Cruller Shopping Tips
Be sure to purchase the correct flour a recipe calls for – flours differ in gluten or protein content, making each suited for specific tasks.
Cruller Cooking Tips
Insert a toothpick into the center of cakes, bar cookies, and quick breads to test for doneness – it should come out clean or only have a few crumbs clinging to it.
Perfect Homemade French Crullers
The only thing better than picking up fresh donuts on a Sunday morning is making homemade donuts and serving them warm, perfectly glazed, and with a fresh pot of coffee! My homemade French Crullers, warmed out of the oil and dipped in my vanilla glaze are a weekend maker . They’re impossible to pass up!
These French Crullers taste super light and delicate, not hefty or oily like you might experience with regular donuts. That’s because they are made with a pâte à choux dough that makes the donuts so fluffy.
Don’t be intimidated by frying at home! As long as you are careful around the oil, you’ll be surprised just how easy it is. These donuts are irresistibly crispy on the outside and so airy on the inside—you will be glad you gave it a go!
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon alum
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ammonium bicarbonate
- 7/8 cup water
- 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 8 cups oil for deep-frying
Place salt, alum, baking soda, and ammonium bicarbonate in a mixing bowl. Add water and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Add flour. Stir with chopsticks to make the dough soft and smooth.
Knead the dough until it is elastic. Cover and let stand at least 4 hours.
Remove dough and stretch it into a long strip, 1/3-inch thick and 2 inches wide. Sprinkle with a little flour.
Using a knife or cleaver, cut dough into 20 strips 1/2-inch wide. Pick up a strip from the end with a spatula, turn it around and place it directly on top of the next strip (10 pieces).
Lay a chopstick on top of these double strips. Press down. Repeat process with remaining pieces.
Heat oil for deep-frying. Pick up one double strip. Hold the two ends and stretch it until it is 9 inches long.
Drop into hot oil. Turn dough on both sides continuously with chopstick until it is golden brown and expands. Remove and drain. Repeat with other strips.
May be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen. Before serving, thaw, if necessary, and reheat in oven at 400 F for 5 minutes.
Youtiao Recipe Instructions
Using your electric mixer with the dough hook attachment, first mix the flour, egg, salt, baking powder, milk, and softened butter together on the lowest setting. Keeping the speed at “stir,” slowly add 1/3-1/2 cup water in a few separate batches.
Knead the dough for 15 minutes. The dough should feel very soft, but should not stick to the sides of the bowl. Cover the dough, and let rest for 30 minutes. By the way, all of this can be done by hand if you don’t have a mixer. Just knead the dough for 5-10 minutes longer.
On a clean, lightly floured surface, form the dough into a long flat loaf shape, about 1/4-inch thick and 4 inches wide. Take the time to make it truly uniform.
Place it in the center of a large piece of plastic wrap on a baking sheet or long, flat plate. Wrap the dough, tucking the two ends of the plastic under the loaf, and ensuring that the dough is completely covered. Refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, take out the dough and let it sit on the counter (wrapped) for 1-3 hours until the dough is completely back to room temperature and VERY, VERY soft to the touch.
This step is critical, and it may take longer in the colder months. If you don’t let the dough come back to room temperature, it won’t fry up properly.
Now prepare the oil for frying using your wok. You can also use a large pan with some depth for added safety. The goal is to have a large vessel, so that you can produce authentically long crullers. Use medium heat to slowly bring the oil up to 400-425°F/205-220°C.
While the oil is heating up, you can unwrap the dough. Gently flip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, peeling off the plastic wrap. Very lightly flour the top side of the dough also. Next, cut the dough into 1-inch wide strips (try to cut an even number of strips).
Then stack them two by two…
And press the center, lengthwise, with a chopstick.
Hold the two ends of each piece, and gently stretch the dough to a 9-inch long rope.
Check out this video to see the youtiao motion in action. (We left the sound out of the video…we figured we’d spare you the crazy Cantonese music we were playing in the kitchen at that moment).
Once the oil reaches 400-425°F/205-220°C, carefully lower the stretched dough into the oil. If the oil temperature is right, the dough should surface right away.
Now take a long cooking tool (we used chopsticks, but you could also use tongs), and quickly roll the dough in a continuous motion for about a minute.
