Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Easy Brioche Doughnuts with Chocolate Orange Ganache Glaze

Yep, I said Brioche Doughnuts, a wickedly indulgent treat for your family to enjoy this holiday season.

This brioche dough comes together quickly in the mixer, with a traditional bread-making rise time.

Then it’s a dip in the frying pot for these scandalous, sweet darlings. Once cooked, the doughnuts can be rolled in sugar or drizzled with a smooth chocolate orange ganache glaze.

Oh the Joy —the Jolly Merriment —Glad Tidings, and Halle-lu-jah!… Christmas has come early this year!

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Makes about 16 – 3 inch doughnuts

3 cups bread flour

(the high gluten content in this flour will stretch and make delicious air pockets as the brioche dough rises -creating luscious airiness)

1 cup whole milk, heated to 110°F.

1 pkg. active dry yeast ( 2 ¼ teaspoons)

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

3 eggs + 1 yolk (at room temperature)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup butter (2 sticks) at room temperature and cut into small pieces

  Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Directions

While in school, I learned this technique from my amazing French Pastry Chef. It’s a quick and easy way to make this lean Brioche.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Using a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, pour the flour in the center of the bowl.

Crack the 3 eggs and 1 yolk in a separate bowl, add the vanilla to the eggs and set aside, but don’t beat the eggs.

Next, like separating naughty children at the sand box, sprinkle the yeast, salt and sugar in three different areas of the bowl, near the edges of the flour.

Using only about ¼ cup of the heated milk, pour it directly over the yeast and start the mixer on the lowest setting.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time so as not to overwhelm the other ingredients.

When all the eggs are in, add the remaining warm milk and increase to medium speed, beat for 3-4 minutes.

Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides if needed.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Turn off the mixer again and drop in the butter, 2 Tablespoons at a time.

Slowly incorporate the butter into the dough by starting again with low speed and working up to high speed for about 5 minutes;

If you have a few stubborn pieces of butter that refuse to play nicely, go ahead a use your fingers to coax them into the dough. Mix the dough at medium high speed for another 10 minutes or until the sides of the dough pull away from the bowl.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Transfer the semi-sticky dough to a large, well-greased bowl, cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap,

set in a warm area and allow it to double in size – about 2 hours.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down by folding it over itself two or three times.

Cut it in half to make rolling out more manageable.

 

At this point the dough may be refrigerated overnight. In the morning, roll it out as normal, cut the shapes and let it rise again until doubled in size.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll it to about a ½ inch thickness.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Cut the dough using two round cutters of different size. Dip the cutters in flour each time to make it easier to cut.

Collect the scraps, roll and cut out the shapes again.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Place the doughnuts and doughnut holes on a sheet pan covered with a tea towel to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

When the oil reaches a steady temperature of 360°F, carefully place a tester doughnut in the oil to work out any kinks and get the frying just right.

If the oil is ready, place the doughnuts in three at a time and gently turn them until golden brown.

Easy Brioche Doughnuts

Remove the doughnuts from the oil and allow them to drain on a paper towel for 30 seconds before rolling in sugar,

 coating them with a chocolate orange ganache glaze.

Fry the rest of the doughnuts and devour immediately — they’re hot, fresh doughnuts after all! Enjoy!

Easy Brioche Doughnuts with Chocolate Orange Ganache Glaze

Makes 16 - 3oz donuts

Easy Brioche Doughnuts with Chocolate Orange Ganache Glaze

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • (the high gluten content in this flour will stretch and make delicious air pockets as the brioche dough rises -creating luscious airiness)
  • 1 cup whole milk, heated to 110°F.
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast ( 2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) at room temperature and cut into small pieces

Instructions

  1. Using a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, pour the flour in the center of the bowl.
  2. Crack the 3 eggs and 1 yolk in a separate bowl, add the vanilla to the eggs and set aside, but don’t beat the eggs.
  3. Next, like separating naughty children at the sand box, sprinkle the yeast, salt and sugar in three different areas of the bowl, near the edges of the flour.
  4. Using only about ¼ cup of the heated milk, pour it directly over the yeast and start the mixer on the lowest setting.
  5. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time so as not to overwhelm the other ingredients.
  6. When all the eggs are in, add the remaining warm milk and increase to medium speed, beat for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides if needed.
  8. Turn off the mixer again and drop in the butter 2 Tablespoons at a time.
  9. Slowly incorporate the butter into the dough by starting again with low speed and working up to high speed for about 5 minutes;
  10. If you have a few stubborn pieces of butter that refuse to play nicely, go ahead a use your fingers to coax them into the dough.
  11. Transfer the semi-sticky dough to a large, well-greased bowl, cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap,
  12. set in a warm area and allow it to double in size – about 2 hours.
  13. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down by folding it over itself two or three times.
  14. Cut it in half to make rolling out more manageable.
  15. At this point the dough may be refrigerated overnight. In the morning, roll it out as normal, cut the shapes and let it rise again until doubled in size.
  16. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll it to about a ½ inch thickness.
  17. Cut the dough using two round cutters of different size. Dip the cutters in flour each time to make it easier to cut.
  18. Collect the scraps, roll and cut out the shapes again.
  19. Place the doughnuts and doughnut holes on a sheet pan covered with a tea towel to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  20. Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side.
  21. Remove the doughnuts from the oil and allow them to drain on a paper towel for 30 seconds before rolling in sugar,
  22. Coat them with a chocolate orange ganache glaze.
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 For the printable version of the Chocolate Orange Ganache Glze, CLICK HERE!

