Donuts Are Your Friend

There’s been some new developments over here. The content on this blog is about to change in a big way. This is due to my decision to stop eating bread, sugar, and dairy. Yep, I’m going Paleo. I know. I can’t believe it either. But after a couple of weeks of bacon, tons of eggs and veggies, bacon, and even more bacon, it’s really not that bad. I don’t miss bread or cupcakes nearly as much as I thought I would. I wanted to leave you with one more epic post featuring one of my favorite things. As I’m sure you are aware of by now, I love breakfast foods. Waffles and pancakes forever. And donuts. Of course. The first time I made donuts, they were epic. Featuring my most favorite kind. Donuts are a process but so worth it.

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The best donuts I have ever had are from the best Portuguese bakery in New Bedford, Massachusetts. And no, you can never convince me that any donuts in New York, California, or Portland, are better. Along with summertime and seafood, New England wins donuts too.

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I’ve been a huge fan of Boston Cream Donuts for nearly my whole life. I’s always suck the custard out before I finished the donuts. Something my brother would always do with jelly donuts. But I don’t like those, so not a problem. But custard-filled donuts are never a problem. It’s basically the best problem to have. My entire household has a thing for custard so custard-filled donuts are a welcome change from pancakes with New Hampshire maple syrup. Sorry, pancakes. But you are still my favorite. Fried dough rolled in sugar and stuffed with way too much creme is definitely the way I’d want to go. Maybe some chocolate milk too, but let’s not get crazy.

What is a better breakfast than donuts and coffee? Absolutely nothing.

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Custard Cream Donuts

Ingredients

Pastry Cream

  • 1 c half-and-half
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¼ c sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into a few pieces
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract (or the seeds from half of a vanilla bean)

Donuts

  • 2 Tbs warm water
  • 1 envelope (¼ oz) quick rise yeast
  • ¾ c whole milk, warmed
  • ¼ c sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbs butter, softened
  • 2 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

For the pastry cream:

  • Heat half-and-half in a saucepan over medium heat until  simmering. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a separate bowl. Whisk in the flour.
  • Very slowly, add about ¼ c of the half-and-half to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Start whisking remaining half-and-half, then slowly add the egg mixture to that.
  • Return to heat and cook until pastry cream starts to thicken. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes, whisking constantly. Bring heat back up to medium, and cook until bubbles start to break the surface, about 1-2 minutes more (keep whisking).
  • Remove pan from heat, and add butter and vanilla. Whisk until butter has melted. Pour pastry cream to a heat-proof bowl, cover, and chill for at least 2 hours (overnight is better to let it set).

For the donuts:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together the water and the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Add milk, sugar, salt, egg, butter, and 1 c of the flour. Mix on medium-low until flour is mixed in.
  • Switch to a dough hook attachment. Turn mixer to low and slowly add the remaining flour. Turn speed up to medium, high, and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes. If dough continues to stick to the bowl, add a little more flour (reduce speed) until it does.
  • Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel, and place in a warm spot for about an hour. Dough should double in size.
  • Transfer dough to a floured surface, and dust top with flour. Dough will be soft and sticky. Pat dough down to a ½ inch thickness. Dip a round cutter in flour and cut donuts about 2 inches in diameter.
  • Place donuts on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm area. Let rise for 30 minutes. Donuts should nearly double in size.
  • Pour enough oil into a fryer or large pot to fill a 2-inch depth. Heat to 350°F. Fry donuts a few at a time (4-5), until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, place donuts on a rack lined with paper towels. Repeat until all donuts have been fried. Let donuts come to room temperature before filling and glazing.
  • To assemble the donuts: Place pastry cream in a piping bag with a tip that has a wide opening. Poke a hole in the side of each donut (I used a chopstick). Pipe about 1½ Tbs filling into each donut. Do not overfill. Roll or brush each donut with powdered sugar
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