Sunday, January 16, 2011

Maple custard filled doughnuts recipe from Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery

 It was a long and very busy Saturday night at work. As one might imagine I was on my way home dreaming of a hot shower, cold beer, maybe a back rub, some time to read? I arrived at our house, and upon opening the door the smell of yeast and spices filled the air. I peeked into the kitchen to see my loving wife awaiting my arrival. Baggy sweat pants, over sized t-shirt and disheveled hair, she was coddling the metal bowl from the kitchen aid mixer. It was wrapped in warm towels and she looked up and gave me that "Oh you're about to help me make doughnuts" grin. I've seen that look before but never in this exact way. Followed immediately by the "please don't make me do this alone" pouty face. At this point I would say she is crazy, but I know she has walked in on me doing something similar on many occasion.
I walked in and assessed the situation. It was 12:45 am Sunday morning and the dough was still on it second rising. We had to speed this up a bit because I was absolutely exhausted, so I turned on the oven and we popped the dough into it as sort of a makeshift proofing box. After the dough had double in size we turned it out onto a board, kneaded it lightly and returned it to the bowl for another half hour. Quickly I jumped in the shower, recognizing this as my small window to take care of my business before bed. I finished up and went back into the kitchen where she stood anxiously awaiting this second rising. It was spiritual in a sense. The anticipation of the finished product, as well as just finishing the project, filled both of our minds. 
We rolled the dough and cut it out, and then of course had to let it rise for another fifteen to twenty minutes... Smoke break, glass of wine, maybe some sex? Fifteen minutes leaves time for some things but certainly not all three. 
After the cut doughnuts had risen and we had the oil to a seemingly appropriate temperature we began to fry. She fried and I filled them with custard for the next half hour. They were finally done and so were we. They turned out so delicious but you could hardly enjoy this momentous occasion at four in the morning, barely awake. Bedtime at last. 
We woke up Sunday morning, hell yeah for days off, and I cleaned up a bit. I will never forget the moment I looked over at Monica with her cup of hot tea and the freshly made doughnut. She had a look of triumph and bliss on her face. She smiled at me and laughed. We ate doughnuts, drank coffee and had the most amazing day, due largely in part to such an awesome start. 
Jelly Doughnuts

Special Items:  2-inch round cutter, heavy-duty deep saucepan filled half way with vegetable oil, pastry bag fitted with a #1 or #2 plain tip

1 Tablespoon (0.6 ounces) packed fresh yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry milk powder
2 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
7 extra-large egg yolks
For decorating:  Granulated sugar or nonmelting icing sugar or powdered sugar

Place yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer and pour 1/2 cup of the buttermilk over it.  Add the milk powder and 1 cup of the four and allow the yeast to soften for about 2 to 3 minutes without stirring.  Using the paddle attachment, mix on low for 30 seconds, then turn up to medium-high and mix until the dough is smooth, shiny, and very sticky, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface.  Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the surface.  Clean the mixing bowl and lightly coat it with vegetable oil.  Gather the dough and return it to oiled bowl.  Cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Add the remaining buttermilk, 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons of the flour, the sugar, salt, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and 4 of the egg yolks to the dough and mix on low just to combine.  Turn the mixer up to medium and continue mixing until incorporated and the dough is shiny, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Turn the mixer off and add the remaining flour.  Add the remaining egg yolks one at a time, mix on low for half a minute, until incorporated.  Turn the mixer up to high and mix for 1 more minute. The dough will be very sticky.

Sift an even layer of flour onto a surface.  Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the surface and sift another layer of flour over the dough.  Clean the mixing bowl and lightly coat it with vegetable oil.  Gather dough together and return it to the oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll or pat the dough into a rectangle just under 1/2 inch thick, flouring the surface of the dough as necessary.  Dip the cutter in flour and, cutting as closely together as possible, cut out the doughnuts.  Place them on a floured surface to rest 15 minutes before frying.

Fry doughnuts in oil that is 375 degrees.  Depending on the frying vessel and range this could be anywhere from low to med-high.  This part is a lil tricky but it helps if you have a thermometer.  Fry for a couple of minutes on each side, one side and then the next.  More information on frying per request.

Allow the doughnuts to cool slightly.  On a work surface or baking sheet, turn them upside down and, using a sharp knife (we used a wooden skewer), prick the bottoms (we pricked the sides) in the center of each doughnut.  Fill the pastry bag with filling, place the pastry tip about 1/2 inch into the hole, and squeeze about 1 teaspoon of filling into each doughnut.  Turn them right side up and roll the tops in granulated sugar or sift with nonmelting icing sugar or powdered sugar.

Yield:  18 doughnuts
Recipe from:  Nancy Silverton's Pasteries from the La Brea Bakery


  1. Oh yum..... those look beautiful.

  2. Where is the recipe so I can try..

  3. I love the backstory. =) I love Monica's grin, too.