June 22, 2009

Eggless Brioche Doughnuts

Last year I remember being prompted by Helen And Peabody to make some doughnuts and then seeing Tanna (who doesn't usually do doughnuts, because she has a excellent doughnut maker in her Dad!) singing praises of a recipe she used to make doughnuts, from Sherry Yard's Dessert by the Yard.

This was way back in February of 2008. I asked her for that recipe which she sent me soon after, but it's taken me almost 1 1/2 years to getting around to make them!!

The first thing that had me a little wary about this doughnut recipe was the need for 4 large eggs! I had a feeling I might end up with "eggy" flavoured doughnuts which no one would be willing to eat.
So I thought I would try to work a substitution for the eggs. I used tofu and cornstarchinstead,  as egg replacer hasn't arrived in my neighbourhood yet. Then I discovered that I had only 60gms of butter in the fridge, where the recipe asked for 1 stick of butter which works out to 113gms!
I had already mixed the sponge, and since the monsoons had put in an appearance of sorts, it was pouring outside. This definitely wasn't the time to go shopping! So I forged ahead with whatever I had, kept my fingers crossed (figuratively, of course!) and desperately hoped that my doughnuts would at the least, be edible.

I am happy to report that my "adapted" version of the original version turned out so good I had to post about it. I shall definitely use this recipe again to make eggless doughnuts.
Here's my version of Sherry Yard's brioche doughnut recipe.


For the sponge:

2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast

1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature (I used 3%)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

For the dough:

2 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

l/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tbsp crumbled tofu

4 tsp cornstarch

1/4 cup milk

60 gm unsalted butter, softened


oil for frying (I use blended rice bran and sunflower oil)

1 cup powdered sugar for coating, or more to taste


The sponge:

Combine the yeast and milk in a bowl and whisk until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the flour and brown sugar, forming a thick batter. Cover with plastic film and let rest at room tempera¬ture for 30 to 45 minutes, or until bubbles form.

The dough:

Run the crumbled tofu, cornstarch and about 3 tbsp of milk (out of the 1/4 cup milk) in the mixer/ blender till it becomes a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Add the flour, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon to the sponge and mix well using a wooden spoon. Then add the tofu paste, butter and the remaining milk. Knead well till you have a a smooth and elastic dough for about 5 to 8 minutes, dusting with just enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Scrape out the dough, wash and dry the bowl, and coat it lightly with oil.

Place the dough in the oiled bowl and turn it so that the top is coated with oil. Cover with plastic film and let rise at room tempera¬ture until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down by folding it two or three times. Cover with plastic film and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.

Using a rolling pin, roll it out to a thickness of 1/2 inch. If the dough is difficult to handle after rolling, refrigerate it for about 20 minutes.
Cut the dough using a doughnut cutter or two round cutters of gradu¬ated size. Dip the cutters in flour each time to make it easier. Once cut, the dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 week. If you choose to freeze them, defrost in the refrigerator and then let them sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before frying.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet, wide, heavy saucepan, or deep fryer over medium heat. Fry the doughnuts till they're a nice dark golden brown all over.

Remove the doughnuts from the oil and drain them on paper towels for 30 seconds before coating them with the powdered sugar. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. Serve them as soon as possible. The fried doughnuts stay fresh for only about 2-3 hours.
This recipe gave me 20 doughnuts.

They were excellent and I can imagine they must be even better should you choose to follow the original recipe. I have never eaten doughnuts flavoured with cardamom and found it a pleasant change from cinnamon.
I prefer doughnuts that are not glazed or filled with jam, so I just dusted them with powdered sugar. These doughnuts are also not sweet at all so if you like yours sweeter, I would suggest you increase the amount of sugar to 2 or 2 1/2 tbsps while mixing the dough.


Ria said...

WOW! They look perfect! I am a bit wary about making doughnuts! But this seems to be a real good recipe! Bookmarked! :)

Prathibha said...

Never made doughnuts at home..Ur egglesss version looks great..Will give a try definitely..

Curry Leaf said...

WOW,was looking for eggless version.they look great and as all your goodies super perfect.It was great you tried tofu and cornstarch as replacer.

BTW,I tried your version of PBM.IT WAS GREAT.THANKS.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

!!! Aparna I am SO HAPPY you posted your eggless version! Egg substitution can be the most difficult problem. Now I can share this with my vegan son as the butter and milk are much easier substitutions that that egg.
Delighted you enjoyed the doughnuts. It often times takes me longer to do some of the dishes I want to try.
Love your doughnut photo too.

Parita said...

Donuts look perfect!! great that you have made them eggless!

