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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Alpha Bakers: Kouign Amann

Oh it is so nice to be doing this again. I had hoped that there will be a bake-a-long for the Baking Bible so I was super excited that it is really happening and it is finally here!!! I have to admit part of me is feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of baking through 108 recipes of the book (counting from the table of contents' page). But then I remembered that I did bake through Rose's Heavenly Cakes which has 94 recipes. So I should be able to do this again!

Thank you Marie for hosting this again and thank you Rose for supporting/sponsoring our adventure. Virtual wave to all the former HCB-er/Beta Bakers and hello to new members. If you haven't bake much of Rose's recipes, you will find that it is difficult to go back to other recipes, as Rose's instructions is really detailed and tasted delicious.

Now Marie really started with a bang, the first recipe being the cover recipe. This is not a difficult pastry to make. The total time is 6 hours but most of the work is at the beginning: melting the butter, making the dough, the butter block, and the first turn. After the first turn, it is pretty much requires only very little hands-on time.

I made this for a potluck at a friend's house. The party starts at 4 PM. So I started this process at 7:45 am. I am not a morning person so it took me reading the recipe a couple of times (while holding a cup of tea) to get my brain to wake up.

I have made Rose's croissant and puff pastry several times so the procedure for this recipe is pretty familiar. But this is the best pastry I have ever made. Why? Because this is the first laminated dough that I've made that is almost a perfect square. And this is all because Rose mentioned in the recipe that we could flip the dough over every once in a while. I never knew that we could do that!!! In all these years I get frustrated when making laminated dough that the shape at the end is not square. There are always edges that gets cuts and baked as strips.

In the past, I always get Straus butter for pastries. It was a bit cheaper than other European Style Butter and often went on sale. This time, I could not find it anywhere so I had to get the $7 Plugra. This is the most I've ever spent on a pound of butter, so it deserved a picture on this post.

By the way, does anyone know what Plugra means? Hubby told me that it is probably coming from Plus Gras, which in French means More Fat. A fitting name.

The steps for the dough requires first melting the butter and let it cool. Then mix it with the rest of the ingredients for the dough.

While the dough is resting, I weigh the butter and then chop it into chunks. This helps it to get to room temperature faster.

After 30 minutes rest, the dough is ready to be rolled.

Roll out to a square.

My butter square.

Dough envelope.

Dough package.

First roll.

First turn.

Third and final turn.

After being frozen and refrigerated. 

Roll into an almost perfect square and cut into 8 equal pieces. 


I didn't have any pastry rings so I made the aluminium foil rings following Rose's instructions. By the way, does anyone know a good place to  buy the pastry rings for this recipe? These are so good that I see myself making these again so it's probably a good idea to invest in some pastry rings.

I already know from my time as a Beta Baker, that these would be so good. I love how my kitchen and house smells like heavenly butter. Even the car smells heavenly. It was all I could do not to eat these on the drive over. I timed the baking pretty well so we left a few minutes after these came out of the oven. When we arrived at our friends' house they are still slightly warm. They were all devoured before the party ended.

Alpha Bakers is a group of bakers who are baking through The Baking Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum's latest cookbook. Come check out the rest of the group at Rose's Alpha Bakers.


  1. ב''ה

    Welcome back to the weekly Rose Baking!

    Love your pictures. I see you also did the initial fold like Raymon did. Kosher butter starts at $7, not cheaper option for me...

    1. Thanks Mendy. I did the fold like Raymond, yes. Isn't that what's in the recipe or did I misinterpret? I'm looking forward to seeing your Kouign!

  2. Wow, Jenn, your first photo just took my breath away!

    1. Thanks Marie! I choose the prettiest Koiugn for the portrait shot :).

  3. hello Jenn, I am one of the new girls on the block as they say and I looked at yours pastries they look so very nice and you just want to eat them and non stop, you can get so addicted to them they're so good.

    1. Hi Maggie. Yes these are addictive.

  4. Hi Jenn! Your photos, are usual, as amazing and beautiful. Your potluck people were so lucky to get warm Kouign Amann!

  5. Hi Jenn!! Glad to see you again! :) You are not on FB are you? Your KA looks wonderful and beautiful photos as always!!

  6. Hello, Jenn--the points on your kouigns amann stuck together at the center so much tidier than mine did! Can't wait to make them again.

  7. Your kouigns amann are lovely! Gorgeous caramelization :)

  8. Hi Jenn - your photos are fabulous! We really liked these pastries - aren't they amazing? I hope you'll stop by my blog if you get a chance. Until next week!

    Patricia @ ButterYum

  9. Hi Jenn!!! These pastries completely surprised me. I made the foil pastry rings, too because I couldn't find any in my town but I stapled them rather than run to the store for paper clips. Plus I thought there's no way they would turn out since I don't do yeast anything, but they are wonderful! Now I'm on the hunt for the rings because I'll be making them again.

  10. And we are BACK!!! What everyone else said - beautiful photos, great post... its good to be back and make the rounds.

  11. Hi Jen, I'm new to this board, but not new to Rose. I've been following her for years and years, and while Hi there. I'm not an Alpha Baker (I'm on the alternates list), but I'll be baking along with you. Your KA's look really, really delicious. Congratulations! Anyway, if you want to see my experience with the KA's, you can find me here: Best of luck with this journey.

  12. @ Vicki - I'm curious to see pictures of your non yeast Kouign. Let me know if you find them online. I saw some at but they are 4 3/4 inch in diameter and not 4 inches.

    @ Monica - yes we're back!

    @ Kimberlie - welcome! Glad to have you baking alongside us.

  13. Hi Jenn, I know everyone else has already commented but your photos really are fabulous! its been a great start to the bake along.


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