Just when I thought croissants really couldn’t get any better (I mean, how do you top something made with that much butter?), a popular bakery called Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco revitalized cruffins.
It seems, however, that Mr. Holmes Bakehouse has been the most successful at creating Instagram-worthy cruffins, which is why it’s become such a popular trend lately.
I’ve been meaning to try my hand cruffins for awhile now. After one of my recent pastry classes, I had some extra croissant dough on hand that I needed to use up.
Instead of making traditional croissants, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out the cruffin.
Because I don’t own a pasta machine and was using a traditional croissant recipe, I was only able to use some of her shaping techniques as a rough outline.
Plus, cruffins are known for more than their muffin shape; they’ve got these beautiful striations all over, and that’s a result of cutting right through the dough rolls and exposing all the buttery croissant layers.
I think the original cruffins are made in a popover type pan with deep cups.
I just made mine in a standard muffin pan, which worked out fine.
You’ll notice my dough is on a cloth-type of surface. This is just a canvas drop cloth that you’d find in your hardware store or a similar type of aisle, often used by painters. It’s a great surface to flour and use when you’re rolling out sticky dough.
After the cruffins bake, you can either leave them as is to enjoy for breakfast with some jam or whatnot, or you can turn these into the most addictive, out-of-this world treat by rolling them in some cinnamon sugar.
I can’t even tell you how incredibly amazing these cruffins are. I was picking at these things for the rest of the day.
The best way I can describe the taste is something akin to cinnamon toast.
Did you guys ever eat cinnamon toast as a child? I remember my cousin introducing it to me when I was little. She popped a piece of sandwich bread in the toaster, then buttered it before sprinkling cinnamon and sugar over it. I remember thinking, wow, this is the stuff dreams are made of.
I imagine that if I was a little French girl living in France, my cousin would have warmed up a croissant, rather than a piece of white sandwich bread, and done a similar thing.
The cruffin is a glorified version of cinnamon toast because the croissant component is 10x better than any piece of sandwich bread. This croissant aspect alone makes the pastry so irresistible with its incredibly fluffy, soft texture.
They’re like pillow-y, buttery clouds that just melt in your mouth. Covered in the cinnamon sugar, it’s a divine pastry that will have you licking each finger with complete abandon.
for the dough
- 1 lb + 2 oz. unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling 4 c
- 5 oz cold water 1/2 c + 2 Tbs.
- 5 oz cold whole milk 1/2 c + 2 Tbs.
- 2 oz granulated sugar 1/4 c + 2 Tbs.
- 1 1/2 oz unsalted butter 3 Tbs., softened
- 1 1/4 Tbs active dry yeast
- 2 1/4 tsp table salt
for the butter layer
- 10 oz unsalted butter 1 1/4 c
for the egg wash
- 1 egg + 1 tsp water
for the cinnamon sugar
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Part 1 - Create Your Dough
In a large bowl, combine all of the dough ingredients together, including the flour, cold water, cold milk, granulated sugar, unsalted butter, yeast, and table salt. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon; then knead for a couple of minutes into a smooth ball.
Lightly flour a pie pan before transferring your dough ball into the pan. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour before covering with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours).
Part 2 - Layer Your Dough
Take the cold unsalted butter appropriated for your butter layer and cut it into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange the slices, side-by-side, on a sheet of parchment paper to form a 6 inch square. Cut any butter slices in half or diagonally if needed to create this 6 inch size square. Place another sheet of
parchment paper on top of the butter and use your rolling pin to slightly pound out the butter. Use your pin to roll north-south and east-west to make the butter layer thinner while equally elongating all sides of the square. You’ll want to end up with a square that is about 7 1/2 inches long. Temporarily place your butter in the fridge to remain cold.
Dust your work surface with flour. Then, take out your dough that had been refrigerated overnight. Roll the dough out into a 10 inch square. Place your butter layer on top of this dough square so that the pointed ends of the butter face the sides of the dough square. The butter should look like a diamond shape on the dough. Now, fold the corners of the dough in towards the center so that all the dough corners meet. Pinch the dough together along all its edges so that the butter is safely enveloped inside, with no chance of seeping out.
Use your rolling pin to create long strokes and elongate the dough. You’ll want to create a long strip of dough that is about 8 inches in width and 24 inches in length. The first time you’re rolling, your dough will probably be wider than 8 inches - thats OK. If you see your dough is beginning to widen too much, simply lift the dough from its center to shorten its width. If the dough is sticky, lightly dust with a bit of flour. Once your dough has achieved 24 inches in length, fold one end of the dough into the center (like a pamphlet or brochure). Use a pastry brush to dust off any residual flour from the dough. Place the folded dough onto a baking sheet that’s been dusted with flour and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Repeat the previous step 2 more times, always rolling the dough with the open ends of the folded dough facing you. You will notice it getting more difficult to roll the dough out to 24 inches long - again, this is OK; continue rolling it out as close to 24 inches as you can get. After the third time that you’ve rolled and folded the dough, instead of placing the dough in the freezer, place the plastic-wrapped dough in the fridge to chill overnight (or at least 8 hours).
Part 3 - Shape and Bake the Cruffins
Dust your work surface with flour. Use your rolling pin to create light, quick strokes as you elongate your dough into a large rectangle. Make sure the open ends of the folded dough are facing you. This time, you’ll want to create a rectangle who’s short sides are 15 inches long.
Use a pizza cutter to divide the dough horizontally (from short side to the other short side) into 4 long strips. Roll each strip into a tight roll. Then, cut each roll in half vertically down the center. Again, cut each half in half vertically down the center. Grab the ends of each piece of dough and gently pull them in opposite directions to stretch the dough and elongate it. Your hands will get a bit greasy, but just do your best. Then, with the cut side of the dough facing outward, make the dough ends meet in a loop that can be snuggly fit into the mold of a muffin pan.
Brush the cruffins with egg wash before loosely covering them with plastic wrap; place in a warm, draft-free area for 2 hours to proof. They’re ready to bake when the cruffins have expanded in size and their many layers become apparent. Preheat the oven to 425°F, placing your top rack on the highest position in the oven, and your bottom rack on the lowest position in the oven. Very delicately brush the egg wash over all the cruffins again. Place one of the muffin pans in the oven on the top rack for 10 minutes. Then move the pan to the bottom rack and bake for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cruffins slightly cool with their tops facing down on a wire rack. Bake the remaining cruffins in the same manner. While slightly warm, roll the cruffins in the mixture of cinnamon and sugar.