Aug 27, 2013
The latest food fad coming out of New York City has been in Columbus since 1991.
The “cronut,” also known as a “doissant” or a “doughssant,” is a cross between a doughnut and a croissant, consisting of layers of fluffy fried dough often coated with glaze. It’s hot in New York thanks to Dominique Ansel Bakery, which began serving the sweet in May.
But Roy Auddino says his Hilliard bakery has been making and selling them under the name “doughssant” since 1991.
“That’s when I perfected the recipe and started frying them,” he said.
Auddino owns Auddino’s Bakery & Cafe in the Mill Run Shopping Center, and his father, Rosario Auddino, owns Auddino’s Italian Bakery, which supplies restaurants and other customers with baked goods. “We’ve been selling them in all three bakeries: mine, my father’s and my brother’s one in Florida since 1997.”
Auddino describes himself as a baker by birth who often creates new variations on more typical bakery fare. His mother took him into the family bakery when he was less than a week old.
“I get very creative because I get bored with traditional stuff. I’m always creating new things,” he said. “I try it until I excel at it. The doughssants were rather easy. I had them on the fourth attempt. I tried them the first time on a Tuesday, and by Friday we had it.
“We used to call them fried croissants, but in 1994, my daughter came up with the name doughssants.”
Auddino’s doughssant is a doughnut-croissant hybrid.
“The dough is unique because of the process” used to make them, he said. “It’s light and fluffy, and even fluffier than puff-pastry dough, which blew my mind when I started to make them. I thought they would be a greasy mess, but it turned out to be lighter and fluffier than a baked croissant.”
The dough is proofed — meaning it is allowed to rise to a certain percentage of the yeast’s potential — fried, and then glazed. The bakery sells an iced doughssant and a cinnamon sugar one. They cost $1.50 for a small 1.75 ounce pastry, or $3 for a 3.75 ounce size.
But in the midst of the concoction’s growing popularity, Auddino has been struggling to trademark the name “doughssant” to protect his product.
Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York trademarked the name “cronut” in spring, and the bakery claims to have invented the confection. It has garnered a lot of attention. The bakery charges $5 for its cronuts, but they sell out quickly, which has spawned a secondary-market of people selling them on Craigslist for up to $25 each. It’s also has spawned a rush to trademark names for similar products by bakeries nationwide.
Auddino has been caught up in the trademark battle. “A lot of other bakeries filed to trademark similar names right after I filed my trademark application,” he said. “It’s blocked me from getting a smooth ride through. We’ve had to file extra papers, like documents from customers confirming we’ve been selling them since the 1990s.”
Auddino regrets his decision to wait. “I had wanted to trademark the name for years, but I just didn’t have the money,” he said, saying at minimum it will cost $1,100. “I want to protect it because I see the surge in popularity in New York, and I am afraid if I don’t get this done, I will get beaten.”
While the pastry is gaining plenty of attention and copycats nationwide, so far Auddino seems to be one of very few bakeries making the doughnut-croissant hybrid in Columbus.
La Chatelaine began making them in May, after seeing the popularity of the item in New York, said owner Stan Wielezynski. “We saw how popular they were and thought, why not? We sell more and more of them each week, and about 200 on Saturdays and Sundays.”
Still, Wielezynski thinks they are a passing fancy. “We always come back to the basics,” he said.
Off the Menu
• Donatos has added a new pizza to its lineup: a pepperoni ricotta pizza with lean pepperoni, whipped ricotta cheese, Asiago cheese and roasted garlic.
• The folks behind Harvest Pizzeria in German Village will be opening two more restaurants this fall. The Sycamore, at 262 E. Sycamore St., is on track to open in October. A second Harvest Pizzeria restaurant in Clintonville, in the former Mozart’s space at 2885 N. High St., should be opening later this year.
• Sher Bliss Wine & Chocolate has launched a crowd-funding campaign to help the local retailer and chocolate maker raise $50,000 to expand via a kiosk at Polaris Fashion Place mall. For more information, go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/sher-bliss-wine-and-chocolate.
• Wolf’s Ridge brewery and restaurant will be opening this fall at 215 N. 4th St. An exact date has not yet been set.
• Ryan Rupe, a Cameron Mitchell Restaurants veteran, has been named executive chef for the Pearl in the Short North.
Dispatch restaurant columnist Denise Trowbridge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.