Food trends come and go just as quickly as your weekly grocery circular or acid-washed jeans or tube tops (thank goodness). But one I hope will stick around a little longer is the croissant doughnut. Croissants and doughnuts stand on their own as pillars of the carb universe, but mashing them together creates a cosmic explosion of butter and carbs that cannot be denied. Flaky, buttery, layered dough deep-fried and tossed in apple pie spice is the stuff dreams are made of.
- ¾ cup (180 ml) apple cider, warmed to approximately 100°F (38°C)
- 2¼ tsp (7 g) dry yeast
- 2 large eggs
- 1⅓ cup (260 g) sugar, divided
- 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla paste, divided
- 2½ tsp (8 g) apple pie spice, divided
- 3½ cups (420 g) all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tsp (5 g) salt
- 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 1 qt (950 ml) vegetable oil, for frying
- In your mixing bowl, stir together the apple cider and yeast and allow the yeast to proof for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. If your yeast does not become frothy, toss it out and start with fresh yeast. Once the mixture is frothy, stir in the eggs, ⅓ cup (60 g) sugar, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla paste and 1½ teaspoons (3 g) apple pie spice. Mix in 1 cup (120 g) of the flour and the salt. With your mixer on low, gradually add 2¼ cups (270 g) of flour. The last ¼ cup (30 g) of flour will be used later.
- Continue to stir and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic but remains a little tacky to the touch, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for about 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, beat together the softened butter, remaining vanilla paste and last ¼ cup (30 g) of flour. Set it aside.
- After the dough has risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 12 × 18-inch (30.5 × 46-cm) rectangle, about ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thick. Spread the vanilla butter evenly over the entire rectangle. Gently fold the dough over onto itself into thirds. Place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and cover it with plastic wrap. Place the dough in the fridge for 1 hour to chill and slow the rising process. Repeat this process two more times, rolling out the dough into a 12 × 18-inch (30.5 × 46-cm) rectangle, and folding it over a total of three times. After the third time, the dough should be 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.
- Use a doughnut cutter to cut out 12 doughnuts. Reroll the dough if needed. Place the doughnuts into the fridge to keep chilled while you heat up the vegetable oil to about 350°F (176°C) in your enameled Dutch oven.
- Place a couple of doughnuts and doughnut holes at a time into the oil so as not to overcrowd them. Let them fry on one side until they are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Gently flip and repeat. Remove them from the oil and let them drain on a baking sheet lined with several paper towels. Once the doughnuts are done, combine the remaining 1 cup (200 g) of sugar and 1 teaspoon (5 g) of apple pie spice. Toss each of the doughnuts and doughnut holes into the sugar and serve immediately.
NOTE: Omit the apple cider and substitute it for buttermilk if you want a tangy flavor.