Hi Hi and Happy Sunday! Things are kind of chaotic around here - we head to New Zealand on Wednesday, so are furiously packing / cleaning / trying to shoot as many things as I can so I have content while I am away. I love going back home to visit so, so much, but the lead up to actually leaving always has me a little frazzled. Which makes it easy to sleep on the plane, but it is never not stressful. We have got a bunch of things planned while we are home - a mixture of some extreme adulting and then catching up with friends and family. I can't wait!
One thing I have already promised to do when I get home is to make doughnuts! They are such a fun thing to make for a morning or afternoon tea - still nice and simple, but different enough that everyone is always super excited by them. Up until now I have only really made sweet doughnuts before (I actually have three doughnut recipes up and coming for you!), but wanted to try a savoury version this time, so turned to the classic combination of Pesto and Feta. And let me tell you right now - I'm hooked.
I used my go-to brioche dough, which is insanely versatile and can be used for knots, babkas, twists, doughnuts, hamburger buns, you name it, it probably works. I developed it maybe a year or so ago, and I love how reliable and adaptable it is. I added a little lemon zest and cracked pepper to the dough, then once it had done its first rise, I divided it into 12 balls, then stuffed each one with some feta, and Filippo Berio Basil Pesto. The combination of Pesto and feta is a well-loved one, but it never gets old. The salty feta compliments the herby pesto, making the perfect filling for so many things, including savoury doughnuts. It is such a nice change to have a doughnut that isn't sweet or fruit filled - these will be making their way into my recipe rotation, and I do hope that you give them a try!
This is my fourth post in partnership with Filippo Berio, helping to showcase their amazing product as part of their pestonality tour. Until now I had made most of my own pesto because I wasn't able to find a good jarred pesto, but all of that has changed Last weekend Rich and I went to Bridgehampton to visit them at the Hampton Classic, and had the best time! I had no idea horse jumping would be so, so exciting to watch, and the setting was so beautiful. I've attached a few photos underneath of the day. Happy Doughnutting!
A few wee tips:
- If you want to make these early in the day, you can do the first rise in the fridge - the dough may just need to sit out slightly before you start working with it.
- When you roll these, you kind of cup your hand over the roll and move it in a circle so that the friction between the dough and the surface seals off the filling. Make sure to give it a good pinch too. Because you need the friction, don't heavily flour your surface.
- I use a dutch oven to fry doughnuts in and love it because of how well and evenly it retains the heat. A digital or candy thermometer that clips onto the side is also very helpful - make sure your oil is deep enough and that the tip of the thermometer is in the middle of the oil in order to get an accurate reading.
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Answers to your baking questions
Over the years, many of you have asked me questions about:
- baking in grams
- adjusting oven temperatures
- what kind of salt to use
- and many more!
I've curated and answered them all for your easy reference in this frequently asked questions post!
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts
- Yield: Makes about 12 Doughnuts 1x
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts
- 240g (1 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
- 2 ¼ tsp active dried yeast
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 565g all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- A few turns of black pepper
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 90g unsalted butter, soft
- 110g feta cheese
- 50g Filippo Berio Basil Pesto
- Vegetable Oil for Frying
- Flaky Sea Salt such as Maldon to finish
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 1 Tbsp of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, remaining 1 Tbsp sugar, lemon zest, and pepper. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. If it is not coming together, add extra milk a teaspoon at a time. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
- Place all of the filling ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well to combine.
- Turn out the dough onto a very lightly floured surface. Weigh, and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and place under plastic wrap.
- Fill a dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan half way with neutral oil, and heat to 350˚f / 180˚c.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten it out using your hands until it is about 4 inches (10cm) diameter. Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle, then pinch closed with your fingers, then roll it on the work surface into a ball, taking care not to puncture it so that the filling does not escape. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Working in batches and frying 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time, fry the doughnuts in the oil, flipping frequently to ensure even browning. Fry for 5-6 minutes per doughnut, until golden brown and cooked throughout (break one of the first ones open and give it a little test to make sure it is done). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack to drain.
- Repeat the process with the remaining doughnuts. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving. Best eaten on the day that they are made.
Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for Sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.
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