My baking is mostly based on whim, which I admit is weird, but I really just bake whatever comes to mind. Not a whole lot of curating happening over here. I like a challenge and when I have time to dig in, I do. For whatever reason, when it comes to baking I am 100% confident that whatever I try will work out the first time, which almost never happens, but nevertheless I persist. The beautiful brioche doughnuts you see here, took out how to took a ton of research and three attempts to get just right. As usual, the third time was the charm
Attempt 1: I decided randomly to follow this Krispy Kreme doughnut copycat recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, who I adore. Everything seemed to be going well until after the bulk rise when I realized I had a serious issue with my yeast. Meaning, there was no rise. Literally nothing. Just a blob of dough. Did this deter me? Nope. I shaped and fried those bad boys, added sprinkles and shared them on Insta. This is also when I learned that you need patience when frying on the stove. Let the oil slowly come to temperature and you'll be less likely to start a kitchen fire. Not that I have experience with that kind of thing...
Attempt 2: I finally had active yeast and got a good rise during the bulk rise. I cut out the doughnuts and placed them on the parchment paper and left to rise for another hour. I'd decided this time that I was going to use my electric skillet to fry because I could control the temperature of the oil better. The second rise ended and I had fluffy doughnuts and was super hyped about them, until I tried to get the doughnuts off the parchment paper. Fun fact: yeasted doughnuts aren't just going to come off the parchment paper. So after all of that work we ended up with doughnut blobs. So close, but yet so far away. There were no pictures that day.
Attempt 3: I read this article on the perfect doughnut and committed it to memory and learned a valuable thing: parchment paper can go into the fryer temporarily and you won't burn your house down! So my yeast was good. There was a great bulk rise. I cut out 37 squares of parchment paper and placed each doughnut on their own square. The second rise was amazing and I kept my oil temperature between 345 to 350 degrees F. Finally, I gently slid each doughnut in the oil, on its parchment square and with a pair of kitchen tongs quickly removed the paper and it worked!
I can't even believe that I made these doughnuts!
So the moral of the story kids is to keep trying. Learn from your mistakes and even when things work there is always room for improvement. I already have a list for the next batch:
1)I am going to weigh my eggs. Why? I felt like the finished doughnut was very eggy. Eggy, probably isn't the right word, maybe heavy is a better description. The dough somehow felt too enriched.
2) Also, letting the doughnuts cool on paper bags is a neat way to get some of the oil out of the doughnuts before glazing.
3) I won't be stingy with the vanilla extract in the glaze. Yes, vanilla is pricey right now, but this is totally worth it.
Looking for the recipe? Check it out at the Washington Post.