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Kouign-Amman - Breton Butter Yeast Cake

This recipe comes from Sue Brewer who is lucky enough to live in Brittany where she has her own gites to rent - have a look for yourself <click here>

I asked Sue to do her own introduction . . . . .

"Originally from London my better half and I have lived in a little hamlet called Le Millet near Ploeuc sur Lie in France for the past three years. Although life in the Cotes d'Armor region of Brittany is quite idyllic there are some downsides, notably the price and strength of tea bags, unavailability of sliced back bacon (who can live without bacon sarnies) and finally the lack of Indian cuisine.

The first two things we must stock up on during our infrequent visits to England, but curries and bhajis - pas du problem!

I realised that the only way I was ever going to have an 'Indian takeaway' in France was to make it myself. Now this isn't as silly as it sounds; I always make the curries or whatever in large quantities and then freeze them in meal-sized portions. So Saturday night is still takeaway night, either sharing the meal with friends or to eat whilst watching some rubbish on the television - you know the sort of thing that's on TV on a Saturday night.

OK I do bring back the spices from dear old blighty as here in France they are rare and, if found, expensive (except for that awful pale yellow curry powder) but the rest is down to moi."

"The rather unprepossessing appearance belies the delicious buttery and caramel flavour of this very sugary cake. Kouign-Amman literally means cake (kouign) and butter (amman). It is best served warm."


300g / 10 1/2 oz plain flour
8g / 1/4 oz easy blend dried yeast
250g / 8 1/2 oz slightly salted butter, softened for spreading
200g / 7oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk lightly beaten
pinch of salt


  • In a bowl, mix the flour and yeast with a pinch of salt and add enough water to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into a ball, place on a floured board, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

  • With the heel of your hand, push the risen dough into a disc about 30 cm / 12 in diameter. Spread half the butter over the disc, leaving an unbuttered border around the edge. Sprinkle 75g / 2 1/2 oz of the sugar over the butter. Fold in four edges of the disc to meet in the middle and make a rectangle, and press to seal. Leave the dough to rest in a cool place for 20 - 30 minutes. As you will have realised, this process is the same as for preparing puff pastry.

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / gas mark 7. Roll out the dough with a floured, flattened hand, spread with the remaining butter, sprinkle with 75g / 2 1/2 oz of the sugar, fold as before and leave to rest in a cool place for another 20 - 30 minutes.

  • Finally, gently roll the dough into a disc about 24 cm / 9 1/2 in. diameter and 2 cm / 3/4 in thick. Brush the top with egg yolk and sprinkle on the remaining sugar. If you want a very neat shape, place the dough in a 25 cm / 10 1/2 in mould, otherwise put it on a baking sheet with a lip (to catch the melted butter) and bake for 30 minutes until the top is caramelized and golden brown. Serve warm.

Serves 6

Sue Brewer

If you would like to stay in one of Sue's cottages at Le Millet or learn more about Brittany visit her website - or send her an email to