Tag Archives: fleur de sel

All Salt is Not Created Equal When Baking

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Top, table salt – Right, coarse sea salt – Bottom, kosher salt, Left – fine sea salt

I had another blog planned for this week but several people have commented about salt in their recipes.

After thinking about it, it occurred to me that there are different types of salt and some are “saltier” than others.

Salt enhances the taste of most foods to which it is added. For instance, stew without salt would be bland and not very tasty. Bread without salt would be equally bland and uninteresting. In fact, salt is an important factor in keeping yeast from going wild in bread baking. It also, attracts water, adding moisture to the bread.

There is a distinct difference between salted and unsalted butter in more ways than one. The most noticeable difference in taste. Unsalted butter has the clean taste of only butter. Salt alters the taste of the butter but it is not right or wrong. Continue reading

Stuffed (or Not) Kouign Amann

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Kouign Amann

One of the best descriptions I’ve read of Kouign Amann comes from Chef Steps:  “These salty, buttery pastries hail from the coastal region of Brittany, in the northwest corner of France, where Celtic Breton tradition has prevailed since the great migration across the English Channel during the fifth and sixth centuries. It looks just like you might imagine a Celtic colony on the seacoast of France would: towering bluffs dropping straight into the sea; tiny stone houses dotting the emerald countryside; slate-colored steeples rising into the morning mist. The region is best known for its vast salt flats, where the coveted finishing salt, fleur de sel, is harvested. Here, tucked into wandering village streets, bakeries hawk this much-lauded pastry treasure, whose name literally means “butter cake” in Breton.”

Kouign Amann (pronounced Queen-ah-mann) belongs to the laminated dough family in baking. A croissant like yeast dough is layered with butter and coated with sugar to produce a crunchy, sweet, caramelized pastry that some say is a breakfast pastry and some say is dessert. I could eat them all day long and not care a wit about what time it is! Continue reading