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Imagine a sticky bun and a croissant put together and you have a delicious Kouign Amann! It’s a laminated sweet dough that you will absolutely fall in love with. Don’t be intimidated by this recipe, I break it down step by step into simple to follow instructions that will turn out great every single time!

I am an absolute sucker for a French pastry. I used to be too intimidated to make them at home, until one day I finally took the plunge. And guess what? It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, AND it was super fun! I absolutely loved the whole process, and I think you will too. If you aren’t convinced yet, then start with an easier recipe like this Apple Danish or these Strawberry Cream Cheese Danishes. Another easy and fun dessert that has layered dough is Baklava, you’ve got to try it!

Kouign amman on a wire rack with a grey hand towel.

What is Kouign Amann?

If you are sitting here trying to figure out how to pronounce kouign amann, then you are in good company! The first time I saw this name I didn’t even know where to start. It’s pronounced kween uh·man and LITERALLY means butter cake. So you know it’s going to be good! It’s like a buttery and fluffy croissant, and yet caramelized like a sticky bun. It’s honestly one of the best things I’ve ever made.

I know, layering dough sounds scary right? Well, it’s actually a lot easier than it sounds! You only have to turn it twice and each time you are putting shredded butter in between. This helps to add layers to the dough. If you are ready to step out of your comfort zone of banana bread, or maybe you are already baking more complicated loaves like brioche bread, you are going to love this recipe. It’s super simple and looks really impressive. You can also add chocolate to make it even sweeter!

Ingredients

Another reason this recipe is so easy is the list of ingredients. Kouign amann just needs 6 ingredients, and you already have them all on hand. You don’t have to be a professional baker to make this recipe! It’s actually really simple and you will love the taste of it. It is a very sticky dough once you add the sugar so don’t worry if it looks wet or runny. That will help make the delicious caramel that is on the outside of the laminated pastry. You can find the measurements below in the recipe card.

  • Bread Flour: Bread flour has more protein than a regular all purpose flour, so it will soak up more water. I really recommend using bread flour for this recipe.
  • Water: Make sure it’s luke warm, this helps to activate the yeast.
  • Instant Yeast: Active dry yeast or instant yeast will work.
  • Salt: This helps balance out the sweetness, and aids in the baking of the bread.
  • Granulated Sugar: This is a sweet bread, so the sugar helps to sweeten the bread and to make the sticky outside glaze.
  • Unsalted Butter: You will need LOTS of butter. Make sure it’s unsalted so you don’t end up with really salty bread.
Process photos showing how the dough should look and how to turn it.

Kouign Amann Recipe

I know I’ve avoided making laminated dough like kouign amann in the past. I thought it would be too hard or not worth the effort, but I was totally wrong! First of all, dough with layers of butter is so delicious it’s worth extra effort. This dough doesn’t even take that many extra steps. Turning the dough just means that you will add layers of butter. You roll out the dough into a big triangle, add butter, and fold into thirds. Do that twice and then you are ready to bake.

Make Kouign Amann Dough

  1. Froth Yeast: Combine the water, 2 teaspoons of sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a mixer. Let stand for 5 minutes, until frothy.
  2. Make Dough: Add the flour and 2 tablespoons of softened butter and mix with a fork or a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on low speed for 4-5 minutes, until smooth. Alternatively you can knead by hand for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Cover and Let Rise: The dough should be soft and fairly sticky at this point. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.

First Turn

  1. Punch Down: Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and turn out onto a clean surface.
  2. Roll Out Dough: Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle that is ¼ inch thick and about 16×9 inches. You can pull the corners with your fingers to try and make it as rectangular as possible.
  3. Grate Butter: Use a grater to grate ½ cup of cold butter over the dough.
  4. Fold Dough in Thirds: Fold the dough over in thirds, as you would fold a letter. Again make sure to maintain a rectangular shape as best as possible.
  5. Cover and Chill: Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.

Second Turn

  1. Roll Out: Once the dough has chilled, place it on a clean surface with the long end facing you. Roll out to a rectangle that is ¼ inch thick and about 16×9 inches again, keeping the long side facing you.
  2. Repeat Turn: Repeat steps 3-5 of the first turn.

