The Best Recipe for Kouign-Amann
Kouign-amann is a french pastry with a croissant-like dough, laminated with butter and sugar for a flaky, rich treat with a caramelized outer crust. This is a perfect breakfast pastry or afternoon snack and today we are sharing the recipe.
It’s Friday and I am back in the kitchen. My good friend Chef Monique Chan is here and she is teaching us how to make kouign-amann. The kouign-amann is pronounced “queen a-mahn” and is from Brittany, France. The name comes from the Breton language words for cake (kouign) and butter (amann). The kouign-amann is part sticky bun and part sugared croissant, with layer after layer of buttery, flaky pastry on the inside. It has a caramelized and a slightly-burnt sugar on the outside.
The complete recipe and video are listed below. The video shows how to make this beautiful dessert from start to finish.
View the video here.
I would like to introduce Chef Monique Chan. Since graduating as valedictorian of her pastry school in Paris, Monique has ceaselessly pursued excellence, working in renowned bakeries (Dominique Ansel Bakery), five-star hotels (Le Bristol Paris) and multiple Michelin starred restaurants (Epicure, The French Laundry). These achievements culminated in her role as Executive Pastry Chef of gastronomic restaurant Écriture in Hong Kong, which received two Michelin stars in a record-breaking seven months after opening.
To find Monique’s Instagram click here and to find her blog The Real Chez Momo click here.
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Be sure to check out the complete video which shows how to make this amazing dessert. You can find the video below.
Also, for previous recipes shared by Chef Monique, go to Pate a Choux Cream Puffs recipe with a Mousseline Cream and Raspberry filling, How to Make Pie Crust and Pear and Almond Cream Bourdaloue Pie, How to Make an Apple Tart and 1-2-3 Basic Cake Recipe.
There are three steps to this recipe. The dough, the butter, and the sugar mix. To make the dough, mix the flour, ice water, salt, butter, and yeast. Form into a flat 8″ square and wrap in plastic wrap.
Use a rolling pin to shape the butter (between two pieces of parchment paper) into an 8-inch x 8-inch square. Use a dough scraper to straighten the sides, as necessary. Refrigerate.
Once refrigerated, place the butter inside the dough so that it forms a diamond within the square.
Next, you will lamintate the butter by rolling, folding and rotating three times. Watch the video for complete instructions.
Eventually, you will cut the dough and roll it into a croissant-like pastry.
You can see the layers of dough and sugar and how wonderful this will look when baked.
The kouign-amann is pronounced "queen a-mahn" and is from Brittany, France. It's like a cross between a croissant and a palmier, with layer after layer of buttery, flaky pastry on the inside, yet caramelized with ever-so-slightly-burnt sugar on the outside.
- 400 g (3 cups and 3 tablespoons) bread flour
- 236 g (1 cup) ice water
- 10 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) salt
- 14 g (1 tablespoon) butter
- 5 g (scant two teaspoons) instant yeast
- BUTTER BLOCK:
- 339 g (3 sticks) butter
- *NOTE: use a higher quality butter if possible for the butter block *
- SUGAR MIX:
- 250 g (1 1/4 cup) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Scale all the ingredients for the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes. The dough should come together at this time. Increase mixing speed to medium, and mix for another 15-20 minutes, until the dough has strong gluten development. (You should feel resistance when you pull on it.)
- Remove dough from the bowl, and form into a flat, 8-inch x 8-inch square before wrapping in plastic wrap. Freeze for ~ 1 hour, until very cold, and slightly hardened. Flip the dough halfway through, so that it is evenly chilled.
- In the meantime, combine sugar and salt; mix well, and set aside. In a folded over piece of parchment, use a rolling pin to shape the butter into an 8-inch x 8-inch square. Use a dough scraper to straighten the sides, as necessary. Refrigerate ~ 20 minutes, until firm but still pliable.
- Once the dough and butter are both sufficiently chilled, roll out the dough as necessary to even out the thickness, and ensure that it has the same dimensions as the butter block. Then, place the butter inside the dough so that it forms a diamond within the square. Fold the edges of the dough into the middle, completely enclosing the butter. Pinch seams together.
- Roll this square packet until it is three times as long, keeping roughly the same width. You will end up with an 8.5-inch x 24-inch rectangle. Fold the rectangle into thirds. This is called “the first turn.” Rotate 90 degrees, and repeat the process once more.
