Copycat Baker’s Wife Bakery’s American Tea Cakes
I know this recipe is not a prep ahead recipe, but I’ve been wanting to recreate my favorite treat from my neighborhood bakery.
Aka kouignettes or Kouign Amann cakes
Adapted from Desserts de Bretagne
24 individual kouign amann pastries
For the dough:
1 tbsp + 1 tsp (15 g) active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
4.75 cups (625 g) all purpose flour
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
1.5 cups water
65 g salted butter, room temperature
For the butter filling:
550 g salted butter, room temperature
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
Combine the yeast and sugar with about 1-2 tbsp of lukewarm water in a small bowl to make a paste.
Let it rest about 5 minutes until bubbly.
Stir together the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add the yeast and mix with the dough hook on low, adding a little water at a time until it starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. It will still look really messy.
Add the butter and continue to mix on low until it forms a nice dough – soft but holds together.
Add more water as needed (it might need more or less than the 1.5 cups), and stop and scrape down the bowl once or twice.
Move the dough to a larger bowl, cover with a clean towel and let it rise for an hour or so until it has doubled in size.
For the butter filling, combine the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth and spreadable. Cover and set aside.
After the dough is done rising, divide it into two equal pieces. On a floured surface, roll each half out into a rectangle that is about 8×12 inches.
Cover one rectangle with ¼ of the butter/sugar mixture. (An offset spatula makes this job easier.) Place the other rectangle of dough on top of that one with the butter/sugar mixture in the middle. Crimp the edges shut to hold in the butter.
Take another ¼ of the butter/sugar mixture and cover the bottom ⅔ of the dough rectangle (with the long edges at the side and the short edges at the top and bottom). Fold down the top ⅓ of dough, then fold up the bottom ⅓ (like a letter). Wrap that up and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
Rotate the dough 90 degrees from how you folded it (so the folds should be going vertically). Roll it out to a larger rectangle again.
Place another ¼ of the butter/sugar mixture on the bottom ⅔ of that rectangle, and repeat the folding process.
Refrigerate for another hour.
Repeat that whole process again (rotate, roll out, cover ⅔ with last of the butter mixture, fold up like a letter). If you have butter oozing out anywhere, just scrape off the excess. Trust me – there’s more than enough in there. Chill again for another hour.
Rotate one last time and roll out to a larger rectangle again. It should be about 9×11 inches. Cut in half, so you have two 4.5 x 11 inch rectangles. Roll each one into a log, “hot dog style,” rolling from the long edges. You won’t have much to roll up, but if you do it tightly it should make one decent spiral. Chill again for one hour, or overnight if you want to bake them the next morning.
Heat the oven to 300°F.
Cut each log into twelve slices, about ½-1 inch thick. Place each slice into a greased muffin tin.
You might have to squeeze them in there a little bit, but that’s okay. Sprinkle the tops with raw sugar. Place the muffin tins on sheet pans to catch any butter drippings. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT – otherwise you’ll have butter burning on the bottom of your oven.)
Bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until nicely browned on the top edges, rotating the pans every twenty minutes or so.
Let them cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before removing them to cool on a wire rack.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.