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Trader Joe's Kouigns Amann - a question about baking them

mcsheridan Feb 13, 2014 07:02 AM

I've never had this pastry before, TJ's or anyone else's, but after reading so much about it here and elsewhere, and then finding that TJ carried them in their freezer section, I took a chance and bought a package yesterday. I intended to bake them while the snow flies.

I knew you had to proof them overnight, but it wasn't until I got them home and read the directions that I found they call for baking spray on the (provided) baking cups. I don't have any (never do).

Can I just lightly grease the cups, or then dust them with flour? Or must I wait for the post-storm shopping trip?

Any help is much appreciated.

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  1. Karl S RE: mcsheridan Feb 13, 2014 07:11 AM

    Sure, you can butter and flour them.

    1. buttertart RE: mcsheridan Feb 16, 2014 04:58 PM

      They should have so much butter in them they wouldn't stick anyway :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: buttertart
        greygarious RE: buttertart Feb 20, 2014 10:05 AM

        Nope. That's what I thought. I bake them one at a time and once forgot to spray the cup before beginning the rise. The next morning, it stuck badly and tore the paper when I pried it loose. There's a lot of sugar on the bottom of the pastry, which turns into sticky dark caramel.

        I would oil or butter - but not flour - the cups in the absence of baking spray. I don't think the cups do much to maintain the shape of the rising pastry. I believe they are there to contain the caramel. You could raise and bake them in a dish or pan if you had the right size.

      2. gmm RE: mcsheridan Feb 17, 2014 01:26 PM

        I would grease them, but not flour them. The pastries are pretty buttery on their own, but it's the caramelized sugar that gets really sticky.

        1. s
          sandylc RE: mcsheridan Feb 17, 2014 01:29 PM

          Butter, don't flour.

          1. mcsheridan RE: mcsheridan Feb 20, 2014 05:10 AM

            I just baked off the one a few days ago. I'd done the grease & dust on the provided paper cup, and there was only the slightest sticking as I pulled the paper off.

            Ambient temperature in my kitchen is only 70 degrees, so I'm not sure I got a good rise on it. It came out pretty flat in the middle. I might try proofing the next one in the oven with the light on. (Oh, for the pilot lights of yesteryear's gas ovens. It made for a great, always-ready proof box.)

            3 Replies
            1. re: mcsheridan
              ChrisOfStumptown RE: mcsheridan Feb 20, 2014 08:30 AM

              Turn on the oven light and check half an hour later. You may find the oven noticeably warmer.

              1. re: mcsheridan
                sandylc RE: mcsheridan Feb 20, 2014 09:53 AM

                Dough does not need warmth to rise. It will rise in the fridge. Time is the main factor.

                1. re: sandylc
                  mcsheridan RE: sandylc Feb 20, 2014 11:48 AM

                  They recommend 6-7 hour rise from their frozen state, and at room temperature; I had it out for 9-10. I know things can rise in the fridge, but this might take a long, long time.

              2. f
                FriedClamFanatic RE: mcsheridan Feb 20, 2014 05:24 AM

                a light greasing is all you need

                1. ChrisOfStumptown RE: mcsheridan Feb 20, 2014 02:11 PM

                  How do these taste?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ChrisOfStumptown
                    greygarious RE: ChrisOfStumptown Feb 20, 2014 02:32 PM

                    Took me a few tries ;-) to decide which I like more, the almond croissants or the kouign amann. They have the same calories and percentages, as well as identical prep directions (other than the baking cup for the k.a.) and price, so those weren't factors. It's close, but I give the kouign amann a slight edge. They are equally almondy but the latter has the crispy edges from the caramelized sugar.

                    1. re: ChrisOfStumptown
                      mcsheridan RE: ChrisOfStumptown Feb 20, 2014 05:02 PM

                      Even though my first attempt at baking one off didn't come out as high as I might like, the taste is delightful I can't wait to have my next one. It's like a croissant brûlée.

                      1. re: mcsheridan
                        ChrisOfStumptown RE: mcsheridan Feb 20, 2014 05:16 PM

                        Alright you've twisted my arm. Obviously I have no choice and must pick up a pack on the next TJ's run.

                        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown
                          walker RE: ChrisOfStumptown Feb 20, 2014 05:57 PM

                          I thought they were as good or better than I get at fancy bakeries in San Francisco. TJ's come to $1 each, at bakeries about $4 each.

                          1. re: walker
                            ChrisOfStumptown RE: walker Feb 20, 2014 11:01 PM

                            That's a mixed blessing. The cost and the need to make a special trip to the bakery is why I don't eat one everyday.

                      2. re: ChrisOfStumptown
                        FriedClamFanatic RE: ChrisOfStumptown Feb 21, 2014 02:23 PM

                        Frankly..a bit bland.....but with a scoop of vanilla I/C on top.delicious

                      3. mcsheridan RE: mcsheridan Mar 3, 2014 06:08 AM

                        Thanks to all who responded. My second attempt involved greasing the paper, no flour. The pastry came away cleanly, better than when I'd floured as well; go figure.

                        A warmer rise helped, and I'm now totally hooked on these inexpensive, flaky delights. :)

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: mcsheridan
                          buttertart RE: mcsheridan Apr 9, 2014 05:21 PM

                          I couldn't find them at my TJs, where are they kept in yours?

                          1. re: buttertart
                            mcsheridan RE: buttertart Apr 9, 2014 05:23 PM

                            They're in the freezer case, near the croissants and other ready-to-bake items.

                            1. re: mcsheridan
                              janeh RE: mcsheridan Apr 9, 2014 09:59 PM

                              Near the frozen waffles

                              1. re: janeh
                                buttertart RE: janeh Apr 11, 2014 05:11 PM

                                Dang. Next time.

                        2. nonibear RE: mcsheridan Jul 12, 2014 11:58 AM

                          would anyone happen to remember the baking instructions? My dad threw the box out and now it's long gone. They have been rising, but I just need to know the temperature and baking time if anyone can remember!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: nonibear
                            EM23 RE: nonibear Jul 12, 2014 12:20 PM

                            Preheat oven to 350F, bake on a tray in the center of the oven for 25 minutes until quite brown.

                            1. re: EM23
                              nonibear RE: EM23 Jul 12, 2014 12:48 PM

                              thank you so much!

                              1. re: nonibear
                                EM23 RE: nonibear Jul 12, 2014 01:10 PM

                                You're welcome. Enjoy!

                              2. re: EM23
                                greygarious RE: EM23 Jul 12, 2014 04:58 PM

                                If they've spread out during the rise, I find 20 min is enough - 25 and the sugar is starting to burn. Ovens vary, but I suggest checking at 20.

                              3. re: nonibear
                                mcsheridan RE: nonibear Jul 12, 2014 02:37 PM

                                They rise higher and bake up better when proofed and baked in muffin cups rather than on baking sheets.

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