Morning buns use the croissant dough as a base. Six morning buns can be made from each packet of croissant dough. The option in making the buns is in the filling; a plain cinnamon and sugar filling can be used, but I found having some brown sugar in the mix makes it better. The brown sugar seems to partially run out into the bottom of the muffin pan and caramelize making for a slightly sticky bottom roll.
Morning Bun Filling
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
Stir the ingredients together in a bowl.
To assemble the morning buns, the ingredients are:
- 1 packet croissant dough
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup filling
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon in a small bowl
To make 12 morning buns, use both packets of croissant dough and after finishing with one packet, immediately process the second packet. The two groups of morning buns will be able to be cooked together after their final rise.
- Spray a 6 muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Unwrap a packet of chilled dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Deflate it by gently tapping it several times with the rolling pin. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 12 inches wide by 10 inches high.
- Spread melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle filling over the melted butter.
- Roll the rectangle of dough up so that a 12 inch long cylinder results. Seal the edge of the cylinder so that it doesn’t unwind.
- Cut the cylinder into 2 inch sections.
- Dip each section in the cinnamon, rolling the section around to coat the sides and bottom of the dough. Place the coated dough into one of the muffin pan spaces.
- Repeat the coating of the dough for all 6 sections and fill the muffin pan.
- Let the dough have a final rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours in which it should double in size. It will not be the final size as the heat in the oven will cause the buns to expand even more.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Place some of the filling in a small bowl to be used to top the rolls after they are baked.
- Cook the buns for about 20 minutes. A toothpick stuck into the side of the bun just above the muffin pan should come out clean, and should feel the dough crusting as it enters the bun. The buns should be brown.
- Dump the buns out of the muffin pan and with tongs, put the top of each bun down into the dish of filling mixture to coat it and then set the bun upright on a cooling rack.
No matter how hard I try, there is always a rounded edge when I roll out a rectangle. As a result, the buns cut from the ends of the cylinder are usually not nicely shaped. To get around that problem, I roll the rectangle larger than the specified size of 12 x 10, and then cut it down to size with square corners; I discard the dough that is cut off. Usually if I get the widest part out to 14 inches, the 10 inch dimension does not need to be trimmed.
I have discovered that I get a better seal on the cylinder if I wipe the cylinder with wet fingers at the point the final edge will come against the body of the cylinder. Most recipes say to pinch the dough together, but by the time it is rolled up, the dough has lost some of its stickiness to the butter and sugar that has pushed out while rolling it.
Again, we use the croissant dough to make cronuts, a cross between the croissant and the donut. The cronut is fried in oil, and then filled, and finally the top is glazed. Even the hole is used; it is rolled in a cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Before starting, the tool(s) for cutting the cronut from the dough has to be identified. I use a donut cutter that is just over 3 inches in diameter. However, if a donut cutter isn’t available, a couple other circular objects can be used. The circle for the outside of the cronut should be about 3 inches in diameter, and then the hole is cut with a 1 inch diameter cutter. These might be biscuit cutters, or even something weird like a drinking glass and an apple corer. Life is a lot easier if a donut cutter is available.
For making cronuts, the dough should be as thick as possible. As a result, only 4 cronuts can be made from a packet of dough. The dimensions of the rectangle to which the dough is rolled depends on the size of the donut cutter, or whatever the outside cutter is.
The width of the dough packet might already be wider than the cutter diameter. When this happens, roll the dough out to twice the width of the cutter, and then fold it in half. Don’t try to just fold the edges up to get the correct width; that leaves edges to come apart and makes ugly cronuts!
- 1 packet croissant dough
- Miscellaneous fillings (e.g. vanilla pudding, raspberry jam, etc.)
- Miscellaneous glazes (e.g. http://wp.me/p3jVuB-ej, chocolate, etc.)
- Heat about 2 inches of oil in a saucepan or deep fat fryer.
- Turn the croissant dough packet out onto a lightly floured rolling surface. Tap the packet gently a few times to deflate it. Cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest 10 minutes.
- Roll the croissant dough out into a rectangle that is as wide as the donut cutter, and three times as long. The packet makes 3 nice cronuts, and the leftover scraps will be combined to make a fourth cronut.
- Cut out the three cronuts with the donut cutter. Set aside on a plate or small sheet pan. Add the holes from the cutout cronuts; these will be a second treat when fried.
- Pick up the scrapes and make a dough ball squeezing it together on all sides. Placing it on the rolling surface, press it down into a circle the size of the donut cutter. Cut out the fourth cronut and place it with the others.
- Loosely cover the cronuts with a piece of plastic wrap and let them rise for about 1 hour, until about double in size.
- Fry the cronuts one at a time in the hot oil for 45 to 90 seconds on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool before filling and glazing them.
- When ready to fill the cronuts, split them in half and place 2 Tablespoons of filling in the center, spreading it around the circle. Sandwich the halves back together, and drizzle the glaze of choice over the top.
- Roll the cronut holes in a cinnamon and sugar mixture. (24 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon- e.g. 4 Tablespoons sugar to ½ teaspoon cinnamon)
I filled my cronuts with vanilla pudding (the type that does not require refrigeration) and raspberry jam. For the glaze, on the pudding one I used a simple royal icing like Marlys and Penny taught me to make, adding some vanilla extract for flavoring. Food coloring can also be added to make the glaze complement the filling. Other glazes have already been discussed in the article that contains the royal icing recipe I have mentioned. These others include chocolate, apricot and strawberry glazes. The challenge is to be inventive of the filling and glaze that you want to use.
Once you have made the croissant dough, you need to use it. In this article, I will explain how to cut and form croissants. You will get 6 croissants from a packet of the dough. Although the directions are for a single packet of dough, you can make the second packet and use the same cooking sheet and egg wash. There is a time interval after forming the croissants to allow the dough to rise before you bake the croissants
- At this point, the dough has rested in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or even over night; it is ready to be rolled out into a rectangle and then cut into triangles.Unwrap the packet of dough, place it on a lightly floured rolling surface and deflate it by tapping it several times gently with the rolling pin. Cover the dough with plastic and let it rest 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
- Prepare the baking sheet. Use either silicon mats, or lightly butter it.
- Roll out the packet of dough into a rectangle that is 15 inches by 5 inches. Cut the rectangle into 3 squares of 5 inches by 5 inches.
- Cut a square into two triangles by cutting diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner.
- With the larger side of the triangle as the base, roll out the triangle only away from the base until it is about 7 inches tall
- Roll the triangle up starting at the base
- Place the rolled up croissant on the baking sheet with the ends turned slightly in toward the middle, and such that the rolled up point of the triangle is between the turned in ends and against the baking pan.
When all of the croissants are formed, cover the baking pan loosely with plastic and let the dough have a final rise. This should be about 1 hour. The dough should almost double in size and feel light and springy.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Just before baking, paint the croissants with the egg wash made by beating the egg and water in a small bowl.
Bake the pan of croissants on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until nicely puffed and brown.
Cool the croissants on an rack for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Croissants are best when freshly baked.