doughnuts

I know, I know: “easy brioche” is an oxymoron.  And let’s be honest—homemade doughnuts aren’t that easy, either.  But these are so delicious, you’ll be happy you made them.

Although the ingredients are very similar to what is in brioche, I cut out most of the steps—making a dough sponge, refrigeration time and multiple risings—which are required in a traditional brioche dough.

I developed this so you can be inspired to make a little before lunch time, and have them ready by the time the kids get home from school.

And if you’re feeling like a supermom, be sure to whip up a pot of spiced apple cider.  Click here for the recipe.

This recipe skips the step of proofing the yeast, so just be sure your yeast is good before throwing it in with the flour.  (Either buy a brand new package, or proof it by mixing it with the water from the recipe and a pinch of sugar.  If it starts to bubble after 5 minutes, then it’s good—dump it in the mixer bowl and add the rest of the ingredients of step 1.)
If your eggs are not room temperature, simply remove them from the fridge, place in a bowl and cover with warm water.  Let them sit a minute or two, until the shells are no longer cold.

In case you’re interested, I did find a great brioche recipe through Wikipedia, that linked me to Recipezaar, that got this recipe from Julia Child.

brioche doughnuts with orange glaze

4-5 cups (600g-750g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 package rapid rise yeast (a scant tablespoon)
1/4 cup (62g) warm water
1/2 cup (125g) warm milk (110 degrees)
1/4 cup (55g) granulated sugar
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 112g) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
orange glaze (recipe follows)

1.  Place 3 cups flour, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.  With mixer on low, mix to combine.  Add in milk and water.  Then add in eggs one at a time.  Add 1-2 cups of flour as necessary to bring the dough together.  It will still stick to the sides of the bowl, but should not be wet.  Mix on level 2 for about five minutes.

2.  Add in butter, one tablespoon at a time, and as it mixes, add in salt and vanilla.  Continue to mix on level 2 for 10-15 minutes.  Dough should be sticky and elastic.

3.  Place dough in a large buttered bowl, and cover with buttered plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size.

4.  On a well-floured board, and with well-floured hands, punch down dough, and roll out to 1/4 inch thick.  Use floured biscuit cutters to cut round doughnuts.  I used a 4 1/2 inch cutter and a 1 1/2 inch cutter.

4.  Place doughnuts on a floured cookie sheet and allow to rise until about doubled in height, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

5.  Heat 2 inches of oil in a large, high sided pot to 330 degrees.  Lower doughnuts into oil carefully.  Use a slotted spoon to lower doughnut holes into oil.  (Depending on how big the pot is, do not place more than 2 doughnuts, and two doughnut holes in the pot at one time—doing so will lower the oil temperature.)  Flip doughnuts carefully with slotted spoon when golden brown on first side.  When second side is golden brown, remove and place on paper towels.

6.  As the doughnuts cool slightly, dip each in orange glaze and place on a cooling rack placed over parchment paper (to catch drips).  Repeat glazing process until glaze is gone.  (I dipped mine 3 times)

orange glaze

1 1/2 cups (165g) confectioners’ sugar
zest and juice of half a large orange
1 teaspoon heavy cream (if you have it)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl wide enough accommodate the width of the doughnuts.