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Kouign-amann in the Chicago area?

Kouign-amann in the Chicago area?
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  • Kouign-amann in the Chicago area?

    Post #1 - September 13th, 2010, 6:16 pm
    Post #1 - September 13th, 2010, 6:16 pm Post #1 - September 13th, 2010, 6:16 pm
    At the Crum Farm brunch in Kansas City last year (the final event of the eGullet Midwest Gathering 2009), we had an unforgettable pastry that made us track down the chef to compliment him. He told us it was derived from Kouign-amann. It was fantastic, and I'd love to have it again. (We've tried making it ourselves, with limited success.)

    Here's a spot-on description.

    I see somebody else was looking... to no avail.

    Has anyone here heard of this? Is it available anywhere in Chicagoland?
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #2 - September 13th, 2010, 6:26 pm
    Post #2 - September 13th, 2010, 6:26 pm Post #2 - September 13th, 2010, 6:26 pm
    I still dream about Crum Farm. I've never seen a kouign-amann again. I did try to make them, somewhat unsuccessfully. They were tasty, but not the same.
  • Post #3 - July 12th, 2011, 1:39 pm
    Post #3 - July 12th, 2011, 1:39 pm Post #3 - July 12th, 2011, 1:39 pm
    TheKitchn has an article today about kouign amann. Just a quick bump to this thread to see if anyone's seen it for sale in the Chicago area.
  • Post #4 - July 12th, 2011, 4:08 pm
    Post #4 - July 12th, 2011, 4:08 pm Post #4 - July 12th, 2011, 4:08 pm
    I know they were the pastry of the month at Floriole a while back, but I've never come across them anywhere else.
  • Post #5 - July 12th, 2011, 8:35 pm
    Post #5 - July 12th, 2011, 8:35 pm Post #5 - July 12th, 2011, 8:35 pm
    Stephen wrote:I know they were the pastry of the month at Floriole a while back, but I've never come across them anywhere else.



    They were, but it was for the month. It was fantastic. I bet if you put the word in to the Holl's it could re-appear or perhaps be ordered.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #6 - July 13th, 2011, 4:03 pm
    Post #6 - July 13th, 2011, 4:03 pm Post #6 - July 13th, 2011, 4:03 pm
    if you're feeling a little crafty, david lebovitz posted a recipe for making one. doesn't seem too involved, but i haven't tried it just yet.
  • Post #7 - July 13th, 2011, 4:29 pm
    Post #7 - July 13th, 2011, 4:29 pm Post #7 - July 13th, 2011, 4:29 pm
    And if you're really that interested, PM me. I've got at least a book or two of regional cookbooks with recipes. Happy to add to your to-make list. :D


    P.S. Even happier to volunteer to be on your tasters' list. :roll:
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #8 - July 14th, 2011, 1:17 pm
    Post #8 - July 14th, 2011, 1:17 pm Post #8 - July 14th, 2011, 1:17 pm
    Oculi wrote:if you're feeling a little crafty, david lebovitz posted a recipe for making one. doesn't seem too involved, but i haven't tried it just yet.


    I have that recipe filed away in case I'm forced to bake (something I hate doing during summer months).
  • Post #9 - July 21st, 2011, 2:28 pm
    Post #9 - July 21st, 2011, 2:28 pm Post #9 - July 21st, 2011, 2:28 pm
    Alliance Bakery off Division/Milwaukee sometimes has Kouign amann stuffed with preserves. Although it is scrumptious, it leans more towards a galette than the picture you linked. Either way, I definitely recommend it!
  • Post #10 - August 30th, 2011, 10:34 am
    Post #10 - August 30th, 2011, 10:34 am Post #10 - August 30th, 2011, 10:34 am
    They talked about these on the podcast Dinner Party Download this week. It's under 'Main Course'. They spoke with a baker about the process of making them. It takes him a day and a half! I really wish they were available here somewhere. They sound amazing.
  • Post #11 - March 20th, 2012, 5:19 pm
    Post #11 - March 20th, 2012, 5:19 pm Post #11 - March 20th, 2012, 5:19 pm
    These are the pastry of the month at Floriole! They are delicious. Airy and buttery with a sugar crunch. I highly recommend them.
  • Post #12 - March 22nd, 2012, 6:44 pm
    Post #12 - March 22nd, 2012, 6:44 pm Post #12 - March 22nd, 2012, 6:44 pm
    The version at Floriole is perhaps the least authentic and sub-par KA I've ever had. Dense, poorly layered, just a lot of sugar and no nuance. I was quite disappointed - particularly as both LA (Bouchon) and NYC (Dominique Ansel) are making versions on par with those in France.
  • Post #13 - March 22nd, 2012, 9:53 pm
    Post #13 - March 22nd, 2012, 9:53 pm Post #13 - March 22nd, 2012, 9:53 pm
    Oculi wrote:if you're feeling a little crafty, david lebovitz posted a recipe for making one. doesn't seem too involved, but i haven't tried it just yet.


