Homemade cruffins are a special treat indeed. Croissant dough that is baked in a muffin tin. A cross between a croissant and a muffin, this special pastry retains all the flaky, buttery layers croissants are known for, but because of the molds they are baked in, resemble the shape of a muffin.
Once baked, the cruffins are tossed in cinnamon sugar. They are delicious plain and pair perfectly with coffee or tea. As an extra special treat, try filling them with jam, lemon curd, pastry cream, or chocolate custard. Simply use a long nozzle tip to pipe filling into the center of the cruffin after they are baked and cooled. Follow the steps below to learn how to make cruffins from scratch.
How to make Cruffins
The cruffin process will take two days. On the first day, the dough is mixed in the evening and then chilled until the next day. Day two is for laminating, shaping, proofing, and baking. The proofing and baking can easily be done on a third day to better suit your schedule.
While the appearance of these pastries is impressive, the shaping is not that complicated. And because they are baked in a mold, cruffins are more forgiving than croissants.
This cruffin recipe is formulated to fit our 12" Compact Dough Sheeter, but can be made with just a rolling pin. Using a sheeter, however, makes the process easier and ensures a more precise and consistent dough thickness. The sheeter helps reduce the amount of time you are handling the dough. Managing the dough temperature is important for maintaining the integrity of the layers.
Lamination refers to the process of repeatedly rolling and folding butter and dough to create thin alternating layers of each. The lamination process begins with a block of butter and a block of dough.The dough is rolled, the butter block is then encased in the dough, and from this point forward, the two are rolled and folded as one, creating increasingly thinner and thinner alternating layers of butter and dough. When baked, water in the dough and in the butter layers converts to steam and separates each layer creating many distinct layers.
It is important to pay close attention to the dough and butter as you are working. Maintaining the right consistency of dough and butter will allow for a better rolling experience and will produce the flakiest layers. The dough and butter should be as close in texture as possible so that they remain separate layers when rolling out, without the butter melting into the dough or breaking apart and pushing through the dough. This does not necessarily mean that the butter block and dough block will be at the same temperature.
If at any point in the process the butter layer becomes too soft, take a pause and place the dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. If at any point the butter seems too firm and breaks apart as it is rolled, leave it on the counter for a bit to soften the butter. If at any point the dough seems to resist rolling, allow it to rest (either at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator) for 15 minutes. Forcing the dough when it is resisting will damage the layers of butter and dough you are creating and result in a less flaky pastry.
Active: 2 hours; Inactive: 17 hours; Total: 19 hours
For the dough:
|2 C + 1 Tbsp
|1 ¾ tsp
* We recommend using King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, which is what this recipe was tested with, or another unbleached, unbromated all-purpose flour with a protein content of around 11–12%.
We also always recommend weighing flour for bread recipes. If you must measure by volume, dip the cup into a container of flour, then gently level off with a straight-edge such as the back of a butter knife without packing the flour.
For the butter block:
For the sugar coating:
- Bench knife
- Thermometer (optional)
- Pastry brush
- Knife or pastry wheel
- Cruffin mold (we used a 6 cavity, ¾ cup popover pan measuring 14.3 x 8.4 x 2.6 inches and each cavity 2.5” top and 2.5″ tall and 2.25” giving a tapered shape) a regular sized muffin tin will also work
- Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer
- Cooling rack
Mix the dough.
In the evening mix up the dough. Add all of the ingredients to a standing mixer and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. The dough will feel elastic and smooth.
If mixing by hand, add all ingredients to a large bowl and use a dough whisk to begin incorporating the ingredients. Once the dough forms a rough shaggy mass, turn out onto the table and knead by hand for 5 to 7 minutes.
Press the dough into a 5” x 6” (13 x 15 cm) rectangle, wrap tightly, and refrigerate overnight.
Degas the dough & freeze.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap and degas by pressing the dough to expel any gas bubbles. Rewrap the dough and place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This brief period in the freezer will help to ensure the dough and butter are at a similar texture when the butter is locked in. While the dough is chilling, make the butter block.
Make the butter block.
Remove the butter from the refrigerator. Mark a 5.5” x 5.5” square in the middle of a piece of parchment paper or heavy plastic wrap and then flip over so the marked side is facedown. (This will prevent any transfer to the butter.) Cut the butter into pieces and arrange in a square shape within the marked square. Fold the parchment or plastic over to completely encase the butter. Using a rolling pin, gently tap the butter to begin to soften it. The butter should become pliable, but not soft and melty. If the butter is too firm, allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
Once pliable, use the rolling pin to gently roll the butter into a 5.5” x 5.5" (14 x 14 cm) square. Try to keep the square as straight and even as possible. If necessary, unwrap the butter and use a bench scraper to straighten the sides and reshape into a 5.5” x 5.5" (14 x 14 cm) square. The butter block is now ready to use.
Roll out the dough, and lock in the butter.
To achieve the best results, the dough and butter should be as close in texture as possible when performing the lock-in. Before proceeding with lock-in check the butter texture. It should be malleable (like clay), but not soft and melty. If the butter seems too soft, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before continuing. If the butter seems too cold (it will crack if you attempt to bend it) leave it on the counter for a few minutes. While not required, you may find it helpful to use a thermometer to check the temperature. Your dough temperature will be cooler than your butter temperature.
