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World Breakfasts: Kouign-Amann

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World Breakfasts: Kouign-Amann

This week’s world breakfast is an obscure one. Kouign-annan is a crusty, layered puff pastry that hails from the town of Douarnenez in Brittany. Some of you might remember from the Great British Bake Off, where even the show’s knowledgeable contestants hadn’t heard of it.

We love a little-known breakfast treat and kouign-annan is one of the best. Don’t be put off by the number of steps required to make these pastries, the recipe isn’t as hard as it seems. A lot of it is repetition.

One tip before you get started: if you have a stand mixer in your kitchen, use it. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and elbow grease when making the dough.

What you’ll need (Makes 12 Pastries)

385g strong bread flour (plus extra for kneading)

280ml water

170g unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing)

200g caster sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)

2 ¼ tsp fast action yeast

1tsp salt

What you’ll need to do:

1. Pour the flour, yeast and salt into a mixing bowl and mix the ingredients together. Pour in the water and mix again for a few minutes until a smooth, springy dough has formed.

2.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead with your hands for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Put the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and set it aside for 1 hour to rise. After the dough has risen, place it in the refrigerator to chill for about 1 hour.

3. Cut the butter into thin slices of about 1/8-inch thick.

4. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and turn it out onto a lightly floured worktop. Flatten it out with the palms of your hands and roll it into a rectangle of about 18 x 10-inches.

5. Cover two-thirds of the dough with the slices of butter. Take the exposed third and fold it down on top of the butter. Fold again to encase the butter, as you would if you were folding a letter. Pinch the seam closed and work the rolling pin across the dough to help soften the butter. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

6. Roll the dough out into a rectangle of 18 x 10-inches again and repeat the process of folding it into thirds and closing the seam. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Do this one more time so that you’ve completed the process 3 times.

7. Turn the dough out onto a worktop that’s been lightly sprinkled with sugar. Roll it out into an 18 x 10-inch rectangle. Take about half of your sugar and cover two thirds of dough, in the same way you did with the butter. Fold the dough into thirds and pinch the seam closed. Repeat the process with the remaining sugar and return the dough to the refrigerator for a few minutes.

8. Grease a muffin tin.

9. Turn the dough back out onto a sugar-sprinkled worktop and roll out into a rectangle of about 20 x 8-inches (this might take a good bit of elbow grease).

10. Cut the dough into 12 squares and, one at a time, gather them up by bringing the corners to the centre to resemble a four-leaf clover. Cover the tin with a cloth and set it aside for 30 minutes.

11. Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

12. Bake the now slightly puffed pastries for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Be careful as you do this, the caramelised sugar will be really hot. Serve warm or cold.

This week’s world breakfast is an obscure one. Kouign-annan is a crusty, layered puff pastry that hails from the town of Douarnenez in Brittany. Some of you might remember from the Great British Bake Off, where even the show’s knowledgeable contestants hadn’t heard of it.