Zeppole (Italian Christmas doughnuts)

Zeppole are a traditional Italian doughnut–a Christmas treat, but the internet holds many different descriptions and definitions of what they are. Some versions are carefully piped, some are made as small doughnut holes, and some are roughly free-form. Years ago Jeff Hertzberg ate the later rendition in New York at the San Gennaro Street Festival in Little Italy, (which is held in September, so these aren’t just for Christmas) and he loved them so much he knew we needed a post about them.

Our version here is based on the Beignet recipe from our book New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day; the dough is no-knead, of course, and is lightly flavored with orange and lemon. I must admit I was a little nervous not pulling out my doughnut cutter to make perfect circles, but Jeff reminded me to “embrace the irregular shape,” and so I let go and tossed the roughly-shaped dough in to the very hot oil.

The golden brown Zeppole that emerged a few minutes later were absolutely delicious; their haphazard shapes gave them a charming quality, and the gentle citrus flavors were lovely. I’m not Italian, but these really are too good not to add to my Christmas tradition. And if you’ve been to our blog before at this time of year, you’ll remember these zeppole are very, very similar to Hannukah soufganiot (see the soufganiot post for more on frying up doughnuts).

Going live soon on Instagram.com/breadin5, you can watch an Instagram reel and see us make the zeppoleAnd on Friday, December 10 at 2:00PM CT, we’ll be doing an Instagram Live event with much more detail. WE’VE HAD TO POSTPONE OUR INSTAGRAM-LIVE EVENT… STAY TUNED, SO SORRY…

Also, Red Star Yeast is doing a giveaway through their website–to enter, you have to go there, not here, unlike our usual giveaways. Red Star will give away five bread-baking kits in a random drawing ($84 retail value), including Platinum yeast, a Red Star dough whisk, an oven mitt, a tea towel, a Cambro dough bucket, and a copy of The Best of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Click here to enter.

Zeppole

This recipe is based on the beignet recipe from our book, New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, page 316.

2 3/4 cup lukewarm water

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon Red Star Platinum yeast

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest (you will need a microplane zester)

1 tablespoon Morton Kosher Salt

6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Vegetable Oil – 3 to 4 inches deep (use a pot that is large enough that your oil is not sitting too high in the pot)

Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling

Combine the warm water, orange juice yeast, sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a 5-quart bowl; preferably, in a lidded (not airtight) plastic container or food-grade bucket. Mix until all of the flour is incorporated using a stand mixer or dough whisk. Cover, and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours. You can use the dough right away, or refrigerate it for up to 14 days.

On Baking Day (if you need to see a visual, you can check out our other post on doughnuts here, with more pictures on shaping and frying):

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly grease the parchment.

Pull out 3 oz pieces of dough (peach-sized) piece of dough, and flatten them slightly (the whole bucket of dough will make 15 to 20 zeppole, but you can do fewer pieces if desired). Place them on the prepared pan and cover with a lightly greased piece of plastic. Allow the dough to sit for at least 20 minutes (and up to one hour) while the oil heats up.

Once your oil reads 360-370°F on a Candy Thermometer you are ready to fry. Use a slotted spoon or Basket Strainer to flip the doughnuts over after about 2 minutes and then to take them out of the oil once they are golden brown on both sides. This works best with two people – have one person shape the dough, and the other to manage the submerging and turning. Try to keep the oil temperature as consistent as possible. Lay them out on paper towel to allow some of the oil to drain off. Let the zeppole sit for a few minutes, then lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Brioche Doughnuts

pumpkin brioche doughnuts

It’s that time of year again: pumpkin in everything! I have to admit I don’t mind the pumpkin-y goodness showing up all over the interwebs; there is something very comforting (once the cold weather hits) about all the cinnamon spice in the air. We decided to update our pumpkin pie brioche recipe just a little, and as we are big fans of doughnuts over here, pumpkin doughnuts, of course, had to happen. If you are not yet in the mood for pumpkin, you can find our regular brioche doughnuts here. And, if you need a gluten-free treat, we have Apple Cider Gluten Free doughnuts here.

Also! Don’t forget you can pre-order our new cookbook, Holiday and Celebration Breads in Five Minutes a Day. You can read all about the book here. The book comes out November 6th, and you can preorder here.

pumpkin brioche doughnuts

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Spelt Donuts with Blood Orange Glaze

Spelt Donuts with Blood Orange Glaze Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

If you’ve been around this site long enough, you’ll know that we are big fans here of using our no-knead brioche dough to make donuts. We’ve made jelly-filled donuts, mini-donuts, espresso-chocolate donuts, powdered sugar donuts, and even s’mores donuts. But I firmly believe that there can’t be too many ways to enjoy one of our favorite treats, and so I bring you yet another recipe for warm, delicious circles of goodness. After reviving our spelt pizza dough a few weeks ago, I decided to try and come up with an enriched version of it; I like the flavor it lends to sweet confections, and it makes whatever I am baking a little more healthy, which is always a good thing. These spelt donuts are made with both spelt and all-purpose flour, and fry up light and tasty.

