In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the bread flour, salt, 1 Tablespoon (14 grams) of the butter and the yeast on low until well combined. Then turn the mixer up to medium-high for about 10 minutes. The dough should be soft, smooth and stretchy. Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a large sheet of plastic wrap. Punch down the dough and press it to form a 10-inch square. Wrap in the plastic and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then flip the dough and freeze for another 15 minutes.
Make the butter block
As the dough is chilling in the freezer, make the butter block. On a large sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, pound the butter down with a rolling pin. Roll it out into a 7 inch square. What I've found to be helpful is to either sprinkle the top of the butter with a thin layer of flour while rolling, or covering the top of the butter with plastic wrap and then rolling. Since the butter is soft, it will stick to the rolling pin. Choosing one of these options will make the butter easier to roll (and not stick to your rolling pin). Once you have a 7 inch square, wrap in the plastic and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
Combine the dough with the butter
Remove your chilled dough from the freezer and place it on a large and lightly floured surface. Place the butter in the middle of the dough, but position it so it looks like a diamond (so that the corners are pointing at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00). Pull the corners of the dough up and directly to the center and press down. Seal the butter very well so none of it is sticking through. You should have a diamond shape.
Use your rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 24 inch by 10 inch rectangle. This will require some arm strength. You may need to dust the top of the dough with some extra flour so that the dough doesn't stick to your rolling pin.
Turn the rectangle so that the short end is at your belly button (it should look like a skyscraper). Take the short end that's farthest away from you and fold it towards the center. Then take the short end that is closest to you and fold it towards the center. You've essentially folded your dough into thirds so it resembles a letter.
Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat: roll it out to a 24 inch by 10 inch rectangle and do the letter fold again.
Repeat once more: turn the dough 90 degrees, roll into a rectangle and do the letter fold.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator to chill for 30-40 minutes.
Add the sugar layer
On a large and clean work surface, sprinkle a thin layer of granulated sugar. Place the chilled dough on your work surface and roll it out to a 24 inch by 10 inch rectangle like you have before. Sprinkle on a thin layer of sugar on top of the rolled out dough and then repeat the letter fold.
Sprinkle more sugar to your work surface and roll out the dough to a 24 inch by 10 inch rectangle once more. Sprinkle more sugar on top of the rolled out dough. Your arms should be super strong by now!
Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 4 inch squares. Fold each of the corners into the center of the square to form a diamond and push down firmly. Then take the corners of the diamond and fold it into the center once more to form a square. Push down in the center firmly.
Place the folded dough square into a standard muffin pan and repeat with the other dough. If you have ring molds (they should be about 2 and ¾ inches in diameter), you can use that instead. Make sure you place the molds on top of a large baking sheet that is covered with a silicone mat or parchment paper. If you are using a muffin pan, I highly recommend placing the pan on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat as well.
Let the dough rise at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes.
Bake the DKAs
Preheat your oven to 365°F (185°C) or 340°F (170°C) if using a convection oven. Place your DKAs in the middle rack of your preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake for an additional 15 minutes,
Remove the pan from the oven and unmold the DKAs from the ring molds or your muffin pan. Place them UPSIDE DOWN on a baking rack set over a baking sheet and allow to cool while inverted.
DKAs are best enjoyed the day they are baked. Leftovers, if there is such a thing, can be covered and stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They will get soggy after 6 hours.Source: Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes by Dominique Ansel