Brioche Doughnuts

  • Prep Time
    20 minutes to mix dough; 3 hours or more to proof, rest and shape
  • Cook Time
    3 minutes of frying time per batch
  • Serving
  • View


I love doughnuts.  But I don’t love the greasy mouthfeel you get after eating one of those drive-through creations (you know the kind I’m talking about).  So, I decided to take a crack at making doughnuts myself.  Of course, the secret is the brioche dough which I discovered is a really fun and relatively forgiving dough to make.  I loved the glossy, satiny feel of the wet sticky dough after I added a stick of butter to it.  My mixer sounded like a washing machine with tennis shoes inside as the dough slapped against the sides of the bowl. I had to put my hand on the top of the mixer to keep it from bouncing off the countertop. I obsessed over whether I had under or over proofed the dough but when I dropped the doughnuts in the hot oil, and they puffed perfectly, I knew I got it right. The whole process was time consuming but not difficult.  Just get your oil to the right temperature and watch it! Working with hot oil is really the only challenge here.


1.The WINDOWPANE test.  After you have beaten the butter into the dough, you will know it is ready to take out of the mixing bowl if you can pinch off a small bit of it and stretch it so that you can almost see through it without tearing it.

2. The POKE test.  This is where you poke your floured finger in the dough to test whether it is proofed properly.  If the dough springs back halfway, it is ready.  If the dough bounces back all the way, it is underproofed so keep proofing it!  If it doesn’t bounce back at all, you have overproofed your dough and I have no idea what you do then.


Brioche Dough

Cinnamon Sugar Topping


    Prep your ingredients for the brioche dough. The yeast will react more favorably if you heat up the milk, then let it cool. Use softened but not melted butter. Pour the flour into a big bowl and whisk it before measuring.

    Step 1

    Place the flour, yeast, milk and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes.

    Step 2

    Turn the mixer to speed 6. Mix for 5 minutes, then start adding the butter one cube at a time, and keep beating for 5 more minutes. The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl and have a glossy finish. It will be sticky but it will come out of the bowl in one piece. You should be able to do the "windowpane" test and almost see through it.

    Step 3

    Put the dough in a greased container in which it can flatten out a bit. Let it rest for 30 minutes, covered. Then fold the corners of the dough toward the center and turn the dough over in the container so that the seams are on the bottom. Let the dough rest 30 more minutes.

    Step 4

    Shape the doughnuts and place them on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Wrap the cookie sheet in plastic wrap or place the whole pan in an unscented kitchen trash bag. The doughnuts will rise again. Let them rise for another hour and a half at room temp. You can refrigerate the dough here if you like for as long as 2 hours.

    Step 5

    Heat Canola oil to 365 degrees and fry the doughnuts, flipping after 90 seconds. Don't crowd the doughnuts in the pot.

    Step 6

    Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Dip the doughnuts in the sugar cinnamon mixture while they are still warm.

    Step 7

    If you want to glaze the doughnuts with icing, mix one cup sifted confectioner's sugar with 2 TBS. milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. You can then sprinkle nuts over the top of the doughnuts; in this case, I had a packet of mixed nuts from Starbuck's, and they were perfect on top of an iced doughnut.

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