Don’t get me wrong, I can bake (with an 87% success rate), but usually I need the guidance from a recipe for the base, then I can take it from there with flavorings, add-ons, etc. Most of my 13% fail rate involves some form of dough. Patience (or lack thereof) is also a contributing factor.
You want me to wait how long for that to rise?! THREE rises?! Ugh. Ain’t nobody got time for that sh*t.
So the donut dough recipe I followed, and I use that term loosely, was from Epicurious.com. I got all the way to the step where the dough needed to chill, which I decided to forego, assuming it was just to slow the yeast/rise so that it could be made the night before.
Turns out, whether you make the dough the night before or not, it probably still needs to chill to slow down the yeast and firm up a bit. When it was time for me to transfer my dough to the hot oil, they essentially deflated on me and lost their shape. And this is not the first time I’ve tried to make filled donuts and my shape has turned out wonky – probably for different reasons every time. S.O.S.
On the verge of frustration and breakdown, I said “oh what the F”, rolled them back into a ball, plopped them in the oil and hoped for the best. The first couple batches, the oil was too hot and the balls weren’t cooking all the way through before the outsides were done due to their denser shape than the original recipe anticipated. So I turned down the oil, and VOILA!! Perfection!!
This will definitely be my go-to yeast donut dough recipe – perfectly airy and soft, but sturdy enough to stand against the fillings.
Now the biggest challenge is to not eat all of them while they are still nice and warm, before they even make it to the filling stages! There will definitely be a few men lost in that battle!
- For the Donuts
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 cups whole milk, heated to 110°F
- 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 large egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons sugar, plus more for coating
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
- Vegetable or canola oil for frying
- For the Jam
- 1 lb. fresh blackberries
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- For the Whipped Goat Cheese
- 8 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
- In a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons yeast with 1½ cups heated milk until yeast is dissolved. Add 1½ cups flour and stir until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in warm place for about 30 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted the the paddle attachment, combine the remaining yeast and milk, add the rested flour mixture, eggs and vanilla. Mix on low until smooth, about 30 seconds. Turn off the mixer, add sugar, salt and 2 cups flour. Mix on medium until dough starts to form, another 30 seconds. Add butter and continue to mix on medium until incorporated, another 30 seconds.
- Remove the paddle attachment, add the dough hook attachment. Add the remaining flour, and knead on medium until dough completely pulls away from edges. You may need to add more flour, but dough should be slightly sticky to the touch. Transfer dough to a larger mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Punch dough down to remove bubbles. Roll dough out on a floured work surface until approximately ½" thick. Using a 3 - 3½" round biscuit cutter, cut out 18 circles and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and sprinkled with flour, re-rolling dough as necessary. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the jam. Using the back of a spoon, smash the blackberries through a sieve set over a medium mixing bowl. Remove the middle piths left in the sieve, but add the pulp back to the juice in the mixing bowl. Add the crushed blackberries, thyme, sugar and lime juice to a large pan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 10 minutes, then let cool to room temperature. Set aside.
- Make the whipped goat cheese. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a medium mixing bowl and an electric hand mixer), whip the goat cheese and cream until light and air, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Cook the donuts. In a large dutch oven fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, add enough oil to fill approximately 3" deep. Heat oil to 350 degrees over medium heat. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Fill a medium baking dish with enough sugar for rolling donuts post-fry. Working in batches, 3 - 4 at a time, gently roll the dough circles back into a ball shape before dropping in the oil. Carefully drop balls into hot oil and cook for 3 - 5 minutes per side. Carefully remove the cooked donuts with a spider or slotted spoon and transfer immediately to sugar, rolling to coat evenly. Place on rack to cool.
- To fill the donuts, prepare two pastry bags with a #10 decorating tip, fill each with one of the fillings. Spear each donut ball with a chopstick, stopping halfway through, to create and opening. One a time, pipe the fillings into the opening.