Ideal working temperature will vary based on the recipe, the room temperature, and brand of butter. In general, at the time of lock-in, the dough temperature should be around 36-41°F (2-5°C) and butter block 53-59°F (12-15°C).
Remove the dough from the freezer. Place the dough on the sheeter board. Bring the roller arm up to just above the thickness of the dough and begin passing dough through the sheeter, decreasing the thickness with each pass, until the dough measures 6” x 12” (15 x 30 cm) (This should be at the 5 mm thickness setting.) Brush off any excess flour from the surface of the dough. With the long edge of the dough facing you, unwrap the butter block so that one side is exposed, and use the parchment to place the butter block in the middle of the dough. Fold the left and right sides of the dough in toward the center to encase the butter in the dough and pinch the edges together to seal.
Laminate the dough.
Turn the dough 90 degrees so that the seam where the dough meets is now running horizontally. Raise the sheeter roller arm to just above the thickness of the dough and begin passing the dough through the sheeter, decreasing the thickness with each pass, until the dough measures 6" x 18.5” (15 x 46 cm). (This should be at the 5 mm thickness setting.) Trim the short ends of the dough just enough to create a straight edge. Brush off excess flour from the surface of the dough.
Perform a single fold. To do so, with the long edge facing you, take the left third of the dough and fold it toward the center. Brush off excess flour. Take the right third and fold it to the center on top of the fold just made. (This is just like folding a letter.) You should now have a rectangle that roughly measures 5.5” x 6.5” (14 x 16.5 cm). Gently press to seal the dough.
You have now completed the first single fold. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes. This will allow the butter to warm up just enough so that it doesn’t crack while rolling.
Unwrap the dough and place the dough on the sheeter board so that the long edge is running parallel to you. Bring the roller arm up to just above the thickness of the dough and begin to pass the dough through the sheeter, decreasing the thickness with each pass, until the dough measures 6" x 18" (15 x 46 cm). Trim the short ends of the dough just enough to create a straight edge. Follow the same steps as the first fold to complete the second fold.
Wrap the dough and rest in the refrigerator for 45 to 60 minutes.
Roll and cut the dough.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place on the sheeter board so that the short edge is running parallel to you. Starting at the thickest setting, pass the dough through the sheeter until the dough is 7.5” (19 cm) wide (this should be at the 10mm thickness setting). Turn the dough 90 degrees, so that the long end is now running parallel to you, and continue to pass the dough through the sheeter until it measures 16.5” (42 cm) (this should be at the 4mm thickness setting).
Remove the dough from the sheeter. Trim the edges to create a 7.5” x 15.75” (19 x 45 cm) rectangle with straight, even edges. The dough will be cut into 12 strips that measure 7.5” x 1.25” (19 x 3 cm) each. To do this, mark the long edge of the dough every 1.25” (3 cm) and then go back and cut the entire length of the dough where marked. Place the dough strips on a sheet pan. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
At this point, the cruffins can be finished the next day if desired. To do so, put the dough strips in the freezer instead of the refrigerator. The next day, remove from the freezer and leave at room temperature to thaw for about 30 minutes. Proceed with the recipe as written.
Shape the cruffins.
Remove the dough strips from the refrigerator. Work with two strips of dough at a time to make a single cruffin. Keep the remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out. If the other dough strips begin to warm up as you are working, move them to the refrigerator. Place one strip on the counter. Place another strip on top of the first one starting ½” (1.25 cm) from the bottom edge of the dough strip underneath. Press the bottom edge gently to seal. You should have two pieces of dough stacked on top of one another, slightly staggered. Starting at the bottom edge of the bottom dough strip, begin rolling the dough up into a coil. Once at the top, turn the coil so that it is sitting upright on the counter. There will be two tails of dough coming off of the coil.
Take the dough tail on the outside and bring it up and over the top so that it covers one half of the coil. Take the other dough tail and bring it up and over the other half of the coil. This is now the bottom of the cruffin. Pinch the dough to seal and to make the bottom as flat and even as possible and turn over so the cruffin is sitting upright. Dip a finger in flour and insert it into the middle of the cruffin, pressing all the way down to the bottom. Place the cruffin bottom side down into the mold. Repeat until all six cruffins are shaped and in the mold.
Proof the cruffins.
Turn the Folding Proofer on, fill the water tray, and set to 76°F (24°C). Place the cruffins in the proofer and let them rise for 2.5 to 3 hours. Do not raise the temperature in an attempt to speed up the process. If the temperature is too warm the butter will begin to melt, affecting the lamination of the dough. The cruffins will be ready when they have puffed up to nearly the top of the pan, and there are visible layers. Near the end of the proofing time, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
Cruffins just placed in the Proofer after being shaped.
Cruffins fully risen and ready to be baked.
Bake the cruffins.
Remove the cruffins from the Proofer. Bake the cruffins at 350°F (177°C) for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown. Gently remove cruffins from the pan as soon as they come out of the oven. While the cruffins are still warm, toss in cinnamon sugar and then place on a rack to finish cooling.
Cruffins are best eaten the day they are baked. That said, they will still be good for a couple of days after baking. Store unfilled cruffins in an airtight container at room temperature and reheat at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes. Filled cruffins should be consumed the day they are made, or stored in the refrigerator.
Overall Bread Formula:
|Butter (for butter block)