Doughnuts!

I worked long and hard on this custom brioche recipe that can be made and finished in one day - unlike the classic recipe that requires an overnight rise. I wanted to create a light, airy dough while retaining a rich, buttery flavor. My dough is easy to work with and very forgiving. 

Yield: 24 doughnuts

For the Brioche Dough: 

4 1⁄2 cups flour 

4 tablespoons sugar 

1 tablespoon baking powder 

1 packet instant yeast 

1 teaspoon salt 

1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg 

1 3⁄4 cups whole milk 

2 eggs 

1 stick unsalted butter, cool but not cold and still solid, cut into about 10 small pieces 

For the Vanilla Glaze: 

2 cups powdered sugar 

1 teaspoon corn syrup 

Seeds scraped from 1⁄2 vanilla bean 

Pinch of salt 

1⁄4 cup warm water 

Equipment: 

Stand mixer with a dough hook 

Large bowl or plastic container 

Rolling pin or docker (a roller with pins) 

Doughnut cutter (3.5-inch standard size) or two concentric cutters 

Large baking sheet 

A frying spider 

Two wooden spoons 

Cooling rack or newspaper  

Candy/deep fry thermometer

 

Using a dough hook and a stand mixer on low speed, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast, salt, nutmeg, milk and eggs until blended together. 

Turn mixer to medium speed. Add butter, one piece at a time: wait until each piece mixes into the dough before adding the next. Let mix for 10 to 12 minutes on medium speed, or until the dough cleans the side of the bowl and makes a continuous thwacking sound as it mixes for 1 to 2 straight minutes. 

Turn the dough into a greased bowl or plastic container. Cover with a plastic bag, lid or another material that air can’t penetrate. Let rest for 30 minutes. 

Fold the dough by stretching all four sides into the center. Flip it over so it doesn’t unfold itself. Cover and let rest for another 30 minutes. 

Using a rolling pin or a docker (a baker’s rolling pin with pins that pokes holes in the dough), carefully roll the dough into a sheet that is about 1⁄2” thick (about one finger). Docking the dough breaks up the giant air pockets and allows it to rise evenly. 

Using a doughnut cutter or two concentric circle cutters, cut rings out of the dough and place them on a floured baking sheet. For a 3.5” standard doughnut cutter, you can fit 12 rings on one standard 13x9” baking sheet in a 3x4 pattern. 

Cover each tray (I recommend using an unscented kitchen-size garbage bag) and let doughnuts rise. After about 60 minutes, poke the dough with your fingertip. If the dough comes back halfway, it’s ready to fry. If it comes back all the way, so you can’t see your fingerprint, it’s not ready yet. In a 70-degree kitchen, they should take 60 to 90 minutes to rise. 

Start gathering tools for frying. You will need a spider, two wooden spoons and a cooling rack or newspaper (which will suck the grease away from the hot doughnuts). 

Pour about three inches of canola oil into a large pot. Heat until oil reaches 365 degrees, as measured by a thermometer. 

While the oil is heating, make the vanilla glaze. Slowly whisk water into the sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Start out by making a paste to beat all the lumps out of the sugar. Gradually add the remaining water and whisk until it is smooth and thin enough to glaze. 

Carefully place each doughnut in the oil. After 90 seconds, use the handle ends of the wooden spoons to flip the doughnuts over. Continue to fry for another 90 seconds. Using the spider, remove doughnuts from oil. Place on cooling rack or newspaper. 

While doughnuts are still warm, dip them into the vanilla glaze and return to the drying rack to cool completely before serving. Or eat them while they’re still warm, if you can’t wait another second!!! 


***If you would like this recipe in weight format, please email rachel@montclairbread.com and I’ll send it over!

Yana's Mom's Granola

My first few days in the hospital were rough. Meal deliveries were inconsistent, sometimes non-existent and altogether inedible. Yana brought me a fresh batch of granola her mom made and shipped from California. She told me, as a teenager, it was the only thing she could be convinced to eat. It sustained me for the rest of my stay. Yana renewed my supply when I was released. It continued to be my go-to recovery food then turned into fuel for my workouts as physical therapy progressed. Then, Yana’s mom’s oven broke and the granola supply dried up. She sent us her recipe so we could make our own.

Ingredients

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

10 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup cashews

3/4 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup walnuts

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup raisins

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 325F

  2. Warm honey, oil & vanilla in a large pot, stirring until blended

  3. Remove from heat, mix in oats until evenly coated

  4. Add half the cashews, almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds to the oats, reserve remaining half for later

  5. Spread oat mixture on a baking sheet

  6. Bake for one hour. Every 20 minutes, stir granola so ingredients are evenly toasted

  7. Remove from oven. Pour granola into a bowl and toss with remaining nuts, seeds, coconut and raisins

  8. Store in airtight container

Yana’s mom gave us her blessing to make this recipe our own. You can substitute different nuts or dried fruits. I made mine exactly as she made hers because it’s perfect the way it is.

Reindeer Antlers

Made by Josie, Keegan & Malachi Crampsey with minimal arguing & maximum finger licking.

Made by Josie, Keegan & Malachi Crampsey with minimal arguing & maximum finger licking.

These were a staple in our house every Christmas. I’m not sure where my grandmother originally clipped the recipe from but I have modified it a little to adjust for current packaging sizes and I omitted the nuts. I don’t recall Mombo ever making them with nuts. I also added the cherries just as she always did.

1 package (11oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 package (11oz) butterscotch chips

1 can (5oz) chow mein noodles

1 small jar maraschino cherries

Melt chocolate and butterscotch together over a double boiler. Remove from heat. Stir in chow mein noodles. Drop teaspoons of mixture onto parchment paper. Place cherry in center before the chocolate sets. Makes about 1 dozen cookies.

The original recipe from Mombo’s box.

The original recipe from Mombo’s box.