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Oct 4, 2012 08:48 PM

Kouign Aman ---- somebody must be baking them in Toronto

I searched the Chowhound threads and I've done all sorts of Google searches but nothing is jumping out to say that a bakery in Toronto is making Kouign Amann pastries. David Leibovitz has good a recipe for them on his blog and while it is multi-step if anyone is a French baker they would see that it is a laminated yeast dough with lots of butter and white sugar. The descriptions on various blogs and food websites all seem mythic and I'm surprised there aren't more bakeries making these pastries. I've tried to make them myself but not being a trained pastry chef the dough lamination process left a lot to be desired although the finished product tasted pretty good. I was just hoping some bakery in Toronto was now making them regularly.

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  1. scaramouche offers the pastry with prune/armagnac ice cream

    1 Reply
    1. I may get warned to move this to the Home Cooking board, but part of the issue you're likely having if you're following the David Leibovitz recipe is the butter in Toronto. Depending on what you are buying, there's often a much higher water content here than in the butter in France, which when combined with the amount of sugar in the laminated dough tends to weep during the long resting time he suggests.

      I have been trying to deal with this myself, when I find a butter I really like for this application in Toronto, I will report back!

      2 Replies
      1. re: FrenchSoda

        There's a relatively new local butter on the market, made by Stirling Creamery in Hastings. Stirling European Style Butter: Churn 84™ Reserve. Now available at most fine food shops and butcher shops.

        I don't know if she still does, but Rachelle at Beast Restaurant was making kouign amann for Sunday brunch. Give her a shout. And there's a shop -- called Kouign Amann, no less -- in Montreal that makes a great one. Best to reserve if you're in Montreal since they often sell out.

        1. re: FrenchSoda

          Butter can be kneaded to leach out most of the extra water content. I learned this trick at George Brown, Start with a pound of cool, not cold, butter, flatten it a bit and then gently push it with the palm of your hand away from you. Obviously, you don't want the butter to get to the point where it becomes greasy, so time is of the essence and work quickly.

        2. If I wasn't on a diet, I'd bake my own Kouign Amann, and keep working on it until I got it right.

          I'm not aware of any pastry shops selling Kouign Amann in TO. Haven't tried the Scaramouche or Beast's occasional versions.

          I'm not sure I'd try the Kouign Amann at Frank, if they ever offer it again. While I like Frank, their gazpacho didn't taste like gazpacho, and their croquetas didn't taste like croquetas on my last visit.

          Wondering what Frank's "Mexican" dishes are going to look like, once Frida opens in a few weeks.

          2 Replies
          1. re: prima

            i'd love to try the beast version. when is it available?

            1. re: brushfire

              I don't know. AFAIK it was available on their brunch menu when they first opened. It isn't offered on the current online brunch menu . Kouign Amann is more labour intensive and more expensive to make than maple bacon doughnuts. From the sounds of this article, she's focusing on doughnuts instead of Kouign Amann.

              Guess you could call, to find out if Rachelle would consider bringing KA back. I've never had the version at Beast.

          2. It's back on the Scaramouche dessert menu, but now with ginger ice cream and apple cider reduction:

            2 Replies
            1. re: prima

              And it is very good - had it a couple of weeks ago.

              1. re: prima

                I had it last night - I didn't think it was anything special, really.

                The ginger ice cream, on the other hand.... THAT was good.

              2. I went to Boulangerie Kouign-Amann in Montreal ISO of Kouign Aman as I've never tried it but unfortunately they were sold out when I got there.

                So I'm bumping the thread to see if any sightings at a retail bakery/pastry shop in Toronto.

                5 Replies
                1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                  I haven't seen anything here even come close to the Kouign-Amann from that particular Montreal bakery - do try again next time you are in town!!

                  1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                    One option: Trader Joe's sells frozen Kouign-Amann that you proof overnight and bake in the morning. They turn out quite well!
                    So its an option for those that happen to be in Buffulo shopping.

                        1. re: BlackMambaSommelier

                          How's the Kouign Amann in Belgium? You could always just pop into Brittany to pick up the real deal and maybe some frozen crepes, right? It wouldn't be any more of a PITA than driving to Buffalo for groceries and pastries, would it? ;)