These brioche doughnuts are created by award-winning chocolatier, Stephanie Ceronio. Stephanie is the founder and owner of Jack Rabbit Chocolate Studio. They take a little effort, but they are definitely worth it.
- 60 g sugar
- 10 g active dry yeast (or 16 g fresh yeast)
- ¾ cup lukewarm water
- 500 g flour, plus extra for dusting
- 3 extra-large free-range eggs
- 4 T freeze-dried honey (optional)
- 2 T rum (optional)
- 2 t lemon zest
- 1 t salt
- 110 g butter, softened and cubed
- vegetable oil, for frying
1. Mix the sugar, yeast and water in a large bowl. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, or until the yeast starts to bubble.
2. Add the flour, eggs, honey, rum and lemon zest to the yeast mixture. Knead well for 5–7 minutes, then add the salt. Gradually incorporate the butter a little at a time until fully combined. The dough should be glossy and smooth, and will look a little wet.
3. Cover the bowl with clingwrap, then top with a clean kitchen towel and leave to prove at room temperature for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
4. Punch down the dough, fold the dough over itself, then turn the bowl 90 degrees, and repeat until you have completed one full turn of the bowl. Cover with clingwrap, then chill for 12–16 hours or overnight. (This is not necessary if it’s a doughnut emergency!)
5. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured work surface. Cut into 50 g pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth, tight bun and place on a pre-cut square of greased parchment paper on a tray. Leave plenty of room between the doughnuts. Cut a sheet of clingwrap large enough to cover the tray and then spray this generously with cooking spray. Cover lightly with the greased clingwrap and prove for about 2 hours, or until about doubled in size. This may vary depending on the room’s temperature.
6. Carefully remove the clingwrap so you don’t deflate the doughnuts. Half-fill a large saucepan or cast-iron Dutch oven with vegetable oil and heat to 165–175°C. You can test this by placing the back of a wooden spoon into the oil. If the oil forms bubbles on the spoon, it’s hot enough.
7. Remove the doughnuts from the baking tray, taking care not to deflate them, and place into the oil with the baking paper still attached. As the paper comes away from the doughnut, use tongs to gently remove it and discard. 8 Gently fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Roll in your desired coating while warm.
Cook’s notes: The water’s temperature shouldn’t be above 35°C, or it will deactivate the yeast. For the first prove, we have found that placing the dough in the oven with the light on, but no heat, is the perfect spot. The doughnuts will be more delicious if you chill them overnight. If you don’t have time, omit this step. Placing the doughnuts on parchment paper makes it easier to pick them up to place in the oil.
Photographs: Marijke Willems
Production: Abigail Donnelly