Once described by the New York Times as “the fattiest pastry in all of Europe”, a Kouign Amann is certainly an indulgence. There’s a good reason Hayley Thorncraft’s ‘Copa Queens’ (easier to say!) are a hit at Burnt Honey Bakery.
Hayley Thorncraft learned to make killer pastries with some of the best in the industry in both Sydney and London – this BlackStar Pastry, Dominique Ansel Bakery and Honey & Co – so it comes as no surprise that her own bakery, Burnt Honey, with wife Jo in the Central Coast town of Copa Cabana is a big hit.
Community minded, Hayley and Jo use the highest quality and most ethical produce available, working with local suppliers wherever possible and with a focus on waste reduction and negating environmental impact.
Makes roughly 28
WHAT YOU NEED
1.205 kg bakers’ flour
24 g salt
698 ml water, chilled
40 g butter
15 g dry yeast
850 g Tourrage butter
1 kg raw sugar
WHAT TO DO
Place water in the bowl of a planetary mixer followed by all other dough ingredients (i.e. reserve the tourrage butter and raw sugar)
Mix with the hook on speed 1 for 3 minutes (just to combine), followed by 15 minutes on speed 2. When the dough has finished mixing it will be very extensible.
Wrap well and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours, the dough is ready to shape when it is quite firm but not frozen around the edge and very thoroughly chilled.
10 minutes (or longer if it’s a cold day) remove your tourrage butter from the fridge to temper, it’s ready to use when it’s still cold but pliable enough to roll without cracking. Meanwhile weigh your raw sugar and keep it handy.
Pin your butter down to a 9mm rectangle
Pin the dough until it is large enough to wrap around the butter with minimal overlap.
Place the butter sheet in the middle of the dough and fold either side of the dough over to meet in the middle, seal firmly. Speed is key here as it’s important to keep everything chilled so it’s better to have small gaps in the dough revealing the butter than to waste too much time fiddling with it and over handling as this will warm it up.
Turn the dough 90 degrees so that the open end is facing towards the pin and roll down to 6mm.
Make a single/letter fold and turn the dough 90 degrees, again so that the open end is facing toward the pin and roll down to 6mm.
Make a second single/letter fold, turn the dough 90 degrees and sprinkle a small handful of the raw sugar as evenly as you can over the surface of the dough.
Pin down to 12mm, flip the dough over so that the sugared side is on the belt but orientation has not changed, sprinkle a small handful of sugar evenly over the surface. Again, speed is key here so it’s more important to move quickly than to have the sugar perfectly spread.
Continue rolling down to 6mm, make a third single/letter fold and turn the dough 90 degrees.
Spread two handfuls of sugar over the surface of the dough, pin down to 12mm, flip and spread two more handfuls over the surface of the dough.
Pin down to 6mm and complete your fourth and final single/letter fold.
With the opening facing you, spread one third of the remaining sugar over the surface and pin the dough until the block is approximately 42cm wide.
Turn the dough 90 degrees one last time, add a little more sugar and pin down to 10mm.
Flip the dough over so the sugared side is touching the belt and spread the remaining sugar over the surface. Roll down to 7.5mm thick then place the dough sheet on your bench.
Using a bicycle cut the dough into 18 10.5cm squares.
Fold the corners of each square into the centre, then fold the new corners into the centre again. Flatten the shaped dough firmly and evenly with a flat palm (not the heel of your palm as this will make an indent and misshape the pastry).
Press the pastries into a well greased standard muffin tin.
Bake for 20 minutes at 165C, turn the tray and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Immediately after removing from the oven carefully turn the pastries into a lined tray, if they are still a little light in colour return to the oven for 2-3 minutes.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before eating for the best texture, you want the caramel so set firm enough to be crunchy.
Your finished pastry should have a delightfully crunchy crust and a sticky, gooey middle.