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Mini Strawberry-Filled Brioche Doughnuts

January 13, 2012

Strawberry Filled Brioche Doughnuts
Mini Strawberry Filled Brioche Doughnuts

I have an important announcement to make, may I have your attention, please.  I love my new cookbook In the Sweet Kitchen!!  I can’t put it down, not that I would ever want to.  It is so informative and the recipes are delicious and inspiring.   I usually only enjoy a few recipes from a cookbook but not this one 🙂 Thanks, Movita Beaucoup!

As soon as I saw this recipe for strawberry-filled brioche doughnuts I knew I had to make them.  Have you ever had brioche?  It is one of many triumphs of the French pastry kitchen.  Brioche is a sweet, buttery and beautiful yeast bread.  It is the perfect foundation for a wonderful bread pudding; the perfect breakfast toast, and nothing makes a better French toast!  If you are unfamiliar with brioche and the technique used to make the dough you may want to have a look at How to make bakery style brioche at home first.  It is a dough that requires a lot of work and time but the results are your reward!

Now, because this is such an amazing breakfast dough you can only imagine the quality of the doughnuts that you will get.  They are soft, butter, beautiful and tender.  You can make the dough the evening before and then in the morning have fresh doughnuts.

Classic Brioche Dough

Ingredients

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm whole milk

3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar, to activate yeast

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or bread flour

1 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt

3 tablespoons sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

11/2 cups fresh unsalted butter, at room temperature but not overly soft

1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for glaze

For the Strawberry-Filled Brioche Doughnuts

1/8-1/4 cup good quality strawberry jam, or other jam, jelly or preserves

Sifted confectioners’ sugar, for dusting the finished doughnuts

To Prepare

In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk.  Stir in the 3/4 teaspoon sugar and let the yeast proof for 5 to 7 minutes, until foamy and bubbling.  Add 1/2 cup flour and the salt, beating with the paddle attachment to make a smooth, soft batter, about 5 minutes.

Beat in the remaining flour and the 3 tablespoons sugar in three additions, beating in 1 egg after each addition of flour.  Mix well between additions, making sure you scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Beat until a smooth, soft and elastic dough is formed, about 10 minutes with the dough hook attachment. (Don’t add any extra flour at this point, even if the dough feels sticky; as the dough becomes more elastic, it will lose its gumminess and become smooth.)  Do a stretch test:  pinch some of the dough and pull it upwards.  When the dough is ready, it should feel springy and elastic.

Knead or beat the butter into the dough in small portions, fully incorporating each addition before adding the next.  This process is definitely easier with the dough hook, but it is not impossible by hand.  Squeeze the first few additions of butter through the dough, kneading until it is absorbed, then use the dough hook to incorporate the remaining butter in additions to prevent the dough from getting greasy and slippery, which is a sign that the butter is melting and not getting properly incorporated.  The butter should be malleable, but not overly soft, and the dough should not get too warm during this process.

When the last of the butter has been added in, continue beating the dough until it is very smooth, glossy and elastic, about 5 minutes with dough hook.  The dough should now have reached the “clean-up stage” –it should come away from the sides of the bowl in a smooth entity.  Transfer the dough to a large, lightly buttered bowl and cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap.  Leave to rise at warm room temperature, away from any drafts (about 75 degrees), until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down and flip it over, deflating it completely.  The buttery side should now be facing up.  Cover again with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.  Punch the dough down, flip it once more, cover with plastic wrap and weigh it down with a plate or dish, making sure the dough won’t be able to creep around the sides of the weight and escape the confines of its bowl.  Return the bowl to the coldest part of your refrigerator and leave there overnight.  If the dough is left longer than 8 hours, check periodically to make sure it has not risen above the bowl; gently punch it down as necessary.  The brioche dough may be frozen at this point, wrapped very securely.  Allow the dough to thaw in the refrigerator for 4 to 7 hours, then proceed with the shaping, final rising and baking.

Several hours before you plan to bake the brioche, remove the dough from the refrigerator, punch it down and turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface.  Invert the bowl over the dough and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Knead the dough once or twice.  Gently roll the dough out to a rough rectangle, 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Be kind to the dough, and patient.  If it seems to be resisting the rolling, don’t force or stretch it, but cover it with a piece of plastic wrap and let it relax for a few minutes.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Using a 2 1/2 round cookie cutter dipped in flour cut the dough into rounds.  Place a dime sized dollop of strawberry preserves into the center of each round, keeping a boarder around the edges clean.  Dip your finger into a little water and moisten the rim of the dough around the filling, then pinch the edges together like a dumpling or a turnover to form a good seal.  Make sure the seam is completely sealed, so none of the filling leaks out during the frying.  Transfer the filled pouches to the baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.  Cover the doughnuts with plastic wrap and let them rise in a draft-free place for 30 minutes.

An easier alternative is to place the 2 1/2 inch rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet and allow to rise without filling for 30 minutes.  You will fill the doughnuts after they are fried and then fill them.

Meanwhile, slowly heat about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer to a temperature of 365 F to 375 F.  Have ready a platter lined with several layers of paper towel for draining the cooked doughnuts.  Lower three doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown, about 1-3 minutes each side.  Place the doughnuts on the paper towel and let the oil temperature recover before frying the next batch.  Repeat until all the doughnuts are cooked.  Do allow the doughnuts to cool for at least 10 minutes before dusting with icing sugar and serving, or the sugar will turn to paste and your overeager tongue will be scorched by molten jam!  If you decided to fill the doughnuts after frying them wait a few minutes before handling.  Once you are able to hold the mini doughnuts take a long skewer and insert it into the end of the doughnut and wiggle it around in a circular motion to hollow the center.  Fit a pastry bag with a small round tip, fold the sides of the pastry bag down and place about 1/8-1/4 cup of strawberry jam.  Twist the excess of bag so that there is no air.  When you are ready, place the tip of the pastry bag into the hole you made and gently squeeze the jam into the doughnut slowly until you can see it ooze out slightly.

These doughnuts are best served and consumed within an hour or so of when they are made.

Makes 24-30 (2 1/2-inch) mini doughnuts

From In The Sweet Kitchen

Strawberry Filled Brioche Doughnuts

Mini Strawberry Filled Brioche Doughnuts

These doughnuts are absolutely amazing!  They are so light, tender and airy.

From our kitchen to yours,

Sydney Jones

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2012 3:50 pm

    These look so delicate and delish. Glad you felt compelled to make them and share!

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