    i made my first kouign amann last week, using lebovitz's recipe. it takes several hours, most of that downtime in the refrigerator. it isn't hard, but i screwed up on the very last step; knew that i screwed up, but baked it anyway. this is a really important step; you must shape the dough packet to exactly fit your pan; this keeps the butter from leaking out and just puddling in the empty space between the dough and the edge of the pan because it really doesn't rise in the oven. i was careless and put it into the oven without it touching the pan completely and it didn't turn out great. so anyone trying to make k.a.- make sure you take the time to do this properly. i think the best way is to shape the dough into a round disk slightly bigger than the pan and then gently forcing it into the pan. this is an extraordinary pastry when done right.
  • Post #14 - March 22nd, 2012, 11:32 pm
    Post #14 - March 22nd, 2012, 11:32 pm Post #14 - March 22nd, 2012, 11:32 pm
    Sweetcakes bakery (Damen, just north of Chicago) also makes Kouign-amann, mostly on weekends, if you get there early enough!
  • Post #15 - June 17th, 2012, 9:55 pm
    Post #15 - June 17th, 2012, 9:55 pm Post #15 - June 17th, 2012, 9:55 pm
    I have now had both the Floriole and Alliance versions (apricot at Alliance). Both were tasty. I think I prefer the Alliance one. But neither was anything close to what we had at Crum Farm. Will check out Sweetcakes next.
  • Post #16 - June 17th, 2012, 10:39 pm
    Post #16 - June 17th, 2012, 10:39 pm Post #16 - June 17th, 2012, 10:39 pm
    Good luck! Glad to hear someone else still cherishes that memory! :D
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #17 - June 18th, 2012, 12:28 am
    Post #17 - June 18th, 2012, 12:28 am Post #17 - June 18th, 2012, 12:28 am
    mamagotcha wrote:Good luck! Glad to hear someone else still cherishes that memory! :D

    You mean these glorious wonders? . . .

    Image
    Kouign-Amann, Crum Farm, 2009 :D

    =R=

    Crum Farm
    16211 Stillwell Rd
    Bonner Springs, KS 66012
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #18 - June 18th, 2012, 5:42 am
    Post #18 - June 18th, 2012, 5:42 am Post #18 - June 18th, 2012, 5:42 am
    Oh, that's torturous first thing in the morning, Ronnie! It's that dark caramelized bottom that really does it.
  • Post #19 - October 20th, 2012, 7:08 pm
    Post #19 - October 20th, 2012, 7:08 pm Post #19 - October 20th, 2012, 7:08 pm
    bon2mic wrote:These are the pastry of the month at Floriole! They are delicious. Airy and buttery with a sugar crunch. I highly recommend them.

    Floriole has a blog page on their website about them, complete with photos of prep and the finished product. And they had a plate stacked with them in the display case this afternoon. Here's the one I brought home:

    Image
    Last edited by nsxtasy on August 30th, 2017, 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #20 - December 20th, 2012, 3:32 pm
    Post #20 - December 20th, 2012, 3:32 pm Post #20 - December 20th, 2012, 3:32 pm
    Purchased this afternoon at Bennison's in Evanston:

    Image
    Last edited by nsxtasy on August 30th, 2017, 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #21 - December 24th, 2012, 8:51 pm
    Post #21 - December 24th, 2012, 8:51 pm Post #21 - December 24th, 2012, 8:51 pm
    Bought one at Floriole a week or so ago. They said it was the last day they would have them 'for a while.'
  • Post #22 - July 5th, 2013, 1:38 am
    Post #22 - July 5th, 2013, 1:38 am Post #22 - July 5th, 2013, 1:38 am
    According to a 7/3/13 article in the Evanston Roundtable, Hewn, a new bakery in Evanston that had its official opening on June 11, is offering kouign amann, as well as other pastries, salads, sandwiches, and breads made with organic grains and flours.

