It’s pastry week on The Great British Bake Off and Paul Hollywood’s technical challenge throws the remaining bakers into unchartered territory with a pastry that, for the first time ever, none of the bakers have even heard of.
Paul’s recipe for kouign amann not only tests the bakers’ technical ability but also their patience in a three-and-a-half-hour challenge to create a yeasted pastry full of buttery sugary layers.
The pastry has its origin in Brittany region of France and was developed in the 19th century. It is similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough and the sugar caramelizes.
The ingredients for the pastry are: 300g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting, 5g fast-action yeast, 1 tsp salt, 200ml warm water, 25g unsalted butter, melted, 250g cold unsalted butter, in a block and 100g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling.