Oh hello doughnuts!
These doughnuts are seriously the stuff dreams are made of, this amazing recipe from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery is probably the best doughnut recipe I have ever tried. I have made these beautiful brioche doughnuts a number of times now and can safely say this is a flawless, no fail recipe.
A couple of notes on the recipe before you begin:
1. If you have the Bouchon Bakery cookbook and are working from the recipe in the book, there is a little mistake in the list of ingredients. the book says you will need 5g of butter when you actually need 57g.
2. To make these doughnuts you will need a stand mixer, you need to mix the dough with a dough hook for half an hour so make sure your mixer can handle it.
3. Note that both the eggs and milk in the recipe are measured in grams.
Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller
518g plain flour
10g instant yeast
74g golden caster sugar
9g kosher salt
212g whole milk, warmed to 23.8C (75F)
9g vanilla paste
57g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, at room temperature
canola oil for deep-frying
300g vanilla sugar or caster sugar
1 x 3 1/4 inch round cutter
1 x 1 1/2 inch round cutter
To Make the Dough:
Begin by dusting your work surface with a little flour and spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick spray.
Combine the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix together, ensuring the yeast is evenly distributed.
Add the sugar, salt, milk, eggs and vanilla to the flour mixture and mix on a low speed for 4 minutes to incorporate. Continue to mix the dough on a low speed for 30 minutes, the dough should begin to stick to the sides of the bowl. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, mixing until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and push the dough off the hook. Continue to mix for a further 5 minutes.
Use a dough scraper to release the dough from the mixing bowl and turn it out onto the prepared, flour dusted work surface. With your hands gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape, the dough will be sticky but add flour sparingly only as needed to keep it from sticking.
Once the dough has been shaped into a rectangle, you want to fold the dough like a letter; stretch the left side of the dough out and fold it over two-thirds of the dough, then stretch and fold from the right side to the opposite side. Repeat the process, working from the bottom to the top.
Lift the dough up with a dough scraper, turn it over and place it seam side down in the prepared mixing bowl you sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Lightly dust your work surface with flour once again. Use the dough scraper to release the dough from the bowl and turn it out onto the floured counter top. Once again, gently pat the dough into a large rectangle, pressing any air bubbles to the edges and out of the dough. Repeat the stretching and folding process exactly as you did the first time. Stretch the left side of the dough out and fold it over two-thirds of the dough, then stretch and fold from the right side to the opposite side. Repeat the process, working from the bottom to the top. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl, placing it seam side down as before, cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough over night.
To Roll Out, Shape and Proof the Doughnuts:
Lightly flour your work surface and begin to roll out the dough, stop, lift the dough and rotate it clockwise. Continue rolling, repeating the lifting and rotating periodically as you roll out the dough into an 11 inch round. Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes, until the dough is firm enough to cut.
Line another two baking trays with parchment paper and lightly spray the surface of the paper with non-stick spray. Take the larger 3 1/4 inch round cutter and cut as many rounds from the dough as you can, then cut holes in the centre of each round using the smaller 1 1/2 inch cutter. Reserve the small cutouts to make doughnut holes and use the small cutter to cut a few extra doughnut holes out of any remaining dough.
Brush any excess flour off of the doughnuts and doughnut holes and place them on the prepared baking trays. Cover the baking trays with a large plastic tub or cardboard box and proof for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The doughnuts should have doubled in size and when the dough is gently pressed with a finger, a little indent should remain.
To Fry the Doughnuts:
Fry the doughnuts in a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot: pour 3 inches of canola oil into the pot making sure it does not come more than one-third of the way up the sides of the pot but is still deep enough to allow the doughnuts to float freely.
Heat the oil to 177C (350F).
Place a cooling rack over a baking tray and pour the vanilla sugar out onto a large plate.
Gently drop a few doughnuts into the hot oil, being careful not to over-crowd the pot, fry for around 30 seconds and then flip the doughnuts over and fry on the second side for 45 seconds. flip the doughnuts over one final time and fry for 45 seconds, or until they are golden brown.
Transfer the cooked doughnuts to the prepared cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before tossing each one in the vanilla sugar, make sure the doughnuts are coated on all sides. Continue to fry the remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes, coating each batch in vanilla sugar as you go.
The doughnut holes will fry very fast, fry just until golden brown and be careful not to over do it.
Doughnuts are best eaten the day they are fried but you can store them in an airtight container for 1 day.