As much as I love baking, there are certain baked goods that I dread making. High on that list are croissants. I tried maybe two or three times but they just never compare to storebought ones. Laminated dough in general is not my area of expertise but I decided to give it another try today. Instead of making classic croissants, I decided to prepare a sweeter relative, kouign-amann. These pastries are especially special because they're cinnamon sugar kouign-amann with citrus marmalade. If all else fails, at least the flavors will be delicious!
Kouign-Amann with Citrus Marmalade
- 1 cup warm milk, between 100-110 degrees F (250 ml)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (7 grams)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (362 grams)
- 1 cup cold butter (8 ounces)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 3 blood oranges
- 2 cara cara oranges
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 3 cups water (750 ml)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
- Make kouign-amann dough. Combine warm milk with active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar, stirring to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy and yeast is activated.
- Place salt and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add milk yeast mixture and mix until combined. Knead dough for 7-8 minutes or until smooth. Alternatively, knead by hand. Transfer dough to a bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Once doubled in size, chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make citrus marmalade. Cut oranges in half, and thinly slice the fruit into slices about 1/16 inch thick, discarding the seeds. Place sliced oranges, zest, and juice of 1 lime, water, and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and continue to boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until fruits are very soft and the liquid has thickened. Remove from heat and pulse the marmalade in a blender or food processor 4-5 times. You want the fruit slices to be broken into smaller chunks but do not want the marmalade to be completely smooth. Let cool completely.
- Lightly dust a clean work counter with flour. Place 1 cup cold butter on the counter and pound it out with a rolling pin until very supple. Sprinkle additional flour as needed to prevent it from sticking. Shape dough into a 6x10 inch rectangle. Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Lightly dust a clean work counter with flour. Remove chilled dough from fridge and roll into a 12x20 inch rectangle. Place butter in the center and fold dough over the butter into thirds, similar to how you would fold a letter. Use rolling pin to slightly press the layers together.
- Turn dough 90 degrees and roll it again into a 12x20 inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes. If your kitchen is very warm and butter is softening too quickly, let it chill for 30 minutes in between folds.
- Take dough out and repeat the two folds. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Combine 1 ½ cups sugar with 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Roll out dough into a 12x20 inch rectangle. Sprinkle 9 tablespoons cinnamon sugar evenly over dough. Fold into thirds and slightly press down the layers together. Turn dough 90 degrees and roll out for the final time into a 12x20 inch rectangle. Sprinkle another 9 tablespoons cinnamon sugar on top and fold into thirds. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Generously grease a 12 muffin pan with butter.
- Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar on your counter. Roll out dough into an 8x24 inch rectangle and sprinkle more sugar on top. Cut rectangle lengthwise to create two strips 24 inches long and 4 inches wide. Cut each strip into 6 equal portions for a total of 12 portions. Place heaping tablespoon of citrus marmalade in the center. Gather the corners and place dough into prepared muffin pan, squishing dough into the pan. Cover loosely and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place muffin pan on a baking sheet to catch any sugar dripping. Put kouign-amann in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until deeply golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through.
- Remove kouign-amann from the oven. Let cool slightly for a couple of minutes. Carefully remove the pastries from muffin pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Why do I dislike making laminated dough so much? Because it takes so long to make so when I make a mistake, all that work goes down the drain! I've learned through trial and error that it's all about the butter folding into the dough. If it melts or it's too hard, chances are that the end result won't be correct.
But before we jump into that, let's start by making the dough. The kouign-amann dough is fairly a basic one. All you need is milk, yeast, sugar, salt, and flour. I like to use milk instead of water for my dough because it helps the dough become more tender.
Knead the dough until smooth, then let it rise in a warm area for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, let's make the citrus jam. Since it's citrus season, I wanted to make a blood orange and cara cara orange marmalade. Blood oranges are more tart so I like to combine them with cara cara oranges, which are sweeter. However, you can use any other citrus or go another way and make another jam entirely.
Wash and thinly slice the whole fruit into half-moon shapes, discarding the seeds. Yup, we're going to use the entire fruit with the peel and all. Try to slice the fruits as thin as possible.
Combine the sliced citrus fruits with lime zest, lime juice, water, and sugar in a large saucepot and bring it to a boil. Continue to boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer on low for about 1 hour. The marmalade should be thickened and the peel should be incredibly soft and tender.
Normally I would keep the citrus marmalade just like this, with chunks of the fruit. However, since we're using it to fill pastries, go ahead and give it a quick blend. It doesn't have to be smooth, in fact, it's quite lovely with small chunks of the rind.
This recipe makes about 4 cups of marmalade, which is a lot more than what you need for the kouign-amann. If you only want to make enough for the pastries, make half a batch.
Now let's turn out attention back to the dough. Roll out 8 ounces of cold butter until it's 6x10 inches. Use your arm muscles and a rolling pin to really pound out that butter. You don't want to use softened dough because it'll be too soft for the dough. It needs to be pliable but not mushy.
Roll out the dough into a 12x20 inch rectangle, then place the pounded butter in the center. Fold the left flap of the dough over the butter, then fold over the right flap. Use a rolling pin to slightly press the layers together.
Then, turn the dough 90 degrees. Roll it out until it's a 12x20 inch rectangle and fold it again just like how you did before, into thirds. Cover the dough and let it chill for 30 minutes.
If your kitchen is particularly warm, you may want to chill it for 30 minutes after the first fold.
Now repeat the fold again. Take it out of the fridge, fold it, turn it 90 degrees, and fold it again. When you're ready for the third and final folds, you're going to sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on the dough. Sprinkle about 9 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar on the rolled out dough and fold it into thirds. Then, rotate the dough, sprinkle another 9 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar, and fold it again.
Yup, it's a long process. If the dough gets too soft and the butter seems to be melting, chill the dough after every turn instead of every 2 turns. It'll take longer but it's better safe than sorry!
After the last fold, chill the dough again for 30 minutes. Once chilled, roll out the dough until it's about 8 inches wide and 24 inches long. Cut the dough in half lengthwise so that you end up with 2 long strips that are 4 inches wide and 24 inches long.
Cut each strip into 6 equal squares that are 4 inches big. Place a heaping tablespoon of jam in the center and squish the dough into the greased muffin pan. You don't want to use too much jam or the kouign-amann will end up soggy.
Don't worry if the kouign-amann doesn't look perfect. That's the whole beauty! I like to call them "rustic."
Loosely cover the pastries and let them proof for 30 minutes. Finally, bake the kouign-amann with citrus marmalade for 40-45 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Let the pastries cool for a couple of minutes, then carefully remove them from the muffin pan. If you let them cool completely in the pan, they'll get stuck because of all of the sugar. Trust me, it's a nightmare.
After hours and hours of preparation, these kouign-amann with citrus marmalade are finally ready to be devoured!
I was very nervous about trying these pastries, but I can happily say that they were a success! I love how you can see the layers and the citrus marmalade filling is such a wonderful pairing with the cinnamon sugar. Now I must give these away before I devour them all...
For more laminated dough recipes check out these orange cardamom raisin buns!