Great British Bake Off – Kouign Amann

Episode 7: Pastry

Recipe (Technical Challenge): Kouign Amann

I think the most exciting part of this episode for me, was finding out how to actually pronounce the name of this recipe! In case you were wondering, it’s like, “koo-en ah-maan”, haha. The kouign amann is a pastry with origins in Brittany, France. It’s kind of a sweet laminated yeasted dough that’s gently folded and placed into a mold (like a muffin tin) which rises to create it’s signature shape. It’s gotten more popular in the last year or so – with b Patisserie in San Francisco taking the lead.

As with a few other recipes in this challenge, I’ve never actually had a kouign amann myself! Or seen one! And I have to say, it would have helped in understanding how it’s shaped. But at the same time, I think it made the Technical Challenge more authentic. It really was a blind reading of the recipe.

Mine came out a bit more bready than I think what they are usually like and I didn’t put nearly as much sugar on top. The shape…well…wasn’t at all like “real” kouign amanns. I think that it would have been helpful to do a quick image search to at least find out what the final product looked like!

Here is the recipe in case you are interested:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/kouign_amann_09102

So the dough is a laminated yeast dough – like a croissant. One of the steps included pounding a block of butter to a thin rectangle and then you fold it into the dough. I have fond memories of doing this when I was in Chicago. My lab partner didn’t want to do it, I was more than happy to oblige her request. It was a good way to get some stress out, haha.Koiugn Amann DoughWhen the dough is “done”, it’s rolled out and then cut into 12. 

Koiugn Amann DoughThey are then gently shaped and then placed into muffin tins.  
Koiugn Amann DoughYou then sprinkle sugar on top. 

Koiugn AmannHere is ‘my’ finished product! I have no idea how bakers managed to get them not to puff out, I think the edges must be sealed.

Koiugn Amann

Anyway, I still had some lovely layers! I don’t think I put enough sugar though. I think the intention is for the pastry to be slightly sweet, but I didn’t get that at all.

I think I would like to make kouign amann again…but probably with a different recipe. Sorry Paul Hollywood!

Overall: 7/10

Next up – eclairs!

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Categories: Great British Bake Off

Author:bainvancouver

Communications specialist by day, baker/cook/triathlete/dog-owner by night. I blog about my adventures inside and outside my kitchen. Come take a look - no big whoop!

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