My Kouign-Amann recipe gives you the sweet, buttery, European pastries of your dreams.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, ¼ cup (2oz/57g) sugar, yeast, and ¾ teaspoon salt together. Stir in the water and 2 tablespoons of butter, and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is soft and a little tacky. You can do this step by hand or by using a stand mixer.
Place in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
Punch down, cover and refrigerate for about an hour, or until doubled in size again.
While the dough is on its second rise, beat the 1½ cups (12oz/341g) butter with the ½ cup (4oz/115g) sugar and ¾ teaspoon salt. On a piece of parchment paper, spread the butter into a 12x6-inch (30x15cm) rectangle, wrap well and refrigerate.
Once the dough has risen for the second time, on a floured surface roll the dough into a 12x6-inch (30x15cm) rectangle, wrap well, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until chilled and firm.
Once both the dough and butter are cold and firm, on a floured surface, roll the dough to a 20 x 8-inch (50 x 20cm) rectangle.
Place the chilled butter in the center third of the dough rectangle and fold the dough up like a letter.
Roll the dough into a 24 x 8-inch (61 x 20cm) rectangle, and fold in thirds again, like a letter. Repeat this rolling and folding 2 more times, for a total of 3 times.
Roll the dough out to a 24 x 8-inch (61 x 20cm) rectangle for the fourth time, and this time, sprinkle the surface of the dough with 2 tablespoons of sugar, fold into thirds (like a letter), wrap well and refrigerate for at least an hour, or until very firm.
When ready to assemble the Kouign-Amann, grease a muffin tin and place a ½ cup (4oz/115g) of sugar on a plate near you.
On a floured surface, roll the dough to a 12 x 16-inch (30x40cm) rectangle and divide the dough into 12 squares.
For each square, press the dough on both sides into the sugar on the plate, then squeeze the corners of the dough together and place in a muffin cup. Cover the filled tin with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight.
The next morning, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Sprinkle the pastries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastries are a deep golden brown.
Immediately remove the Kouign-Amann from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
Best enjoyed the day they are baked. Store leftovers, loosely covered, at room temperature, for up to 3 days.