Preparing this recipe requires advanced pastry skills. You’ll need 2 buttered cake tins, each about 24 cm in diameter.
Brittany is known for its fine butter which is used in many of the local cakes and desserts such as this buttery Breton cake.
- 500 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp bread improver
- 320 ml cold water
- 15 g salt
- 10 g fresh compressed yeast
- 350 g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 300 g sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Refrigeration time 2 hours 30 minutes
Rising time 2 hours
In a large bowl, place the flour, bread improver, water, salt and yeast. Mix until it forms a dough. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic film and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
On a floured bench, flatten the dough to a square about 1 cm thick. Dust with flour.
Flatten the butter to 1cm thickness and place it in the centre of the dough. Fold the four edges of the dough into the middle to completely envelop the butter.
Roll the pastry out to a rectangular strip about 1cm thick. Take the lower end of the strip and fold it up one-third of the way toward the top. Now fold the top down to fit over the first fold to form a neat rectangle with no overlapping sides.
Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes, then roll it out again to a long rectangle. Coat with a generous amount of sugar, then fold it again as before, coating all sides with sugar. Place in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.
Repeat the previous step of rolling, coating with sugar and folding one more time, then rest the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll the pastry out to 1cm thickness. Cut it in half, then fold the corners of the dough to meet in the centre. Place the two pieces of dough in 2 greased 24 cm cake tins, pressing slightly so the dough fits the tins well.
Cover the cake tins with a towel and leave to rise for 2 hours in a warm place.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Bake for about 30 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a rack.
It is beautifully caramelised.