By Beth Hillson
Makes 15 to 18 G-Fronuts
When I was asked to make a version of the latest food trend, Cronuts, to feed the gluten-free side of this frenzy, I wondered if gluten-free flours were up to the task. I was pleasantly surprised.
The original Cronut, created by Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City has people lined up for hours waiting for this treat. The bakery limits people to two Cronuts per person for this cross between a croissant and a donut and they make only 300 per day. I watched in disbelief as Kathie Lee Gifford downed two on the Today Show. Pretty impressive, I thought, but, certainly off-limits for those of us who can’t eat gluten.
After doing my gluten-free makeover of these, however, I get the craze. They go down so easily – -it’s no effort to eat two, or three, or four.
In the land of gluten, you can buy puff pastry dough in the freezer section. To make the gluten-free version, you need to make the puff pastry dough for the croissants. So this is a time-consuming task. It’s not labor intensive, however. Just make the pastry one day when you are hanging around the house as it has to go in and out of the refrigerator.
You need to know a couple of other things, too. G-Fronuts, like Cronuts, should be eaten while warm. Unless you want to devour a dozen or more yourself, invite a swarm of people in to help. Or, as I did, make half the dough into croissant and half into G-Fronuts.
The second thing is, don’t handle the dough too much. The warmth of your hands will melt the butter. And remember to refrigerate the dough after each turn. Enjoy!
¾ cup sorghum flour
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20 tablespoons (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cold
3 tablespoons Glutino Gluten-Free Pantry All-Purpose Flour Mix
Additional Glutino Gluten-Free Pantry All-Purpose Flour Mix for rolling out the dough
Grape seed oil or safflower oil for frying
Glaze (combine and mix until smooth)
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
In a large bowl, combine Glutino Gluten-Free Pantry All-Purpose Flour Mix, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Whisk for 1 minute. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the yeast and whisk again for about 30 seconds. Set aside.
Warm the milk with the cream until it reaches about 100 degrees F. Add the vanilla. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour and sugar mixture. On low speed, add the warm milk. Beat until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes. The dough will be smooth. Transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit at room temperature preferably in a warm, draft-free area for 30 minutes.
Spray a large sheet of plastic wrap with vegetable spray. Turn the dough out onto the wrap and press gently into a rectangle, about 1 ½ inches thick. Shape, but don’t press too hard. Cover well and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. This can also sit overnight.
Cut the butter into small pieces. Place in the bowl of a standing mixer and add the 3 tablespoons of Glutino Gluten-Free Pantry All-Purpose Flour Mix. Using the paddle attachment, on low speed blend the butter and flour until smooth and blended. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, this can take 30 to 90 seconds.
Turn onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 9×9-inch square. The butter should still be cool but workable. If it’s too soft, refrigerate for 10 minutes while rolling out the dough.
Take the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to a 12.5 x 12.5 inch square. Place the butter square in the center of the dough. Roll the sides of dough over to meet in the center on top of the butter so that this becomes a 9-x- 12.5 inch rectangle, and roll out just enough to blend the folded edges of the dough into the butter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, place the dough so that the seam is horizontal and roll it out to about 15 x 9 inches. Brush excess flour from the dough’s surface and fold it in thirds, like the shape of a business envelope. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set on a tray or baking sheet. Let rest in the refrigerator for 40 minutes. That’s one turn.
You’ll want to do this twice more. Be sure the dough is well-chilled between turns.
The rectangle might get larger each time you roll it out. That’s okay. Just remember to fold it in thirds each time.
Once you have completed your last turn, chill the dough again for 30 to 40 minutes.
Dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour blend. Set the dough on the paper and cover with a second sheet. Roll the dough out to about 2 inches thick (the depth of your donut cutter). Use a donut or biscuit cutter to cut the dough. Or cut out 2 ½ to 3-inch rounds, then cut out the centers. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
Heat 2 inches of grape seed or safflower oil in a fryer or deep frying pan until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Add two G-Fronuts at a time and fry until golden brown. They brown quickly so don’t take your eyes off these. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat, frying two at a time, until all the G-Fronuts have been fried.
Call in all your friends. Drizzle G-Fronuts with glaze and eat while they are warm.