This month’s challenge host, Meredith, has dared all Daring Bakers to make Kouign Amann (prounounced “kwee-amahn”), a round crusty pastry that originated in Brittany in roughly 1860. It is made with laminated bread dough that is sprinkled with sugar before being cut into squares and baked in muffin tins.

The traditional kouign amann is rather basic in terms of flavor but feel free to experiment with cinnamon sugar or even a little bit of chocolate. I made my first batch with caster sugar rubbed into a generous amount of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and brushed them with milk before baking to golden perfection.

KOUIGN AMANN

Ingredients:

300g/ 2 2/5 cups strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting

5g / 1 1/2 teaspoon instant OR 6.75g / 2 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

5g / 1 teaspoon fine kitchen salt or fine kosher salt

200ml / 6 3/4 fluid ounces / 4/5 cup warm water

25g / 1oz / 1 3/4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

250g / 1 1/5 sticks / 1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

100g / scant 1/2 cup caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Method:

  • Put flour into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add yeast to one side and salt to the other.
  • Add water and melted butter and mix on slow for two minutes, then on medium speed for six minutes.

  • Shape into a ball and put it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it with cling film and leave to rise for one hour.
  • Sandwich butter between grease-proof paper. Bash with a rolling pin, roll out to a 14 cm / 5½” square.

  • Place in the fridge to keep chilled. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20cm / 8″ square.
  • Place butter in the center of the dough diagonally so that each side of butter faces a corner of the dough.

  • Fold dough over the butter to enclose it like an envelope. Roll dough into a 45 x 15cm / 18 x 6″ rectangle.
  • Fold the bottom third of the dough up over the middle part and then fold the top third of the dough over.

  • This forms a sandwich of three layers of butter and three layers of dough. Wrap dough well in cling film.
  • Place in fridge for 30 minutes. This completes 1 turn. Repeat twice more to have three completed turns.

  • Roll dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and fold into thirds again.
  • Working quickly, roll dough into a 40 x 30cm / 16 x 12” rectangle. Sprinkle with additional caster sugar.

  • Cut dough into 12 squares. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with oil. Gather squares up by their corners.
  • Place in the muffin tins, pulling the corners towards the centre, so that it gathers like a four-leaf clover.

  • Sprinkle with additional caster sugar. Cover with a towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes till puffed up.
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C / 200°C (fan) / 425°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Cover it with foil halfway through if beginning to brown too much. Remove from the oven, leave to cool.
  • After a couple of minutes, turn out onto a wire rack. Be careful not to get burnt with caramelized sugar.

  • Do not leave them to cool for too long or caramelized sugar will harden and they will be stuck in the tin.
  • Serve warm or cold. Best eaten soon after baking; store in air-tight container for up to 24 hrs. Makes 12.

Daring Bakers April Challenge

Curried gato pima or cari bari is often part of the menu for Indian weddings or prayers as part of the traditional 7caris. The fritters are cooked in a gravy thickened with split pea paste and flavored with cumin and turmeric. Typically served with lighter sides like rougaille and steamed vegetables such as pumpkin or chayote/chouchou to offset the pungent mix of spices, the dish can be enjoyed with hot puris and plain steamed rice alike. Though the long list of ingredients may look daunting at first sight, it is by far one of the best vegetarian dishes you need to be able to make on your own. The recipe is from my mom who must have got it while giving a helping hand to prepare food for wedding feasts. I have seen recipes of cari bari with fried aubergines but I have yet to give it a try, so let me know if you do.

CARI BARI

Ingredients:

1 batch homemade gato pima

1/2 cup gato pima paste, uncooked

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds

5 whole black peppercorns

1 small onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cm fresh ginger, chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium red onion, sliced

2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves

cari poulé leaves/ curry leaves

1 small green chili, chopped

1 tablespoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon fresh tamarind

1 small bunch coriander leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  • Prepare gato pima as per recipe instruction. Remember to set 1/2 cup uncooked gato pima paste aside.

  • The recipe should yield about 20-25 large gato pima. Drain well to remove any excess oil and set aside.

  • Next, start by preparing the spices for the curry. Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan till aromatic.

  • Grind them along with the peppercorns on a roche carri or in an electric grinder to get a fine powder.

  • Transfer powdered spices to a small bowl, next process the chopped onion, garlic and ginger together.

  • In a large, heavy-based sauce pan, heat oil and sauté the sliced onion until it turns slightly translucent.

  • Add the thyme leaves, cari poulé/curry leaves, green chili and sauté for another minute until fragrant.

  • Stir in turmeric along with 1 cup water, bring to the boil. Combine fresh tamarind with 1/2 cup water.

  • Discard tamarind seeds, add the pulp to the curry mixture. Then add the uncooked gato pima paste.

  • Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes until it thickens slightly. Drop the fried reserved gato pima into it.

  • Season curry with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 1-2 minutes before turning the gas off.

  • Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve it with plain rice or farata. Makes 8 servings.

Cari Bari

For those who will be fasting for the Ram Nawmi period right till Hanuman Jayanti, life will be tough if you do not have enough veg recipes that you can create a wholesome menu from by some kind of permutation and combination. Turning to vegetarianism is not that difficult, veg dishes are after all cheaper and quicker to prepare as well as being a good source of proteins and vitamins. Teokon or tofu has gained much popularity in today’s local cuisine. Made from soya milk, it is an excellent food from a nutritional and health perspective, with significant proportions of proteins, essential amino acids, iron, calcium and minerals. Cooked in light tomato sauce inspired by the authentic Mauritian-style rougaille, teokon can be enjoyed as a side dish along with curry, pickles and farata or plain rice.

ROUGAILLE TEOKON

Ingredients:

150g teokon, cut into 1″ cubes

100g sweet corn kernels

1 medium onion, sliced

1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste

1 sprig fresh thyme leaves

1 large can tomato puree

2-3 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1-2 green chilies, thinly sliced

1 small bunch spring onions

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large frying pan and stir fry the teokon cubes until they turn golden.

  • Once done, drain the teokon from the oil and in the same pan, stir fry the sliced onion until translucent.

  • Add ginger-garlic paste and thyme, cook for one minute until fragrant. Add tomato puree and fresh ones.

  • Cover pan and cook over medium heat for about 10 to 12 minutes till it looses the smell of raw tomatoes.

  • Now add the fried teokon cubes along with corn kernels and let simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Throw in chopped green chilies last and add a bit of water if the consistency of the rougaille is too thick.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste and give it a last stir before sprinkling with chopped spring onions to serve.

Rougaille Teokon

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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