Croissant Doughnuts… I’m Taking on the “Pull Off the Ultimate Pastry” Challenge from KitchenAid

For a year or more, I have been wanting to try my hand at making the trendiest trend in all of Food Land… the Cronut. But, time tends to slip away from me, and to be honest, a recipe as challenging as that just never seemed RIGHT. I needed a reason to contain myself in the kitchen for two solid days. I needed motivation. I needed a kick in the pants. I needed BlogHer and KitchenAid to force my hand. Guess what happened? They did. A group of bloggers were challenged by BlogHer and KitchenAid to create fabulous recipes that were a bit out of the norm, even for food bloggers who spend all of our time in the kitchen. I feel like I won the lottery – my challenge was PULL OFF THE ULTIMATE PASTRY. Of course, mine aren’t “officially” Cronuts – that name is trademarked – but they are every bit as inspired and every bit as delicious. Deep Fried Croissant Doughnuts.
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Say that without drooling. I dare you. So, I set about to make the croissant dough, because first things first – you MUST have the dough. I’ve made my share of laminated dough before, and I feel comfortable doing that. It’s soothing, watching your creation come to fruition. The smell, the feel in your hands as you fold, and fold, and fold… it’s a beautiful thing. The easiest part is tossing the ingredients in your KitchenAid® Stand Mixer, and letting the mixer do the work for you. I use the paddle versus the dough hook for this – it works, and does an amazing job. Once the dough is mixed, just ball it up and place it in a greased bowl to allow it to rise until doubled. Me, I am fortunate, in that I am blessed with another incredible KitchenAid® appliance – the 48-Inch Dual-Fuel Commercial-Style Range. The oven is a godsend – it has a bread proofing feature. If you don’t have this, no worries, just be sure to cover the dough in plastic wrap, and tuck it into a warm spot to do its thing.
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While it is rising, make your Butter Block. Trust me, this is EASY. Take a couple of pieces of wax paper or parchment, and place two unwrapped softened sticks of butter between them. Use your fingers to press them down a bit, then roll them into a square, roughly 8 by 8. Now place the butter in the fridge and let it firm back up.
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Once you’ve doubled your dough in size, punch it down and wrap it in plastic. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for about half an hour. This gives you enough time to wash a few dishes, check the mail, or take a nap. Me? I like to wash the dishes as I go, so that I don’t hate life so much when I am all finished and faced with a sink full of DIRTINESS. I have a KitchenAid® Dishwasher as well, so, whenever I can, I shove the mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, and beaters in there. It does a great job – plus – out of sight, out of mind! My dishwasher has 40 targeted spray jets which makes things easy by eliminating the need for soaking and pre-scrubbing.
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Dishes done? Good. Now the real fun begins. Take the dough and roll it out to a large rectangle, roughly 12 inches by 20 inches. Now place the butter block on top of it, but with the corners of the butter pointing towards the outside edges of the dough. (I was nice, I took pictures for you!) From here, fold up the corners of the dough over the center of the butter, and pinch the seams together. You’ll find it easily comes together, and it will feel like you’ve been doing this for years!
 
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Now that the butter is safely encased inside the dough, roll it out again. A large rectangle again, about 10 inches by 24 inches. Give or take, it doesn’t have to be exact. Once it’s rolled out, fold it into thirds, like you would a letter. Easy peasy. You are now in possession of a dough made of 6 layers. Now it’s time to rest. Not YOU, silly! The dough. Wrap the dough and place it in the fridge to chill for an hour. Go run some errands. Take a bath. Call your mother. Just be sure to come back to the fridge in an hour. Unwrap the dough, and roll out the dough again. You can do this on a lightly floured surface, or, be like me and roll it on a non-stick baking mat. Again, we are rolling to 10 by 24, and folding into thirds. You are now in possession of…18 layers. Wrap again, fridge again, one hour, roll, fold. 54 layers. Wrap, fridge, hour. This time we roll to 6 inches by 18 inches. Much smaller this time. Don’t fold! Simply cut the rectangle of dough into 3 squares, 6×6. Stack the three squares. 162 layers. Holy Moly, y’all.
 
