I love these brioche donuts. They are so deliciously soft and fluffy, inside and out, and super yummy too. These are made using the sweet brioche dough and are given overnight proofing in the fridge before they are fried the next day.
You will see in the sections below that the ingredients and making method of these brioche donuts do not differ much from how donuts are typically made. The main difference I would say, lies in how the enriched dough is rested overnight before the donuts are cut and fried.
In fact, I have another doughnuts recipe on this blog which I call the old-fashioned yeast doughnuts. Though the ingredients used are pretty much the same as these donuts, they are mixed and fried on the same day. And they have a light thin crust on the outside with a soft and fluffy texture on the inside. These brioche donuts, on the other hand, are soft inside and out.
This is a basic brioche donuts recipe. You can use this recipe to make filled donuts, donut holes or even flavor them to make coffee-flavored or vanilla-flavored donuts. Anything to suit your liking.
Table of contents
How to Make
- All purpose flour
- Instant yeast
- Since yeast is an active ingredient, it is important that all the rest of the ingredients are at room temperature. I use instant dry yeast that is sold in packets of 11 grams each. So I basically use half the packet for the recipe below. It is kind of hard to measure the 6 grams on a mechanical kitchen scale. Which is why I prefer to use a digital kitchen scale.
Mixing the yeast
- Typically, when using active yeast, most donuts recipes would call for the yeast to be mixed with a liquid that is slightly warm (typically warm milk or warm water). In fact, it is always deemed a crucial step to make sure the liquid (be it water or milk) is slightly warm for the yeast to work well.
- In this brioche donuts recipe, the instant yeast is mixed with room temperature milk. The yeast still works so long as the milk is not too cold. Plus, the dough is allowed ample time to proof so, the yeast gets to do its job well.
Adding the rest of the ingredients
- To begin with, dissolve the yeast in milk for about a minute or two in a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. And then add in all the rest of the ingredients except for butter and knead it over medium speed for a good 5 minutes until it all comes together nicely.
- Next, add the butter (also at room temperature) in small pieces to the yeast mixture and continue to let your mixer do the kneading at low speed for another 6 to 7 minutes until the butter is well incorporated and the brioche donuts dough is all smooth and elastic.
The 1st proof
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and turn the dough out onto a clean workspace. Knead to form a ball and place it in a deep bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap before putting it away to proof.
- The next step is another one that differs from the typical process of yeast proofing. While most recipes call for the donuts dough to be placed in a warm environment or place to double or triple in size, you need to place this brioche donuts dough in the refrigerator. Leave it in there for a minimum of 8 hours (but not more than 20 hours) to proof. And trust me, it will proof so beautifully in the fridge despite the cold temperature.
- Since long hours of proofing (for dough rise) is required with the refrigeration technique, you can mix the dough the night before. That way, it will have enough time to proof. And you get to break the process into 2 shorter steps over 2 days.
Rolling the donuts
- Once the dough is removed from the fridge (it should have almost tripled in size), turn it onto a lightly floured surface and give it a quick knead for a good minute or two.
- It can be slightly sticky at times. If that happens, sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and knead it until it is more manageable.
Shaping the donuts
- I love to shape my brioche donuts the old fashioned way – with a hole in the center. If you have a ring cutter, you can simply roll and cut the donuts out with a ring cutter.
- If you don't you can still make the ring-shaped donuts. All you need is 2 round cutters, one larger than the other.
Here is how I do it:
- Start by dividing the dough into equal-sized portions. You can do this via rough estimation or weigh out the portions so that they are all equal-weighted.
- I chose to weigh mine so that my donuts are all in the exact same size. I weighed them to be 40 grams each. Once you have the portions all divided, shape each into smooth balls and flattened them by hand such that they are about the size of the larger of the 2 round cutters.
- Place the flattened pieces into the larger of the 2 round cutters. Dip the cutters in flour so that the dough does not stick to them. And then press it down so that it fills the cutter and no gap is left.
- And then use the smaller round cutter and cut out a hole in the center.
- Remove the small cutter and the centers followed by the large cutter.
This was how mine looked like after cutting.
