Shortcut Salted Kouign Amann
Note: Total cook time is about 2 hours with plenty of down time in between. :)
Makes: about 6 petite pastries
  • 1 sheet frozen store-bought puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 6 T sugar, plus extra for the counter and sprinkling (I used Trader Joe's Organic Sugar)
  • about ½ tsp good sea salt (more or less, to taste - see note)
  • salted butter for greasing your pans
  1. Prep the dough. Sprinkle your counter or work surface lightly with sugar and unroll/unfold prepared pull pastry. Lightly roll out to a square shape. Fold pastry in half to create a rectangle and roll out to about 8" x 12".
  2. Add the sugar. Sprinkle 3 T sugar evenly over the surface of the pastry, lightly pressing sugar into dough with the rolling pin. Fold the top third of the dough down and the bottom third of the dough up, like you're folding a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees so the open end is facing you, like a book. Roll dough back out to a rectangle about 8" x 12".
  3. Add more sugar. Repeat Step 2. You've now incorporated two rounds of sugar.
  4. Chill the pastry. Lay rolled-out pastry on a baking sheet and press plastic wrap lightly to the surface to prevent it from drying out. Refrigerate 30 mins.
  5. Prep the muffin tin. Meanwhile, grease a 6-cup muffin tin with salted butter.
  6. Form the kouign amann. Sprinkle your counter or work surface lightly with sugar and lay out chilled pastry. Dough will feel sticky from the sugar that's beginning to dissolve. Sprinkle top of dough very lightly with additional sugar. Roll back out to 8" x 12" if dough has shrunk at all. Using a pizza wheel, pastry cutter or sharp knife, cut dough in half lengthwise to create two strips approximately 4" x 12". Cut each strip into three 4" x 4" squares, trimming ends, if necessary. (Save scraps to bake later!) Fold the four corners of each pastry square toward the center to create the kouign amann shape and tuck into the muffin tin. (This is the idea, though our dough will not be as thick or fluffy.) Remember, these guys are on the petite side, so they should be an easy fit.
  7. Let the dough rise. Cover the muffin tin with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot where dough can "rise" for 30-40 mins. (Note: the two times I did this, my dough rose just barely, if at all, but I'm too wussy to skip this step. There is yeast in the puff pastry, so I can only assume something might be happening during this time...)
  8. Preheat the oven. About 15 or 20 mins before your dough completes its rise, turn your oven to 400F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
  9. Add the salt. When rise is complete (immediately prior to baking), sprinkle the top of each kouign amann generously with good sea salt -- about ½ tsp total for all six pastries.
  10. Bake the kouign amann. Place kouign amann in the center of your middle rack and immediately TURN OVEN DOWN TO 350F. Bake for 35-45 mins, turning once, until pastries are deeply caramelized and golden brown.
  11. Serve. While caramel is still bubbling, carefully remove pastries to a plate or cooling rack and allow to cool slightly.
  12. EAT THAT ISHT. Enjoy kouign amann as warm as possible to ensure a slightly candied exterior and a tender, chewy interior. Consider yourself a rockstar. I know I do. ;)
I've already given away most of my tips up above, but here are just a few more. When it comes to sea salt, choose something of a finer grain or a delicate, flaked version. Coarse salt will be too overwhelming in this application. Remove the kouign amann just as soon as they come out of the oven, because once that sugar sets, they'll be a nightmare to pry from the pan. And please don't be overwhelmed by the 12 steps you see here. (Only in the baking world would 12 steps be considered a shortcut!) These treats are ridiculously simple. And that's coming from me, the pastryphobe.
Recipe by the pig & quill at