Donuts

I’ve been thinking of making donuts for the past 2 weeks, so I knew today was the day to finally make them!  An airy soft donut, filled with either vanilla or chocolate pastry cream and rolled in sugar; what could be more dreamy!?  I’d also like to warm everyone that I am going away next week to help a friend move cross country so there might not be a new recipe posted for a little bit!  But don’t worry I’ll be back soon!

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Time for some donut history!  Donuts were created in Europe. The ancient Greeks would fry pastry dough and top it with honey.  Another donut variation was very popular in Arabian countries.  They would fry yeasted dough; these donuts became very popular all throughout Europe in the 1400’s.  Donuts were introduced to America by Dutch immigrants and Pilgrims.

Donuts have a very long history in America.  They were sold during World War 1 by female Salvation Army workers wanting to bring a taste of home to soldiers in France.  Donuts were also very popular during the Great Depression since they were cheap to make.  Donuts were even given to immigrants coming to America through Ellis Island in the early 1900’s!

Also popular in Jewish history, donuts are known as sufganiyot.  They are fried dough usually eaten at Hanukkah!  William Rosen, a son of Jewish immigrants, ran a catering business.  His two most popular products were coffee and donuts; so he decided to launch a business in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1948 only selling these two things.  He called it “The Open Kettle.”  Two years later he changed the name to “Dunkin Donuts.”  It took off and 5 years later he opened another location and more followed.  Today there are over 5,000 Dunkin Donuts in the world serving 2 million customers a day!

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Donuts

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 package active yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Pastry Cream

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast and warm water.
  2. Add everything to the bowl and beat on medium speed for 6 minutes. img_2799-1
  3. Form dough ball and  place in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cover with a hand towel.  Let rise for 2 hours.                                      img_2811-1.jpg
  4. After the 2 hours, transfer dough to a floured counter top and press down until 1/2 inch thick.  Using a circle cookie cutter, cut dough balls out.  Use the scrap to make donut holes if desired!                                       img_2814-1
  5. Transfer cut-out dough to a sheet tray lined with waxed paper and sprinkled with flour.  Cover dough pieces with plastic wrap and cover with hand towel.  Let rise another hour.                                                        img_2823-1
  6. While dough is rising, make the pastry creams!
  7. For the vanilla pastry cream: in a small saucepan, combine milk, sugar and salt.  In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together yolks and cornstarch.  Once milk boils, slowly pour into egg yolks whisking constantly.  Pour back into saucepan and whisk until it simmers.  Strain and pour into bowl.
  8. Add butter and vanilla to pastry cream and place a layer of plastic wrap on top of cream.  Refrigerate until cool!
  9. For the chocolate pastry cream:  in a small saucepan, combine milk, sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together yolk and cornstarch.  Once milk boils, slowly pour into egg yolks whisking constantly.  Pour back into saucepan and whisk until it simmers.  Strain and pour into bowl.
  10. Add butter and vanilla to chocolate pastry cream and place a layer of plastic wrap on top of cream.  Refrigerate until cool.
  11. When donuts are ready to fry, set up fryer or add vegetable oil to a pot and let it heat up.  Fry donuts, about 3 minutes on each side, flipping halfway through.   img_2828-1
  12. Roll donuts in sugar and cool.  Pipe pastry cream into center of donuts and enjoy!

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