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Sourdough Cruffins Step by Step

a plate of cruffins on a wire rack


A hybrid of a croissant and a muffin, these sourdough cruffins are made with laminated dough and baked in a muffin tray.

Move over sourdough croissants, sourdough cruffins are in town now! Light, flaky, and coated in crunchy sugar, cruffins are so good!

You can leave them plain or, you can fill them with your favourite fillings!

a plate of cruffins on a wire rack
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The cruffin dough

I am so in love with this recipe and excited to share it! This cruffin dough is similar to my sourdough danish dough. It is a little more enriched than croissant dough because there is an egg in there. The timing and rising of the dough mean these sourdough cruffins are not too sour, with only a very mild tang to them.

Croissants typically don’t have egg in the dough but I think it adds great texture and flavour to the cruffins. If you prefer to make it without egg, you can use my sourdough croissant recipe amounts instead, with the cruffin steps.

Cruffins are best made in an environment where the room temperature is not too hot. The trick to flaky layers in the dough is to keep the butter cool as it is rolled into the dough. If it melts into the dough, it won’t be laminated correctly.

If your room temperature is above 25°C you may struggle to keep the dough and butter cool.

a rack of sourdough cruffins

Laminating cruffins

The dough is laminated in the traditional croissant way – with a cold butter packet being rolled and folded into the dough.

The rolling and folding are done slowly, with chilled breaks in between so the dough has time to relax and the butter can stay cool. It’s the cool butter in between the dough that give the cruffins their flaky layers.

Step by step laminating instructions are further below.

a shaped cruffin

Equipment

You’ll need a rolling pin and a clean bench space to roll the dough.

You’ll also need a cruffin pan or moulds so the cruffins can keep their shape. I use standard muffin trays, though you can use jumbo muffin trays or whatever size you like.

Baker’s schedule

Sourdough cruffins take their time but they’re worth it in the end! Here is a rough baker’s schedule. The timings of things will change depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Night before

Feed your sourdough starter so it rises overnight.

Day 1

  • 9 am – Mix the dough and leave it to rise in a warm spot until bulked out by around 50%
  • 1 pm – Chill the dough for 2 hours. Make the butter packet.
  • 3 pm – Fold 1
  • 3:35pm – Fold 2
  • 4:10pm – Fold 3.
  • Place the dough in the fridge overnight.

Day 2

  • Roll the dough and cut into strips and shape into cruffins.
  • Let them rise until puffed and doubled in size.
  • Bake, then roll them in sugar while still hot.
  • Let them cool, then fill them with your fillings.
sugar being sprinkled on a cruffin

Sourdough Cruffin fillings

The baked sourdough cruffins can be filled once cooled. You could use anything you like! Custard, lemon curd, hazelnut chocolate spread, or jam are all great options.

You can also make cinnamon sugar cruffins by rolling cinnamon sugar between the dough as you shape the cruffins.

a hand piping lemon curd into cruffins

The sourdough starter

Before you begin, you’ll need an active sourdough starter. This sourdough starter will be responsible for making light and airy cruffins so it’s got to be in peak condition.

I feed my starter for this dough the night before, so it has be in a ratio that allows a slow rise overnight so that it hasn’t collapsed by morning. For this, I use a 1:3:3 ratio. That’s 1 part starter, 3 parts flour and 3 parts water, measured in weight.

This rises overnight and by morning it’s ready to use.

How to make cruffins – Step by step

The evening before

In the evening feed your sourdough starter so it’s active by morning. Leave the butter needed for the dough on the bench overnight so it’s at room temperature the next day.

Day 1

The following morning, add all the dough ingredients to a large bowl. Use a fork to mix them together into a sticky and shaggy mound.

Tip this onto a clean bench and knead it for around 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth. Initially, it will feel quite sticky, but keep kneading it and pulling and pushing it back and forth until the stickiness starts to go.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and place it in a warm spot to bulk out by around 50%. I use a turned-off oven with a mug of boiled water next to the bowl. This creates a warm and slightly humid environment to keep the dough from drying out.

