12 Days of Christmas Baking- Pastry Edition Day 1: Bavarian Cream Donuts

Photo: K.Henriques

Merry Christmas and happy day one of this year’s 12 Days of Christmas Baking! This year I’m focusing on pastries!

Donuts are notorious for being time consuming and even though I made beignets yesterday, this was my first attempt at actual donuts. I read through the instructions for this recipe multiples times before starting since I knew timing would be important. I started the dough the night before since it seemed easier to let it rest in the fridge overnight rather than during the day. Making the dough wasn’t too difficult since we do have a stand mixer and that takes a lot of the stress of kneading out. I did end up having to add 1/4 cup of flour as mentioned since my dough was still sticky after mixing for 5 minutes.

With the dough completed and resting in the fridge I moved on to make the pastry cream since it also needed to chill for a while. The recipe mentions that you can let the milk and vanilla bean infuse for a little bit after heating them together so I decided to try it. I think I let mine infuse for around 15 minutes and then heated it back up so the milk was still hot before tempering the egg/sugar mixture with the hot milk/vanilla. I didn’t have any issues with this part of the process, though I appreciated the note about how it’ll look like scrambled eggs a bit while it’s cooking because I panicked a little at seeing this before remembering those words. Just make sure you keep stirring!

The next morning I got up early to roll the dough out so it could rise another hour. I was a little worried because the dough seemed really cold and stiff and was worried it wouldn’t rise the way it should. The recipe mentions it will only rise a little so once I noticed it was doing that I relaxed a little. Then it was time for frying…

I’m really not great at frying and I’m always super nervous about setting the house on fire or something since I know it can be dangerous if the oil spatters. I used our big stainless steel soup pot and we used enough oil, but probably not a full gallon. Thankfully we had no issues during this part of the process and I was excited to turn the donuts over and see the crispy golden side.

I chose to only pipe the filling into the donuts as needed since I knew we wouldn’t eat all of them at once and didn’t want the donuts to get soggy. My pastry cream ended up being a little on the runny side so I wasn’t able to pipe it the way the recipe shows. I also discovered a few of my donuts were still a little underdone in the middle so next time I’ll be sure to leave them in the fryer a little bit longer so they’re fully cooked.

All in all these definitely take time and a little more effort than other recipes, but taste wise they were delicious. I forgot to take a picture of the filled donuts since I didn’t want to fill a lot and then the donut get soggy, but you’ll have to trust me that they looked and tasted very good. My husband made a quick chocolate ganache and dipped an unfilled donut into it and that was also delicious and reminiscent of these churros and chocolate we get at a local Mexican restaurant. Hands down I’d make these again!

Baking Ease7
Time Spent6
Taste10
Visual10

Recipe Used: Pies & Tacos

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