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Once again, it’s time to roll. 6 inches by 8 inches, roughly. Using a 2 inch biscuit or doughnut cutter, cut out a dozen circles. If you are using a biscuit cutter, use a smaller circle (like an apple corer or piping tip) to cut out a doughnut hole. No, I do not know what to tell you to do with the leftover scraps. Honestly, it pained me to see those beautiful scraps of dough, so mine are hanging out in the freezer until I know what to do. If you have ideas, I want them! But back to the task at hand. Place the doughnuts on a parchment or other non stick paper lined baking sheet, and allow them to rise. And rise they will. Mine grew huge! 30-45 minutes for me was the magic number, but it will depend on the temperature of your house, so just keep an eye on them. From here, it’s time to deep fry!
 
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Bring your oil to 350, then go for it! Fry these delicate croissant doughnuts about 2 to 3 at a time, being sure to turn them over as they fry. They will be glorious and golden brown, puffed and beautiful and worth every single minute you spent on them.
 
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The choice is now yours… how will you eat them? A simple glaze of powdered sugar and milk? (That’s yummy, of course!) Filled? Filled and glazed? Filled and glazed, and ganache? The choice is yours! Me, I made a quick chocolate whipped cream filling and topped with a dark chocolate ganache. But you can go wild! The hardest part is over, and YOU did it, just like I did.
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162 layers of flaky, buttery, croissant doughnut-y goodness. And while, yes, it did take some time, you didn’t have to crawl out of bed at 3:30am to be in line on a cold New York City street at 4am for the hopes of having one. Enjoy!
 
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Croissant Doughnuts

makes 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • Oil, for frying
  • Fillings and toppings, as desired.

Instructions

  1. Combine milk and water in a small bowl; microwave until warm, not hot. Add the yeast and allow to foam for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, salt and softened 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in the yeast mixture and mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed, mix an additional minute. Remove dough from mixer and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free location to rise until doubled, about an hour.
  3. Once the dough is doubled, punch down, wrap in plastic, and chill in refrigerator for one hour.
  4. While dough is chilling, create butter block using 1 cup of salted butter. Roll the slightly softened butter between two sheets of wax or parchment paper, into an 8 by 8 square. Refrigerate until needed.
  5. After dough has chilled, remove from refrigerator and roll on a lightly floured surface. Create a rectangle roughly 12 by 20, and place the refrigerated butter block on top of the dough, with corners pointing towards the sides of the dough.
  6. Fold the dough over the butter by pulling the corners of the dough into the center of the butter, pinching the seams together to encapsulate the butter entirely. Quickly re-roll the dough into a rectangle that is 10 by 24. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Wrap the dough and chill for one hour.
  7. After one hour, roll the dough into a 10 by 24 rectangle again, and once again fold into thirds. Wrap and chill one more hour; repeat folding process once more.
  8. After final chill, roll the dough into a 6 by 18 rectangle. Cut dough into 3 6 by 6 inch squares and stack the dough on top of itself. Roll this into a 6 by 8 inch rectangle.
  9. Using a 2 inch doughnut or biscuit cutter, cut the dough into 12 doughnuts. Use a smaller cylinder to cut out a center circle if not using a doughnut cutter.
  10. Place doughnuts in a warm place to rise, roughly 30 minutes.
  11. Bring oil to 350. Place 2 to 3 doughnuts in the hot oil and fry for 1 minute on each side. Remove from oil and place on towel lined plate.
  12. Fill and garnish as desired.

KA-cronut-1 And now, you have a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card! To enter to win, leave a comment letting me know if you plan to PULL OFF THE ULTIMATE PASTRY or if you have another cooking challenge you’d like to try.

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winnerwill be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are availablehere. This sweepstakes runs from 3/19/14 – 3/31/14. Be sure to visit theKitchenAid page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by KitchenAid and BlogHer. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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