Cro-Nutty

Holy moly. I take a week off to fish and pastry mania erupts. One day I’m on a walleye junket, the next I discover that a lust for deep fried croissant dough has encircled the globe. Cronuts are what they are. And if you haven’t heard of them, well, you must be living on a bass boat on Lake Escanaba.

Honestly I probably wouldn’t have heard much about them had I not received a score of emails this past week from readers wanting to attempt them. It seems that their inventor, one Dominique Ansel in Lower Manhattan, has stated that while they are made from croissant dough, the dough isn’t made with butter, since butter’s low melt point causes the layers to slide apart during frying.

It’s my feeling that the failure of Ansel’s butter versions had nothing to do with melt points, but rather with moisture content, as butter is about 17% water and the expanding steam probably blew the dough layers apart. My guess is he’s using margarine or some sort of no-moisture shortening-margarine combination in his dough. That would explain why knock-off homemade cronuts have succeeded with store-bought crescent roll dough, which is made with margarine.

If I were to try my hand at some (and I may have to do that before long since demand is growing) I’d use a slightly lean croissant dough (using maybe two-thirds of the butter that the standard croissant dough recipe on the site calls for), but using a decent quality margarine in place of the butter pat. Why a leaner dough? To keep the layers from really slipping apart when the dough hits the oil.

Anyway, those are my best ideas at the moment. Best of luck, cronutters, and report back with results, please!

23 thoughts on “Cro-Nutty”

  1. I cannot help but think “sick and wrong” whenever I see a picture of one of these. I also fear a worsening of the French-American gastrodiplomatic relationship à la “Freedom Fries” (although I suspect neither side really gives a cronut anyway). That said, I’m pretty sure I would eat one in a moment of weakness, by myself, with curtains drawn…

  2. I’m not in Lake Escanaba but there’s no buzz here in Cartegena about cronuts, and we were in a panaderìa buying croissants and queso fresco for breakfast. Not surprising, the Internets are working here sporadically, but cronuts do sound promising!

  3. Hmmm… My first thought was clarified butter. Probably a bit much to manage in a production bakery but my kitchen doesn’t care about efficiency.

  4. Glad to see you back! I just finished a week off myself and I have to say it was a great week. Hope your two weeks were as restful and fun. Sounds like you are already back in the saddle (or kitchen)

  5. I’d like to bid on the West Coast franchise for CroNuts. What an interesting concept!

  6. I read about these cronuts just the other day and found the idea brilliant! I cannot stand doughnuts (though I do make them..and from your recipe, Joe) but my family loves them, so these doussants or cronuts appeal to me because they didn’t sound as sweet. I haven’t tried my hand at lamenated dough yet, so these will have to wait until I’m in the mood to roll out dough a million times for a single batch. I wonder if they could be made with a blitz pastry?

  7. Hi Joe

    Thanks for linking to my recipe but I actually dont use store bought dough. I am using a quick croissant dough made with 100% butter, made in a similar way to rough puff pastry.

    Thanks
    Edd

      1. Hey Kari!

        I’m afraid I don’t have a recipe, I was just posting about them. But have a look around the web a little. I know there are some formulas out there!

        Cheers,

        – Joe

  8. Once Americans started calling everything made with puff pastry a croissant (like “chocolate croissants”, which aren’t), all bets were off.

    Anyway having seen a friend recently breakfast on “two holes” – a bagel and a donut – I’m waiting for the bagnut. Or the dogel, if you prefer.

    You read it here first.

  9. Hmmm…. I must be missing a gene or something but this idea leaves me cold. But then I haven’t encountered a croissant that did anything for me since my husband was a musician working in Paris and we lived in a farmhouse well outside the city. When we were making our way home at 3 or 4 in the morning there was a bakery we could stop at the back door of. We got the morning’s croissants fresh from the conveyor out of the ovens. Not an idea you can casually let go of to satisfy yourself with the American equivalent…

    What if you were to simply quickly dunk a conventional baked croissant in the hot oil to crisp it up and then pump it full of pastry cream and glaze it? Seems to me a better shape to take advantage of filling.

    1. And much less fuss to boot!

      I confess I’m a bit mystified by the craze that’s erupted. Pastry chefs are constantly coming up with new and interesting twists on classics. Why did this particular one hit the way it did? Who knows?

      – Joe

    1. It was inevitable I suppose. Anything with a buzz this big is going to generate this sort of profiteering. I can only wish I could figure out a way to be part of it.

      – Joe

  10. i made a croissnt dough and deep fried it
    they were light and had neat air pockts that were
    not quite layers but yummy dipped in cinnamon sugsr or glazed
    im dissappointed joe because baker ansel says he tried out ten different recipes and that he folded the dough differently
    we ned to get creative here
    baker ansel is a professional baker and what makes the difference i think is his combinations of flavor and textures
    there is some kind of pastry cream layered or injected in and for a topping he has used rose in combiation with another flavor and then comes up with a new topping each month. we dont have to be professioals at home and i appreciate the tip about butter and moisture.
    i enjoyed my own cronut and would like to make a fun icing the next time. i didnt add any layer or fill of pastry cream
    and they were good hot and cooled.
    its up to us to make our own fun so i joined in on the craze
    and want more
    some people are opposite and need to put on weight
    not lose it like the masses say enjoying what we eat is less stress and adds years to our life
    thanks joe

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