Drizzle each doughnut with the glaze and if you wish, top them with sprinkles, edible glitter, nuts, coconut, or pomegranates before the glaze sets.

Extras:

Spiced Sugar

Combine 1 cup sugar with 2 Tablespoons pumpkin spice.  Coat the doughnuts with the spiced sugar when they are warm with oil so the sugar will stick.

Vanilla Glaze

Combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 Tablespoon melted butter and ¼ cup milk + a Tablespoon at a time more to get a smooth consistency and balanced flavor.

Powdered Sugar

If you would like to use powdered sugar, wait to sprinkle it on top until the doughnuts have cooled and the oil has dried; otherwise, the oil will soak up all the sugar.

 

Chef Notes:

Use the candy thermometer to regulate the temperature.  If it cooks below 360°F , the doughnut will soak up the oil and taste greasy.

If it is cooked above 375°F the outside will cook before the middle has a chance to catch up, resulting in a crispy on the outside-raw in the middle doughnut.

So, keep the temperature at 360°F for that perfect sweet spot.

My children had so much fun making these, it made our list to do again next year. I hope your families will enjoy making these delicious doughnuts,too!

Merry Christmas!

Easy Brioche Doughnuts


 

9 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. December 10th, 2012 at 11:24 am
    Missy says:
    These look amazing. My mouth is watering. What a fun family night activity!
  2. December 10th, 2012 at 9:24 pm
    Stephanie says:
    Exquisite photos! The fun, the colors! It's clear that you put a lot of care into your cooking and your posts. All this on top of raising five kids!?!?!? How do you do it!?
  3. December 11th, 2012 at 9:18 am
    Cristi Dame says:
    I am in love with your photographs- it makes me want to get started right away!!

    This is on my list this week to try!
  4. December 11th, 2012 at 2:22 pm
    Shelley says:
    oh yum. I just need the time to MAKE these beauties.
  5. January 19th, 2013 at 1:04 pm
    Heather says:
    Hi. I'm attempting to make these donuts as we speak. How sticky should the dough be? At this point I've let it mix and transferred it to the greased bowl but it's so sticky it wouldn't even make a ball just now. Did I do something wrong or is this normal?
    • January 19th, 2013 at 8:37 pm
      Carlee says:
      Hmmm...a couple things; is there moisture in the air where you are? It might have needed a little more flour if that was the case.
      Did it work out? Where are you in the process?
      This dough will be a little sticky because of the higher fat content compared to a regular bread dough, BUT if it is too sticky to work with after it has doubled in size, place it in the freezer for 25 minutes to firm up the fat and roll it out on a well floured surface.
      Next time, knead the dough in your mixer a little longer until the dough pulls away from the sides a bit easier. I am sorry I was not able to write sooner to help more "in the moment!" Tell me how it goes and I'll help where I can. Best of Luck!
  6. March 8th, 2014 at 4:54 pm
    Kayla says:
    I am also having the same trouble as Heather. The dough was nice an firm like I would have expected until I added the butter. After adding butter it quickly became a VERY runny dough. I slowly added in some extra flour in hopes of saving my batch. Hopefully all goes well. I would say I added a whole extra cup of flour to make the dough form somewhat of a ball.
    • March 8th, 2014 at 5:40 pm
      Carlee says:
      Hi Kayla,
      First I am excited you are giving these brioche babies a whirl. On that note, what sounds like the trouble is, is the whirling, or better said, the mixing. Brioche is part bread dough and part cake dough. It needs to be mixed for a long time before the butter becomes incorporated, the texture firms up and the satin sheen appears. It will happen. It's a little brioche miracle that happens in your mixer just when you think you have mixed enough and you are on the verge of quitting, the dough suddenly begins to crawl up the dough hook and slap the sides of the bowl. That slapping sound tells you she's ready. The amount of time is about 10-15 minutes of mixing on medium high speed or until the dough comes together. It should be semi sticky and have a lovely sheen. Something else worth noting: the eggs and butter should be at room temperature. The butter is added 1-2 Tablespoons at a time, then mixing after each addition to help incorporate the butter easier. The butter could also be flattened between your fingers prior to adding to the batter if this would help incorporate it better.
      I am at your disposal if you have more questions. I am excited to hear how they turn out!
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