#GreatBloggersBakeOff2014 Week Seven: Pastries

Monday 22 September 2014 by

Week Seven: Pastries

Kouign-amann

#GreatBloggersBakeOff2014

Kouign-amann, Baking, Gluten free, #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, GBBO

There was an impending sense of doom when watching this week’s Great British Bake Off as the challenges went from hard to difficult to worse. As a gluten-free baker, pastries are always tricky because you don’t get the stretch in the dough you normally would. Cornish pasties, the impossible-sounding kouign-amann, or éclairs. And, despite the unfathomable name, and the fact that all bakers were clueless as to what it actually was, I decided that I would go with the Breton pastry, kouign-amann. I took this recipe from The Telegraph, which creates one big kouign-amann, but you can easily split it out in to separate pieces, the same way I have.

You will need:

  • Bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rolling pin
  • Muffin tin

Ingredients:

  • 500g strong bread flour (Dove’s Farm do some great bread flour)
  • 300ml water
  • 30ml milk
  • ½ tsp dried yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 200g salted butter plus extra for greasing the tin
  • 100g caster sugar plus 100g for the dough

How to make it:

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C fan (you might want to wait until you’re cool-proving right at the end to do this – it’s a long process!)

Kouign-amann, Baking, Gluten free, #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, GBBO

Mix the yeast in to the flour, then add the salt, water and milk.

Work the dough for a few minutes until the dough starts to form, then tip it out on to the surface and work it for about five minutes.

Kouign-amann, Baking, Gluten free, #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, GBBO

Flour the surface and roll the dough by folding each edge in turn to the centre. Score a cross on the top with a knife, then put in a mixing bowl, cover and rest for about two hours.

Kouign-amann, Baking, Gluten free, #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, GBBO

Tip it out again on to a floured surface, then starting at the centre where the cross, roll out the dough out in to the corners to form a square, then take the butter and roll out in to a square to fit in the middle of your dough. Place the butter in to the centre of the dough, sprinkle with 100g of the caster sugar, then fold the four sides of the dough over inwards. Roll it flat again.

Kouign-amann, Baking, Gluten free, #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, GBBO

Fold it in to thirds, cover and rest for another 15 minutes. Repeat this twice more. Before your third fold, cut in to individual pieces, fold them each and rest for fifteen minutes before transferring to the tin and dust each with the remaining sugar.

Prove for another hour, but make sure it’s a cool place (the fridge is fine) because you don’t want the butter to melt.

Kouign-amann, Baking, Gluten free, #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, GBBO

Bake for around 20 minutes (40 minutes if you’re doing one big bake) until the top is caramelised. To find out if they are totally done, take out of the tin and check the bottom – that should be caramelised too. Serve immediately.

The verdict:

Kouign-amann, Baking, Gluten free, #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, GBBO

Time-consuming, but all the more satisfying to see the results at the end of it. Kouign-amann might have never have crossed my path had it not been for Great British Bake Off! Also: it is REALLY TOUGH to make. My dough, although looking pretty good, was super-sticky to deal with, so the folding was tricky, especially with butter that was cooler than the dough so they didn’t hold together properly. I think more dough ended up on my hands than it did in the mix!

Kouign-amann, Baking, Gluten free, #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, GBBO

So the folds didn’t work out (this is a familiar story throughout the whole Bake Off experience), but in to the oven they went. Perfectly caramelised, the next challenge was getting them out of the tins (one managed to end up in pieces).

So they’re not the prettiest things in the world (in fact, they look rather unappetising), and the dough right in the centre is a bit tough (victim of the unfolded beginning?) but the crispy, caramelised bits around the outer edge were dangerously more-ish. I wouldn’t say a total success, but I would certainly say that it was better than it could have been.

Kouign-amann, Baking, Gluten free, #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014, GBBO

Week Seven: Mediocre

Want to bake along with GBBO and the Great Bloggers Bake Off? Head over to Mummy Mishap to find out more…

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