Crullers are French and different than regular doughnuts as they are made with pate a choux, a very light, eggy pastry dough. Choux pastry uses eggs and steam as the only leavening agent. It is so delicate and light and truly makes for the most special of doughnuts. They are almost popover-like and easy to make.
Choux pastry is made on the stovetop by cooking flour, butter, and water (and sometimes milk) until a dough forms. The cooked dough is then cooled slightly before whisked eggs are added. This is all done by hand in our recipe, saving you the trouble of getting out your stand mixer. The eggs transform the dough into something truly magical, making it glossy and smooth. In the case of fried crullers like these, the dough is then piped into circles with a large fluted pastry tip and fried immediately. There's no need to rest the dough.
Crullers are excellent and so festive with a thin, shiny glaze, but are also lovely freshly fried and still warm sans glaze.
- For the Crullers:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 to 6 eggs (at room temperature)
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- For the Glaze:
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Gather the ingredients.
Combine the butter, water, milk, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and the butter melts.
Take off of the heat and add the flour, stirring with a flexible spatula until combined.
Return the pan to the heat over medium heat and cook the dough until it becomes glossy and thickens, stirring constantly. The dough is ready when it begins pulling away from the bottom of the pan, about a minute or two.
Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and stir to cool.
Whisk the eggs together in a measuring cup and add a little egg at a time to the dough, stirring after each addition, until the dough is smooth, soft, and silky. When you lift up your spatula the dough should hang off the end.
Cut parchment paper into twelve 3-inch squares and place the squares on a baking sheet.
Fill a large pot with 2 inches of oil. Clip a thermometer to the side of the pot and heat the oil on medium to medium-high heat until it reaches 350 F.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a large fluted tip with the dough and pipe 3-inch circles on to the parchment paper squares.
Transfer 3 to 4 crullers, still on the paper, to the oil. The paper will release from the crullers and you can remove it with tongs.
Fry for about 30 seconds and then flip the crullers over. This helps them retain their ridged appearance. Once flipped, watch the crullers closely and once they start to crack, which they will, do not be alramed.
Fry for about 2 1/2 more after the first crack and then flip them back over for 2 minutes or so, about 3 to 4 minutes total for each side. A nicely browned color is what you are after.
Transfer the crullers to a cooling rack lined with paper bags or paper towels. Let cool before glazing.
To make the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla in a shallow bowl and whisk to combine.
Dip the crullers into the glaze, one at a time. Glaze both sides or only one, depending on how sweet you like your donuts. Let the glaze set a few minutes before eating. Enjoy immediately.
- You may use a stand mixer or hand mixer to add the eggs to the dough if you do not want to do so by hand.
- Have an extra whisked egg on hand, as you want to add eggs until the batter is glossy and shiny, and sometimes this may mean you need an extra egg.
- Be sure to flip the crullers after just 30 seconds (around when you remove the piece of parchment paper with tongs) as this initial fry time helps keep the crullers' ridged appearance.
- Fry more than one cruller at a time, as this will help your oil stay at temperature, but do not overcrowd the pot.
- Use all milk or all water if you prefer.
- Use bread flour rather than all-purpose flour if you'd like, as some believe it helps with the crullers' rise.
- Add extra confectioners' sugar to the glaze if you want it to be thicker. You may also double dip the crullers in the glaze for a thicker coating.