Vegan Kouign Amann – The Great British Bake Off (S5, E7)

2014-09-21 14.38.37

This was the technical challenge in episode seven series five of The Great British Bake Off, and seeing as it’s pretty much just pastry and sugar I wasn’t too sure about it, but having tried them (or should I say my vegan version of them) they’re delicious and very moreish. I only really needed to change one thing about this recipe to make it vegan, and that was the butter. Because the original recipe called for a solid lump of butter I felt that vegan margarine would be too soft as a substitute, and I felt the other obvious substitute, vegetable fat, wouldn’t give a nice favour; so in the end I opted to combine the two. It may seem like a pain doing this but I think it worked out well, just make sure they are thoroughly combined together into one consistent mixture. Other than that the techniques needed to make this pastry are pretty much the same as the original recipe. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

  • 300g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 5g fast-action yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200ml warm water
  • 25g vegan margarine, melted
  • 125g vegan margarine
  • 125g vegetable shortening/fat
  • 100g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Method

  1. Mix together the 125g of shortening and vegan margarine until completely combined. You can either do this in a food processor or by hand in a bowl with a spoon. Wrap the vegan margarine mixture in grease proof paper and roll out into a 7in square block. Place the margarine mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes, and then move to the fridge until needed again.
  2. Put the flour in a bowl and add the yeast to one side and the salt on the other. Add the water and melted butter and mix to form a dough, tip onto a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes. Or if you’re lucky enough to have a stand mixer with a dough hook use that on slow speed for two minutes and medium for six.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 20cm/8in square. Place the vegan margarine mixture in the centre of the dough diagonally, so that each side of the vegan margarine faces a corner of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the vegan margarine to enclose like an envelope.
  4. Roll the dough into a 45x15cm/18x6in rectangle. Fold the bottom third of dough up over the middle, then fold the top third of the dough over. You will now have a sandwich of three layers of vegan margarine and three layers of dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This completes one turn.
  5. Repeat this process twice more, so you have completed a total of three turns, chilling the dough for 30 minutes between turns.
  6. Roll the dough into a rectangle as before. Sprinkle the dough with the caster sugar and fold into thirds again. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large 40x30cm/16x12in rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with caster sugar and cut the dough into 12 4in squares.
  7. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with oil. Gather the dough squares up by their four corners and place in the muffin tins, pulling the four corners towards the centre of the muffin tin, so that it gathers up like a four-leaf clover. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for 30 minutes until slightly puffed up.
  8. Preheat oven to 220C/200C(fan)/425F/Gas 7. Bake the pastries for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cover with foil halfway through if beginning to brown too much. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Don’t leave them to cool for too long, or the caramelised sugar will harden and they will be stuck in the tin.
  9. Serve warm or cold.

                                  

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