Bake Kouign Amann

  1. Prep Pan: Prep a muffin pan by brushing 1 tablespoon of melted butter in 8 of the muffin wells, followed by a dusting of granulated sugar in the wells. Tap out the excess sugar and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add Sugar and Roll Out: Once the dough has chilled, dust a clean surface with ¼ cup granulated sugar. Place the dough on the sugar and dust the top of it with another ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Roll it into a 12×8 inch rectangle.
  3. Cut Dough: Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut 8 even strips. Roll each strip up and place in the prepared muffin tin.
  4. Bake: Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are a deep golden brown and the centers reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the oven and let cool for 3-4 minutes before very carefully removing from the pan. They will be quite hot, but if they sit in the pan they might stick.
  5. Cool and Enjoy: Let cool for 20 minutes before serving or storing in an airtight container.

Tips for Making Kouign Amann

Anyone who has tried kouign amann immediately falls in love with it. This is an awesome recipe to try for a special occasion, or just to have fun in the kitchen. If you still feel like you need some more help making this recipe, here are a few tips that helped me my first time!

  • Soft Dough: The dough is very soft. When folding the dough over the grated butter I used a metal bench scrape to help lift the dough off the countertop and still maintain the rectangular shape.
  • About the Butter: The butter can be frozen or chilled in the fridge before being grated. You can dip your hands in flour and press the butter down into the dough to prevent it from becoming lumpy.
  • Added Sugar: Don’t be worried if the sugar-dusted dough becomes sticky or syrupy. This sugar syrup will become the caramel layer on the bottom of the baked pastry, so feel free to scoop sugar off the counter and add it back on as you roll out the dough the final time.
  • Temp the Pastries: Use a thermometer to make sure the inside of the pastries are fully baked. The thermometer should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit when they are fully baked. The outside layers should be very deeply golden brown.
A side view of kouign amman stacked on top of each other.

Storing Leftovers

I really like this dough because the sugar coating seems to keep it really fresh for three days. After that it does start to get dry, but most pastries do! You can also freeze the extras, which I love. Here is how to store leftovers or unbaked goods.

  • On the Counter: Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • In the Freezer, Baked: Baked kouign-amann can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Let it come to room temperature before heating in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • In the Freezer, Unbaked: Unbaked kouign-amann dough can be frozen after it has been rolled into shape. Place rolled dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze for at least 4 hours before transferring to a plastic freezer bag. When ready to bake, remove from the bag and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake as directed.

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Kouign-Amann

5 from 1 vote
By: Alyssa Rivers
Imagine a sticky bun and a croissant put together and you have a delicious Kouign Amann! It's a laminated sweet dough that you will absolutely fall in love with. Don't be intimidated by this recipe, I break it down step by step into simple to follow instructions that will turn out great every single time!
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 Pastries

Ingredients 

  • 2 ⅓ cup bread flour additional for dusting
  • 1 cup luke-warm water
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar divided
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided

Instructions 

Dough

  • Combine the water, 2 teaspoons of sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a mixer. Let stand for 5 minutes, until frothy.
  • Add the flour and 2 tablespoons of softened butter and mix with a fork or a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on low speed for 4-5 minutes, until smooth. Alternatively you can knead by hand for about 8-10 minutes.
  • The dough should be soft and fairly sticky at this point. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.

First Turn

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and turn out onto a clean surface.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle that is ¼ inch thick and about 16×9 inches. You can pull the corners with your fingers to try and make it as rectangular as possible.
  • Use a grater to grate ½ cup of cold butter over the dough.
  • Fold the dough over in thirds, as you would fold a letter. Again make sure to maintain a rectangular shape as best as possible.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.

Second Turn

  • Once the dough has chilled, place it on a clean surface with the long end facing you. Roll out to a rectangle that is ¼ inch thick and about 16×9 inches again, keeping the long side facing you.
  • Repeat steps 3-5 of the first turn.

Baking

  • Prep a muffin pan by brushing 1 tablespoon of melted butter in 8 of the muffin wells, followed by a dusting of granulated sugar in the wells. Tap out the excess sugar and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Once the dough has chilled, dust a clean surface with ¼ cup granulated sugar. Place the dough on the sugar and dust the top of it with another ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Roll it into a 12×8 inch rectangle.
  • Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut 8 even strips. Roll each strip up and place in the prepared muffin tin.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are a deep golden brown and the centers reach 212 degrees fahrenheit. Remove from the oven and let cool for 3-4 minutes before very carefully removing from the pan. They will be quite hot, but if they sit in the pan they might stick.
  • Let cool for 20 minutes before serving or storing in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 389kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 5gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 476mgPotassium: 61mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 710IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    love this, thank you, and yes would have been intimidated but for the stop by step walk though, much appreciated!