- After the second turn, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill in the freezer for ~ 10 minutes. Once cold, remove from the freezer and do one last fold, incorporating the sugar this time. (See video for details.)
- Rotate 90 degrees, and roll out the dough into a rectangle, 10 inches wide x 16 inches. Cut dough into 2-inch strips, and roll each one up before placing in a greased muffin tin, or greased ring mold.
- Let rise for 45-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake for 45-60 minutes until golden brown. Check bottoms to make sure that dough is fully cooked; they should be golden brown as well. Remove from the oven, and use tongs to carefully remove the kouign-amanns from their muffin tin, or molds. This step should be done immediately, or else the sugar will harden into a caramel, making it impossible to extract the kouign-amanns later. Bon appetit!
You can also use a muffin tin.
Monique made her own “ring molds” from heavy weight alumunim foil. There is a complete tutorial on the video to make these.
The dough is placed in the molds and baked until brown.
Don’t these look amazing?
The kouign-amann are a great breakfast or dessert pastry.
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Ohhh! I loved this post!! So interesting to see the process of making these! I love trying it master anything to do with dough and yeast and “anything” that is different. I am definetly going to try these and see if I can master it! Thanks so much!
Sorry..but where is the video?
Yes, where IS the video?! I can’t wait to see it and it’s nowhere to be found.
Are those also called “morning buns”?
No, morning buns are different and easier to make, but if you eat them in the morning, technically I guess they could be lol
Yes, basically. I worked at a restaurant that claimed to be the first in the US to make morning buns. Morning buns are typically baked in a muffin pan with nothing to mold the top part of the dough, so the top spreads much more. And I seem to remember that we used brown sugar rather than white when they were rolled up, although I wouldn’t swear to that. But both start with a croissant-like laminates yeast dough.
Hey I am trying to lose weight! haha.
They look yummy!!! Will be pining it for later use. I love watching the baking videos. Thank you!!
OH! Those look totally fabulous! My dad and I tried to make french pastry once ….. let’ just say it was not a success! I’m going to try this one in his honor, and like a good daughter, I’ll eat his share for him! 🙂 Thanks so much for these great visits with the chef! I’m going to clear my cache and restart to see if I get the video yet. Thank you to both of you!
I must make these! Is all butter used salted? It doesn’t specify…
The video link is below the second picture from the top. It’s not very obvious.
“The complete recipe and video are listed below. The video shows how to make this beautiful dessert from start to finish.
View the video here.”
Thanks for the heads up. I just added a heading to make it more obvious.
Hi Leslie – the butter for the butter block in this recipe – is it salted or unsalted? appreciate your guidance – don’t want to the effort of making this delicate pastry and end up with it not coming out the way it should.
Hi Gary…did you ever get an answer on whether the butter is salted or unsalted? I really want to give these a try. Thanks.
In case you’re in the buying mood for these fabulous pastries, they can be found in Santa Ana at:
Bread Artisan Bakery
1920 East Edinger
Santa Ana, CA 92705
and I believe J’Adore Cafe in San Clemente carries theirs, too!
ps. Hi Leslie! I am so glad to see your successes! (-: Carole
My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.
You are so welcome Ashok! These are truly amazing. I am so glad you liked them and I so appreciate that you shared it. Have a great day!
Is it possible to freeze these before baking?
Yes it is, you can also freeze after baking but I would recommend for no more than two weeks!
It wasn’t specified if the butter should be salted or unsalted. Breton butter is salty, so I wasn’t sure what Monique used in this recipe. Is Costco butter not high quality enough to make laminated dough?
Costco butter is definitely not good enough…way too much water. Buy Kerrygold instead.
I made them with Kerrygold butter ! Perfect.
Couldn’t I just use store bought puff pastry?
Hi Lynn! As a shortcut, you absolutely could! This is just the traditional French pastry way 🤗
Made these and it’s so delish!! Thanks for sharing this perfect recipe ! 🙏😍
Thanks so much, Agnes!
How many days can you make ahead of time, and what is proper way to store?
These were amazing! Followed recipe exactly and they are the best things I have ever made. Two questions, Did you use convection oven to bake? Is that better? Also how would you store these if you make a day ahead? Refrigerator or room temp in sealed container? Thanks for this recipe!
I’m wondering why the butter square is exactly the same size as the dough, wouldn’t it fall over the sides when places as a diamond on the same size square?