If your area is very cold, you might need to gently preheat the oven to around 25°C/ 77°F and then turn it off.

Once bulked out by 50%, cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to chill and firm up a bit.

Butter packet

While the dough is chilling, make the butter packet by mixing together the butter and flour into a soft mixture.

Roll this butter mixture out between two sheets of baking paper into a rectangle of about 20 x 25cm (8-inch x 10-inch). Place the butter packet in the fridge to cool.

Take the butter out of the fridge 10 minutes before the next step of rolling the dough. This is to ensure that the dough and butter are similar consistencies which makes lamination easier.

Lamination

Once the dough has chilled, pull it from the bowl onto a lightly floured bench. Roll it out into a 25 x 50cm (10-inch x 20-inch) rectangle.

Test your butter packet isn’t too cold by seeing if you can bend it without snapping it. Lay it down on the bottom half of the dough, then fold the top of the dough over it to encase the butter.

Use a rolling pin to gently push on the dough to help soften the butter.

Roll the dough out back into a rectangle of about 25x50cm (10-inch x 20-inch). The aim is to lengthen the dough, not to widen it.

Fold the dough into 3 like a pamphlet by bring the top third down to the middle and then bringing the bottom third up overtop.

laminating dough step by step on white background
hands folding over dough

That was Fold 1.

Wrap the dough up in compostable plastic wrap or beeswax wrap to stop it from drying out and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to relax the dough.

If your kitchen is under 18°C/64°F you can leave the dough to rest on the bench instead to stop the butter from becoming too hard.

Fold 2 & 3

Turn the dough 90° and repeat this process two more times to complete folds 2 and 3.

After the third time, wrap the dough up well and chill overnight.

Day 2

Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half.

On a lightly floured bench, roll one half into a 12cm x 21 cm (5-inch x 9-inch) rectangle. Cut off any scraggly edges.

Cut the dough width-wise into 7 x 3cm / 1.2-inch strips. Cut the dough in half lengthwise so there are now 14 strips in total.

Take 2 of these strips and fold them over each other to make two U shapes, as pictured below. Continue with the rest of the dough. Place each shaped cruffin into a greased muffin tray. This makes around 14, so I use 2 muffin trays.

Proofing

Proof the cruffins in a warm spot between 22°C / 70 °F – 25°C/ 77°F until doubled in size. They need to be properly proofed to avoid butter leakage when they’re baking and dense cruffins.

This can take around 4-7 hours depending on room temperature.

You can brush them gently with a little water to stop them from drying out, or place them in a turned-off oven with a mug of boiled water next to them to keep it humid.

Ensure the proofing spot doesn’t get too hot or all the butter will melt and ruin your lamination.

Baking

Bake the cruffins at 200°C/ 392°F regular oven or 180°C/ 356°F until deep golden brown.

It’s a good idea to place a large tray underneath the cruffin tins to catch any butter leakage that might happen.

Though proper proofing can limit butter leaking, the fact that the dough is squished into a small space means some leaking will still likely happen. The tray will catch any butter run-off and avoid it smoking on the bottom of the oven.

After baking, remove the cruffins from the tray and while they are still hot, toss them in granulated sugar.

inside a sourdough cruffin

Filling the cruffins

Once cooled, make a little hole in the top of the cruffin with a knife and pipe in your favourite fillings.

We love lemon or lime curd, or a homemade Nutella filling.

nutella cruffins on a wooden board

Storing cruffins

Store the cruffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.

Full Recipe

a rack of sourdough cruffins

Sourdough Cruffins

Yield:
14

Prep Time:
1 hour

Cook Time:
25 minutes

Additional Time:
1 day

Total Time:
1 day 1 hour 25 minutes

Sourdough laminated dough baked in a muffin tray and tossed in sugar.

