Okay. You guys. These doughnuts are INSANE.
Okay, so. I love Crème Brûlée. It’s so fun and versatile and has always been just one of my favorite desserts. And I looove doughnuts (duh). So obviously the combination is just a total match made in heaven.
In culinary school we made doughnuts fairly often, and there is really nothing better than a fresh one. I’ve been super disappointed with the local doughnut options as of late, so making my own is my remedy to that sitch. They’re SO fluffy. And warmmm, they’re just amazing.
I’m supposed to be eating healthy and exercising right now. My whole family is converting to a healthier lifestyle and cleaning up their act. Which feels great! But my baker self just can’t help it! It’s not even that I want to eat sugary things all the time. I just want to bake. All the time. It’s such a fun and creative outlet for me, and I love the feeling of sharing my bakes with family and friends.
It’s all about balance. I mean, how can you resist that? Dead.
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3/4 cup whole milk
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (plus up to 1/4 cup extra)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup butter, at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Granulated sugar for rolling and topping
Oil of choice for frying (I use Canola or Vegetable Oil)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ap flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Mixing: Mix the dry ingredients together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add in the egg, butter, and vanilla. Mix on low with the dough hook attachment until a ball of dough forms. If it feels tacky and is sticking to the bowl too much, add one tablespoon of flour (up to 1/4 cup more flour) at a time until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Mix for another 8 or so minutes until a soft, elastic dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for two hours (until doubled). Make your pastry cream in the meantime.
Pastry Cream: In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer. Whisk together the dry ingredients in small mixing bowl, and then add the yolks and whisk into a paste. Temper the yolk mixture with the heated milk, and then transfer everything back to the pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly (and scraping the bottom to avoid scorching) until it becomes quite thick and starts to blubber. Press through a mesh sieve, and then stir in the vanilla. Cover the surface with plastic to avoid a skin from forming, and allow to cool.
Shaping: When the dough has doubled, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into equal portions (I used a 2 inch biscuit cutter and got 22 doughnuts). Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for another 20-30 minutes. While they’re rising, prep your oil!
Frying: In a large pot (I used a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven) pour enough oil to have it about 2 inches deep. Heat over medium heat to 350 degrees F, using a thermometer to regulate the temperature. Using a slotted spoon or a frying spider, gently slide 3-4 doughnuts in the oil to fry at a time. It should take about 1 minute each side. Flip the doughnuts when they’ve got a nice golden brown color. Carefully transfer to a paper towel to cool. Once cool enough to handle (but still warm) roll in sugar to coat.
Filling: To fill them, use a piping tip to make small holes in the sides of your doughnuts. Then with a pastry bag fitted with the same tip, fill them with the pastry cream. Top with more granulated sugar, and use a torch to caramelize them. If you don’t have a torch, use a broiler. Then proceed to eat them allll!