As I have said before, I am a huge, huge fan of the TV show The Great British Bake Off (Netflix changed the name to The Great British Baking Show for the US market). I am not sure why I love this show so much because I am a crappy baker. But the thrill is there, and I can’t wait for more seasons to show up on Netflix starting in August. My youngest sister is also a huge fan and last Christmas, unaware of the other, we each got the other a cookbook from the show. So when she suggested we have a baking day at her house one Saturday, I was all in. Good friend, Craig also wanted to participate so a few weeks back we all headed to her house for a day of baking.
It was a fun and floury day as the kitchen was “a bake” with activity.
We had a blast. Of course, I was teased because of the mess at my station but I was in a zone. I wanted. No, I needed to accomplish this.
So I decided for my baking day; I was going for it with a super challenging pastry, Kouign Amann. This is a butter layered pastry, like what one uses for croissants. What was I thinking! On top of that, since my dough was in (for 30 minutes) and out (for a roll and a fold) of the refrigerator several times, I decided to bake shortbread cookies as well. Again, what was I thinking? My sister made Gluten-free Cranberry Walnut Sweet Rolls. Craig made German Bread Rolls (Broetchen) that he used to make when he worked in the kitchen at a summer camp during college.
A post with so many recipes is too much. So, I decided it best to break this into two separate posts. Today is all about the Kouign Amann.
Ready Set Bake
This recipe is Paul Hollywood’s. He is one of the two judges on the show. Since the recipe is from a British cookbook, you will need to get out your scale and measure your grams, milliliters, and centimeters. (Note: I followed the recipe exactly (other than doubling the amounts). For this reason, I will not list it under my recipes banner. If you want to download a copy, please, select here.
This recipe makes 12 buns. I doubled the recipe.
- 300g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 5g fast-action yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 200ml warm water
- 25g unsalted butter, melted
- 250g cold unsalted butter, in a block
- 100g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Put the flour into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Add the water and melted butter and mix on a slow speed for two minutes, then on medium speed for six minutes.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Put into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for one hour.
Sandwich the butter between two sheets of greaseproof paper and bash with a rolling pin, then roll out to a 14cm/5½in square. Place in the fridge to keep chilled.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20cm/8in square. Place the butter in the center of the dough diagonally, so that each side of butter faces a corner of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter to enclose like an envelope.
Roll the dough into a 45x15cm/18x6in rectangle. Fold the bottom third of dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough over. You will now have a sandwich of three layers of butter and three layers of dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
This completes one turn.
Repeat this process twice more, so you have completed a total of three turns, chilling the dough for 30 minutes between turns.
Roll the dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and fold into thirds again. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large 40x30cm/16x12in rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with caster sugar and cut the dough into 12 squares.
Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with oil. Gather the dough squares up by their four corners and place in the muffin tins, pulling the four corners towards the center of the muffin tin, so that it gathers up like a four-leaf clover. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up.
Preheat oven to 425F. Bake the pastries for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cover with foil halfway through if beginning to brown too much. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Be careful not to burn yourself on the caramelized sugar, but don’t leave them to cool for too long, or the caramelized sugar will harden, and they will be stuck in the tin.
Serve Warm or cold. (I like warm)
Bake – In Conclusion
If I were on the show I would have certainly been eliminated. My pastries were all different sizes, the sugar burned on a few and I was a hot mess. But I had a blast and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Funny I said that as my sister and I are baking again this Saturday…. hmm, what to bake, what to bake?
My sister felt it was important to show that I am a messy baker, cook, anything – I make a mess. There was flour on the floor around my station as well as on me. What can I say, I am creative not bound by being all neat and tidy. *This shirt available on AMAZON. (without the flour, of course)
That is all for now.