Monday, December 1, 2014

TBB: Kouigns Amann

I avoided making this recipe during the beta testing cos I was simply afraid of making laminated pastry..esp. in our hot weather here in Singapore.  But this had to be the first recipe scheduled for our new baking group, Rose's Alpha Bakers. So I guess this is the push factor for me try making it at least once right? 
When I finally had the courage to make it, I found out my hi-protein bread flour had expired..and the entire bag compressed..so had to throw it away. But I had a package of Japanese bread flour (which makes the softest bread ever)..and I figured no harm using it since on the packaging it has a drawing of a croissant...lol!


- I followed instructions to the tee. Everything seemed ok until the step where I poured the superfine sugar onto countertop and rolled my dough and after place in the freezer/fridge

- to my dismay, after an hour later, my dough turned into a syrupy mess..the sugar melted and there was syrupy liquid leaking from the dough...probably due to the moisture it absorbed from condensation...


Even so, I carried on with final step, rolled the dough on the countertop with sugar..and baked as instructed.  During the last step, as I was rolling the dough, it was clear that my butter wasn't rolled properly..and must have had breakage or something I didn't do right cos there was uneven bits and pieces of butter all over the dough. You can see the butter pieces on the photo above..quite obvious. 


 Nonetheless, I proceeded with cutting, shaping and baking.

While the Kouigns Amanns were baking, there were lots of oil seepage...A LOT.. so much so my tray had a puddle of oil/butter (I forgot to take picture!).  The baked Amanns looked ok and tasted extremely sweet and oily, and I really didn't like it at all. But everyone else in my family thought it tasted great.



I wasn't happy with earlier result..because it didn't look or taste like the usual Kouigns Amanns should look like..but wasn't sure I would try making again. It didn't look dark and caramelised totally, neither had very flaky top that you would expect in laminated pastry. Interior was super soft..maybe too soft..? I think the Japanese bread flour probably better for making Asian breads...(cos we prefer our bread loaves/buns very very soft and fluffy....lol..)


TRY AGAIN! :) 
(If you fail, try again, you won't die from it! ..that's what my hubby always say...!)

Yup, that's what I did.  2-days later, I happened to be in another supermarket and saw King Arthur's bread flour and I thought, maybe I should give it a go again. I bought the recommended Kerry Gold Irish butter (I wanted to use Lurpark actually..about same price..)..and this time I bought salted butter instead!  



Also, I made the following changes:-

1)   put the dough in the fridge after proofing for 1 hour.  Cold dough is easier to roll with butter (that's what I think..may not be true..!)

2)   pound the salted butter with about 1/4 cup of flour

3)  added the fine (not superfine) sugar in the dough while turning, thus I made an extra turn. (So much easier to handle and no syrupy mess!)  only towards the last step, I had some sugar on the counter top when I rolled my dough...so was less messy also.. 


4)  rolled the dough into 24" x 8" long and cut the dough into 12 x 4" pcs.  I baked them in 3.2" pastry rings.  I like them smaller..cos more crunchy surface area imho.  Perhaps next time (if my backside itchy and want to make again...hahaha), I'll try 24" x 6" / 12" x 12" and cut them into 3" square each, yielding 16pcs.  

My hands look quite nice here isn't it? hahaha..


Above photos: All finished shaping and left to proof for an hour.  
I like how I can see so many layers of dough.. 





This time, the dough baked and caramelised beautifully.  I liked how the pastry puffed up really tall during baking.  There wasn't much butter leakage either. Not as oily as my earlier batch and somehow also tasted less sweet even though I used same amount of sugar or maybe more since I sprinkled extra for the counter top...(still very sweet for our Asian tastebuds, but just not as sweet as before).



Above photos: I couldn't wait for it to cool down and cut them into 2.

The top was so flakey and crispy..and bottom hardened with caramelised sugar.  Inside was full of layers, soft, butter and sugary.   This time my family could tell the difference and everyone gave the thumbs up.  And I'm happy cos now they looked like those sold at the bakeries..:)  






P/S: I turned on the air-conditioner to 20c for entire day! I had to work quickly too cos it was too cold to be in the kitchen. LOL! Now I realised why the pastry kitchen where I work is always super cold..the air-condition in our office is cold but no where compared to the pastry kitchen!    

