The Cronut (Croissant-Doughnut) pastry which is really just a deep-fried ring of croissant dough, was created by Parisian-born baker Dominique Ansel at his eponymous bakery in New York in May 2013, and was soon drawing huge crowds. On any given morning, queues stretch around the block in Spring Street, NY. Doughssants, zonuts and croissnuts in every flavour from red velvet to salted caramel, began appearing at bakeries elsewhere in the States. They have the shape and flavour of a doughnut, yet feature the crispy, flaky texture of a buttery croissant. In recent weeks, the pastry hybrids have popped up as far afield as Manila, London, Australia, Jakarta, Brazil, Taiwan and South Korea. And now, they’re in SA.
- milk (60ml)
- tepid warm water (65ml)
- dried yeast (6g)
- cold, diced butter (150g)
- all-purpose flour (125g)
- bread flour (125g)
- caster sugar (30g)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- bowl of vanilla sugar
- pastry cream
- bowl of icing sugar
- 1 lemon
For the dough
- Whisk the milk, water and yeast together in a bowl.
- Pulse the cold butter and flours in a food processor or rub it between your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs… but still has a few butter lumps.
- Stir the sugar and salt into the flour mix and tip everything into the wet bowl. Stir together a little, then get your hands involved to bring it into a dough. Keeping little butter lumps in the dough.
- Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave it to rest for 2 hours.
- Roll the rested dough out on a floured surface to about 1cm thick, aiming for a rectangle that is twice as long as it is wide. Fold the dough into thirds so that the last third overlaps the other two. Turn the dough through 90 degrees and repeat the process twice more. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge to rest for at least 4 hours, overnight is better.
- Roll the dough out, to the thickness 1/2 cm then use cutters to shape your doughnuts.
- Lay them on a floured tray and cover with a clean tea towel at room temperature to rise for another hour.
Defrost puff-pastry and unroll it. If you are using sheets, you’ll need to cut it into 2 pieces.
Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk it. Spread some egg on half of the puff pastry. Place the other half of pastry on top of the egg-washed half and roll it with the rolling pin (roll a lot if using sheets and a little if using precut pieces). If you’re using sheets, repeat this process about 5 times by cutting the sheet in 2 (or folding), egg-washing it and rolling it into a larger, flatter shape. This creates the layers of the croissant-doughnut.
- Place the doughnuts on the baking sheet (holes do not need to be baked) and place in a preheated oven of 190ºC. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they are a warm, golden colour. If you want a doughier centre (like a beignet) you can skip the baking process, but this won’t really result in a proper croissant-doughnut, even if it is incredibly delicious.
- Fry them, a few at a time, in a few centimetres of oil heated to 170ºC for 2 minutes on each side until puffed up and golden.
- Drain on kitchen roll briefly then toss in vanilla sugar before leaving to cool.
- Inject the vanilla custard into the cronuts at 5 or 6 points around the ring using a piping bag with small nozzle or syringe.
- Mix enough lemon juice with the icing sugar to create a glacé icing and colour them (optional) to your preference.
- Drizzle over the cooled and filled cronuts, allow to set before eating. (If you can resist…)