Ingredients

Starter

  • 20g starter
  • 60g flour
  • 60g water

Dough

  • 450g strong all-purpose flour with protein level around 11%.
  • 100g of the fed starter
  • 100 ml milk, room temperature
  • 80 ml water
  • 50g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Butter packet

  • 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour

Coating

Instructions

    The evening before

  1. Feed your sourdough starter so it’s active by morning. Leave the butter needed for the dough on the bench overnight so it’s at room temperature the next day.
  2. Day 1

  1. The following morning, add all the dough ingredients to a large bowl. Use a fork to mix them together into a sticky and shaggy mound.
  2. Tip this onto a clean bench and knead it for around 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth. Initially, it will feel quite sticky, but keep kneading it and pulling and pushing it back and forth until the stickiness starts to go.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and place it in a warm spot to bulk out by around 50%. I use a turned-off oven with a mug of boiled water next to the bowl. This creates a warm and slightly humid environment to keep the dough from drying out.
  4. If your area is very cold, you might need to gently preheat the oven to around 25°C/ 77°F and then turn it off.
  5. Once bulked out by 50%, cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to chill and firm up a bit.
  6. Butter packet

  1. While the dough is chilling, make the butter packet by mixing together the butter and flour into a soft mixture.
  2. Roll this butter mixture out between two sheets of baking paper into a rectangle of about 20 x 25cm (8-inch x 10-inch). Place the butter packet in the fridge to cool.
  3. Take the butter out of the fridge 10 minutes before the next step of rolling the dough. This is to ensure that the dough and butter are similar consistencies which makes lamination easier.
  4. Lamination

  1. Once the dough has chilled, pull it from the bowl onto a lightly floured bench. Roll it out into a 25 x 50cm (10-inch x 20-inch) rectangle.
  2. Test your butter packet isn’t too cold by seeing if you can bend it without snapping it. Lay it down on the bottom half of the dough, then fold the top of the dough over it to encase the butter.
  3. Use a rolling pin to gently push on the dough to help soften the butter.
  4. Roll the dough out again into a rectangle of about 25x50cm (10-inch x 20-inch). The aim is to lengthen the dough, not to widen it.
  5. Fold the dough into 3 like a pamphlet by bring the top third down to the middle and then bringing the bottom third up overtop. That was Fold 1.
  6. Wrap the dough up in compostable plastic wrap or beeswax wrap to stop it from drying out and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to relax the dough.
  7. If your kitchen is under 18°C / 64°F you can leave the dough to rest on the bench instead to stop the butter from becoming too hard.
  8. After resting, turn the dough 90° and repeat this process two more times to complete folds 2 and 3.
  9. After the third time, wrap the dough up well and chill overnight.

Day 2

  1. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half.
  2. On a lightly floured bench, roll one half into a 12cm x 21 cm (5-inch x 9-inch) rectangle. Cut off any scraggly edges.
  3. Cut the dough width-wise into 7 x 3cm / 1.2-inch strips. Cut the dough in half lengthwise so there are now 14 strips in total.
  4. Take 2 of these strips and fold them over each other to make two U shapes, as pictured below. Continue with the rest of the dough. Place each shaped cruffin into a greased muffin tray. This makes 14, so I use 2 muffin trays.

Proofing

  1. Proof the cruffins in a warm spot between 22°C / 70 °F – 25°C/ 77°F until doubled in size. They need to be properly proofed to avoid butter leakage when they’re baking and dense cruffins. This can take between 4-7 hours depending on room temperature.
  2. You can brush them gently with a little water to stop them from drying out, or place them in a turned-off oven with a mug of boiled water next to them to keep it humid.
  3. Ensure the proofing spot doesn’t get too hot or all the butter will melt and ruin your lamination.

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 392°F regular oven or 180°C/ 356°F.
  2. Bake the cruffins for around 20-25 minutes until deep golden brown.
  3. It’s a good idea to place a large tray underneath the cruffin tins to catch any butter leakage that might happen.
  4. Though proper proofing can limit butter leaking, the act that the dough is squished into a small tray means some leaking will still likely happen. The tray will catch any butter run-off and avoid it smoking on the bottom of the oven.
  5. After baking, remove the cruffins from the tray and while they are still hot, toss them in granulated sugar. Let them cool.
  6. Once cooled, make a little hole in the top of the cruffin with a knife and pipe in your favourite fillings.
  7. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 14
Serving Size: 1

Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 348Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 7g



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