Twas such a little, little snow
That subtly fell that day
Twas such a lusty, lusty wind
That made it dance and sway
Twas such a quiet, quiet home
To pass the time away
With cards and games and cookies
A cozy kind of play.
Winter is fully settled over our little river valley. Winds whip and whistle above our heads through the branches of the especially tall trees on the rough slopes climbing westward from our home. I climbed out of our hollow to be assailed by those merciless fingers given free will on the flat openness of the supermarket parking lot. Bursting into full run, I couldn’t help wonder what sort of blood Mr. Tumnus must have boiling in his veins to pranter about a world of ever-winter with nothing but a scarf lopped around his neck. I mouthed a silent thanksgiving for my scarf as well as my coat hat and mittens.
My mom has been making our family these lovely mittens every year for as long as I can remember. She gives them as the most precious gifts at Christmas. You can snatch up a pair from her Etsy Shop or head on over to Instagram for a 2 pair giveaway! (GIVEAWAY CLOSED )
It’s always nice to come home and have a hot cup of something. We are not partial to any particular drink in this house, just as long as it’s piping hot and preferably accompanied by a baked good. In this case, Kouing Amann or brittanys as Panera Bread like to call them. I saw these behind the glass at a Panera a while back and thought how nice they would go with an afternoon coffee or tea and yes, yes they do. They also go nicely with a fried egg and spinach salad in the morning as we have had them three days this week. Kouign Amann is a very close cousin to croissants both using a yeasted pastry dough with butter rolled in. However, the Kouign Amann is baked in tins that have been coated with butter and sugar to give it a crispy-caramelly crust. I like to sprinkle the dough with a generous amount of sugar and give it a final turn so there is a sweetness built up in the layers. This recipe makes 12 rather large popover-like Kouign Amann but you can make them a more friendly size for Fika or afternoon snaking by cutting the dough into 16 parts instead and shortening the bake time by just a bit.
Do you live in a colder climate where a warm-up is a must when you come into the house? You can find detailed instructions for incorporating butter and giving it 3 3-folds here.
Kouign amann is a French pastry similar to croissants. They are flaky-fluffy with a layer of crisp caramel around the bottom. yum.
- 12 oz milk
- 1.25 oz sugar
- .45 oz active dry yeast
- 19 oz bread flour
- .35 oz salt fine
- 10 oz butter room temp.
- extra sugar for sprinkling
- extra butter for tins
Scald milk and cool to warm
Add sugar and yeast. Mix to dissolve and let stand until foamy about 5-10 minutes.
In a separate bowl mix flour and salt. Add to the milk mixing until a rough ball is just formed and all the flour is wet. Avoid over mixing, gluten will develop during the rolling in process, there is no need to develop it now.
Place dough into a buttered container (you can use the bowl you were just using, just take the dough out and butter it.) Let dough rest at room temperature until doubled in size. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Cut butter into 12 pieces. Lay them flat on a sheet of parchment and pound them into a flat rectangle. Cover and chill in the fridge until the dough is ready.
Incorporate butter and give 3 3-folds
Roll the dough into a large rectangle. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Fold into thirds (for a 4th 3-fold) cover loosely with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Generously butter the cups of 1 12-cup muffin tin. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Brush excess off.
Take dough out of fridge and roll into a 6×18 inch rectangle. Cut into 12 3-inch squares. Sprinkle with sugar.
Press each square into a muffin cup, taking the corners and folding them into the center.
Cover and let rise until about doubled in size around 1 hour. ( your pastries may have unfolded, that’s okay. You can try to press the corners back together or leave them. I leave them. )
Pre-heat oven to 400f and bake kouign amanns 30-40 minutes until tops and sides are deep golden brown.
Remove kouign amanns from pan immediately after they are done baking. Serve warm or cool or rewarm in a 350f oven for 5-6 minutes.