I feel like it has been AGES since I’ve last blogged. It almost feels like it was a lifetime ago. Baking and blogging has definitely been on the back burner since I graduated. First there was my year abroad, and now it’s college classes that seem to keep me as far away from the kitchen as possible. It’s downright depressing and I’ve slowly been working my way back up to the standards I had before.
Creating a blog post is always a big time commitment. I plan, draft, test, and like to have everything figured out before I actually make whatever it is I have in mind. I probably make it way more of a process than it needs to be, but I’ve been a perfectionist since age three and that’s not about to change. The time commitment is what has really kept me from blogging. Whenever I’m home, even if it’s just for a few days, 90% of my time is spent in my kitchen, mixing and folding until the last possible minute before I have to leave again. So although I am baking, there’s absolutely no spare time for photos or writing.
But it’s spring break! So of course that means hanging out at home, studying brioche recipes and dreaming up flavor combinations for these fab doughnuts. At least that’s what I like to do as a college freshman. And it was total doughnut domination on my table this morning.
Serious talk though, these doughnuts are really incredible and relatively easy to whip up. A couple years ago I tried to make yeast doughnuts, for a television interview no less, and it could have gone better. I struggled with them, and they weren’t very light and fluffy. These, though, have absolutely no shortage of lightness or fluffiness. And the entire process was far less labor intensive. All I had to do was mix everything up, let it rise for two hours, and then refrigerate it overnight. This morning I woke up early, heated a cast iron skillet of oil, and took the dough out of the fridge to be rolled. It was easy as that, from fridge to fryer.
The glaze was just a little bit of confectioner’s sugar, mango infused honey, and mango juice. Of course you could do any old combination of sugar and liquid, to create your own flavor. I also made honeycomb candy as a fun textural and visual element for the top. And the results were doughnuts that were easy but impressive, every baker’s dream.
Honey Brioche Dough (from hummingbirdhigh.com)
makes approximately 24 3-inch donuts
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, around 100 (F) or below
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 8 large eggs, lightly beaten at room temperature
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- vegetable oil, for frying (around 3 cups)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon active dry yeast, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, 8 whisked eggs, 1/2 cup honey and 1 1/2 cups melted unsalted butter.
- Sprinkle 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour over the wet ingredients, before turning the mixer on to its lowest speed and mixing in the flour until just combined. You may notice lumps in the dough, but don’t worry — these will disappear in the finished product.
- Cover the bowl loosely with a flour cloth or a plastic wrap (it’s important to let this dough breathe a little, so your cover doesn’t have to be airtight) and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, before covering tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerating.
- The dough can be used as soon as it’s thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours — it’s a little hard to work with when it hasn’t chilled properly, so be sure to chill it for as long as it needs to get it to firm up. You can refrigerate the dough for 5 days; after 5 days, divide the dough into 1-pound portions in an airtight container and transfer it to the freezer. The dough will keep for up to 2 weeks in the freezer. When using frozen dough, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using, before allowing the usual rest and rise times.
- When you’re ready to fry them, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and use kitchen scissors to cut off a 1-pound portion. The portion should be around the size of a grapefruit. Dust the portion with more flour and quickly shaping it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a little bit as you go.
- Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3-inch donut cutter, stamp out 3-inch diameter rounds with 1-inch diameter holes. Allow the dough to rest on a lightly floured surface for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill your deep-fryer or cast iron skillet with at least 3 inches of oil. Bring the oil to 360 (F) to 370 (F), as determined by the candy thermometer.
- Carefully drop your stamped donuts into the hot oil, two or three at a time depending on the size of your cast iron skillet. Be sure to leave plenty of room for the donuts to float to the surface. Do not overcrowd, or they will not rise nicely. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until light golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, draining the donuts of grease on a plate lined with a paper towel, and let cool slightly before glazing.
Mango Honey Glaze
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon mango infused honey
- 4 tablespoons mango juice
Mix until combined, forms a nice pourable glaze. Add more sugar or juice to adjust thickness.