recipe: miso kouign amann

caramelized umami buttery goodness

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love kouign amanns. Like there is no person, place or thing more perfect that this beautifully caramelized yeasted pastry dough laminated with layers and layers of butter and sugar. I will go well out of my way to get one, and if there is one on the menu, there’s a 99% chance I will order it. You don’t even need to ask me what pastry I want. If they have kouign amanns in stock, there is a 110% chance that is what I’ll be ordering.

Over the past few years, these Breton pastries have become more popular state side, often showing up in the pastry cases of my favorite cafés. In Chicago, I’d always pick up an extra at Floriole. In SF and Seoul, b.Patisserie has us well-covered. In LA, you’re lucky to score one at Republique, or from one of the many cafés that carry Sugarbloom’s pastries. Their rendition features white miso to add a little savory umami to complement the buttery sugar, the inspiration for this creation.

Anyways, never thought I’d be bored enough to make pastry dough from scratch. (I figure, who has time for this if you’re not training for the Great British Bake Off?) But here we are. It’s amazing that basically 4 ingredients (flour, yeast, sugar and butter) can be transformed into such a complex looking & tasting pastry. Thank you, Brittany. Thank you, France.


Recipe adapted from The Kitchn, with miso for some saltiness and brown sugar for a deeper flavor. This should make 6 kouign amanns. 

  • 1/2 cup water, room temperature, mixed with 1 tbsp miso until dissolved
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups bread flour (all purpose should work too)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold salted butter, plus extra to grease the pans
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar and 1/3 cup dark brown sugar (any combination works)


  1. Add yeast to miso water and let sit for a couple minutes until foamy.
  2. Add miso water to flour and mix into a shaggy dough.
  3. Knead for about 5 minutes until smooth, adding flour as needed. Cover and let rise for 1 hour at room temperature. Then refrigerate for another hour.
  4. Bang out cold butter (with flour so it doesn’t stick), and then roll out into a 3 in x 5 in rectangle, using a pastry cutter to help shape. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until firm but malleable.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to about 6 x 10 in rectangle. Place the butter in the middle and then fold the top down and the bottom up to cover the butter.
  6. Turn it 90 degrees, roll out and fold again into thirds (1st turn). Turn 90 degrees again, roll out and fold (2nd turn). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. Roll out the dough and sprinkle on about 1/3 of the sugar mixture. Fold by thirds (3rd turn).
  8. Turn it by 90 degrees, roll out, and sprinkle on another 1/3 of the sugar mixture before folding again (4th turn). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  9. Butter the rings or muffin tin. If using rings, place them on a lined baking sheet.
  10. After 30 minutes, take out the dough and roll out to about a 8 x 12 in rectangle, about 1/4 in thick. Cover both sides with the rest of the sugar and then cut into 6 squares.
  11. For each square, fold in the 4 corners to make a smaller square, and then tuck it into the ring or muffin tin.
  12. When they’re all in the molds, cover and proof for 40 minutes. About halfway through, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  13. Once the kouign amanns are finished proofing, put them into the ovens and immediately turn the temperature down to 350°F.
  14. Bake for 20 minutes, and then rotate the tray and bake for another 15-20, watching for the last 5 minutes to see when it has properly browned.
  15. Take out of the oven, rest for about 5 minutes and remove the rings to avoid sticking. Let cool before eating.