Bouchon Bakery Kouign Amann –

15 Jan

I guess I’m becoming a kouign amann douche.

When Bouchon Bakery opened below Bouchon a couple years ago, we were excited to try the pastry chef’s specialty, the kouign amann. We were always one step behind, with people buying a dozen of the things at a time. Finally, a recent trip finally yielded my first taste of Bouchon’s KA. Worth the wait?

Maybe KAs are about to get their fifteen minutes (or about to jump the shark). Williams-Sonoma had KAs on their winter catalog with this description:

To pastry chef Jean-Yves Charon, a kouign amann tastes like home. From his native Brittany, this classic Breton “butter cake” relies on layers of handmade puff pastry dough to create a decadent treat with a sweet, buttery center and crisp caramelized-sugar coating. Hand made with the finest natural ingredients, the frozen pastries are simple to prepare—just let them rise overnight and bake. They emerge from the oven with crunchy, sugar-speckled exteriors, tender interiors and an irresistible buttery aroma.

Williams Sonoma

In any case, Bouchon’s KAs are not sold frozen. Here’s Bouchon’s beautiful pastry case, with the KAs on the high tray on the lower left.

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Bouchon’s KA is incredibly buttery and flaky, with a sugar coating. Sitting here, it looks like a round croissant, and on the KA spectrum of croissant to cinnamon bun Bouchon’s is closer to the croissant.

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You can see the flaky layers, evidence of the loads of butter creating tons of layers. I find Bouchon’s having too much sugar dusted on top, so it is really sweet and really rich. It’s really good, but I would recommend sharing one with a friend and saving room for a macaron.

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I also got a slice of their almond brioche on the recommendation of one of the clerks, who said it was her favorite thing and she used to eat one every day she worked. It was very good, but maybe not something I have to get again. It was essentially an almond croissant, minus the flakiness. Delicious, but not worth the drive.

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In the interests of science, I went back to Demitasse to retry the Allen Bakery KA:

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This is still the reigning Fooddouche champion of KAs (among the admittedly small sample of three). I love the caramelized crust on the bottom. It has more sugar dusted all around, which is reminiscent of a morning bun. I probably love the Allen Bakery KA because it is the closest thing I’ve seen to the La Farine morning bun.

Prior kouign amann entries:
Allen Bakery at Demitasse
Bread Lounge

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