French Breakfast Doughnuts
Doughnut. Fritter. Pastry. Part dessert, possibly breakfast (why bother arguing when it’s right in the name?) and quite possibly goûter (Pamela Duckerman’s “Bringing Up Bebe” relates humorous and awe-inspiring tales of the French 4:00 p.m. snacktime).
I’m not the kind of person who gets a taste for doughnuts or will choose one from a case filled with other pastries. I assure you, I’ll take the croissant or scone or muffin or danish over one every time. However, if somewhere is known for doughnuts, I will be ordering a doughnut. Whatever you make of doughnuts, I feel passionately about them in one sense: if I’m going to eat a doughnut, it better be a damn good one.
I don’t care if it’s a yeast dough or the cake batter kind; filled with lard or shortening; coated in butter or glazed; fried, baked or otherwise — I just want it to be worth it.
My dear husband loves doughnuts, even ones I may consider less than memorable, so I really wanted to make exciting tasting ones from my own kitchen for him last weekend. After a little web research of doughnut recipes, I discovered this recipe for baked French breakfast doughnuts, and I just plain liked the sound of it. As I read the ingredients and steps, I imagined the consistency of the dough and getting a lovely whiff of the nutmeg being added to the batter. My intuition told me this would be a solid start in making homemade doughnuts, and there’s something to be said about gut instinct…
Here’s the recipe as I made it:
Baked French Breakfast Doughnuts
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup 1% or 2% milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Coat muffin tin generously with nonstick baking spray; set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg; mix well. Using a spatula, scrape sides of bowl between additions.
- Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to creamed mixture. Continue to scrape bowl between additions.
- Fill muffin tins with batter. Note: The bottom of the recipe said this would work well in a muffin tin too, so I thought I’d give that a whirl after taking stock of my baking vessel options.
- Bake 15-20 minutes. Take out of pan immediately and swirl tops into melted butter, then sugar and cinnamon mixture.
These doughnuts didn’t disappoint Nicholas or me. In fact, I ate half a dozen myself.
I highly recommend making these when you’re going to eat them almost immediately after coming out of the oven, dipping in butter and dusting with cinnamon sugar. They should be served somewhere between piping hot and room temperature to ensure they taste amazing. We enjoyed ours with hazelnut hot chocolate, but mulled apple cider would be lovely too.
And if someone baked these for goûter, I would gladly partake in them every time, especially if they’re warm.