Today Rose's Alpha Bakers share our first selection as we bake our way through The Baking Bible. As a reminder, the recipes for this particular project are not being shared, but I'll post my personal commentary about each recipe followed by a full photo tutorial. Okay, let's get started.
This week's selection - Kouigns Amann, a French pastry. Layers of laminated yeast dough and granulated sugar baked until the pastry puffs and the sugar caramelizes. Often baked as a large pastry to feed many, this version makes generous individual servings.
How does it taste - Utterly amazing! Light and buttery with layers of caramelized sugar. *I experimented by baking half of these in a Texas size muffin pan and I really liked the way they turned out - they were taller than the ones baked in the ring molds, and they ended up with a more lacquered appearance because the excess sugar and butter couldn't drain away, instead it was was trapped in the pan, allowing it to caramelize beautifully. Variation: it was very hard, but I managed to save a couple of the kouigns amann to make Rose's Souffléed French Toast. We thought it was okay, but it tasted a little "eggy". Definitely liked the fresh pastries better. If I ever find myself with leftovers again, I'd use them to make bread pudding.
How does it look - Big and impressive.
Skill level required - This probably wouldn't be the best recipe for a new baker to try first. It's not necessarily difficult, but there are a lot of steps and it takes a lot of time. The book stated 6 hours, but it took me longer than that, and I'm a very experienced baker.
Were the directions clear - Yes, for the most part, although there are more than 3 pages of directions for this particular recipe, not including the variation for using up leftovers. I'm used to Rose's instructions being very precise so I was surprised when she didn't specify how far to roll the dough flaps when making the dough package. Additionally, during the final shaping of the individual kouign amann, the "bring up the corners" part was s little unclear. The photos in the book show the shaped pastries to have loose layers, but when I followed the instructions precisely, I had no loose layers visible. Perhaps the step to roll the 4-inch squares out to a 5 1/2 to 6-inch square was omitted from the ph0tos? Lastly, somewhere in the recipe, Rose refers readers to page 539 in the book concerning the use the Brod & Taylor Bread Proofing Box, but no temperature was specified on page 539 and only a temperature range was given in the recipe so I chose to forego the proofing box and let my dough rise at room temperature.
What would I do differently next time - I would make a smaller version and bake them in a standard muffin pan. Also, I would cut leftovers into cubes and use them to make bread pudding instead of the suggested souffléed french toast.
Next up - English Dried Fruit Cake, Dec 8, 2014. Hope you'll come back to see that one.
links to more alpha baker photo tutorials
- Nov 20, 2015 The Hazelnut Praline Cookies that Never Were
- Sep 1, 2015 TBB - Flaky Cream Cheese Scones
- Aug 24, 2015 TBB - Woody's Black and White Brownies
- Jul 2, 2015 TBB - Praline Meringue Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Jun 23, 2015 Ricotta Loaf - The Bread Bible
- Jun 4, 2015 TBB - French Orange Cream Tart
- May 20, 2015 TBB - Double Chocolate Oriolos
- May 16, 2015 Touch of Grace Biscuits - The Bread Bible
- May 8, 2015 TBB - Blu-Rhu Mini Pies
- Apr 27, 2015 TBB - Lemon Jammies
- Apr 2, 2015 Pita Pizzas - The Bread Bible
- Mar 23, 2015 TBB - Luxury Oatmeal Cookies
- Mar 16, 2015 TBB - Sour Cherry Pie (Pi Day)
- Mar 9, 2015 TBB - Caramel Buns
- Mar 4, 2015 TBB - Hamantaschen (Purim)
- Feb 23, 2015 TBB - Lemon Posset Alma
- Feb 16, 2015 TBB - Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache
- Feb 11, 2015 TBB - Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce
- Feb 9, 2015 Panettone Delay
- Feb 2, 2015 TBB - Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread
- Jan 26, 2015 TBB - Gingersnaps
- Jan 19, 2015 Biga Fail
- Jan 13, 2015 TBB - Black and Blueberry Pie
- Jan 6, 2015 TBB - Chocolate Cuddle Cake