers so I need to investigate a bit to find out what causes the weeping with butter/sugar doughs.) Leslie Cole of The Oregonian reports that Romina Rasmussen, owner of Les Madeleines - and famous for her Kouign Amann - says that it may be American butter which has a higher moisture content than European. So, next time I'll splash out for some swanky European butter. On a side note, OMG, check out these photos from Les Madeleines - I think it's time to visit Utah! Leslie Cole also provides two recipes which I'll try next time I make Kouign Amann.

The recipe and directions can be found on David Lebovitz's website.

mise en place

proofing the yeast

ready to knead

so smooth and pretty

ready to rise

hmmm, I may have let it rise too much

this is so "webby," I'm getting nervous that it's over-risen

my dough is really thin...I think it must have risen too much...but I'll keep plugging along

adding the butter and some sugar

making an "envelope"

folded over again...kind of a mess at this point, with butter poking out everywhere

My dough was definitely too thin and so the butter didn't get incorporated properly, even after the second roll, however it still tasted fine in the end.

after the first rise in the fridge - a wet sloppy mess

ready to go into the oven

smells so good, like caramel


Bye for now...

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