You can fry one to two at a time. Just be sure to take the time to continuously roll the dough in the oil. The youtiao is done once they turn light golden brown. Try not to over-fry them as they become unpleasantly crunchy rather than chewy and delicious.
Now, repeat those steps with the remaining youtiao dough. You might want two people manning the process—one to form and place the dough into the fryer and one to roll the dough around once it’s in the oil.
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In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, egg, sugar, salt, vanilla, and whiskey. Stir in 2 cups of the flour. If dough is sticky, add the rest of the flour. Knead dough for 5 minutes divide into three parts. Keep dough pieces covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Or, alternately, melt 2 pounds lard(see Editor's Note). Oil should be about 1 inch deep.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough until it's paper-thin. Cut into parallelogram (long diamond) shapes, and use a sharp paring knife to cut a slot in the centers. Pull one point of the diamond through the slot set aside and repeat with remaining pieces.
Fry 2 to 4 pieces at a time, depending on the size of your pan, about 5 to 10 seconds on each side. The cookies should not be browned. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels dust with confectioners' sugar when cool. Store any remaining cookies in an airtight container.
Calumet Baking Powder Cook Book (c.1921)
Aunt Em Passes a Plateful of Old Fashioned Crullers
(PD Source: Wizard of Oz, Screenshot, 1939)
Calumet Sugared Crullers
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, well beaten
2 egg whites, beaten stiff
4 cups flour
1/4 level teaspoon grated nutmeg
2-1/2 level teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream the sugar and egg yolks and add egg whites. Sift together thoroughly flour, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt, and add alternately with milk to first mixture.
Place on floured board, roll thin and cut in pieces three inches long by two inches wide make four one-inch gashes at equal intervals.
Take up pieces by running finger in and out of gashes, lower into deep hot fat and fry. Take up on a skewer, drain on brown paper, and roll in powdered sugar, if desired.
Flavored Old Fashioned Cruller Recipes
Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping (1877)
Old Fashioned Cruller Rolled in Sugar
(Source: Don Bell)
Two coffee-cups sugar, one of sweet milk, three eggs, a heaping tablespoon butter, three teaspoons baking powder mixed with six cups flour, half a nutmeg, and a level teaspoon cinnamon.
Beat eggs, sugar and butter together, add milk, spice, and flour put another cup flour on molding-board, turn the dough out on it, and knead until stiff enough to roll out to a quarter inch thick.
Cut in squares, make three or four long incisions in each square, lift by taking alternate strips between the finger and thumb, drop into hot lard, and cook like doughnuts. —Miss R. J. S.
Homemade Ginger & Spice Crullers
Six eggs, one coffee-cup sugar, six tablespoons melted butter, four of sweet milk, one teaspoon soda in milk, two teaspoons cream of tartar in the flour, one teaspoon ginger, half a small nutmeg (or any other seasoning), flour to roll out fry in hot lard. —Miss M. B. Fullington
Old Fashioned Cruller Recipe
Southern Recipes (1910)
2 scant cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
Beat eggs separately. To sugar, add butter creamed, add yolks, and then beaten whites. Add enough White Lily flour to make a stiff dough — or the crullers will not fry well.
Fry in deep fat hot enough to brown the dough but not to burn it. Drain on paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. —Mrs. W. A. Bellingrath
Crispy Fried Trifles
Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping (1877)
A quart flour, a cup sugar, two tablespoons melted butter, a little salt, two teaspoons baking powder, one egg, and sweet milk sufficient to make rather stiff.
Roll out in thin sheets, cut in pieces about two by four inches make as many cuts across the short way as possible, inserting the knife near one edge and ending the cut just before reaching the other.
Pass two knitting needles under every other strip, spread the needles as far apart as possible, and with them hold the trifles in the fat until a light brown. Only one can be fried at a time. —Miss Ettie Dalbey, Harrisburg
Fried Trifles with Jelly
The White House Cook Book (1913)
Fried trifles are a forgotten homemade pastry treat that was once relished by many dessert lovers. This old fashioned cruller recipe is easy to make, and the jelly crullers are super delicious!
Fried Trifles with Jelly
Work one egg and a tablespoonful of sugar to as much flour as will make a stiff paste roll it as thin as a dollar piece and cut it into small round or square cakes drop two or three at a time into the boiling lard.
