Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cronuts! The Doughnuts That Make People Go Nuts! Part 1: The Dough

I’m assuming that since you’re on a food blog you've probably heard about “cronuts,” but just in case, here’s a quick review. 

This croissant/doughnut hybrid was invented by Dominique Ansel at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. It became an overnight sensation, and now people stand in line for hours just for a chance at getting one of the precious few that are made each day.

Why all the hype? Very simple – it has the shape and flavor of a doughnut, yet features the crispy, flaky texture of a buttery croissant. What’s not to hype? Anyway, after seeing like two dozen new reports on the craze, and receiving a scary number of food wishes for it, I decided to give it a go, if for no other reason than to save a few of my NYC friends the humiliation of being Instagrammed standing in that line.

Since I’ve never tasted a cronut, what follows is purely an educated guess, but I think I got pretty close. Maybe one of you New Yorkers will mail me one, so I know for sure? My game plan was simple. Make a slightly sweet, yeasty, doughnut-esque dough, which I’d then layer with butter, using the classic croissant technique.

It’s a procedure I do all the time, as in once, back in culinary school, thirty years ago. So, instead of going by the book, or even looking in a book, I winged it, and not only that, I streamlined things too. Instead painstakingly pounding out perfectly sized slabs of cold butter, I decided to try simply spreading softened butter instead. I also threw caution to the wind, and pulled off the rare and terrifying “double fold and turn,” and lived to tell the tale.

Like I said in the video, we’ll cover the final results in Part 2, but spoiler alert…these were awesome. I did two different versions, one regular, and one with an extra “fold and turn” which resulted in a taller, and even more impressive cronut. Stay tuned!


Ingredients for 16 Cronuts:
1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup warm water (105 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 rounded tablespoons white sugar (add an extra if you want a sweeter 'nut)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound all-purpose flour, more as needed
6 ounces soft, unsalted, "European-style" butter (12 tablespoons)

Fist steps:
- Combine yeast and warm water, and let sit five minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the flour and the European-style butter, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, and knead for about three minutes or until a soft sticky dough ball forms.
- Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Roll dough out into roughly a 18 x 9-inch rectangle.
- Proceed with butter as shown!

View the complete recipe

49 comments:

Shoaib Uddin said...

amazing

Beth said...

These look beautiful! Basically a Danish dough? Can't wait for part two.

Gretchen inNOLA said...

In New Orleans, we'd call them Creaux-nuts.

Martin Ji said...

G'day from your biggest Australian fan!

In this land down-under, our cup, butter stick and spoon measures all differ from your US equivalent, so thanks for posting the exact weights of the crucial ingredients.

Now we can all go nuts for cronuts, no fuss.

A quick and potentially silly question from me on behalf of us metric-plebs: Is one of your cups equivalent to 250mL?

Chef John said...

It's actually 240, and for future reference, if you just type the measurement into google it will convert for you.

girleen said...

Hello! I would like to try these, but am wondering if I could do most of the work the day before and keep them in the fridge until I fry them in the morning. Is this possible? Would I stop at the last fold? Thanks!

Alexander OConnor said...

Do you have any advice for those of us without a dough hook? Is it viable to knead this by hand?

will dukeshire said...

These are gonna be amazing!I was a donut baker at Country Style Donuts for years.Can't wait to do this,PLEASE don't be long posting the other part. Luv ya, Willy in Newfoundland Canada

Rich said...

I have never heard about Cronut but on the same day you teach me about it. I found out that this pastry chef create a new dessert: Magic Souffle
http://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/news-trends/magic-soufle-cronut-dominique-ansel/

Chef John said...

Yes! You can easily knead by hand!

Dan said...

Can you substitute whole wheat flower for the all purpose flower?

Andrew said...

Absolutely scrumptious recipe! Well worth the hours of prep. So flakey. Thanks Chef John for the great step by step! http://instagram.com/p/d9SVPnPSvh/ Andrew Sourh Africa

samuel biel said...

u r my hero, I love how u simplified the folding part, thank you

Leela Gupta said...

This is how I know Chef John really loves us.

Andie said...

Wow you actually make this look do-able! I was hoping you could tell me what material you counter tops are? They are gorgeous.

Chef John said...

They're Cesaratone and the color is "oyster". Thanks!

laalaa said...

Can you freeze the dough and use it later? i really want to do these on this weekend, but i don't have time to do the dough then.

Chef John said...

Yes! Watch part, I mention freezing!

Hlucas315 said...

Hey chef John!
Can i use the same dough if I just wanted to make regular donuts? These look amazing, but i just don't have the time to do all the folding. Where would i stop the process and start frying?

Chef John said...

not sure, sine you have no fat in there. Better to use a regular donut recipe!

aLiSh said...

Thank you for the awesome recipe. Try it and save some in freezer for tomorrow brekkie . Just wondering is that royal icing or other type of glaze. Recipe please. Thanks <3 (^.^)v

Chef John said...

Check part two of the video for the icing! thanks!

BEH CHIN YEE said...