Continue the process until all the dough (including the center cut-outs) is used up.
- Leave the shaped brioche donuts to proof in a warm place for a good 1 to 2 hours. They should triple in size. Temperature is very important for the donuts to rise well. So they need to be put in a warm place for proofing and be given sufficient time to proof.
- And I prefer to place the donuts on lightly flour-dusted, individually cut parchment paper squares. When frying, I simply lift the donuts along with the paper underneath. And I slide them off the papers into the oil. This way, I do not have to touch the donuts. That really helps in making sure they do not deflate. Also, since the dough will triple in size, make sure there is plenty of room in your baking tray for the donuts to rise without touching each other.
Frying the donuts
- For best results, use a deep fryer or a deep pot or pan. You can use any vegetable oil like sunflower oil or canola oil. Make sure the oil is well heated up before adding the donuts in.
- To test the oil, pinch a small piece of dough and drop it in the oil. If it floats up immediately and have bubbles all around, the oil is ready. Use a slotted spoon to turn the donuts half way through and to remove them from the oil once they turn golden brown on both sides (the bubbles around the edges of the donuts should have subsided). The slotted spoon helps drain out the oil as you take the donuts out.
- Place the brioche donuts on a kitchen paper towels to absorb all the excess oil. Let them cool slightly before coating them with caster sugar.
- These brioche donuts are best eaten on the day they are fried. They do last for a day or two but the texture tends to become a little stiff and dry with time.
Like this homemade donuts recipe? Here are my other posts you might want to check out
- Homemade White Bread Loaf - A Basic Bread Recipe
- Old Fashioned Homemade Yeast Doughnuts
- Homemade Fried Dough Recipe - Dough Bites in Simple Syrup
- Peanut Puffs - Perfect Tea Time Treats
- Chocolate Brioche - Easy Brioche Loaf
- Easy Yeast Rolls for Beginners - How to Make
- Ube Rolls - Soft and Fluffy Twisted Bread Rolls
- Coffee Rolls with Coffee Cream Cheese Glaze
- Coconut Rolls with Coconut Glaze
- Cinnamon Raisin Rolls
Here is the full printable version of my brioche donut recipe.
- 240 g plain flour
- 6 g instant yeast
- 70 ml milk at room temperature
- 40 g castor sugar
- 1 egg
- 50 g butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup castor sugar for coating
- Fit the dough hook to your mixer. Measure yeast into your mixer bowl and add milk to it. Leave the mixture for about 2 minutes to allow the yeast to dissolve. Stir if necessary.
- Next, add the sifted flour, sugar, salt and egg into the yeast mixture and knead on the lowest speed for approximately 5 minutes until all the ingredients are well combined and the dough comes together.
- Cut butter into small pieces and add into the dough. Continue mixing for another 6 to 7 minutes until butter is fully incorporated and the dough comes together smooth. At this point, the dough should be soft but not sticky to the fingers when pressed lightly. Add a little more flour if necessary.
- Turn the mixer off. Turn the dough out and form it into a ball. Place it in a large bowl. Make sure the bowl is large enough to allow the dough to triple in size without overflowing.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator between 8 to 12 hours.
- Turn the proofed dough onto a floured workspace. Knead it for approximately 2 to 3 minutes until it becomes soft and pliable. If sticky, dust with flour and knead well until it is no longer sticky. The kneading time at this stage is sufficient at 2 to 3 minutes.
- Roll the dough to about 1 cm thick and cut out using a doughnut cutter. Alternatively, shape them into round balls, flatten and cut out a hole in the centers with a round cutter.
- Place the cut donuts onto individually cut, flour-dusted parchment squares and arrange them on a large tray. Leave the dough to proof in a warm place until the doughnuts are about triple in size.
- Fry the donuts until they are golden brown. Turn them over halfway to allow both sides to cook. Remove the donuts from oil and drain them on a kitchen paper towel. Let them cool slightly before coating them with caster sugar.
- To coat with sugar, add sugar into a small deep bowl. Dip each side of the donuts into the sugar until they are all well coated before serving.
And that’s that. My homemade brioche donuts recipe for you.