No doubt about it, there is something simply delectable about brioche donuts that just makes them irresistible.
Maybe it is the way they are fluffy and light, with a rich, buttery flavor. Or maybe it is the fact that they are deep-fried and covered in a delicious sugar coating (or glaze). Whatever the reason, once you’ve tried brioche donuts, you will be hooked for life!
In this fabulous brioche donuts recipe, we will show you how to make these mouth-watering treats at home.
History of Brioche Donuts
When you look at the history of brioche donuts, we are not 100% sure where they began.
The earliest mention of the word brioche itself can be traced back to the early 1400s. It has always been used as a sort of celebratory bread, brought out during special occasions. In modern times, though, it has found its way into the hands of any person who walks into a bakery and wants to buy it.
It is possible that the bread was first made in the Brie region in France, but other sources suggest the Normandy region. Likewise, some say the word derives from the two verbs bris (which is “to break”) and hocher (which is “to stir”), and others say it comes from the old Normand verb brier, now broyer, which means “to grind.”
What we do know about the word and the bread is that it is French, and those in France have perfected it over the generations. Thanks to them, we can enjoy this buttery sourdough mixture for years to come!
Ingredients You Will Need
When it comes to making brioche doughnuts, there is a bit of a process, but they are so worth it in the end! You will be so glad you took the time to make these yummy treats. Let’s take a look at all the key ingredients and kitchen equipment that you can gather for this project.
To make brioche donuts, you will need some kitchen tools. Most (or all) of them will already be in your kitchen!
- A large mixing bowl
- A round cookie cutter (or lid to a jar)
- A stand mixer (with a dough hook attachment)
- A medium or large bowl
- Plastic wrap
- A medium saucepan
- A spoon
- A small bowl
- A baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Kitchen sheers
- A cooling rack
- A large pot (or deep fryer)
- A slotted spoon
- A small bowl
- Paper towels
- A candy thermometer (unless your deep fryer has one)
- A piping bag (or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off, or a teaspoon)
- A knife
- A rolling pin
You will also need a few wet and dry ingredients.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon instant yeast or active dried yeast
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup warm milk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- Granulated sugar, separated for coating
- Vegetable Oil, for frying
- 2 cups fresh or frozen berries (such as blueberries or blackberries)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Step by Step on How to Make Brioche Donuts
Now that we have gathered everything we need, let’s get started on making brioche donuts with the step-by-step instructions below!
Make the Dough
The first step is to make the dough.
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer (with a dough hook attachment), combine warm milk with the yeast and sugar. If you are using active yeast, allow the yeast mixture to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until it becomes foamy. This is called proofing the yeast.
- Then add the flour, eggs, and salt to the bowl. Begin gradually mixing the dough mixture on low speed with the stand mixer, gradually increasing the speed to medium. Mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about five minutes. Now the dough is thoroughly incorporated.
- Next, you will want to add butter. Leave the mixer on, and add it one cube at a time, fully incorporating each cube before adding the next.
- Once all of the butter has been added, mix until the dough is a smooth and glossy texture, about ten minutes more. You want to do this in order to enhance the consistency of the brioche bread once it is cooked.
Expert Tip: At this point, your brioche dough should be soft, sticky, and slightly tacky to the touch. Don’t add more flour though, even if it’s tempting and you want to.
- Gather the dough out of the mixing bowl, form it in a ball, and then place it in a medium or small bowl to rise more. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it is twice its size.
Expert Tip: If you are going to let it rise overnight, you can let it rise in a cold place like the fridge.
Make the Filling
While the brioche dough is rising, you can make the fruit filling.
- In a medium saucepan, combine fresh or frozen berries (such as blueberries), sugar, salt, and lemon juice. Stir and heat over medium heat until boiling. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes more.
- Remove the filling from the stove and pour it gently into a small bowl to cool thoroughly.
Shape the Dough
The next step is to shape the brioche dough into donuts.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down on it to deflate it. Then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the brioche dough out into a large rectangle that is about ¼ to ½ inch thick. You might not need flour on your rolling pin, but if you happen to need it, it is fine to use just a little.
- Then use the round cutter (or jar lid) to cut out as many brioche doughnuts as possible. Roll the brioche dough scraps again and cut out more brioche doughnuts.
- As you cut them out, place the brioche donut shapes onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave enough space between each one, about 2 inches.
