Homemade Cronuts (Recipe)
Can’t drag yourself to SoHo at 5 a.m. to wait in line for that fried pastry goodness? No problem! You can make this delicious croissant/doughnut hybrid at home.
After poking around online, I found a few recipes. I tested two of them: one from Chef John at Allrecipes.com and one from Sorted.com, a British cooking site. After a lot of work–and a lot of “taste testing”–I found that I preferred the recipe from Sorted. The final dessert was more fluffy and flaky, and the croissant-like layers of pastry were more noticeable.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour (Look for a flour with additional protein, such as Gold’s Better for Bread flour)
2 Tbsp fine sugar or baker’s sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup of water
1 7 ounce packet of dry active yeast
11 Tbsp or 150 grams of cold butter (for better results use European butter, which has less water. I purchased Smjor Icelandic butter from Whole Foods.)
Canola oil (I used three of the 48 ounce bottles)
*Heat the water and milk in a small pan, until the liquid is luke warm. Turn off the burner and add the yeast. Stir.
*Add the flours and fine sugar to a mixing bowl. Add cold butter to the dry ingredients, using a pastry blender or a few pulses in the food processor to combine. You want pea-sized chunks of butter in the mixture. Gently stir in the liquid ingredients until the dough begins to come together.
*Without handling it too much, lightly shape the dough into a ball. Loosely wrap it in cling wrap, place it in a large ziplock bag, and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
*On a floured surface, roll out the dough into about an 10-inch by 18-inch rectangle, about 1/4 of an inch thick. Fold the top third down over the rest of the dough. Then, fold the bottom third up over the middle. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat this process two more times, rolling out the dough and folding it up. This is what gives the cronuts the layers.
*Loosely wrap the dough in cling wrap, place it in a ziplock bag, and put it in the refrigerator for at least six hours. (Overnight is better.)
*On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/3 of an inch thick. Use a doughnut cutter or biscuit cutters (3-inch and 1-inch in diameter) to cut doughnut shapes from the dough. You should be able to cut about six to 10 cronuts. (You can also use the middle circles as cronut holes, and cut more of these smaller cronut holes from the dough.)
*Place the cronuts and cronut holes onto a baking sheet and cover them lightly with cling wrap and a tea towel. Let them rest on the counter for an hour.
*Add the canola oil into a deep stockpot, and heat it over medium-high heat. Use a frying or candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Once you have the temperature stable at 360 degrees, add one of the cronuts to the oil. After about a minute or so, when the bottom starts to turn golden brown, carefully flip it over with a metal slotted spoon. Once both sides are golden brown, remove the cronut and place it into a bowl of sugar. Using metal tongs, lightly coat the cronut in the sugar, and set it on a cooling rack. Repeat this process for the rest of the cronuts and cronut holes.
*After you fry the cronuts, you can inject them with pastry cream or some instant vanilla pudding.
*Finally, decorate them with glaze. I used this recipe:
1/2 cup butter
1 pound box of powdered sugar
2 1/4 tsp vanilla
6 to 9 Tbsp evaporated milk
2 Tbsp of chocolate chips (optional)
*Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla, adding several tablespoons of evaporated milk until the glaze is thin enough.
*I divided the glaze into four equal parts and mixed food coloring into three of them. In the fourth, I added 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips that I had melted in the microwave. I put each color into a small ziplock bags and made a tiny snip in one of the corners. Pipe the icing on top and enjoy! You’ve earned it!