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S’mores Brioche Doughnuts

smores brioche doughnuts | bread in 5

Today is National Doughnut Day! Well, actually it appears there are several ‘National Doughnut Days’ in our country. But, it’s completely understandable that many people want to celebrate doughnuts as often as they can. I’ve decided to go all out today, and bring you an amazingly delicious yet slightly ridiculous doughnut: a s’mores doughnut. This beauty is made from brioche dough, glazed in chocolate, coated in graham cracker crumbs, and then smothered in toasted meringue. Each bite will leave you with a marshmallow mustache and sticky hands, but I promise it’s worth it.

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Apple Cider Gluten-Free Brioche and Doughnuts

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Doughnuts | Breadin5

(photo by Stephen Scott Gross, styled by Sarah Kieffer)

“…Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth…”
Robert Frost After Apple-Picking
This time of year nearly everything worth eating has apples in it. This gluten-free brioche from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is made with the rich, slightly cloudy apple cider, which has a wonderful tang to it and isn’t overly sweet. You can use the clear apple juice, but it doesn’t have the same depth of flavor. This gluten-free brioche dough is wonderful baked in a loaf pan, made into a coffee cake or fried and dusted with cinnamon sugar like these doughnuts.

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Doughnuts

Quick & Easy Homemade Doughnuts | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

I was thrilled when doughnuts took over as the “hot dessert trend” from the fanciful cupcake. I do like cupcakes, but they don’t excite me like a freshly made doughnut. These days you can find gourmet doughnut shops popping up all over the USA. They offer the classic flavors along with some very exotic, even esoteric combinations. I’ve seen everything from bacon to rose petals on a doughnut. I’ve tried every combination I can find and for me it all comes down to the dough. I like soft, airy yeast dough and it should be slightly sweet, but not overly so. The gourmet shops use great ingredients and treat their dough with TLC, so they often cost a small fortune. Truth is, homemade doughnuts are super easy and quick to make, especially with our five minute dough. You can make them as fancy or simple as you like and they only cost about 20 cents each, add a few cents for the bacon and rose petals! 😉 (more…)

Ring in the New Year With Chocolate Espresso Mini Doughnuts

Somehow another year has slipped by again. Many of us are winding down our holiday preparations, and we are packing up ornaments, changing our diets, and erasing holiday playlists from our iPods. However, there is one day left to celebrate with good cheer; one door left open to a little decadence and indulgence. This would, of course, be New Years, and we are ready to ring it in.

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Baked Apple Doughnuts – updated

It is that time of year again in Minnesota, when the weather goes from 90°F one day, to 48°F the next. It is bittersweet to lose summer, but we enthusiastically head into baking season. This time of year also brings the apples, glorious apples. This week alone I have made pie, fritters, waffles and these baked doughnuts with all the apple varieties I found at the farmers market (or your favorite orchard). Baked Doughnuts? Many of you have requested a doughnut recipe that is not fried. I admit I was hesitant, since I am a doughnut fanatic and was afraid the baked version would be a poor substitute. I am, once again, thrilled to announce YOU WERE RIGHT! The baked apple doughnuts are tender, sweet and studded with pieces of tart apples. The trick is to coat the dough in lots of cinnamon sugar, then bake them so they are still soft on the inside and have a wonderful sugar crust on the outside. The Maple Glaze gives them an even more decadent feel, even though they are the healthy version of our favorite treat. You may never miss the fried version again, but if you are like me, you’ll make both.

Baked Apple Doughnuts:

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Savory Doughnuts

This week is Chanukah and it is all about frying our food, which brings me great joy. I am constantly trying to come up with something new to add to our menu of latkes, jelly doughnuts and all the other traditional fare. These savory doughnuts were inspired by the fried pizzas I had in Naples. We ate them as snacks during the day, to tide us over to the next pizza. Most of the pizzarias sold them outside their front doors to people waiting in long lines or folks on the run. Pizza dough stuffed with ricotta and deep friend; simple, but perfect. My boys love them stuffed with a variety of fillings, so use your imagination and create your own savory doughnuts. (more…)

The Ultimate Jelly Doughnuts!

This week is Chanukah and my family revels in the amount of doughnuts (sufganiyot) we can eat. It is tradition during the holiday to eat fried food, lots of it, which is something I easily embrace. We start with lacy potato latkes and end the meal with jelly doughnuts. This year I filled the doughnuts with many types of jam, jelly and preserves, each had a different topping to go with it. Each one became my new favorite. With a bucket of brioche dough from ABin5 and some oil you are ready to make doughnuts that are better than the bakery down the street.

We want to thank Willie Geist for featuring Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day on this weekends broadcast of the TODAY SHOW. What a thrill!

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