Sunday 26 February 2017

Lesson 15: Sugary Breton Puff Pastries / Kouign Amann

The next lesson to try looked appealing - very simple ingredient list, and interesting instructions about rolling out a whole pack of butter...  The fresh yeast was got from Arjuna Wholefoods on Mill Road.

First step was the dough, made in the kitchenaid, it took almost exactly 3 minutes to combine.  I chopped up the yeast after adding it to the flour before mixing, since it was in quite large lumps.

After the initial rolling out.  I had the target distance marked roughly, but probably should have rolled out a little larger.  I'm not sure what the comment at the end about 'sugar melting in the refrigerator' means, since at that point you've not added any sugar...  When rolling out and combining with the sugar it was definitely melting though - towards the end the dough was quite sticky and wet.  I didn't weigh out the sugar, I just kept on adding more at each stage with generous covering.

I didn't have enough proper rings, so improvised a little, which was fine.  I did then only target making 11, and even then they were a little under 10x10.  This made the folding in not work on some of them - better to a little over 10x10 for this size of ring.

It took me a little time to realise that the photo in the book is of the underneath of one, even so I think mine were a little full - a few of the larger ones really came out of the ring too far.  So I think aiming for a little above 10x10 and aiming to make 12 or 13 would mean rolling out thinner and then not overfilling each one.  The greaseproof paper was very useful - the sugar spread between the rings when cooking and solidified - great to eat, although not very good for the teeth...

They really looked quite authentic though...  A little hard to take out of the rings, but with care they came out without breaking up.  They tasted absolutely wonderful - the kids weren't that impressed, but that just meant leftovers for us!  I took a few into work and people agreed that they were great.

Next time

  • Roll out thinner, cut slightly larger than 10x10 and aim for making 12 or more
  • Unsure whether there is anything you can do about the sugar melting/dissolving when you combine with the dough - is it just as the dough is slightly wet?  Or is it related to temperature as hinted at in the book?
  • Consider cutting in half before serving...

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