I feel so lucky to live in DC, and that within the last year we’ve had a plethora of establishments that specialize in doughnuts. My favorite so far is Astro Doughnuts.
As much as I love stopping by for a doughnut, sometimes I want to make them for breakfast or brunch, and really don’t want to stand in line only to find out that they are sold out. Plus, very few places make rich brioche doughnuts like these.
It requires a bit of planning, but it is a really easy process. They are delicious with orange glaze, spiked with a bit of Grand Marnier. But you can always use only orange juice for all the liquid in the glaze. I roll the holes in cinnamon sugar. Both are great with a steaming cup of coffee.
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup whole milk, warm to the touch
¼ cup sugar
½ cup AP flour
3 cups AP flour
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
4 eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
Canola oil for greasing bowl, and for frying the doughnuts
1. Make sponge: Place ingredients for the sponge in the bowl of your stand mixer, and stir until blended. Let the mixture stand, covered, for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the sponge should be bubbly and ready.
2. Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the flour and salt to the sponge. Start the mixer on low-speed. Add eggs, one by one, until incorporated. Turn mixer off and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the dough to absorb the liquid and for the gluten to relax.
4. Knead dough on medium speed for 5 minutes in the mixer. Scrape down the dough as needed. You may need to hold down the mixer from time to time.
5. On medium speed, add the butter a few pieces at a time. Let each addition of butter incorporate before adding more. Knead the dough for about 7-10 minutes or until you get a dough that is smooth and uniform in texture.
3. Rise: Place about 2 teaspoons of canola oil in a large bowl. Put dough in oiled bow and turn over so that all the dough is coated with oil. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume. About 2 hours.
4. Deflate dough by punching it down in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in refrigerator overnight, to develop flavor.
5. Remove the dough out of the refrigerator. Roll out the dough until it is about ¾ inch to 1 inch in thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out doughnuts to desired shapes. I use a 3 inch cutter for the doughnuts and a 1 inch cutter for the holes. You can re-roll the scraps and cut out more doughnuts. Any imperfections will be hidden by the glaze. Place doughnuts on a parchment lined cookie sheet and let rise for 30 to 60 minutes.
6. Heat canola oil in a pot, to 350°F. Fry doughnuts a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Make the glaze while doughnuts are frying. Drain doughnuts on paper towels. And let cool for about 15 minutes before glazing.
7. Dip the top of each doughnut in the glaze and let sit on a rack. Roll holes in cinnamon sugar. Makes about 12 doughnuts, depending on how big you make them.