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
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.
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.