Of all the donuts that I love (and that’s a LOT), raised donuts are my absolute favorite. Jelly filled crullers are a close second. Raised donuts, or yeast donuts, are the basis of glazed, jelly, and all filled donuts. A freshly fried raised donut is pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth perfection. This is my go-to donut for breakfast whenever we have overnight guests.
So when Julie asked if we could get together and make donuts, raised donuts were the answer to, “what kind?” Since I’ve never made a Boston cream variety, I tried that. She also showed me how to make killer dumplings. We spent the whole day making food and sharing stories. I had the envious task of choosing accessories for the donuts from her abundant prop closet, and got to shoot tethered for the very first time. Many thanks to Julie for opening up her home, and sharing some wonderful recipes!
adapted from Mini Donuts, by Jessica Segarra of The Novice Chef and
Make pastry cream the day before to allow enough time for the it to set.
- For the pastry cream: Heat half-and-half in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a separate bowl. Whisk in the flour.
- Very slowly, add about ¼ c of the half-and-half to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Start whisking remaining half-and-half, then slowly add the egg mixture to that.
- Return to heat and cook until pastry cream starts to thicken. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes, whisking constantly. Bring heat back up to medium, and cook until bubbles start to break the surface, about 1-2 minutes more (keep whisking).
- Remove pan from heat, and add butter and vanilla. Whisk until butter has melted. Pour pastry cream to a heat-proof bowl, cover, and chill for at least 2 hours (overnight for best results).
- For the donuts: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together the water and the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add milk, sugar, salt, egg, butter, and 1 c of the flour. Mix on medium-low until flour is mixed in.
- Switch to a dough hook attachment. Turn mixer to low and slowly add the remaining flour. Turn speed up to medium, high, and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes. If dough continues to stick to the bowl, add a little more flour (reduce speed) until it does.
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel, and place in a warm spot for about an hour. Dough should double in size.
- Transfer dough to a floured surface, and dust top with flour. Dough will be soft and sticky. Pat dough down to a ½ inch thickness. Dip a round cutter in flour and cut donuts about 2 inches in diameter.
- Place donuts on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm area. Let rise for 30 minutes. Donuts should nearly double in size.
- Pour enough oil into a fryer (or Dutch oven) to fill a 2-inch depth. Heat to 350°F. Fry donuts a few at a time (4-5), until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, place donuts on a rack lined with paper towels. Repeat until all donuts have been fried. Let donuts come to room temperature before filling and glazing.
- For the glaze: Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. In a saucepan, mix together the cream, sugar, and butter. Heat over medium-high until the cream just starts to boil. Stir once more to make sure all the sugar has melted. Pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then, carefully stir to incorporate the chocolate into the cream mixture.
- Let cool until glaze has reached a thick sauce consistency. (You can chill in the fridge if you watch the glaze carefully. Stir after every 2 minutes until glaze has reached desired consistency.)
- To assemble the donuts: Place pastry cream in a piping bag with a tip that has a wide opening. Poke a hole in the side of each donut (I used a chopstick). Pipe about 1½ Tbs filling into each donut. Do not overfill. Dip the top of each donut in the chocolate glaze.