Breton Butter Cake
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 25 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
Known as kouign amann (pronounced kween-yah-MAHN), this classic cake from Brittany is made with bread dough and butter and has a caramelized-sugar top. This easy version, prepared with store-bought bread dough or pizza dough, has been adapted from Home Baking.
- 1 pound frozen bread or pizza dough, thawed
- 1 stick (4 ounces) chilled salted butter, cut into 16 slices, plus 1 tablespoon melted salted butter
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a rough 8-by-12-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 25 minutes. Lightly flour the rolling pin and roll out the dough to a 14-by-18-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest again for 25 minutes.
- Butter a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Flour the work surface. Roll out the dough as thinly as possible, keeping a rectangular shape. Scatter 5 slices of the butter over two-thirds of the dough and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Fold the bare dough into the center and fold in the opposite side, like folding a letter. Dust with flour and roll out again as thinly as possible, retaining the rectangular shape. Top with another 5 slices of butter and 1/4 cup of sugar, folding, dusting with flour and rolling out the dough again as before. Repeat the process one last time, using the remaining 6 slices of butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar, folding and rolling it out as thinly as possible.
- Fold in the corners of the dough to make a slightly round shape and transfer it to the prepared skillet. With a sharp knife, make six 2-inch-long cuts all the way through the dough in a starburst pattern. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. Place a baking stone or baking sheet in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450°.
- Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Put the skillet on the stone in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until richly browned on top. With a spatula, transfer the cake to a large, round plate and let rest for 30 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.
This buttery cake and its caramel-like topping are a great showcase for a tangy-sweet tawny port or Madeira.