Expert Tip: Save all of your brioche scraps! You can roll them into little balls, flatten them slightly, and fry them up to enjoy them as mini brioches or donut holes. Keep in mind that they may fry up faster, however–watch them closely so that they do not burn.
Fry the Dough
Now it’s time to prepare the fryer.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat or in a deep fryer until the temperature reaches about 338°F.
- While that is heating, you need to prepare your donuts. Transfer these soft and gooey doughnuts to the flyer is by transferring them on parchment paper.
- Using kitchen shears, cut around each brioche doughnut. You should be left with a cooking sheet of little square parchment papers that are each holding one brioche doughnut.
- When the oil is heated, scoop up one doughnut and parchment paper with a slotted spoon and gently lower it into the fryer. Do this for two or three brioche doughnuts at a time. Be sure not to overcrowd the fryer, as this will lower the oil temperature.
- Use a pair of tongs to pull the parchment paper out of the oil, leaving the doughnut in place.
- Fry the brioche doughnuts for two minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown.
Coat the Doughnuts
- While the doughnuts fry, prepare a small bowl of granulated sugar, as well as a wire cooling rack overtop a cookie sheet or a spread of paper towels.
- Then remove the cooked doughnuts from the fryer with a slotted spoon and place them directly into the sugar bowl. Use the tongs to gently turn them so both sides get coated in sugar. Lastly, place them on the wire rack to cool down completely for a few minutes.
Add the Filling
The brioche doughnuts should be cooled by now, so it’s time to add the filling.
- Use a small paring knife to cut out a small hole in the side of each brioche doughnut. You can make the hole as big or as small as you want, depending on how much filling you want in your brioche doughnuts.
- In a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off, add your cooled fruit filling. Pipe the filling into each brioche doughnut until it is as full as you want it to be.
You can stop here and enjoy your brioche doughnuts as is, or you can take them one step further and add some berry filling on top as a delicious (and beautiful) garnish of sorts.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Alternatives to A Fruit Filling
If you are looking for a delicious and decadent treat, brioche donuts are the perfect choice! But what if you don’t want to use a fruit filling made from berries, like blueberries or blackberries?
Good news! Thankfully, there are actually a wide variety of foods that you can pipe into a brioche donut.
For example, you can create a delicious pastry cream instead (or put it on top of a fruit-filled doughnut for even more sweetness!). You can even drizzle the top with a chocolate glaze or cream enriched with edible flowers.
The sky is the limit for what you can put inside (and on top of) a brioche doughnut!
Frequently Asked Questions About Brioche Donuts
Now that you know how to make your brioche doughnuts, you may have some questions before you get started making them. Here are a few of the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
My yeast didn’t foam. What do I do?
You want to use active dry yeast because it gives brioche doughnuts the best flavor. If your yeast didn’t foam, it probably means that it was too old (or in other words, dead).
It is an easy fix, although inconvenient when you have set aside time and resources to make your doughnuts. You will need to to start over with fresh yeast. You can usually purchase yeast from the local grocery store.
What is the difference between brioche donuts and regular donuts?
Brioche doughnuts are made with brioche dough, which is rich and eggy bread dough. The dough is often used in French baking. It is similar to challah bread and can be used to make everything from brioche loaves to brioche rolls. Brioche doughnuts are typically denser than regular donuts, also, and they have a more complex flavor.
How long do brioche donuts last?
Brioche doughnuts are best eaten the day they are made. However, they will keep for up to two days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
What is the best way to reheat brioche doughnuts?
Brioche doughnuts are best reheated in a 350°F oven for about five minutes. You can also reheat brioche doughnuts in the microwave, but be sure to do so in short increments so they do not dry out.
How do you glaze brioche doughnuts?
Brioche doughnuts can be glazed with a simple mixture of confectioners’ sugar, rum, and vanilla extract. Whisk together the ingredients until smooth before dipping the tops of the brioche doughnuts into the glaze. Set them on a wire rack to dry and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Now You Know All About Brioche Donuts and How to Make Them
If you are looking for a delicious treat that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than brioche donuts! These fluffy, buttery treats are perfect for any occasion, and with this recipe, they are easy to make at home.
So what are you waiting for? Give brioche donuts a try today! Bon appetit!
Do you have a favorite brioche donut recipe? Let us know in the comments below!