I still have 2 more in the freezer for the souffle version, but I have not made it yet. Will update later when I do...  The reason why I'm delaying here is because I think these alone are very fattening..and to make it with heavy cream and all, I need to take a break first and exercise off the calories before I proceed to the souffle variation. LOL!   :)







15 comments:

Raymond on December 1, 2014 at 8:27 PM said...

They look fantastic. I thought your first batch looked great

Maggie on December 1, 2014 at 9:27 PM said...

Hi Faithy and thank you so much for stopping by yours pastry look very nice they are just perfect and your pictures are really nice too and the steps you did a great job.

Michele at The Artful Oven on December 1, 2014 at 11:17 PM said...

Hello, Faithy! The pastries are beautiful! You did a great job. Looking forward to this bake along with you and the other Alpha Bakers.

Rose Levy Beranbaum on December 1, 2014 at 11:20 PM said...

Faith! that batch is some of the best kouign amanns i've ever seen!!! persistence pays. you've really demonstrated the difference flour makes in the end results. my heart dropped when reading about the Japanese flour so you can imagine my delight when i read on!
Woody and i should make some for the holidays when the tour is over. all i have to do is open the door to the garage i the kitchen temperature drops to 60˚F. that's why i love doing pastry in winter here on the north east coast of the US.

Rose Levy Beranbaum on December 1, 2014 at 11:20 PM said...

Faithy! that batch is some of the best kouign amanns i've ever seen!!! persistence pays. you've really demonstrated the difference flour makes in the end results. my heart dropped when reading about the Japanese flour so you can imagine my delight when i read on!
Woody and i should make some for the holidays when the tour is over. all i have to do is open the door to the garage i the kitchen temperature drops to 60˚F. that's why i love doing pastry in winter here on the north east coast of the US.

inthekitchen on December 1, 2014 at 11:57 PM said...

Wow - what dedication to make them again 2 days later...the second batch looks amazing!! (The first batch doesn't look so bad either!) How smart of you to realize it must have been the flour. Beautiful :)

Jenn on December 2, 2014 at 4:59 AM said...

Faithy, they look amazing! Kudos for making them twice. 20'C is cold! I hope you wore a sweater and didn't catch a cold.

Patricia Reitz on December 2, 2014 at 5:55 AM said...

I'm so glad you were able to find the right flour eventually. I absolutely love the way yours turned out! I hope you'll stop by to see my post.

Patricia @ ButterYum
http://www.butteryum.org/roses-alpha-bakers/2014/11/6/tbb-kouigns-amann-queen-ya-mahn

Mendy on December 2, 2014 at 9:44 AM said...

ב''ה

Love this post.

’... כי שבע, ייפול צדיק וקם'
The righteous falter even 7 times and still get up...'
Proverbs 24:16

I think the first version look really delicious. Asian baking and ingredients are so intriguing.

faithy bakes on December 2, 2014 at 10:13 AM said...

Thank you my baking pals for all your wonderful comments!

@Rose: Thanks Rose for dropping by! Yup..i found out the hard way that Japanese flour is a huge no-no when making laminated pastries! :D I wish we had winter here so it's not so hot always and I get a chance to wear winter wear too..lol! The good side of such tropical weather is we can wear the same kind clothings for year round.

@Jenn: I didn't wear a sweater, cos our room temp is usually 28-29c and often humid.. I just needed to walk out of the cold kitchen to 'defrost' and go back in again. We often just wear t-shirts/singlets and shorts around the house.

Marie Wolf on December 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM said...

Faithy,
I love the way you describe yourself as too lazy to blog, and then launch into a description of trying these over and over until you got them right ("the Best" according to RLB--now that's a compliment!).
Glad to have you and your midnight baking back!

evil cake lady on December 2, 2014 at 1:23 PM said...

great post, faithy! i admire your dedication to make a second attempt, and they look amazing.

Vicki on December 2, 2014 at 2:11 PM said...

Faithy!!!! You are amazing to bake them twice! I'm hoping it will be easier the second time. So glad you're baking!

Glori Berkel on December 2, 2014 at 11:43 PM said...

Great Post! I had to bake them twice myself. Had trouble with the butter but persistence pays off.

phylliscaroline on December 3, 2014 at 11:18 AM said...

Hi Faithy, I can't believe you made them twice! That's dedication. They look fantastic.

I always wondered how you managed to make all those 'Heavenly' cakes in the heat and humidity. It's certainly more challenging.
Catherine

 

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