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Kouign Amann Anyone? A Breton Delice Richer than Croissants!

opinionatedchef Aug 20, 2012 12:03 AM

I spent awhile searching for striperguy's big long thread on best baked goods/sweets to no avail, so i'm posting this instead.

It's been many yrs since I've seen an unknown- to- me French baked good, so it was exciting today to see this listed on the brunch menu at the newly renovated and expanded Five Corners Kitchen in Marblehead. It's a Breton specialty. We actually forgot to order it today but we'll get it next time. Has anyone seen it elsewhere in New England?


*Note the description on the fivecorners website- pretty funny!:


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  1. Chris VR RE: opinionatedchef Aug 20, 2012 07:20 AM

    http://www.chow.com/topics/694363 is the thread you're looking for, I think.

    We discovered Kouign Amann in Paris recently and texture-wise, the ones we had (at Gontran Cherrier) were thinner than the ones shown in the NYT article and reminded me a lot of Elephant Ear pastries. They were flakier and more buttery and caramelly than Elephant Ears usually are, though.

    1. StriperGuy RE: opinionatedchef Aug 20, 2012 08:54 AM

      I had the honey pecan roll from Iggy's this morning and it was pretty darned buttery/nutty/yummy as well...

      3 Replies
      1. re: StriperGuy
        opinionatedchef RE: StriperGuy Aug 21, 2012 01:24 AM

        I wish i were a fan of that Iggy's product like i am a fan of their breads, but i have never had a pecan sticky roll to compare with the original ones from Bond and Burkhart in Newton Center. (And I sample every single one I encounter!)Maybe you came here after their reign ended?

        1. re: opinionatedchef
          StriperGuy RE: opinionatedchef Aug 21, 2012 06:02 AM

          Never had one from B&B.

          1. re: opinionatedchef
            ChinaCat RE: opinionatedchef Aug 24, 2012 11:00 AM

            oc...just have to concur here. I remember those B&B pecan rolls, and nothing is as good as those. I've never had anything I thought came close.

        2. s
          stomachofsteel RE: opinionatedchef Aug 20, 2012 08:58 AM

          Boston Magazine recently reported that Flour is making kouign amann, but I didn't see it at the Farnsworth Street location the last time I was there (a week or two ago).


          1. k
            kayowinter RE: opinionatedchef Aug 20, 2012 11:32 AM

            I had one yesterday at the SE Flour - it's called a "breton butter cake" there.
            It's good but not as good in comparison to one I had in SF from Starter bakery last week while I was on vacation.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kayowinter
              Pia RE: kayowinter Aug 20, 2012 12:21 PM

              I had it at the Farnsworth Street (Fort Point) location of Flour a few weeks ago, and saw it there again once or twice after that. I would recommend calling to see if they have it. I have only had kouign amann twice in my life, once at Flour and once at a bakery in Montreal. The one at Flour had a gooey inside that I didn't really like and don't remember in the Montreal version, but I don't know which one is typical.

            2. u
              Uncle Yabai RE: opinionatedchef Aug 21, 2012 12:34 AM

              I've only seen them in France (the ones in the morning buffet at the Park Hyatt Paris are killer) and in Japan, at Viron in Tokyo. I love the stuff, but I've never seen it in Boston. Wouldn't mind it, even if mediocre. Kouign Amann is like sex. Even if only OK, it is still good.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Uncle Yabai
                Indirect Heat RE: Uncle Yabai Feb 10, 2013 08:57 AM

                I just made it at home, and have to agree. It wasn't as good as the Kouign Amann I had had in Montreal, but it was still excellent. Delicious failure, going to keep working in this one.

                1. re: Indirect Heat
                  tweetie RE: Indirect Heat Feb 10, 2013 01:57 PM

                  what recipe did you use? I'm tempted to try the one on David Lebovitz blog.

                  1. re: tweetie
                    Indirect Heat RE: tweetie Feb 10, 2013 06:32 PM

                    I tried his recipe. Will try again with better butter, a bit warmer during first roll, and putting in 1/4 cake flour 3/4 all-purpose.

                  2. re: Indirect Heat
                    opinionatedchef RE: Indirect Heat Feb 10, 2013 08:39 PM

                    Of the 3 pastry chefs i have discussed this with, they all had/have many trials with it.

                2. r
                  rlee21 RE: opinionatedchef Aug 22, 2012 08:44 AM

                  I know you're not a fan, OC, but for the record, Clio usually has Kouign Amann on their dessert menu.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rlee21
                    opinionatedchef RE: rlee21 Aug 22, 2012 01:04 PM

                    Ha! Def not happening.But thx for the irony, r!

                    I'm looking forw to having it at Five Corners Kitchen brunch in Marblehead. I wish Sunday were tomorrow!

                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                      opinionatedchef RE: opinionatedchef Sep 2, 2012 09:59 PM

                      had a delicious version at Five Corners Kitchen this afternoon (brunch), Big weighty thing. Dense sweet butter butter and did i mention butter? Kind of similar in flavor to a very dense almond croissant cake.And best of all- sugar crunchy on the outside!

                  2. MC Slim JB RE: opinionatedchef Feb 10, 2013 03:03 PM

                    Had it not too long ago at Clio. Very nice.


                    1. rlh RE: opinionatedchef May 2, 2013 09:41 AM

                      Whole Foods Medford has had something with this label on it in the bakery section recently, however, their version seems to be a very (too) dense, very buttery, slightly sweetened croissant made in a muffin pan - it doesn't come across as special or worth a special trip to me - I need to check out the Flour and Clio versions to compare...

                      1. a
                        addiez RE: opinionatedchef May 2, 2013 11:55 AM

                        I've never been lucky enough to eat a kouign amann -- however, I'd suggest that Sofra might be a place to look for this sort of thing? I immediately thought of this:


                        1. v
                          VivreManger RE: opinionatedchef May 3, 2013 06:13 AM

                          The only Kouign Amann I have eaten in North America is in Montreal, at the bakery of that name. It is located in the Plateau neighborhood of Montreal, the details: Au Kouign Amann, aka Au Phare Breton, 322 Mont Royal Est, west of St. Denis. Their other pastries are also good. Their croissants may be the best in Montreal. Be warned their closing day is Tuesday or Wednesday so call beforehand.

                          As for KA in Boston I have never tried it, but I have spied it some place, perhaps Whole Wallet? It looked horrible. If you have never had the real thing, perhaps it might be worth a fling. As I recall it was a miniKA, a contradiction in terms.

                          1. y
                            YoChief23 RE: opinionatedchef May 3, 2013 07:29 PM

                            You might want to ask the folks at LA Burdick; just was out traveling in the Pacific Northwest on a Canele kick and found these guys were one of the few in Boston to make it. If you ever get out to Seattle, Crumble and Flake had a killer Kouign Amann. Good Luck in your search.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: YoChief23
                              opinionatedchef RE: YoChief23 May 4, 2013 12:00 AM

                              super caneles at La Boulangerie on Pine at Filmore in SF.
                              The KA at crumble and flake- dense/chewy/not flaky ? or other?

                              1. re: YoChief23
                                Allstonian RE: YoChief23 May 4, 2013 07:34 AM

                                Some other Boston-area places with caneles: Clear Flour, Canto 6, and Crema Cafe.

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