There's nothing quite like the taste of a freshly made Brioche Donut with Vanilla Cream Filling. A bit crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
And, as an added bonus, these homemade donuts are filled to the brim with rich, smooth, luxurious vanilla cream. Life just doesn't get any better than that.
You will be so happy you took the leap into home-frying these donuts - and so will your family and friends!
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Don't be Intimidated by Frying Donuts at Home
If you haven't made donuts yourself before or if you're intimidated by the frying part of these Brioche Donuts, please don't be!
It's not difficult, as long as you have the right tools and the right set of instructions. Luckily, you have me to guide you on your homemade donut frying journey!
The two most important tips I can give you for making and frying donuts at home are:
- prepare your workspace and tools before you start
- be patient because good donuts take time to proof
Let's talk about the first tip above: the first step in making any recipe is to read through the recipe completely at least twice before you begin.
This Brioche Donut recipe should be no exception to that.
There are lots of steps - you'll want to know what lies ahead and, more importantly, you'll want to be prepared so everything goes smoothly.
For example, you don't want to get to the part where you need to proof the dough overnight without having thought through the timing (aka, you wanted to have these donuts prepared for brunch two hours from now!).
How to Make Brioche Donuts at Home
After you've read through the recipe twice, make sure you have all the necessary equipment such as:
- a cast-iron pot or dutch oven for frying (they're essentially the same thing, just wanted to give you a couple of options. I use a Lodge and I love it)
- baking sheets
- a candy thermometer for measuring and maintaining the temperature of your frying oil
- a long-handled spider tool for placing the donuts into and removing them from the hot oil
Next, prepare your dough. Be sure to "bloom" the yeast by following the directions in step 1.
This will ensure you have yeast that is active. If nothing happens after 10 minutes, throw it out and start over with fresh yeast (aka, yell to your partner/roommate/next door neighbor to run to the store and buy you a new, fresh bag so your dough will rise properly).
Be sure to knead all the ingredients together well until you have a smooth and glossy dough.
Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours, punch dough gently, then stick it in the fridge overnight.
How to Shape Donuts
In the morning, shape the dough into tight rounds, each about 70 grams.
I like to use a digital kitchen scale to measure out the portions so they're each the same size.
Frankly, this ensures they fry evenly and more importantly, it ensures I get nice photos of identically-sized donuts! Hehe, the life of a food blogger 🙂
If you haven't before shaped dough into tight balls like this, check out this video on YouTube (it's less than a minute long and is super helpful).
Place the rounds onto a baking sheet and let rise again for 2 hours. Then you're ready to fry.
Preparation is Key to Frying Donuts
This is the part where you especially need to make sure you're prepared before you begin. Place your oil into the dutch oven, clip the candy thermometer to the side and heat gradually over medium-low heat.
While the oil is heating, don't stray too far away, but use this time to prepare your setup - arrange a baking sheet lined with paper towels next to the stove top. Get out your spider tool.
Place ½ cup of granulated sugar in a wide dish or bowl and place next to your baking sheet.
Once the oil has reached temperature, very gently pick up one donut at a time, place on the end of the spider, and place it gently into the oil.
I fry three donuts at a time, so as to not overcrowd the pot, but also so that the oil temperature doesn't drop down too much (adding cool donuts to hot oil will do this).
This will result in your donuts absorbing all the oil rather than frying in them. And, believe you me, you do not want this to happen.
Once the donuts have gotten golden brown on the first side, gently flip over with the spider tool and fry for three more minutes on the second side.
Remove from the oil, allowing any excess oil to drip back into the pot, then place on the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat for the remainder of the donuts.
Once the donuts have cooled slightly, roll them in sugar and allow to cool completely before filling.
Piping in the Vanilla Cream
While the donuts are cooling, prepare the vanilla cream. This part should be relatively straightforward following the instructions below.
The goal is to have thick but smooth vanilla cream that is cooled slightly so you can fill a pastry bag then fill the donuts.
If you don't have pastry bags, cut a small hole in the end of a gallon-sized ziptop bag - this works just as well.
To fill the donuts, I like to use a butter knife to cut a hole ¾ of the way through the donut from the side.
This makes it easier to stick the piping tip or end of your pastry bag into the donut and squeeze gently to fill the donuts with luscious vanilla cream.
When you work so hard to make a delicious bread for your family, make sure to know How To Store Brioche Buns (+ donuts) so not one bite is lost.
Looking for more donut recipes? Give these a try:
- ¾ cup water lukewarm
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 4 cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoons white rum
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ gallon vegetable oil for frying
- ½ cup granulated sugar for rolling
Prepare the Donut Dough:
- Add sugar and yeast to the lukewarm water in a large bowl. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes or until the yeast starts to bubble. PRO TIP: Water temperature should not be above 35°C / 95°F, or it will destroy the yeast. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Cut the butter into small cubes and set aside. After 10 minutes, add flour, eggs, rum and lemon zest to the yeast mixture in a large bowl. Knead well using the attachment on your mixer or by hand. After about 5 minutes, add the salt. Slowly incorporate the butter cubes and continue kneading well with your hands or in a stand mixer. The dough has to be glossy and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to proof at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough, then re-cover the bowl. Put in the fridge to chill for 12 - 16 hours or overnight. PRO TIP: The donut dough will be more delicious if you leave them to chill overnight. If you don't have the time, leave that part out.
Shape The Donuts:
- Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it into 70g pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth, tight bun and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour. Leave plenty of room between the donuts to proof. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave to proof for about 2 hours, or until about doubled in size
Fry the Donuts:
- In a cast iron pot filled halfway with vegetable oil, clip a candy thermometer to the side and heat over low until the oil reaches 165 - 175°C / 330 - 350°F. Carefully remove the donuts from the baking tray, taking care not to deflate them, and place them gently into the oil using a long-handled spider tool. Fry for three minutes on each side until golden brown. Keep an eye on the oil temperature to ensure it doesn't get too hot or too cool - adjust heat as necessary. Remove donuts from the oil with the spider tool and place on a tray lined with paper towels. Once slightly cooled, place ½ cup granulated sugar in a dish, roll each donut in sugar and set aside to cool completely before filling
Make the Vanilla Cream:
- Whisk together vanilla sugar, corn starch, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Whisk together milk and eggs in a separate bowl. Add milk mixture to the saucepan then add the butter. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for one minute. Remove from heat. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the vanilla cream to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Just before using, whisk until smooth
Fill the Donuts:
- Fill a piping bag affixed with a large round tip with the vanilla cream. Using a butter knife, cut a small hole in the side of each donut about ¾ of the way into the donut and pipe a generous amount of vanilla cream into the center of the donut. Eat the donuts right away or store in an airtight container for up to three days
- Donuts will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, however, they are best consumed just after frying and filling
- Recipe originally from Jernejkitchen