When they rise to the surface and turn over they are done take them out with a skimmer and lay them on an inverted sieve to drain. When served for dessert or supper put a spoonful of jelly on each. So good!
About Old Fashioned Crullers
Watch the YouTube video below containing a short trailer of the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie. Nearing its end, you'll see Aunt Em serving a plateful of her homemade crullers to Dorothy and the farmhands. Now you can enjoy them too!
There's nothing like the taste of Grandma's home cooking, and these 30 recipes take a fabulous page out of every matriarch's cookbook. She's the master of classic comfort food such as green bean casserole and pork chops, as well as something sweet like Butterscotch Pudding and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. We have timeless recipes for Grandma's staple dishes, as well as modern iterations, such as the Turkey-Mushroom Bolognese, pictured here.
Of course, one of the things that Grandma is best at is dessert. Try our recipe for the old-fashioned favorite that is rice pudding, which is made with rice, a combination of whole milk and heavy cream, and pure vanilla extract. In addition to its comforting, homey texture and sweet flavor, the other thing that we love about this recipe is that it can be made ahead. Another recipe that Grandma totally perfected is Banana Cream Pie. There are three components to this fabulous dessert: It starts with a graham cracker crust, which is followed by a rich custard and sliced bananas layered on top of each other. After the pie has fully set, it is topped with voluminous swirls of homemade whipped cream.
Comfort food is another area where Grandma's skills likely shine&mdashthink classics like Tuna Casserole or Chicken Tetrazzini. Both are creamy, hearty, and family-friendly. In essence, they make us feel the way that a warm hug from Grandma does and we will never get tired of cooking or eating them.
Next time you want to get back to basics, consider one of these old-fashioned recipes that will take you back to your childhood.
Homemade Is Always Better
I have found that in general, any thing homemade is better than store bought -it was true of , the graham crackers, the marshmallows, the bbq sauce, the baked beans&hellipI could go on. A solid belief based on rigorous at home testing. But, by first bite of the crullers and I was thinking I hope they&rsquore just as good as store bought, I didn&rsquot think at that point they&rsquod be better.
After I made the glaze the I dunked one in there, both sides and tried to wait for the glaze to set. I tried, really I did, but I had to give them a try, incase they needed adjustment. With the glaze not quite set, my second taste of them and they were not as amazing as I&rsquod hoped. They went from a little boring with no glaze to way too sweet when drenched in the glaze.
October 20, 2019 at 02:14 pm
Looks so good! I’ve never heard of them before but definitely something I want to try.
October 20, 2019 at 02:24 pm
These look so yummy! Thank you for the recipe. My daughter can't wait to snack on these!
October 20, 2019 at 04:17 pm
These look so light and airy. Super delicious.
October 20, 2019 at 04:21 pm
These look so interesting! I love cooking up a Chinese food night for my family, and now I'll have something to make for the bread basket.
October 20, 2019 at 09:04 pm
I would love to try these with my kids. Cute and easy and looks delicious too.
October 20, 2019 at 09:16 pm
these look super crispy and a good side to add to my recipe list
November 30, 2019 at 03:38 pm
These are so good. I enjoyed making them and my family enjoyed eating them.
- Melt butter in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-low heat. Using a small ladle, skim and discard white film from surface. Slowly pour liquid from pan into a bowl, leaving sediment behind let cool 1 minute.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease set aside. Bring melted butter, sugar, salt, vodka, and 1 3 ⁄4 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, add flour, flakes, and cornstarch and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until mixture is slightly dry and a thin film coats bottom of pan, about 4 minutes more.
- Transfer dough to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat until slightly cool, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until completely absorbed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, then beat in whites. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 3 ⁄4” star tip refrigerate 1 hour.
- Heat 2″ oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325°. Pipe 3″ rings onto greased parchment, at least 2″ apart. Using scissors, cut the donuts out of the parchment paper, leaving about 1″ of paper around the sides of each donut (the paper makes it easier to transfer them to frying oil). Working in batches, place crullers in oil, paper side up, using tongs to peel off and discard paper. Cook, flipping once until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a baking sheet with a wire rack let cool completely.
- Whisk confectioners’ sugar, honey, and 1 ⁄2 cup hot water in a bowl until smooth. Dip donuts in glaze, coating completely return to rack until glaze is set.
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