    Hewn
    810 Dempster
    Evanston
    847/869-4396
    "Life is a combination of magic and pasta." -- Federico Fellini

    "You're not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in from the lake. And there's practically no opera season at all--and the Lord only knows whether they've ever heard of lobster Newburg." --Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
  • Post #23 - July 5th, 2013, 7:56 pm
    Post #23 - July 5th, 2013, 7:56 pm Post #23 - July 5th, 2013, 7:56 pm
    Hewn has a very informative website; they also sell sandwiches and salads, albeit only Tuesday through Friday, alas. I haven't visited yet, as their hours are somewhat limited for the 9-to-5er; perhaps Sunday:

    TUESDAY – FRIDAY
    7:00am – 5:00pm

    SATURDAY – SUNDAY
    8:00am – 1:00pm

    MONDAY CLOSED :(
  • Post #24 - July 6th, 2013, 11:17 pm
    Post #24 - July 6th, 2013, 11:17 pm Post #24 - July 6th, 2013, 11:17 pm
    I went to Hewn last weekend and tried the Kouign-amann. It was just okay. There was no crunchy sugar on top, which I, personally love. It was more like brushed with liquid sugar. And the dough itself didn't get that soft, moist bit in the middle - really it was more like a croissant with sweeter outside layer. I have to say that I am no expert on what it 'should' be, but I didn't find this one as interesting as others I have had. We also had another pastry that I can't recall the name of...brioche with a sugar cube in the middle that is supposed to melt in to the surrounding dough. Problem is that it didn't melt all the way and biting in to sugar cube crust is not a pleasant way to eat your morning pastry.
  • Post #25 - July 7th, 2013, 9:41 pm
    Post #25 - July 7th, 2013, 9:41 pm Post #25 - July 7th, 2013, 9:41 pm
    Choux Fly made a delicious Kouign-Amann a couple of years ago for one of the dessert exchanges. Don't remember if he posted the recipe.
    Ms. Ingie
    Life is too short, why skip dessert?
  • Post #26 - July 8th, 2013, 2:44 pm
    Post #26 - July 8th, 2013, 2:44 pm Post #26 - July 8th, 2013, 2:44 pm
    Here's a post where he talks about his experiences making it:

    http://2006in2006.livejournal.com/18740.html
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #27 - September 11th, 2014, 2:45 pm
    Post #27 - September 11th, 2014, 2:45 pm Post #27 - September 11th, 2014, 2:45 pm
    bon2mic wrote:I went to Hewn last weekend and tried the Kouign-amann. It was just okay. There was no crunchy sugar on top, which I, personally love. It was more like brushed with liquid sugar. And the dough itself didn't get that soft, moist bit in the middle - really it was more like a croissant with sweeter outside layer. I have to say that I am no expert on what it 'should' be, but I didn't find this one as interesting as others I have had.

    I agree. Theirs is not as sweet, not as flavorful, and rather dry. It was much more similar to a croissant than to other kouign amanns I've had; I was thinking this to myself even before I searched for this topic and found your post saying much the same thing. This is the kouign amann I bought at Hewn in Evanston today:

    Image
    Last edited by nsxtasy on August 30th, 2017, 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #28 - September 11th, 2014, 8:20 pm
    Post #28 - September 11th, 2014, 8:20 pm Post #28 - September 11th, 2014, 8:20 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    bon2mic wrote:I went to Hewn last weekend and tried the Kouign-amann. It was just okay. There was no crunchy sugar on top, which I, personally love. It was more like brushed with liquid sugar. And the dough itself didn't get that soft, moist bit in the middle - really it was more like a croissant with sweeter outside layer. I have to say that I am no expert on what it 'should' be, but I didn't find this one as interesting as others I have had.

    I agree. Theirs is not as sweet, not as flavorful, and rather dry. It was much more similar to a croissant than to other kouign amanns I've had; I was thinking this to myself even before I searched for this topic and found your post saying much the same thing. This is the kouign amann I bought at Hewn in Evanston today:

    Image


    Nice Kentucky plate! Louisville Stoneware? Sometimes hard to distinguish from Hadley Pottery.
  • Post #29 - September 11th, 2014, 10:51 pm
    Post #29 - September 11th, 2014, 10:51 pm Post #29 - September 11th, 2014, 10:51 pm
    Smassey wrote:Nice Kentucky plate! Louisville Stoneware? Sometimes hard to distinguish from Hadley Pottery.

    Nope. Genuine Hadley, handmade in Louisville.
  • Post #30 - September 15th, 2014, 11:05 pm
    Post #30 - September 15th, 2014, 11:05 pm Post #30 - September 15th, 2014, 11:05 pm
    This thread was started before the birth of Bad Wolf, but hands down the best kouign amann is at Bad Wolf Coffee. I admit I've only tried Floriole's in the area, but Floriole is rivaled to have one of the best ones and it was a let down. It was hard and crunchy on the outside and didn't have the wonderful light, sweet, and crispy exterior of Bad Wolf's. Perhaps Bad Wolf strays from the traditional kouign amann, but gosh it's one of the best pastries out there.

    There's two threads on lth about the glories of Bad Wolf.

    Also writeup's here and here on the kouign amann.

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