Almond Cruffins

Cruffins are basically a hybrid of croissants & muffins. If you love a good golden buttery flaky crispy croissant, you’ll love these too!

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Traditional croissant dough made from scratch requires lots of rolls and folds and chilling in between, and it can be a daunting task for sure. I came across this blog where the author used a pasta machine to roll out the dough and it didn’t require ANY folding or chilling in between. I was hooked and couldn’t shake the cruffins image out of my head for days!! I don’t own a pasta machine hence it was the old trusted rolling pin for me, but it wasn’t as cumbersome as the croissant dough and results were just unmatched!

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Origin of these cruffins might be little dicey, but they were made popular by a famous San Francisco bakery, where people queue for hours to get a taste! There were even burglars who went in and stole just their recipe book but left other valuables intact! Such is the power of a good pastry 🙂

I made two versions – one with good plain rich butter and another with almond-sugar paste. I also would love to try out chocolate next time I make these 🙂

Ingredients –

Cruffins Dough
300g all-purpose flour
160 ml (2/3 cup) milk, lukewarm temperature
40g unsalted butter, room temperature
40g (about 3 tbsp + 1 tsp) granulated white sugar
10g (1/2 tbsp) honey
1 1/2 tsp (6g) instant dry yeast
1 tsp  salt
1 tsp vanilla

Almond Filling
50g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
50g granulated white sugar
50g ground almonds or almond meal
1 tsp all purpose flour
1 egg yolk **
couple drops of almond extract (optional)

50-100g unsalted butter, room temperature if making plain butter cruffins

Procedure –

Almond Filling
1. Mix all the ingredients together until combined. Keep it aside for filling later.

Cruffins Dough
1. In a bowl, mix half of the warm milk, honey and the yeast. Leave it aside for 10 minutes till the yeast activated and it gets frothy.

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2. In another large bowl, add the flour, sugar, butter, salt and remaining milk. Add the yeast mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Take the mixture out on a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 10-15 minutes till the dough becomes smooth and elastic. If using a stand mixer, knead it for about 10 minutes using the dough hook. Oil the bowl a bit and let the dough rest in the bowl covered with a cling film for about an hour or until it doubles in size. Refer to my notes at the end for checking if the dough is proofed.

Shaping the Cruffins
1. Take the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide it into 12 equal portions. Work with 2 portions at a time and cover the rest loosely with plastic wrap.
2. Roll one portion out to a rectangle about 12/13 inches length and about 1cm thickness. Gently rub a thin layer of the room-temperature butter (has to be very soft but NOT MELTED) or the almond filling mixture evenly across the dough, extending all the way to the edges. Roll the dough from one end to the other, as tightly as you can, into a firm log shape. Repeat the process for another portion. Keeping the first log at one end of the second rolled out portion and roll it up again. Cut the log in half length-wise.

Making Butter Cruffins

Making Almond Cruffins

3. With the cut-side facing outwards, loosely twirl it into a semi-knot to shape it like a muffin and tuck in the ends. Place the cruffins into a greased muffin tray. Repeat the process with other 10 portions to get a total of 12 cruffins. (I made a mix of butter cruffins and almond cruffins)

4. Cover the muffin tray with a cling film and let it rise for the second time for about 1-2 hours till they are double in size.
5. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and bake the cruffins for about 28-30 minutes till they turn golden brown.
6. Let cool slightly on a cooling rack, then remove from the muffin tray and dust with icing sugar.

Notes –

1. You can roll a strip of chocolate or some grated chocolate bar in the first roll to make chocolate cruffins.

2. If you do not want to dust cruffins with icing sugar, apply some egg wash just before baking. You can also rub a warm cruffin in granulated sugar all throughout.

3. After shaping the cruffins and putting them in the muffin tray, you can wrap the entire tray with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight if baking the next morning. Just proof it again at room temperature till they double in size.

4. ** Egg yolk is used to help binding. You can add a little more Almond powder to get a thick paste like consistency.

How to check if the dough is proofed –
Gently push your finger into the dough –
a. if it springs back immediately, it’s not proofed yet
b. if it springs back slowly, it’s done – the gluten strands are strong enough to hold the gas but still allow some expansion.
c. if it doesn’t spring back at all and the indent stays, it’s over-proofed.

Recipe inspired by Mandy from Lady & Pups blog

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