One of the "technical" bakes was Kouign amann. None of the bakers knew or even heard of the Breton bread, much less how to pronounce it. I was surprised because I baked this delicious crunchy with caramelized sugar bread almost 8 years ago when I read about it on David Lebovitz's blog. I've never baked it into small muffin size though and don't remember it being flaky or with visible layers like croissants.
The recipe is Paul Hollywood's, one of the two judges on the show. BTW, most of the recipes are posted on PBS website. I like these too but I remember the Kouign amann made with David's recipe tasted better probably because it has more sugar than Paul's.
recipe adapted from PBS
9 ounces cold butter
10½ ounces bread flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
7 ounces warm water
1 ounce unsalted butter, melted
3½ ounces sugar
extra sugar for sprinkling
- Place butter between 2 pieces of parchment paper and pound with a rolling pin to flatten; roll out into a 5½ inch square. Wrap in plastic and keep in refrigerator until needed.
- Place half of the flour and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer. Attach dough hook and add water. Mix on low speed just until incorporated, about a minute. Add the rest of the flour, salt, and melted butter. and continue to mix on low for another minute. Increase speed to medium and knead for 6 minutes until soft and smooth.
- Shape dough into a ball and transfer into a lightly greased container. Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment on the kitchen counter for 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
- Transfer dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into an 8 inch square. Place the chilled butter diagonally in the middle of dough. Fold the corners toward the center like an envelope. Pinch the seams to fully enclose the butter.
- Roll out into an 18 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold the bottom third of dough up to the center and the third top over. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes. This completes 1 turn.
- Repeat the rolling folding process 2 more times, chilling the dough for 30 to 45 minutes each time, completing 3 turns of the dough.
- Roll out the dough into an 18 x 6 inch rectangle. Sprinkle all over with 1½ ounces of the sugar. Fold into thirds one last time and roll out into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle. Sprinkle all over with the remaining sugar. Cut into 12 squares.
- Gather the corners of each square and place each square in greased muffin cups, pulling the corners toward the center. Sprinkle top with a little sugar. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes or until puffed up.
- Preheat oven to 375°F . Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool for 2 minutes in the muffin cups. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.