I have a confession to make. Actually, I have two confessions to make. The first is that as I write this I’m sitting at home all alone in my slippers listening to some classic Norah, having a schneaky glass of red with some candles lit around the place, & looking at these pictures is making me upset that they’ve all been eaten already. A regular person would be able to blame the wine for such a ridiculous thought. But seeing as I am neither a regular nor sane person in the slightest, I can tell you that I’d think just the same thing when I’m entirely sober. Which brings us to confession #2: I love doughnuts.
Obviously, the second confession is much more important (& definitely more relevant) than the first. I love doughnuts. I am beginning to worry that it is more than a standard love affair, I fear it might be an obsession. Is that such a bad thing though? My thighs & my wobbly chin say yes, but my taste buds say hell no! My obsession is so bad that I actually can’t seem to let one day pass without talking about doughnuts. One of my co-workers has already told me several times that all this talk about doughnuts is the first step towards obesity.
I see his point, but I also see doughnuts dancing behind my eyelids. Besides, it’s totally okay to have one (or two or three) doughnuts a week when you’re relatively food conscious the rest of the week.. right? Judge on ahead, I would. Basically, Boyfriend & I recently discovered the best doughnuts ever – Revolution Bakery. After one bite I was completely hooked.
It wasn’t long after the obsession struck that I had this idea. Let me set the scene: me, standing on the corner of the nearest road to the doughnut shop, stuffing my face, salted caramel filling exploding everywhere, when suddenly it hits me – I could make my very own doughnuts. They probably wouldn’t be as good, but maybe they could be?
Well, good people of the jury, I am here to tell you that they are just as good, if not borderline better. (Jury? Must be the wine talking.) This recipe uses a brioche dough for the doughnuts, which is probably why the ingredient list is very accurate (& the tiniest bit intimidating), but maybe that’s why they taste so damn good (totally worth it). They’re crispy on the outside, squidgy on the inside; which is definitely a winning combination in the doughnut world. Also, the filling is just a big fat yes. Yes yes yes.
Makes 9 large doughnuts & several mini doughnuts.
Recipe adapted ever so slightly from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
For the doughnuts
- 518g plain flour
- 10g instant dried yeast
- 74g caster sugar
- 212g whole milk, at 23C (bizarre I know, but trust me)
- 111g eggs
- 3g vanilla extract
- 55g salted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
- 2L of vegetable oil
- 200g vanilla or regular caster sugar
For the coffee pastry cream
132g egg yolks (this came to about 6 or 7 yolks)
110g caster sugar
550g whole milk
20g coffee beans
27g salted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- First, the brioche. Place the flour & yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook & mix for about 15 seconds to distribute the yeast evenly. Add all of the remaining dough ingredients except for the butter & mix on low speed for a few minutes.
- Add the butter a few cubes at a time, incorporating after each addition before adding the next. Be sure to keep stopping & scraping down the sides of the bowl & also the dough hook to ensure everything gets mixed properly! Mix the dough on low speed (I did 3) for 30minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface & get ready for some dough origami. Fold the left side of the dough over to the right, the right over to the left, then the top to the bottom & the bottom to the top so you have a little present with the seam at the top. Place the dough seam-side down in a bowl that has been lightly coated with some oil.Cover the bowl with clingfilm & leave to rise for 1hour in a warm area.
- Repeat the folding process place it back in the bowl, cover it over again & leave to rise in the fridge for another hour. I swear it is worth the wait.
- Now we can make the pastry cream! Place the coffee beans on a baking sheet & use the bottom of a clean pot to crush the beans. Set aside.
- Set up a fine-mesh sieve & a medium sized bowl over an ice-bath. (For my ice-bath I just got a giant pot & filled it with some ice & a whole load of water.)
- Combine the milk & half of the sugar in a saucepan; place over a medium-low heat. When the milk comes just to a boil, remove from the heat, add the crushed coffee beans, & place a lid on the pot. Let the milk infuse for 15 – 25minutes, depending on how strong you want the coffee flavour to be. Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve (not the one on the ice-bath) & discard the coffee beans. Weigh the milk again to make sure you have enough & top up whatever you need to.
- Combine the remaining half of the sugar, egg yolks, & cornflour in a small bowl & whisk until slightly paler in colour.
- Place the milk back on the stove and heat to just a boil. Pour a small amount of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly, then pour 1/3 of the milk into the yolks, whisking all the time. Pour the milk-yolk mixture back into the pot & cook over a medium-low heat, whisking constantly (!), until the mixture is thick & reads at least 82C on a digital thermometer. Remove from heat, add the butter & vanilla extract & whisk to combine. Strain the cream through the sieve into the bowl set over the ice-bath.
- Cool the pastry cream to room temperature, then place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming & refrigerate until needed.
- After the doughnuts have rested the second time, lightly flour your work surface & roll out the dough to an 11-inch circle. Using a circular cutter, cut out rounds of dough & transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a smaller cutter to get as many mini doughnuts as you can out of the scraps.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap loosely over the doughnut trays & place in a warm, humid place to proof for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until you’re happy with the size they’ve expanded to.
- Meanwhile, pour the vegetable oil into a large heavy bottomed pot, making sure there is at least 3-inches of oil in the pot. When ready to fry the doughnuts, heat the oil to 175C.
- Once the doughnuts are proofed, remove the plastic wrap & bring them right next to your giant pot of oil. Have a cooling rack on a sheet pan & your finishing sugar close by for some speedy working!
- Gently pick up one doughnut (feels like a cloud) & place it in the oil, making sure not to splash yourself. Fry the dough for 2 minutes, then flip it & fry on the other side for 1 minute, or until the doughnut is a golden brown colour. Remove from the oil & place on the cooling rack. Let it cool for about 5minutes, then transfer to the bowl of sugar & coat generously. Repeat with the remaining regular & mini doughnuts.
- Transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag fitted with a small circular piping tip. Using a small knife, make a little incision in the side of each doughnut.
- Insert the piping tip & pipe as much pastry cream as the doughnut will allow. When you pull the piping tip out, the pastry cream should ooze out a little bit & tempt you with it’s gooey-ness.