Now on the menu, let’s have a look at this emblematic Rreton cake: the Kouign Amann cake. ”Kouign” means cake, while “Amann” means butter. So the Kouign-Amann is literally a “butter-cake.” This typical regional pastry from France is composed of simple elements: bread dough, butter (salted of course!), sugar… and that’s it! Invented around 1860, almost by accident by a baker from Douarnenez (South Finistere) who was left with these ingredients, this cake is made by layering, a bit like a puff pastry but with fewer layers.
Ingredients list for Kouign Amann cake
For 12 “kouignettes” or 2 Kouign Amann
- 7 ounces (200g) bread dough
- 5 1/2 ounces (160g) butter
- 5 1/2 ounces (160g) of sugar
- A little milk and one egg yolk
- Almost 2 cups (180g) all purpose flour
- 15 ounces of water
- 1/2 tbsp (3g) dry yeast
- 1/2 tbsp(3g) of salt
Preparing the dough for the Kouign-Amann cake: In a bowl, mix salt and flour. Dissolve yeast in warm water, make a well in the center of the flour, and mix the ingredients gradually. Form a ball of dough which should be smooth and elastic. Leave to stand and raise for at least one hour in a warm place. You can make the dough with a bread machine if you have one, using the pizza dough program.
Preparation of the layering: To prevent the dough from sticking, put flour over your countertop. Place the dough and flatten it with your rolling pin. Repeat with the butter, giving it a round shape, and drop it onto the dough. Put the sugar on top. Fold the dough over itself, flatten it with the rolling pin, and rotate the flattened dough a quarter turn. Repeat the same process four times to get a nice puff preparation.
Baking the Kouign-Amann cake: If you prepare a large Kouign-Amann, flatten it slightly with your rolling pin to give the dough a round shape. Drop it into a previously buttered mold. Draw a few grids on top with a knife. Brush your Kouign-Amann with the mix of milk and egg yolk. Bake at 390°F (200°C) for 35 to 40 minutes.
If you prepare mini Kouign-Amann or “kouignettes:” Roll the dough over itself, reserve it in a cool place for ten minutes, and then cut into 12 slices with a knife. Place each slice into a buttered pan (muffin pans or silicone mold ). Bake for about 30 minutes at 390°F (200°C).