Saturday, March 28, 2015

Redemption: Kouign Amann v.2

Remember when I made briquettes? Well, I couldn't let that failure stand. So, the day after I completely failed at creating those dreamy, buttery, flaky morsels, I went back into the kitchen and gave it another try. This time - success!



Ingredients

  • 1 C water, room temperature
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 C flour, divided
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 C cold salted butter + more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 C organic granulated sugar, divided, plus extra for shaping the pastries
  • ground cardamom for sprinkling

Procedure
Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Add 2 1/2 C of the flour, keeping 1/4 C for later, and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size, approximately one hour.


Once the dough has doubled, place it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour or as long as overnight. Pound the butter into rectangle. Some people use a ruler and make it very precise. I am less-precise. Wrap the butter in parchment and chill with the dough.

When you're ready, sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with flour and place dough on top. Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 12"x 20". Remember, I'm less than precise, but it was around that size.


Remove the butter from the fridge and lay it in the middle of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough in to form an envelope.


It should look like this...


Using the rolling pin, roll it out to 12"20" again. This time, fold one third of the dough over the other third, like folding a letter. 

Now you have to turn the dough. This process was new to me. Turning the dough, by rolling and folding, creates very thin layers of butter and dough. This recipe needs to be turned 4 times: 2 turns now, and then the final 2 turns after you chill the dough. If the butter pushes through a layer of dough, rub it with a little flour. If the butter seems to be melting, chill the dough for 30 minutes between each turn. Keep the parchment, the rolling pin, and the surface of the pastry well-floured.

To turn: Rotate the package of dough and butter so that the narrower, open end is facing you, like the pages of a book.


Roll the dough out to a rectangle and fold the top third down and the bottom third up, again like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees so that the open end is again facing you. Repeat. Roll the dough out to a rectangle and fold the top third down and the bottom third up. That's 2 turns.

Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes. Do not refrigerate much longer than 30 minutes or the butter will break when you roll it out.

Remove the dough from the fridge and transfer it to a well-floured parchment. With the open end facing you, roll the dough out to a rectangle, again. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat. That's 4 turns.

Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Rub the insides of a muffin tins with butter. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the fridge and transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll the dough out to approximately 1/4" thick. Sprinkle 1 C of sugar and ground cardamom over the top of the dough. Slice the dough into twelve squares.

Pull the corners of each square toward the center. Transfer the dough to the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops of the pastries. Cover the kouign amann loosely and let rise until slightly puffy, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 400°F about half-way through the rise.

Place the kouign amann in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350°F. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Pastries are finished when the tops are deep golden and the tips look as if they might be just starting to burn.

Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the baking dish but be sure remove them after that. If they cool completely in the baking dish, they will be impossible to remove. Gently wiggle them out of the tray, then transfer the kouign amann to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Best served the day they are baked.

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