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Keltfacts: Kouign amann

We would like to introduce you to the Celtic culture in our rubric Keltfacts. This time we share with you the recipe for kouign amann - a Breton delicacy. 

A kouign amann can be regarded as a mix between croissant and butter cake. It was discovered by chance in the nineteenth century by a Breton Baker, who, due to a scarcity of wheat and an abundance of butter decided to make bread croissants in stead of normal bread. An instant hit! The baking process causes the sugar to caramelize and the butter makes for a nice puff pastry and a delicious taste. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. 

The name kouign amann comes from the Breton words for cake (kouign) and butter (amann). It is not without reason that the New York Times calls this 'the fattest pastry in all of Europe'. Healthy? Absolutely not. But very tasteful. 

What do you need for Kouign amann?

To create the dough

    • 400 gr flower
    • 10 gr salt
    • 240 ml water
    • 25 gr butter, room temperature
    • 5 gram baker's yeast

Also needed

  • 300 gr butter, cold
  • 300 gr sugar

How to make Kouign Amann

  1. Mix all ingredients for the dough into nice bread dough. Knead it through and form it into a ball and let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour. 
  2. Shortly before the hour is over, we'll start on the butter. Place cold butter between two sheets of cling film and roll the butter into a square of approximately 1 cm thick. 
  3. Once chilled, remove dough from refrigerator, press flat and roll it out into four edges. Place the butter in the centre of the dough and fold the four edges so that the butter becomes covered. Roll dough until it is three times its length and then fold it like a letter.
  4. Turn it a quarter turn and once again roll out, so that the dough gets three times as long. Fold in three like a letter yet again and let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour. 
  5. After an hour, sprinkle some of the sugar on your worksheet and roll out the dough, to make sure it will be three times its length again. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top of the rolled out dough and press it lightly. Fold the dough in three, turn a quarter turn and repeat those steps once more. The sugar should now be incorporated in the dough. 
  6. Grease ten small baking molds (tartelette) of a diameter of approx. 8 cm with butter and place them onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. Preheat oven on 200 degrees Celcius. 
  7. Roll the dough into a rectangle of approximately a quarter centimeter thick and cut it squares of 8 - 10 cm. Pull the four corners towards the centre and press lightly so it will hold. Put the dough into the baking molds and let them rise for half an hour. 
  8. Bake your kouign amann in 25 minutes in the oven. Remove the baking molds and leave them cool down. 

Time to enjoy. Kalon digor, bon appetit!

Not done baking yet? Check out our recipe for Bara Brith, a delicious Welsh cake.

Check this out