“This Breton specialty is like a cross between croissant dough and palmiers….”
So begins Nick Malgieri‘s description of Kouing Amman. Who wouldn’t want that? Flaky, buttery croissant dough crusted in caramelized sugar. So, even though I had never heard of this pastry, I was excited to try the next recipe in the Modern Baker Challenge.
The recipe consists of a simple dough, folded with butter and rolled with sugar. After mixing yeast, water, flour, salt, and butter into a dough, which I chilled for half an hour, I rolled out the dough, and smeared it with butter.
I folded the dough in thirds, scattered the work surface and dough with sugar, rolled the dough out into a rectangle, and gave it another fold. I refrigerated the dough for an hour, then continued the process of rolling and folding the dough, liberally sugaring the dough and work surface all the while.
After working in about one cup of sugar, I rolled the dough into a circle and pressed it into a 10-inch round stoneware baking pan. I sprinkled on the last of the sugar, then covered the dough and let it rise for about two hours. I baked the pastry at 350° F for one hour, until it was well-puffed and the sugar on top had caramelized.
When it came out of the oven, the pastry was swimming in sugary butter (you can see some of it in the lower right hand side of the pan in the picture above), which absorbed into the pastry as it cooled. I let it cool completely, then sliced and served it right from the pan.
The Kouing Amman was flaky, crusty with sugar, and looked really light. When I cut into it with a fork, I was surprised to find it a little tough. It tasted pretty good, and it had distinct layers like puff pastry, but it was a bit on the chewy side. I found the toughness of the pastry layers offputting and not something I’d like to eat too often.
In the end, the flavor was fine, but the texture was such that I don’t see myself making this recipe again.