Kouign Amann Recipe

For all those who’ve put off getting their hands dirty with laminated doughs, kouign amann is a great place to start. Somewhere between a bread and a Danish, it only requires a couple of “turns” of the dough, and they need not be perfect. This is a rustic pastry, so your standards need not be terribly high. As I’ve said before in regard to laminated dough, you shouldn’t let fear of failure stop you, because with this much butter there is no failing, only degrees of winning.

This recipe is rather large, enough for four larger 9″ pastries, or up to twenty individual, Danish-like versions. Why the extra quantity? I’ve always felt that if I’m going to go to the trouble of laminating, I might as well make enough to freeze for some other occasion. I’ve also always been of the opinion that a larger quantity is easier to work with. You’ll need:

1 lb. 12 ounces all-purpose flour
1 ounce melted butter
14 ounces water
1 tablespoon, two teaspoons instant yeast
1 lb. lightly salted butter
egg wash (2 beaten eggs plus two teapoons water)
1 cup granulated sugar for topping

Combine the flour, melted butter, water and yeast in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle. Stir until all ingredients are moistened and switch to the dough hook. Knead for 1-2 minutes, until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, apply cooking spray or a small amount of oil, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to sit for 1/2 an hour, until about doubled.

About ten minutes before the dough is ready, make your butter block according to the instructions on laminating dough under the Techniques menu. Make your dough packet, roll it out and give it two turns, resting the dough for 20 minutes in the refrigerator after each turn, covered with plastic wrap. The dough will rest happily in your refrigerator for 2-3 days days at this point, or it can be frozen for three months.

When ready to make your pastries do a final turn, this time sprinkling sugar over the dough before you fold it. Cut the dough into four pieces (just under 16 ounces each) and roll them out to 8″ to 9″ circles. (alternately, you can roll the dough out flat, cut it into small square and shape the squares as you would cheese Danishes). Place the circles into parchment-lined pans, cover with plastic wrap and let them rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until puffy.

While the kouigns are proofing, preheat your oven to 400. When they’re fully proofed, paint them with egg wash, sprinkle them liberally with sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes until browned. Serve warm.

15 thoughts on “Kouign Amann Recipe”

  1. Wow. Your blog is amazing. Thank you for all the hard work.

    Just wanted to let you know that when I click the link on the text ” shape the squares as you would cheese Danishes)” it goes to this page


    Where the text reads

    1 I really need an ID for this to work.

    No need to keep this comment. Just wanted to let you know about the broken link and say thank you for your recipes and your humour.

    1. Thanks Ted! I fixed it. I much appreciate your writing in to let me know. Back when I updated the site about a years ago all the links changed and I didn’t catch all of them. Cheers!

      – Joe

  2. Thanks for this recipe Joe, I am very excited to try it. If I freeze the dough, should I make the final turn with sugar then freeze or can you explain how to defrost before making the final turn and baking?


    1. Hey Theresa!

      Definitely don’t add the sugar before freezing. Even at those temperatures it will still create a syrup and ruin the whole thing. Just defrost the dough overnight in the refrigerator the night before you want to bake, then proceed as normal. Let me know how it all goes!

      – Joe

  3. Hello Joe
    Thanks for posting this recipe. I am a baker/pastry cook in DC and have been wanting to delve into making this pastry for a while. I’ve attempted it a few times with meh results. Will try your recipe soon! Did you add any sugar or butter to the bottom of the pans before adding the dough?
    Thanks for the info!

  4. Hi – I am making this right now, but I don’t see how much butter to use in the butter packet!! Gak!! I keep re-reading everything but I am either missing it, or it isn’t there. I’m going to to use 16 oz. salted Plugra and hope that works. Thanks!

  5. Hi! Just wanted to thank you for the clear instructions & recipe. I made a 1/2 recipe, divided the finished dough into 12 squares, and made individual kouigns in a muffin tin. I filled 8 with a couple of tsp. chopped dark chocolate, and the other 4 with tangerine marmalade. Both kinds were astoundingly delicious. I plan to make these again many times. Here’s a photo.

    1. Ah yes, I’ve seen something like this before. Very nice work, Shilpa! And thanks!

      – Joe

  6. Hi Joe!

    When it comes to the larger quantity, you’ve mentioned freezing. Should I freeze them after I bake them?

    Thanks Joe!

    1. Hey Delaney!

      Yes, definitely after baking. If you freeze them unbaked you’ll get the whole syrup-weeping problem again. Just the thought gives me PTSD. Have fun!

      – Joe

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