Kouign-amann (pronounced [ˌkwiɲ aˈmãn]; pl. kouignoù-amann) is a Breton cake, described in the New York Times as "the fattiest pastry in all of Europe." The name comes from the Breton language words for cake (kouign) and butter (amann). It is a round multi-layered cake, originally made with bread dough (nowadays sometimes viennoiserie dough), containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in its layered structure) and the sugar caramelizes. The effect is similar to a muffin-shaped, caramelized croissant.
|Place of origin||Brittany|
|Region or state||Douarnenez, Finistère|
|Main ingredients||Yeast-leavened dough, butter, sugar|
The strict recipe of Douarnenez requires a ratio of 40 percent dough, 30 percent butter, and 30 percent sugar. Traditionally, kouign-amann is baked as a large cake and served in slices, although recently, especially in North America, individual cupcake-sized pastries (kouignettes) have become more popular.
In 2014, episode 7 of series 5 of the BBC's The Great British Bake Off  featured the kouign amann. In 2015, notable bakeries in New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Salt Lake City and San Francisco began to sell the pastry. The Dominique Ansel Bakery, home of the trendy cronut, sells a version of kouign amann called the DKA. Village Baking Co.'s Boulangerie offers a chocolate kouign amann in Dallas. In Denver, several bakeries offer varieties; some shorten the name to "queen." . They can also be found at Faria Bakery in Sacramento, CA, Little Gourmand in Nashville, TN, and in bakeries across the island of Oahu.
Kouign-amann is also available in Canada at the Pâtisserie au Kouign Amann in Montréal, Macarons et Madeleines, La Maison du Kouign-Amann in Ottawa, the Blacksmith Bakery in Langley, B.C., and at The Bench Bakehouse in Vancouver.
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Now San Franciscans can find the rare treat at several cafes around town, and Wood has had to put a hold on new accounts because his little bakery can't keep up with the demand. So what the heck is kouign-amann, you ask? Let's start by saying your morning croissant is about to get upstaged in the pastry case.
- Antonation, Mark (December 28, 2016). "Five Mini-Trends That Brought Big Flavors to Denver Menus in 2016". Westword.
- "Dominique Ansel NY" (PDF). Dominique Ansel New York (Soho) based Bakery of Pastries. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
- "DESBRISAY DINES: Kouign Amann at Madeleines et Macarons". Ottawamagazine.com. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
- "Our Menu". Blacksmith Bakery. 2017-08-25. Retrieved 2019-09-07.