Bree Orc(he) or Brioche Donuts

My title is a shout out to LOTR fans.

I saw Paul Hollywood make brioche donuts on the GBBO last week. They looked so good. Boom!

For those unfamiliar, brioche is a pastry of French origin that is similar to a highly enriched bread, and whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb. (Wikipedia) Brioche dough is light, sweet and fluid.

Here is my very slight adaptation of Paul Hollywood’s recipe:

  • For the dough:
    • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 7g salt
    • 50g caster sugar
    • 10g instant yeast
    • 140ml warm whole milk
    • 5 medium eggs
    • 250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • For the filling:
    • 200g milk or semi-sweet chocolate, broken into squares
    • 1 large raspberry per donut
  • 3 quarts vegetable oil
  • Caster sugar for dredging


  1. Put the flour and sugar into the bowl of the mixer, fitted with a dough hook, and add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Add the milk and the eggs and mix for about 8 minutes until smooth.
  2. Knead the dough on a slow speed for 5 minutes then gradually start to add the butter. Once all of the butter has been incorporated and the dough is smooth and sticky, increase the speed and knead for a further 6 minutes. Pour the dough into a large bowl (remember that the dough will almost double in size), cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
  3. Lightly dust the work surface with flour, turn out the dough and roll into a large rectangle.
  4. Roll the dough into a long log, about 2” in diameter and 16” long
  5. Divide the dough into 20 balls (about 40g each). Flatten each one out a little and put 10g of chocolate in the middle – you may have to break the chocolate into smaller pieces so it sits snugly in the middle. Form the dough into a ball around the chocolate and roll to smooth.
  6. Place the balls on a lightly floured tray and cover with a clean plastic bag or cling film and leave to prove for an hour or until doubled in size.
  7. Heat the oil in the fryer to 350oF and gently place the doughnuts, 2 – 4 at a time, into the pan or the fryer. They will puff up and float so you will need to turn them over periodically so that they cook evenly on all sides. They brown quickly because of the sugar and butter in the dough, but you need to cook them for about 10-12 minutes so that they cook through and the chocolate melts.
  8. Remove from the fryer with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Dredge with caster sugar and serve.

Delightful Day of Rest

Last night Fran and I co-hosted the Oneg Shabbat at our local temple. For those who are unfamiliar with an Oneg, it is a celebration of the beginning of Shabbat (#4 of the Ten Commandments) and is usually accompanied with food and socializing after Friday evening services.  Each family of the temple is urged to host or co-host one Oneg a year. We co-hosted with our friends Ellen and Mark, and in absentia, Annalee and Jerry.Eclairs and Dipped Strawberries

I offered to make pastries (surprise, surprise) and settled on eclairs and Kouign-Amanns (QUEEN-ah-mahns.) We called on Wednesday to check on the expected attendance (which is always a crap shoot which is perhaps the wrong metaphor.) It was a teen appreciation Shabbat. We also added some fruit bowls and a vegetable tray for the health-conscious Californians. Since I needed a chocolate glaze for the eclairs and I Kouing Amannfigured it would be easy enough to use that as a base to dip a few strawberries. Those plus a few blackberries would add some color and be a good garnish for the patters. Ellen and Mark added some cookies, ruggala and chocolate chip Mandelbrot (like a biscotti) and some cheese and crackers for Annalee and Jerry and another woman donated a large plate of chocolate chip cookies.

Well, the long and short of it is, we ended up with about one large platter for every two people in attendance.  Mark estimated there were about 40 people present. I was pleased there were no eclairs left to bring home, and the Kouign-Amanns would likewise have disappeared had I not snuck some out for Frances. We will bring them to her tomorrow when we go to the Founder’s Day Party to celebrate the opening of the newest Coconut’s Fish Cafe, 20010 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA.

For some unknown reason the veggie platter was left all but untouched. (We left it for the Torah study group that meets Saturday mornings.)