You’ve likely heard all the buzz about one of New York’s most sought-after pastries…..the Kouign Amann (pronounced “queen-a-mahn”). A few years ago, our Chef Owner, John Doherty, was introduced to the Kouign Amann while visiting his good friend and former Executive Pastry Chef of The Waldorf-Astoria, Jean Claude Perennou, at his pastry shop Cannelle Patisserie in Queens. Jean Claude offered John a fresh-from-the-oven Kouign Amann and John knew his life was changed forever by this buttery, flaky, caramelized pastry.
Shortly after opening Black Barn Restaurant, John and his Pastry Chef, Anwuli Obidi, got to work perfecting their own version of the Kouign Amann to serve during Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. After countless attempts to get it just right, they settled on the recipe and technique used today to create Black Barn’s very own Kouign Amann. It has become one of the most sought after items on the Brunch menu, creating a following of its own. Some have even said it’s the best Kouign Amann they’ve ever had in New York City!
Where it derived from…
Kouign Amann is a pastry that first originated in the 1800s in Brittany, France. The pastry derives its name from the Breton words for cake “kouign” and butter “amann.” It is a cross between a croissant and a palmier, with layer after layer of buttery, flaky pastry on the inside, yet caramelized with ever-so-slightly-burnt sugar on the outside.
We prefer our Kouign Amann to be on the lighter side; somewhere between the airiness of a croissant and the denseness of bread. We went behind-the-scenes, with Chef Anwuli Obidi, to discover her secret to making the perfect Kouign Amann.
I start out with making the dough which consists of flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and water. I knead the dough until it’s soft and pliable. Then I form it into a rectangle and let it rest and proof in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
Once the dough has rested, I roll it out and top it with butter. This ensures that it’s twice as long, but the width is just about ½ an inch wider. I enclose the butter in the dough, then roll it out to make my first turn.
I put the dough back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill so it’s easier to work with. It’s critical to keep your butter cold but pliable. It needs to be the same consistency as your dough from start to finish.
Next I roll the dough for the second time and sprinkle it with sugar just before I fold it. Then, I roll it out again for the final time and cut the dough into squares. I butter the molds, then coat them in sugar. Right before baking, I’ll sprinkle a little extra sugar the tops of each Kouign Amann to achieve the caramelized crispiness on the outside. I proof the pastries and bake them to perfection.
As soon as they come out the oven, I remove the Kouign Amann from the container and place on a cooling rack to avoid the caramelized sugar from sticking.
Read more about Chef Anwuli Obidi here.
·Join us for our famous Kouign Amann — Served during Brunch with Live Blues·
Saturday 11:30am – 3pm / Sunday 11:30am – 4pm