Bergamot said...

The doughnuts look really good. Yummy :-)

Divya Kudua said...

Doughnuts...yumm!!Eggless too..you are making them extra-temptingz;).I have never tried making them at home,precisely because we'll gorge on them:).

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Yummy donuts look heavenly...

Happy cook said...

I think even here i have not seen anything for effsubstitution, maybe also i have never really looked for it.
Love the idea of making this without egg at all.
And looks like even without the correct amount of butter it has come out so delicous.

Cilantro said...

Eggless Donuts looks perfect.

Manggy said...

Wow! I'm glad it worked out-- I think I would have been too scared to make those substitutions!

Irmina Díaz-Frois Martín said...

Hello! I like your blog. Kiss.

Madhuram said...

Excellent piece of work Aparna.

Arundathi said...

eggless doughnuts - thats pretty cool! would've loved to have seen an inside shot. they look quite perfect.

A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Wow have never tried my hand on donuts. Will surely try out your recipe some time. Excellent one.

Bharti said...

I'm not a big doughnut fan but so nice to have a tried and tested eggless recipe to go to. Glad them came out well Aparna. I don't blame for not wanting to go out in the rains!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Ooh these look great :) I've been wanting to make doughnuts since quite a while now, would you say these are better than ones with eggs?

rekhas kitchen said...

wow eggless hummm yummmy recipe delicious......... tempting me to make this doughnuts yum yum.

Chitra said...

Bookmarked..looks perfect with neat explanation:)

Vaishali said...

They look great, Aparna. I love yeasted doughnuts. I too use tofu as an egg substitute for my vegan yeasted donuts: it works very well indeed.

Sunshinemom said...

So they weren't brioche dough anymore with all the reductions:). I am sure they tasted great going by my tofu adaptations. They do make good eggs, don't they?:)

Soma said...

Wow Eggless donuts Aparna. They look great & a very pretty picture. Just like in magazines.

Dhanggit said...

what a great recipe you've got here!! thanks for sharing dear, can't wait to try!! i hope it turns out like yours LOL

jayasri said...

Book marked it !, great baker ur aparna..., i am so scared of baking still without eggs... can i ask u something..., how do u just replace eggs with egg substitues.. and how would u think which is best method for replacing eggs.., as we have so many egg substitues please do give me a hint about replacing eggs.., i am still no good at it...., back to ur recipe... the doughnuts look absolutely gorgeous

Aparna said...

This is the first time I've made eggless doughnuts. And I'm quite happy with the results.
That's not to say I don't like doughnuts with eggs (well, fewer eggs).
I like those too. ;)
Would love to hear from you if/ when you try this out.

Great, Sweatha. Didn't really miss the butter, did you?

Thank you, Tanna.
I didn't know your son was vegan. Yes, substitutions, especially for baking, can be difficult.

HC, I am happy it did turn out good with less butter and no eggs.

Mark, compulsions (like no one will eat them!) make me look for substitutions.

Thanks, Irmina.

Arundathi, they weren't around long enough for an inside shot.;)

Avanika, I would say they come a very close second. The eggs give it a certain texture which is a bit difficult to mimic.

Yes Vaishali, though you must have perfected substitution by now. :)

That's right, Harini. I guess they don't really qualify for the term "brioche". :)

Thanks, Soma. I appreciate that compliment about the picture.

Jayasri, thanks for the compliment but I'm not a great baker. Have a long way to go. :)
As for substituting for eggs, it would depend on what you are baking.
Egg replacer works for most things, but I don't get it here yet. So I'm always looking for other things to use, like paneer.
Even tofu is something I have just started getting here.
Will e-mail you in detail.

Anonymous said...

When you take the eggs and most of the butter out of a brioche dough, it ceases to be called brioche. Brioche is a rich dough and gains it's flavour and tenderness from eggs and butter. I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me, it's unbelievably delicious. Anyway, your doughnut recipe sounds interesting. It's pretty cool that you've created a recipe that could easily be vegan (butter substitute) out of a brioche recipe. I'm allergic to processed soy, and substitutions in baking are against my "religion" (I'm a pastry chef) I can appreciate the creativity. Also, if you think those were good, try the recipe with all the eggs and butter.

Aparna said...

I have made brioche with the required butter and eggs and I agree that's what is makes a brioche a brioche.
While I am a vegetarian who eats eggs, we do have a genuine problem with the strong smell and taste of eggs in recipes that require a lot of eggs. There is not much point in my making something my family will not eat. :)
That was my reason for substituting the eggs. But I appreciate the point you are making and understand it. Thanks.