Boston Cream Donuts

Travis decided he wanted to make Donuts a few weeks back and while the donuts themselves turned out perfectly, there was a mishap with the glaze. On attempt two yesterday, our yeast didn’t activate properly so the donuts didn’t rise! Attempt three (also yesterday) was very successful! With the adaptations we made and have since added, we think they’re pretty perfect! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (use 1TBSP to aid in blooming the yeast and use the rest in the batter)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 2 quarts neutral oil, for frying, (we use canola)

FOR THE DONUTS

  1. Heat the milk until it is warm but not hot, about 90 degrees (approximately 45 seconds-1 minute in the microwave). In a large bowl, add 1 TBSP white sugar and the yeast. Stir lightly, and let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes. Note, if it doesn’t bloom/foam like in the photo below, start over or your donuts will not work!
  2. Using your stand mixer with a dough hook, beat the eggs, butter, sugar (1/4 cup minus the 1 TBSP you used in your yeast) and salt into the yeast mixture. Add half of the flour (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons), and mix until combined, then mix in the rest of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough is too wet. If you’re using an electric mixer, the dough will probably become too thick to beat; when it does, transfer it to a floured surface, and gently knead it until smooth. Grease a large bowl with a little oil or butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and cover. Let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. If your kitchen is quite cool, put it in the window or somewhere warmer.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll it to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the donuts with a donut cutter, cookie cutters or a drinking glass, flouring the cutters as you go. Knead any scraps together, being careful not to overwork, and let rest for a few minutes before repeating the process.
  4. Put the donuts on two floured baking sheets so that there is plenty of room between each one. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until they are slightly puffed up and delicate, about 45 minutes. If your kitchen isn’t warm, heat the oven to 200 at the beginning of this step, then turn off the heat, put the baking sheets in the oven and leave the door ajar.
  5. About 15 minutes before the donuts are done rising, put the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and heat it to 375. Meanwhile, line cooling racks, baking sheets or plates with paper towels.
  6. Carefully add the donuts to the oil, a few at a time. If they’re too delicate to pick up with your fingers (they may be this way only if you rose them in the oven), use a metal spatula to pick them up and slide them into the oil. It’s O.K. if they deflate a bit; they’ll puff back up as they fry. When the bottoms are deep golden, after 45 seconds to a minute, use a slotted spoon to flip; cook until they’re deep golden all over. Transfer the donuts to the prepared plates or racks, and repeat with the rest of the dough, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the oil at 375.
Dough after proofing. Ready to be rolled out and cut into donuts.

FOR THE GLAZE

  • 1 ¾ cups powdered (icing) sugar (fresh if possible) (sifted)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. For the glaze, sift your 3/4 cup powdered sugar together with your 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Dip the tops of the mostly cooled donuts in the glaze, and let it harden on a rack.

FOR THE PASTRY CREAM FILLING

  •  cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  •  a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Combine 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, whisk in 2 eggs and 2 cups cream. Continue cooking, whisking almost constantly, until the mixture just begins to boil and thickens, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently; cook until it coats the back of a spoon. Stir in 2 tablespoons softened butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Strain through your sifter or sieve, and cool to room temperature before using.
  2. To fill the donuts with the pastry cream, insert the tip of a pastry bag filled with cream into the side or bottom of the donut, and squeeze, moving the tip around lightly to fill all of the air pockets.

*Adapted from the New York Times Boston Cream Donut recipe.

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