I'm going to be honest with you: this recipe is a process. You'll make the dough, you'll make the pastry cream, and right around assembly time you might want to quit, but don't, it's 100% worth the effort. Because there are few things better than a freshly baked donut on a slow morning (like this one):
- Warm Milk: 3/4 cup
- Active Dry Yeast: 2 1/2 teaspoons (1 packet)
- Sugar: 1/3 cup
- Egg Yolks: 2
- Almond Extract: 1/2 teaspoon
- Softened Butter: 2 tablespoons
- Flour: 2 1/3 cup
- Coarse Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
- Jam: 1/3 cup
- Powdered Sugar: For dusting
- Egg Yolks: 4
- Sugar: 2/3 cup
- Milk: 1 1/2 cups
- Vanilla 1 teaspoon
*Adapted from the Gourmet Cookbook (Volume 2) + Smitten Kitchen's Jelly Donut Recipe
Yield: 15 Donuts
The How To (Donuts)
- Combine 3/4 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit until frothy (about 5 minutes).
- Whisk in 2 egg yolks, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and 2 tablespoons softened butter.
- Add 2 1/3 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt.
- Mix with a dough hook until smooth (about 4 minutes).
- Remove the dough and set it on the counter, lightly coat the bowl with vegetable oil, return dough to bowl.
- Let dough sit on the counter, covered with plastic wrap, for one hour.
- Remove dough from bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll it out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into 2 inch rounds.
- Cover donuts lightly with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 30 minutes.
- While donuts are rising, heat about two inches of vegetable oil to 340 degrees in a cast iron pan.
- Fry donuts, five at a time, until golden brown (about a minute on each side).
- Drain on paper towels.
The How To (Pastry Cream)
- Whisk 4 egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan.
- Mix in 1/4 cup flour, just until combined.
- Over medium-low heat, slowly add 1 1/2 cups milk, whisking continuously.
- Whisk vigorously until the mixture thickens (this will take a few minutes, don't freak out).
- Remove from heat and whisk in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Cool completely.
The How To (Assembly)
- Cut the corner off two Ziploc bags (or use pastry bags if you're fancy) and fill one with pastry cream and the other with jam.
- Poke a small hole in the side of each donut (I use a butter knife for this), and fill each donut with pastry cream.
- Squeeze a small dollop of jam after the pastry cream.
- Roll each donut in a bowl of powdered sugar.
- Eat as soon as physically possible.
A Few Notes:
- Use any type of jam you like! I used STAGG Jam's Banana Jam for this batch.
- Feel free to swap out the almond extract for a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a few gratings of lemon or orange zest.
- Pastry cream can be cantankerous. Just keep whisking, and don't worry - it will thicken!
- I use a small-ish glass cup to cut out the donuts. You could also use a biscuit cutter.
- It's okay if you don't have a candy thermometer! You can eyeball it and test with some of your leftover scraps. On my gas stove the medium-high setting is just about 340 degrees.