We all love cinnamon, right? If you don't, then I truly pity you. I mean, cinnamon is great on pretty much anything sweet. But, if you've yet to try a cinnamon sugar donut, you have not yet lived. More specifically, if you haven't had a cinnamon sugar brioche donut, then you really need to get going on fixing that. These donuts are out of this world. Out of this universe when eaten fresh out of the fryer. The dough is flavorful. The coating is wonderful. These are just great all the way around. These donuts are a bit denser than traditional donuts since they are brioche donuts. But the texture is still wonderful. The outside is crisp, the inside is fluffy. Being that no one really eats sweets in my house, I had to eat these donuts all myself. Let me tell you, I have absolutely no regrets. Donuts ARE my kryptonite, after all.
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Sift the flour into a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add in the yeast and mix for about 15 seconds. I just used my hands to give them a quick mix to combine.
Next, add in the salt, sugar, vanilla, eggs, warm whole milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and dry milk powder.
Mix on low for five minutes.
Add in the butter piece by piece while mixing on low. Mix on low for five minutes after adding butter or until dough ball forms onto hook and butter is absorbed.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold either side to the middle, like a letter. Then, turn and do it from top to bottom. Place the dough into a bowl and cover in plastic wrap. Leave out at room temperature for an hour.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold either side to the middle, like a letter. Then, turn and do it from top to bottom. Place back in the bowl and place in the fridge, covered, overnight.
The next day, dump out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out until about ½" thickness.
Cut out with a floured 3" cutter and a pastry tube. I try not to twist as I cut. Biscuits have me paranoid. Use a spatula to move the dough onto a parchment lined, greased and floured baking sheet. Once all the donuts and donut holes are cut and placed onto the baking sheet, place the baking sheet into the oven or next to any warm area. Our oven is off, we're just placing them in there to proof for an hour.
At about the 30-minute mark, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and set to the side. Also, prep your baking sheet covered with paper towels for draining. Prep your pot with oil. Preheat the oil to 375°F. Your donuts should be noticeably bigger after the hour proofing.
Move one donut into the oil with a spatula. Cook for a few minutes or until it's golden brown. Then, use a chopstick or skewer to flip the donut. Cook for a few more minutes or until golden brown. It's always best to test timing with the first donut. It will truly differ because your oil has to be exactly 375°F (use a thermometer) and the dough should be no thicker than a ½" or it will take longer to fry. Anyway, test with the first donut.
Right out of the fryer, quickly drain onto the paper towels for a few seconds, then move to the cinnamon sugar mixture. Toss the donut into the cinnamon sugar mixture and move it back to the paper towel covered baking sheet.
Enjoy immediately fresh and warm. The exterior should be crisp and the inside fluffy with a slightly dense texture. This is brioche after all.
See how I do it:
- 518 grams Pastry Flour (3 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons)
- 10 grams Instant yeast (dry active yeast) (1 tablespoon)
- 74 grams Granulated sugar (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 9 grams Salt (1 tablespoon)
- 1.5 grams Nutmeg (¼ teaspoon nutmeg)
- 5.6 grams Cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
- 212 grams Warm whole milk (¾ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons; at about 75°F)
- 111 grams Eggs (¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons; about 2 large eggs)
- 9 grams Vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste (1 ½ teaspoons)
- 10 grams Nonfat dry milk powder (1 tablespoon)
- 55 grams Unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes (2 ounces)
- Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying (enough to fill your Dutch oven or pot 3 inches deep)
- 300 grams granulated sugar or vanilla sugar (1 ½ cups; sugar massaged with leftover vanilla bean pod)
- 10 grams cinnamon (1 tablespoon)
- Spray a medium bowl with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flour and yeast for 10 seconds on low. Add the sugar, salt, warmed whole milk, eggs, dry milk powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix on low speed until incorporated about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer running on low, gradually add the butter, a cube at a time, incorporating each cube completely before adding the next. Continue until you’ve added all the butter, scraping down the bowl periodically. Mix for 5 more minutes.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangular shape, using only enough flour so it doesn’t stick to the surface. Stretch and fold the left side of the dough to over ⅔ of the dough, and then stretch the right side and folder over the left (Like you would fold a letter). Repeat again, this time folding the top down and then the bottom up. Place in prepared bowl seam-side down. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel and let sit at room temperature for an hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat the dough down pressing large air bubbles to the edge to release. Repeat the stretching and folding process and then return the dough to the bowl, seam-side down, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spray with non-stick spray, lightly flour and set nearby. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 11-inches wide and about 1-inch thick. Working quickly using your doughnut cutter or round cookies cutters, cut rounds from the dough. Dust off excess flour and place onto prepared pan. Place the baking sheet full of donuts and donut holes in an oven that is turned OFF. Allow to proof for about an hour to an hour and a half. If you press into the dough and the imprint is still there, it's ready.
- Fill a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot with 3 inches of peanut or canola oil. Fit with your candy thermometer and heat oil to 375°F/177°C. Prepare a baking sheet covered with paper towels for draining. Gently lower 2 to 4 doughnuts (depending on how large your pot is—the doughnuts should be able to float freely) into the oil and fry for 30 seconds, without moving them. Flip doughnuts over with a skewer or chopsticks and fry for 45 seconds. Flip back over once more and fry another 45 seconds, or until they are golden brown. Adjust the heat as needed throughout frying to maintain the temperature. Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared baking sheet with paper towels to drain. Instantly move the donut to the cinnamon sugar and toss together. Continue this process.
- The doughnuts are best enjoyed the day they are fried. Especially, fresh out of the fryer and into the sugar. While warm, they are heavenly. They do last another day or two in a covered container but their texture will be much denser and some of the coating will be absorbed.
I strongly urge you to use pastry flour. I use nothing but pastry flour for pastries like donuts. Makes a huge difference in texture. Also, I strongly urge for ease and accuracy, use a digital scale and scale out the ingredients. In the video, I only fry one at a time, because the pot is small. You can use a bigger pot and fry more at a time. Eat fresh/warm, use the right ingredients, don't overwork the dough and you'll have some great textured, delicious donuts.