My first attempt at making Kouign Amann was five years ago and unfortunately I didn't have much success. You can see my first blog post about them here. At the time I just couldn't get the laminated dough right which resulted in squat and dense pastries. C'est pas bon.
But now I'm very happy to report that after all this time I finally found a recipe that REALLY works!!! And the hero of this story is none other than Paul Hollywood, celebrity baker from England and a judge on my favorite baking show The Great British Bake Off. These Breton beauties were the featured technical challenge in the "Pastries" episode of Season 5.
Little did I know that the key to success was to only add sugar to the very last turn of the laminated dough. My problem in previous attempts was that I was putting sugar in every turn which ended up melting in between the dough/butter layers.
The pastry rose and puffed up beautifully in the oven and the sugar melted to a lovely caramel. I admit I baked them a bit too long (notice the burnt looking bits) and they got darker than I would like so next time I'll take them out about 3-5 minutes earlier.
This recipe may not be for everyone, but anyone who wants to learn more about laminated dough should give it a go. Find the link to the kouign amann recipe on BBC's website here.