There’s nothing like homemade cronuts (laminated donuts). Layers and layers of crispy, buttery yeasted laminated dough that yield a tender bite are cut and fried into croissant like donuts!
Cronuts can be turned into any flavor of your choice by the glaze and topping you want. This post includes maple bacon cronuts and chocolate glazed cronuts. I had so much cronut dough that I even filled some with vanilla pastry cream. So make sure to check out some of my other donut recipes for glaze ideas.
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What’s a Cronut?
The viral cronut is a genius sweet treat created by pastry chef Dominique Ansel in 2013. A cronut is a croissant donut pastry. It’s similar to a croissant with laminated layers, but it’s cut, fried, and glazed into a donut.
One of the highlights of my baking adventures in London included a stop into Ansel’s famed bakery. It was truly magical! His work is stunning. I bought three big bags of pastry. Hey, when in a London! My walking tour around London was the day after I had been cut from the baking show. So I had some wounds to heal through a serious pastry binge and a shopping trip through Harrods.
Of course one of the many pastries I tried at Dominique Ansel Bakery London was a cronut. It’s such a cool concoction!! I love donuts. I love for laminated pastry. So the cronut just makes sense in the best ways!
The following layered and laminated donuts have eggs and butter for brioche like richness with a croissant like crispness.
How To Make Homemade Cronuts
Making Homemade Cronuts does include an overnight dough fermentation. So just make sure to plan ahead. Allowing the dough to slow rise in the fridge for a night or two allows it to develop flavor. I also find that lamination goes perfectly when the dough is chilled for long periods.
Just like in Flaky Brioche Feuilletee, you will want to use dry butter for your lamination. This adds ultra rich flavor and the butter has a smoother texture as well. If you can’t find dry butter, use European butter like Kerrygold or Plugra Butters that contain at least 82% butterfat.
The following gives a quicker lamination technique than you usually see. It’s a shortcut type of lamination, but it works so well for these Cronuts. And it’s a much easier way to create so many layers. So this laminated donut recipe is great for pastry beginners.
Tips For Laminated and Layered Donuts
If you’ve ever seen the laminating process used in bakeries then you know they use a machine called a sheeter. That machine creates perfect layer after layer. In fact, if you’ve ever heard of the 100 layer donut by the famous Five Daughters Bakery, then you know exactly what I’m making here! However, most people don’t have those! So here are some tips for creating lamination by hand.
1. Work with cold dough. This is very important when laminating dough. If your dough gets too warm then it will lead to tearing and loss of proper layers.
2. Lightly flour your surface and lift up the dough gently as you are working with it to prevent it from sticking to your surface. But don’t add too much flour or your dough will be tough instead of flaky and light.
3. Roll the dough to an even and same size / thickness each fold and turn.
4. Press finger indents into the dough after each folding process to mark how many you have done.
5. When cutting the donuts, press your biscuit cutter into flour first. Do not turn the cutter. Stamp it and pull back in one move.
6. Allow the cut dough to rest and rise for an hour.
7. Use a candy thermometer to ensure oil that is 350 degrees. Fry each donut for 90-120 seconds per side.
8. Glaze or shake in cinnamon sugar once the donuts are cool enough to handle.
Check these posts for glazes and pastry cream filling ideas.
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Homemade Cronuts (Laminated Donuts)
Layers and layers of crispy, buttery yeasted laminated dough that yield a tender bite are cut and fried into croissant like donuts!
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add warmed milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Allow to proof for 15 minutes.
Then gently whisk in eggs.
Then use dough hook and turn mixer to medium low speed. Gradually add in the flour, finishing with the salt. Note that this is a wet dough. Don’t add more flour.
Once the dough begins to form after about 5 minutes, add the 1/4 cup of butter In tablespoon increments. Allow each butter piece to incorporate into dough.
Turn mixer to medium high and allow dough to knead for 10 minutes.
Butter a large bowl.
Scrape dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 24 hours.
Then lightly flour a cold surface, like a marble pastry board or your countertop. Add cold dough. Shape and roll into a rectangle of 18 x 12.
Use a spatula to smooth out butter. Then spread over the dough.
Fold the dough into thirds. Bring short bottom end up to middle. Then bring top over that. Press to seal and then roll out into a rectangle. Repeat this process 5 more times. Lightly flour surface and top of dough as necessary.
Then roll into final rectangle. Dip a biscuit cutter or donut cutter into flour and cut out rounds. Place them onto parchment lined baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 1 hour.
Heat oil in a large dutch oven to 350 degrees F.
Add donuts in single layer batches. Fry 90-120 seconds. Flip and repeat.
Remove donuts to a paper towel lined cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
Once cool enough to handle, glaze and serve.
To make this simple glaze, whisk up the glaze ingredients in a bowl until smooth.