HOLY CRAP. It’s Friday! Where did the week go, everyone? Where?
I’m not complaining, lord knows I love a Friday, but sometimes it’s like ‘hey, time, slow down a little will ya?’. It’s times like these that we must make a conscious effort to force time to slow down a little. But it’s not easy.
For one thing, it helps to plan some nothing. Do you ever do that? I really can’t reccomend it enough. Get out your diary and section out your whole Saturday morning and write something like ‘Dentist Appt’ or ‘Go to Hardware Store’ but secretly, you and I will know that it means DO NOTHING.
Big, fat, pyjama wearing NOTHING.
These buns are perfect for a morning’s worth of nothing-doing. Either as a nice way to pass your time (because even though they take a while, most of that time is spent just hanging around) or as a delicious treat to savour alongside your obscenely large cup of coffee or your bottomless pot of tea (earl grey for preference)(do I use parentheses too often?).
It works out perfectly, because these buns are really best when enjoyed only in the company of someone who you feel completely comfortable with. Be that a good friend, a loved one, or just yourself.
You really need to pull these apart, to see the flaky, caramelised exterior crumble into golden shards, and see the layers of butter and dough on the inside softly steaming and unraveling. You want to be able to get your hands in so that you can always get the perfect mouthful, with a little of the crisp sugary crust, a little buttery interior, a crunchy sliver of almond and a pop of juicy cherry.
And then the rest of the morning is yours for daydreaming, reading or internet shopping. Enjoy it!
- 1 + ? cups (250g) plain flour
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- ¾ cup (175ml) warm water
- 1 stick + 6tbsp (200g) salted butter
- ½ cup (100g) caster sugar
- ⅔ cup pitted cherries (fresh, frozen or jarred morello cherries)
- ⅓ cup flaked almonds
- In a medium mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer, with the dough hook attached) combine the flour, yeast and water.
- Mix the ingredients together until they form a dough, and then knead for about 10 minutes (5 in a mixer) until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic and leave in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Slice the butter into ¼ in (1/2 cm) slices, and place on a plate in the freezer for the last half hour of the dough's resting time.
- Once the dough is risen, lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough into a 12 by 16in (30cm by 40cm) rectangle with the short side facing you.
- Lay the butter in the middle of the dough, leaving a quarter of the dough exposed at the top and bottom.
- Fold the top and bottom pieces of dough over the butter, so that they meet in the middle and the butter is covered.
- Then, fold the right and left hand edges of the dough into the middle, and then fold the whole thing in half, so that the seam is on the left. Press the dough firmly down to seal it, and then roll it back out to 12 by 16in (30cm by 40cm).
- Repeat the same folding process once more, and then wrap tightly in plastic, and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- To shape kouign amanns for baking, dust your work surface with about ¼ of the sugar, then take the dough out of the fridge and dust the top with another ¼ of the sugar.
- Roll the dough out into a 12 by 16in (30cm by 40cm) rectangle (using more sugar if necessary) and then spread any remaining sugar over the surface before scattering over the cherries and almonds.
- Roll the dough up tightly like a swiss roll, slice into 9 rounds, and place into a non-stick or very well greased muffin tin.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until well risen and a deep golden brown. Leave to cool for a minute in the tin, before carefull turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.