All right, ladies, gents, and others. I’m back, and I brought donuts!
A lot of people, my husband included, are scared of baking because people say it needs to be exact, without deviation, or all will be lost. Here’s what I, as an amateur but enthusiastic baker, have discovered.
Read the recipe. Then do what you want. Within reason.
Some recipes, like banana bread, are basically foolproof. A recipe may say “3 medium-sized” bananas, but there’s no exact measurement for that. As long as you use 3 normalish-looking bananas, your banana bread will be delicious. Others, like delicate cakes, are less so. Too much flour can weigh the thing down; a little underbaking might result in a hole in the middle.
These donuts fall somewhere in the middle. That is, four test bakes revealed that they WILL bake. For instance, I forgot the salt once; they still baked. However, I found that it it was a little tricky to achieve the perfect inside-donut texture. A couple of batches were more like sweet rolls — still delicious, but less like a donut.
The one thing I didn’t try was an overnight rise, as opposed to a quick one in a warm place. I have a suspicion that if you knead the dough and put it in the fridge overnight, you’ll find the dough to be even more flavorful, a la this recipe.
One more thing — this is the first baked donut recipe I’ve met that doesn’t require a special donut pan! Also, check this out if you’re worried about the filling process (it’s really not as tricky as it looks).
Maple Bacon Cream Baked Donut Recipe Notes
This recipe is a little more specific in places than what I usually post. Here’s a few guidelines to help you out.
The most important thing to remember is DO NOT HEAT ANYTHING SO HOT THAT YOU KILL THE YEAST. Remember, yeast is aliiiive, and it can overheat and die. That said, having warm ingredients encourages the rise.
Here’s a general rule: if you’re making these same-day, then ideally you want melted-not-boiling-butter, warm milk, and room temperature eggs. This will encourage a faster rise. However, if you’re doing this overnight, then don’t worry about the milk and the eggs. Just make sure the butter isn’t too hot.
I recommend whole milk and good butter (that is, higher fat, or European style). That’s because fat in baking creates tenderness. If you use skim milk, it’ll probably still work but you might lose a little bit of tenderness.
Covering the dough
I also learned this week that there’s a reason to cover the first rise with plastic and the second with cloth. It’s because plastic holds in moisture, which is prevents a “skin” from forming and encourages the dough to poof up more. After you’ve cut out the donuts, a cloth allows that skin to form a bit, which can help the donuts keep their final shape. But again, it probably won’t make or break the batch if you use plastic or cloth for both.
Fresh donuts are best donuts! If you need to make these ahead of time, the baked and glazed donuts will keep, covered, for about 12 hours. Then pipe in the filling right before serving.
Maple Bacon Cream Baked Donuts
- Prep Time: 120
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 donuts 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: american
300 grams regular flour, divided (2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup sugar
1 packet instant or active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2/3 cup milk (I recommend whole)
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup (6oz/172g) powdered sugar
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: 1-4 teaspoons milk
2 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled, for topping
Maple Bacon Filling
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3–4 tablespoons maple syrup (we like Grade A – Amber Color, Rich Taste)
3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Optional: Reduce maple syrup by 2 teaspoons and replace with 2 teaspoons Devil’s River Bourbon. This bourbon has a slightly chipotle-spice flavor that works beautifully with the maple and bacon.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 120 grams (1 cup) flour, sugar, and yeast.
Warm the milk in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in microwave, 30-60 seconds. Make sure these aren’t too hot! Cool off in the fridge if necessary.
Add milk, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla to the mix. Whisk until well combined. Cover with plastic and let sit in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until you can see a few bubbles.
Stir in the salt and remaining flour until the dough just sticks together (you may not need all of it). Knead for 5 minutes. Dough should be soft, but if you poke it with two fingers, it should bounce back just a little bit.
Cover and let rest in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about an hour.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; dough will be very soft and pillowy.
Roll dough roll to just under 1/2″ thick. Use a 2 1/2″ cookie cutter (or anything round of the right size) to cut out circles and place on prepared baking sheet. Reroll scraps to make more donuts as needed; makes about 12. It’s fine if the last few are a bit funny-looking.
Cover with a dishcloth and allow to rise in a warm place until about doubled again in volume, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F during this time.
Bake in the center of the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. Gently and carefully move them to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper from the baking sheet to the counter under the wire rack.
Meanwhile, make your filling and icing!
In a large measuring cup or medium-sized bowl, stir together powdered sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. If this is too stiff, stir in milk 1 teaspoon at a time. (You can test the consistency by test-dipping your ugliest donut.)
Cover and leave at room temperature until ready to use.
Maple Bacon Filling
(Bonus: Chill the bowl ahead of time.) In a large, maybe-chilled, completely clean bowl, whip heavy cream to completely stiff peaks, using a hand whisk or stand mixer.
Gently fold in maple syrup and/or bourbon. If this makes the mix too liquid, re-whip back to stiff peaks.
Fold in bacon crumbles. Refrigerate until ready to use (no more than a few hours).
When donuts are completely cool, use a chopstick to gently poke a hole about 2/3 of the way through each donut.
If glaze has developed a skin, stir until it melts back in. Working quickly, dip the top half of each donut in the glaze. Allow the excess to drip, and place back on the wire rack.
When all the donuts are dipped, sprinkle with bacon crumbles. If the glaze has already started to harden, gently push the bacon crumbles into the glaze so they’ll stick. Allow about 15 minutes for the glaze to set.
Fill a piping bag with filling (or a ziploc with a small corner cut off). If you don’t have a piping tip, use your finger to poke each hole a bit bigger to fit the tip of the bag in. Gently squeeze about 2 tablespoons of filling into each donut.
Fresh donuts are the best donuts! If you really want to make these ahead of time, wait to make the whipped cream and fill the donuts until just before serving.
- Serving Size: 1 donut
Keywords: donuts, baked donuts, bacon, maple