One recipe at a time.
Mother of pearl!
Delicious. They are delicious. A brioche dough … shaped into doughnuts … fried in some oil … and then covered in sugar. And filled with lemon curd. Or filled with whipped chocolate. Or topped with freshly flaked coconut.
For realz. Awesome eh?
Ok so this recipe excites me because … well if you remember the last time I tried making brioche (with the baking crew) … it was not as successful as I had hoped it would be.
But this time … this time I rocked it! I totally got it. Even with a slight typo in the recipe.
I got it.
And the result was … PERRRRR-FECT.
Are you excited? Are you feeling an urge to make homemade doughnuts? (believe me … these doughnuts will make you a lover of fried dough)
Meredith, Cory and I were so excited to make them that we fried them up … OUTSIDE. in -20 temperatures. In the snow. With a windchill.
And … it was fun. Especially when we all popped our first doughnuts into our mouths … freshly rolled in sugar and filled with cream.
The best baking challenge yet (the entire baking crew agree).
A couple of things to take into consideration when working with this recipe:
You have to allow for the dough to rise in your refrigerator overnight. So start this before going to bed.
Secondly …you should probably get yourself a scale. I’ll post the recipe in weights and measures (since that’s how they write it in the book); however I used my scale when following the recipe.
Other than those two points … this is a pretty standard recipe. And if you’re new to bread making / are apprehensive about making dough … give this one a try. I promise it’ll work. Believe me. I know how you feel. Been there. Done that.
So pull out your instant yeast and flour and get busy. You won’t regret trying this recipe out.
Thomas Keller’s sugared doughnut recipe
518g / 3 1/2 c. + 3 tbsp flour
10g / 1 tbsp instant yeast
74g / 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp sugar
9g / 1 tbsp salt
212g / 3/4 c. + 1 1/2 tbsp milk, warmed to 75 F
111g / 2 eggs
9g / 1 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
57g / 2 ounces butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes
canola oil for frying
sugar to coat the doughnuts
lemon curd to fill doughnuts
Add the remaining ingredients, except the butter, and mix on low speed for 4 minutes.
Now, continue to knead the dough for a further 30 minutes (your stand-mixer will likely feel warm, it should be fine). Add the small cubes of butter, one piece at a time, allowing it to be incorporated into the dough before adding more butter.
After 30 minutes (all the butter should have been added at this point), turn off the stand-mixer, scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl, push the dough off the hook: resume kneading on a low speed for another 5 minutes.
Run a spatula over the sides and bottom of the bowl and release the dough onto a very lightly floured surface. You only need enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
With your hands, gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape.
As you can see from the picture above, you’ll want to stretch the left side of the dough out and then fold it over two-thirds of the dough (as though you are folding a letter into an envelope). Once the left side is folded in, repeat the process with the right side. Once that is done, do the exact same thing, working from the bottom and then the top.
1 hour later … use a spatula to release the sides and bottom of the dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
To roll out the dough & shape the doughnuts.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, flipping and fluffing it (basically you just want to roll the dough, take your hand and gently lift the dough from the work surface, then turn the dough clockwise, repeat) into an 11-inch round.
Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes); long enough to allow the dough to be more manageable.
Line another sheet with parchment paper, spray the parchment with non-stick spray (this is an important step), set aside.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and using your 3-inch round cookie cutters, cut out your doughnuts. The recipe says that you should get 8 rounds … I got 16 rounds.
If you just want to fill your doughnuts with pastry cream, whipped chocolate, lemon curd, etc. leave them as is. However, if you want to make doughnuts with holes; grab a small round cookie cutter and cut the centre out of your 3-inch rounds.
Save the mini rounds. They make pretty fabulous mini doughnuts.
To proof the doughnuts. Cover the baking sheet with a plastic tub or a cardboard box and proof for 60 to 90 minutes. The doughnuts will double in size; or when the dough is gently pressed, a small imprint will remain.
To fry the doughnuts. If you’re like me … you go over to a friend’s place and he sets up an awesome fryer outside so that his apartment doesn’t stink up (thank you Cory!). Or if you’re like Tom and Aimee you can use an indoor deep-fryer … both of these things make frying the doughnuts pretty simple.
If you don’t have one of these options … you can pour 3 inches of oil into a Dutch oven or a heavy stockpot; the oil shouldn’t come up more than 1/3rd of the way up the sides of the pot, but it needs to be deep enough to allow the doughnuts to fry freely.
Heat the oil to 350 F.
Set a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet, pour the sugar into a shallow bowl.
If you have a set of chopsticks you should pull them out for this part. They work perfectly for flipping the doughnuts in the oil and pulling them out of the oil. They are long enough that you keep your hands and fingers away from the oil while still controlling flipping the doughnuts.
Gently drop as many doughnuts as can fit into the pot. Fry on the second side for 45 seconds. Flip them over again and fry for a further 45 seconds, or until they are a rich golden brown.
Transfer the batch to the wire rack, and continue frying more of your doughnuts.
You want to roll them in the sugar while they are still warm (don’t worry, they cool enough to handle pretty quickly). If filling – allow the doughnuts to cool completely before using a piping bag and filling the doughnuts with your favourite flavours.
All done. As you can see … it’s not an overly difficult or tricky recipe. You might be nervous to try it for any number of reasons: making dough, frying in oil, etc. But really, you should give it a try. It will make you a believer in doughnuts.
As you can see … the entire baking crew had a great time (and were pretty darn successful) in making a batch of these …