Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working on perfecting a cruffin recipe and I came up with a recipe and method that yielded delicious, flaky pastries! If you’ve never heard of a cruffin, they are a cross between a croissant and a muffin. The big draw to this recipe is that unlike a croissant, which can take days to make properly, this recipe can be made in a few hours and the results are just as good!
I first came across the idea of a cruffin when watching a travel baking show that visited a bakery in South Africa. One of their offerings was this thing called a cruffin, which was shaped like a muffin but consisted of flaky, buttery dough, like a croissant. Recently a recipe for cruffins came up in my YouTube feed and I decided to try them out.
The first time I made them, I found the dough a bit hard to roll thin enough. Though they tasted good, the layers of dough were too thick and they didn’t have the flakiness of croissants. I also found the butter overpowering, with the dough not being rolled thin enough, the layer of butter was thicker.
I did some research and decided to try it again. This time I did two things differently. First, I increased the water in the dough which made it easier to roll out. Second, after rolling the dough that was spread with butter into logs, I chilled the logs in the fridge for an hour to harden the butter and ensure that it didn’t fuse with the dough.
The second time was the winner! I was able to easily roll the dough so thin that I could see the veins of my countertop through the dough. This translated to gorgeous flaky layers of dough when they were baked! Using a salted European style butter, gave them a wonderful butter flavour. They were lovely for breakfast, cut in half with a bit of jam. I did find that they wanted to collapse on themselves when I took them out of the tins after baking while warm, so I put them into a cool muffin tin to cool completely. They were much more sturdy when cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flours, sugar, salt and yeast. Pour in the water and mix with the dough hook on speed 2 until the dough comes together.
- With the mixer running, add the butter, in small portions. Continue to mix until all the butter is incorporated.
- Turn the mixer up to speed 4 and mix until the gluten is well developed. If you stretch the dough, you should be able to pull it thin enough that it becomes translucent without breaking. This will take up to 10 minutes.
- Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm environment until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Once the dough has risen, tip it out onto the counter and divide into 4 equal portions. I recommend using a scale for accuracy. Form each portion into a ball, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whip the butter in a bowl to make it a more spreadable consistency. Divide into 4 equal portions of 30 grams each.
- Spray your counter and rolling pin with cooking spray to prevent the dough from sticking. Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough into a rectangle. Roll the dough as thin as possible without tearing it. When the dough is finished being rolled, it should be fairly translucent and will measure about 8x16 inches or 20x40 cm.
- Using your fingers, spread one portion of the butter over the entire surface of the dough. Then, starting from the short end, roll the dough into a very tight log. The tighter you can get it, the more layers you will have in your cruffins! Place the log on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill.
- Repeat this process with the remaining balls of dough. Once all the pieces of dough are shaped into logs, chill for a further hour to firm up the butter. Don't chill longer than 2 hours, or it will inhibit the rise of the yeast!
- Once the logs have chilled, cut each log in half lengthwise. Twist each half into a roll shape with the layers facing outwards. Place into a greased muffin tin. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
- It is recommended to bake the cruffins using convection. If you don't have convection, increase the oven temperature by 25 F/10 C. Preheat the oven to 375F/190 C on convection. Place the cruffins in the muffin tin on the lower-middle rack and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350F/180 C and bake for another 10 minutes.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the cruffins and dust the tops with granulated sugar. Place them back into a cool muffin tin and let cool completely. Without the support muffin tin, the cruffins may collapse upon themselves a bit when they are warm.