The Kouign-Amann is all about flour, salted butter and sugar. This special pastry from Brittany, region in the northwest of France, is very buttery and crusty but it is also so delicious you will probably have problem to stop eating it. If you are on a diet, forget about it! Or not. Go on, and try it. You are allowed to treat yourself. We won’t tell anyone.
If the name Kouign-Amann doesn’t sound like any French, that’s because it’s actually a Breton language. And in Breton, kouign means cake and amann – butter. So literally, the Kouign-amann means a butter cake. According to the current recipe, the proportions used to make this pastry are 40 per cent of flour, 30 per cent of butter and 30 per cent of sugar. The bread dough is covered with the mixture of butter and sugar that melts during the cooking. That makes this generous cake so perfectly soft in the centre, crispy golden on top and caramelised on the edges. It is a real feast for the palate that no one can resist.
The Kouign-Amann was made in the 19th century in Douarnenez, a seaside town in Brittany, famous for sardines fishing. Certain Yves-René Scordia created this pastry in his bakery in 1860 while he was making bread dough. At the time it was much easier to find the butter than the flour, so when the bread dough turned wrong instead of throwing it, the baker decided to add it some salted butter and sugar. The result was a true success. Today, The Kouign-amann is such a big thing in Brittany that even an association of lovers of Kouign-amann was created in Douarnenez in 1999 in order to protect the authentic recipe.
If you wonder should this buttery, crusty and delicious pastry be eaten in the morning, for a breakfast or after lunch for a dessert, be sure that there is no wrong moment of day to eat the Kouign-amman. It goes well with the coffee or tea, but also with a glass of cold local cider or even with chouchen a traditional Brittany drink based on honey. There is only one rule. This butter cake should preferably be eaten warm or at room temperature so you can totally appreciate it crunchy and buttery flavour. If you are looking for a good address to try it, you must go to the bakary Plomarc’h in Douarnenez, the capital of the Kouign-amman.
Boulangerie des Plomarc'h, 20 rue des Plomarc'h, Douarnenez, Bretagne, France
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