These are the real deal, ultimate weekend breakfast treat!!
This mama doesn’t have the time, energy, or calories to waste on the travesty that is the baked doughnut.
Give me doughnuts fried in copious amounts of hot oil, or give me nothing.
Suffice to say, we are real doughnut snobs in this house. Can you tell?
Prior the pandemic there was a freakin’ fabulous doughnut place near our apartment that had the absolute best doughnuts I’ve ever tasted. They were hefty and chewy and rich – just so satisfying. Pretty much the polar opposite of a certain nationwide doughnut chain where the doughnuts are basically like high calorie air.
Once you have a really good doughnut like that, you just can’t go back to eating the mediocre (err, let’s just say it – BAD) stuff.
The doughnut place was part of a gourmet food court that, unfortunately, has not reopened and so we have been left to our own doughnut devices in it’s wake, which, let me tell you, is a mixed blessing.
On the one hand, now I can make doughnuts at home!!
On the other hand, now I can make doughnuts at home. Eeeeeek.
Let me just start off by saying, these doughnuts are a PROJECT. Not a bad thing when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do.
The base is made from an enriched pain au lait dough that requires a chill in the fridge overnight, so you’ll want to start these the day before you actually intend on frying them.
The following morning, you’ll cut out the doughnut shapes and let them rise again. While they’re rising you’ll want to make the various glazes and sauces. My original intention was just to make the salted caramel version, but then a certain toddler chimed in saying she absolutely *had* to have a chocolate-glazed sprinkle doughnut OR ELSE. So here we are. Let me just say, she was not wrong.
Both of these doughnuts are truly fabulous, so feel free to forge on ahead with making both if you just can’t choose.
However, if you’re looking to simplify your life (or just not use every bowl in your house while making them), then you can also choose one or the other. The recipes will yield enough to make a full batch of either.
- 2 eggs
- 225 ml (3/4 cup + 3 tbsp) whole milk
- 500 g (4 cups) bread flour
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 5 g (1.5 tsp) instant yeast
- 55 g (1/4 cup + 1 tsp) sugar
- 225 g (1 cup) European-style butter, softened and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 45 g (3 tbsp) sour cream
- 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
- 20 ml (1 tbsp + 1 tsp) light corn syrup
- 45 ml (3 tbsp) water
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 45 ml (3 tbsp) heavy cream
- 300 g (2.25 cups + 3 tbsp) powdered sugar
- 55 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- ½ vanilla pod, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
- 135 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) sugar
- 150 ml (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) heavy cream
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- canola oil, for frying
- flaky sea salt, to garnish
- sprinkles, to garnish
- Combine the eggs and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low until just combined. Add in the flour, salt, and yeast. Mix again on low speed for 2 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then increase the speed to high and mix for another 2 minutes.
- With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the sugar in a slow and steady stream. This should take about 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer and add all of the butter. Mix for 10 minutes on high speed, or until the butter is fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The dough should be ready when it passes the windowpane test and you are able to stretch it until it is a transparent sheet. If it does not do this, then mix for another 3 minutes and test again.
- Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 1 hour in a warm spot, or until doubled in size.
- Dust a clean work surface lightly with flour. Pat the dough into a square and fold it into rough thirds as if you were folding a letter. Turn it 90 degrees and fold it this way again. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Place the bowl with the dough in it in the refrigerator and chill for 12 hours. After this it will be ready to use.
- Lightly flour your work surface. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Roll the dough into a ½-inch thick square. Punch out 15 circles with a 3-inch round cutter. Punh out holes in the center of each round using a 1-inch round cutter. Place the circles and centers on the prepared baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1.5 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Place the sour cream in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. When the mixture turns a dark amber color, remove it from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Pour into the bowl with the sour cream and whisk to combine. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap, plastic the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the caramel to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled.
- Once chilled, combine the salted caramel and the powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on low speed, gradually increasing the speed until all of the sugar is incorporated and the mixture has formed a salted caramel icing. Set aside.
- Combine the butter and vanilla seeds in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Place the sugar in a medium saucepan with a few drops of water so that it is the consistency of wet sand. Cook over high heat without stirring. Once the mixture turns a dark amber color, remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the heavy cream. Pour into the bowl with the butter and vanilla and stir to combine well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cool.
- Microwave the chocolate and water together in a medium bowl at 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until completely smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. Fill a large Dutch oven halfway with canola oil. Heat the oil to 350F.
- Cut the parchment paper around each doughnut and, holding the parchment paper side in your hand, carefully turn each doughnut circle and doughnut hole into the oil, peeling off the parchment paper as you add it, making sure not to crowd the pan. Constantly turn the doughnuts to ensure that they cook evenly. They should be a deep dark golden brown when done, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and allow to cool completely.
- Place the caramel glaze in a medium bowl. Dip the top halves of the doughnuts and doughnut holes into the caramel and chocolate glazes as desired and place on a serving platter.
- Put the caramel sauce into a pastry bag. Cut a small hole at the end and drizzle over the top of the caramel glazed doughnuts. Top the caramel doughnuts with flaky sea salt and the chocolate doughnuts with rainbows, as desired. Serve immediately.