Valentine’s Day is just a little over a week away. For some, going out for a romantic dinner for two on Valentine’s Day is the traditional celebration. However, with 2021 being what it is…. maybe this year try making doughnuts for Valentine’s Day breakfast instead (still support your local restaurants by enjoying carryout;). Skip the large doughnuts and go straight for the heart of doughnuts: warm, sugary, bite-sized doughnut holes. These Raspberry Sugar Doughnut Holes are light and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Rolled in an aromatic mixture of crushed dehydrated raspberries, vanilla bean, and sugar; their pink hue makes them almost too pretty to eat.
Raspberry Sugar Doughnut Holes
Makes 4 dozen doughnut holes
3/4 cup (170g) whole milk
1 ½ tsp instant dry yeast
½ cup (66g) all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups (195g) bread flour, plus more if needed
2 Tbsp (26g) sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ (27g) large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp (44g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (206g) sugar
½ cup (15g) crushed freeze dried raspberries
¼ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (optional)
In a heatproof container, warm the milk in the microwave until room temperature and slightly warm to the touch (not hot), about 30 seconds. Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle in the yeast; whisk lightly to combine.
In a separate large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture and then add the egg, vanilla, and butter. Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dough on low-speed until combined. Increase to medium and continue to mix the dough for another 6 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The final dough will be soft and slightly tacky. If the dough appears too wet and sticky, add an additional 1 Tbsp of bread flour to the dough and continue to mix until it begins to slightly pull away from the sides of the bowl (the bottom of the dough should still stick to the bowl though). Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside in a warm spot on the counter and allow dough to rise for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a deep fryer with oil and heat to 350F. Alternatively, fill a large heavy-bottomed pot with at least 2-inches of oil and attach a deep fry thermometer to the inside. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a cooling rack on top. Set aside.
Prepare the raspberry sugar by combining the sugar, freeze dried raspberries, and vanilla bean seeds in a large bowl. Set aside.
Transfer the dough onto a well-floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour. Flour a rolling pin and roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Using a 1 ¼ -inch round cutter, cut out doughnut hole rounds. Gather together the dough scraps, gently knead into a uniform dough, roll ½-inch thick again, and cut out remaining dough rounds. Cover the rounds with a clean kitchen towel.
Fry the doughnut holes five to six at a time, turning the holes regularly in the oil, until deeply golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the doughnut holes directly into the raspberry sugar and toss until well coated. Set doughnut holes onto the prepared cooling rack. Allow the fryer oil to reheat to 350F, between each batch, before repeating the process with the remaining doughnut holes. Serve doughnut holes while still warm.
You can also find this Raspberry Sugar Doughnut Holes recipe in my most recent Pantry Staple Sweet dessert column recipe for Feast Magazine! Share your own creations of this recipe with me on Instagram by tagging @now_forager.