I made it ! Thx to chef john for sharing this recipe. They are really delicious and feel like the count going to melt in my mouth!

MaggiesCakes and Cupcakes said...

Hello Chef John, I love those duonuts and as we speak I'm making them , they look very delicious...P.S. I was wondering if you can make pumpkin dounuts like these one but with puree pumpkin...thank you.

Elle said...

Chef John, Will these work without the European-style butter?(ie. just using the normal unsalted butter) And is there a particular limit to how much sugar I can add? Thank you for your amazing videos and recipes. Have just gotten hooked :)

Chef John said...

yes, and not sure! thanks!!

zillipede said...

Your video recipe has two 20-30 minute refrigeration periods (after the first refrigeration but before the two hour one), but your allrecipes.com recipe only has two. What gives?

Chef John said...

Looks like they made an error when they typed it in. I'll let them know! Thanks!

john said...

I was making this today and it seems that the quantity of liquid is greater than the amount of flour added cos I could not get a dough. Is the flour required really 1 pound which is about 2 cups? I think I added another 1 cup or more to get a dough.

Chef John said...

A pound of flour is not 2 cups! A cup of flour weights about 4.25, so it's closer to 3 1/2 cups per pound! You're confusing weight and volume. A cup is 8 oz by volume, not weight! A cup of lead weighs more than a cup of feathers, etc.

Aulia Alyda said...

Chef!
My cronuts turned out just like donuts. Is it because I knead too much or not freeze enough to get fold or...?

Carson Yiu said...

If I made the dough today can I leave it in the fridge and fry it 2 days from today?

Chef John said...

Not sure!

Em Hamzah said...

Hi- excuse my ignorance. This looks a lot like danish pastry from my cookbook. Is there a discrepancy in this?? Is it danish pastry? Can you do video on danishes?

Natalie Kilpatrick said...

Just learned that if you only have a large cookie cutter that a pop bottle cap makes an excellent middle cutter outter!

Giuseppina Micallef said...


Hi Chef John, You are so funny :)
you make cooking and baking so enjoyable and easy to understand.
Thank you for the cronuts recipe
i will surlly try them.



Matthew said...

Would making a lager batch of this simply multiply it? So a double batch mean I make the exact same recipe and just double everything?

Or would it better to make two separate batches? (or three times the batches or what ever....)

Matthew said...

Would making a lager batch of this simply multiply it? So a double batch mean I make the exact same recipe and just double everything?

Or would it better to make two separate batches? (or three times the batches or what ever....)

Samantha Goforth said...

I noticed you had Shock Top in the fridge. That's my favorite!

bakeryboss said...

i dont have one of those attachments for the dough, can i use anything else or is that totally necessary? PLEASE HELP MUST MAKE THESE ASAP.

Chef John said...

You can knead by hand! Are you sure you're a Bakery Boss? ;)

Hamm said...

I made these and they were amazing! I tried another recipe once which failed completely but dang.. this was amazing! I tried putting some of the dough in the oven but.. they turned into hard bready-cookies.

Cisco Liquido said...

Hi chef !! Do you think your dough recipe would work for just croissants ? My wife is on bed rest (7 mos pregnant) and she's craving croissants but all the recipes I've found are much too time consuming....

Chef John said...

Sorry, but I don't think so!

Cisco Liquido said...

No problem, thanks for the quick reply! My wife has been on bed rest for almost 2 months now and you've kept us quite full...I've made french bread, grilled brie sandwiches, cheese puffs, meat soup, bravas quiche (we live in BCN so quite a good remake), and tomorrow lamb roast! You've made her 2 months fly by in a breeze!

scottpastry said...

Hi there. I just found your site/youtube channel. Very good! I felt like experimenting today so i used this cronut recipe, but i substituted half the water and milk with pumpkin puree and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. I also mixed a splash of roasted pumpkin seed oil through the butter prior to lamination to boost the pumpkiny flavour. I also have a self imposed "no deep frying at home" rule, so i treated the finished product as a danish dough. The results were surprisingly good. Upon further inspection, I discovered you have a pumpkin scroll recipe on your site with quite similar ingredients. I would be very interested to know the results of deep frying a laminated and yeast leavened pumpkin infused dough as you would a cronut. If someone tries,I would love to know!
I also made a 'pumpkin cheesecake' style filling for my bear claws and pinwheels. Pumpkin puree, cream cheese, pumpkin spice, maple syrup and an egg yolk. Something similar would be a great cronut filling (minus the egg).
Thanks again!

Blogblogblog said...

It should go without saying, but these are the least healthy thing ever put on a plate. It tastes exactly like what it is: 2 sticks of breaded and fried butter! They made me physically weaker after consumption. These are beyond donuts. They are a heart attack incarnate.

Who Knows said...

They turned out wonderful, they were (did I say were?) flaky, crunchy and didn't even taste the grease. I don't know what the original cronuts taste like like but our friends said my cronuts are the best. Thank you so so very much for such a detail video.

2blogornot2blog said...

To Blogblogblog: You were expecting this to be a healthy treat?