Baking Classics: Buttermilk Kouign-Amann

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The Technique

Buttermilk Kouign-Amann

Buttermilk Kouign-Amann is by far one of the most indulgent classic breakfast pastries that originated in Brittany, France . A traditional yeast-risen laminated dough is rolled & layered with sugar then cut into squares & baked in muffin tins. Since the butter will be contained in the cups during the baking process every bit of it will remain in the pastry instead of being absorbed by parchment paper as in the case of Pain Au Chocolat, Pain Aux Raisins, Frangipane Buttermilk Croissants & Buttermilk Croissants. In order to be certain the center is fully cooked throughout, Buttermilk Kouign-Amann needs a good spell of hot oven time so in turn much of the sugar caramelizes creating a wonderful elevated pastry that puts an American sticky bun to shame. Learn how to make an irresistible culinary icon in your very own kitchen.

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makes 16 pastries

1/4 cup warm water
1 {1/4-oz} packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 cups room temperature buttermilk
1 lb unsalted butter, frozen
1 cup sugar

 Whisk together the 1/4 cup warm water & the yeast. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar & the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the buttermilk & the yeast mixture. Mix on Low speed 1 minute with a dough hook. The dough will be very soft & cling to the sides. Increase the speed to Medium. Blend 5 minutes. Sprinkle the dough generously with flour around the top & the sides. Use a rubber spatula to shimmy between the edges as it will be sticky. Allow it to tumble onto a well floured surface. Generously dust the top of the dough with flour & knead several times until smooth & elastic. Use a rubber spatula to begin the process then switch & use your hands. Dust with flour as necessary to prevent any sticking. The dough will feel light but springy. Shape it into a ball & place in a lightly greased bowl. Spray the dough surface with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill 8 hours or overnight. 

Press the air out of the dough all over the surface. Transfer to a well floured surface. Press & shape the dough into a 10 x 15-inch rectangle. Run two sticks of the frozen butter down the large holes of a box grater. Place it in the center third portion of the dough in an even layer leaving a 1 1/2-inch border at the top & the bottom. Fold the dough into thirds, then make a 1/4 turn counterclockwise. The last fold should be closest to you. Roll the dough into a 10 x 15-inch rectangle. Place the dough in the freezer. Run the remaining two sticks of the frozen butter down the large holes of a box grater. Remove the dough from the freezer & place the butter in the center third portion of the dough in an even layer leaving a 1 1/2-inch border at the top & the bottom. Fold the dough into thirds. Make a 1/4 turn counterclockwise. The last fold should be closest to you. Roll the dough into a 10 x 15-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds. Make a 1/4 turn counterclockwise. Wrap the dough in plastic & chill 1 hour. It should measure approximately 9 x 4 1/2-inches. If the dough becomes warm & the butter is exposed at anytime during the process, cover & chill 30 minutes before proceeding.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place the dough on a well floured surface. Roll the dough into a 10 x 15-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds. Make a 1/4 turn counterclockwise. Repeat the process two additional times. The dough will have a total of 6 turns. Wrap the dough in plastic & chill 8 hours or overnight.

Cut the dough in half. Wrap one piece in plastic & chill. Sprinkle a little of the remaining sugar over the work surface. Roll the dough into an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. As you roll the dough, continue sprinkling sugar & lift often to dust underneath. Fold the dough into thirds, then make a 1/4 turn counterclockwise. The last fold should be closest to you. Roll the dough into an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. As you roll the dough, continue sprinkling sugar & lift often to dust underneath. Fold the dough into thirds. Cover with plastic & freeze 15 minutes. Sprinkle a little of the remaining sugar over the work surface then roll the dough into an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. As you roll the dough, continue sprinkling sugar & lift often to dust underneath. Cut the folded edges away from the dough, if desired, & discard them. Cut the dough into 8 squares that measure approximately 3 3/4-inches. Bring each corner to the center then place in a lightly greased muffin cup. Sprinkle with a bit of additional sugar over the surface. Cover loosely with plastic wrap & allow to rise 25 to 30 minutes. They will puff slightly over the cups. Repeat the procedure with the remaining half of the dough. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the muffin tin on a half sheet pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately begin loosening & removing the Buttermilk Kouign-Amann from the tin. Transfer to a wire rack. 

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FROM THE KITCHEN OF BUTTERMILK LIPSTICK
{testing notes}

How To Make Buttermilk Kouign-Amann

Although it doesn’t seem like there is much to this delicious pastry, it is certainly well worth your attention. Buttermilk Kouign-Amann is incredibly simple to prepare & I would advise two points in particular to achieve success in your own kitchen. Be certain to trim the outer edges of the dough squares. This will aide in the layers ability to spread more easily during the baking process for crisp tips & a neater appearance. The second, & I would advise as the most crucial, immediately begin removing the pastries from the muffin tins once out of the oven or they will stick as the Buttermilk Kouign-Amann cools.

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A few pieces of equipment will be needed in order to complete the task. Read through the recipe before beginning. Here’s what you should know.

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Once the butter has been added to the dough using the fold-&-roll technique, it will be ready for a good, long final chill. The dough will have a total of 6 turns at this stage of the process.

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Remove the dough from the refrigerator & place it on a lightly floured surface. 

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Cut the dough in half. Wrap one piece in plastic & chill.

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 Sprinkle a little of the remaining sugar over the work surface then roll the dough into an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. As you roll the dough, continue sprinkling sugar & lift often to dust underneath.

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 Fold the dough into thirds. 

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Make a 1/4 turn counterclockwise. 

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The last fold should be closest to you. 

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Roll the dough into an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. As you roll the dough, continue sprinkling sugar & lift often to dust underneath. Fold the dough into thirds. Cover with plastic & freeze 15 minutes. 

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Sprinkle a little of the remaining sugar over the work surface then roll the dough into an 8 x 16-inch rectangle. As you roll the dough, continue sprinkling sugar & lift often to dust underneath. 

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Cut the folded edges away from the dough, if desired, & discard them. 

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Cut the dough into 8 squares that measure approximately 3 3/4-inches. 

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Bring each corner to the center then place in a lightly greased muffin cup. Sprinkle with a bit of additional sugar over the surface. 

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Cover loosely with plastic wrap & allow to rise 25 to 30 minutes. They will puff slightly over the cups. Repeat the procedure with the remaining half of the dough. 

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the muffin tin on a half sheet pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. 
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Immediately begin loosening & removing the Buttermilk Kouign-Amann from the tin. Transfer to a wire rack.

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* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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