Yes, I admit doughnuts are one of my favorite treats, which is why I'm excited about this recipe for S'Mores Doughnuts with a Chocolate Glaze. It's a soft, slightly chewy doughnut dipped in a chocolate glaze, covered with buttery graham cracker crumble and topped with a toasted Swiss meringue. It's as good as it sounds.
I made a lot of doughnuts to get to the final result of this chocolatey S'Mores Doughnut. Something my family and friends are grateful for. Read more to learn how to make these delicious doughnuts. And if you're interested in getting notified about new recipes on my blog, sign up for my newsletter.
Ingredients for Yeast Raised Doughnuts
The ingredient list is relatively short, but it is important to understand how the ingredients work together to produce the end results.
- Unbleached All-Purpose. Flour provides the structure for the doughnut
- Dry Yeast. Yeast is what causes the dough to rise unlike cake doughnuts which use a chemical leavener, like baking powder.
- Whole Milk. Milk helps tenderize the dough and add richness. Water can be used if milk is not available.
- Whole Eggs. Eggs add structure and tenderize the dough. I always use large eggs for my baking, weigh about 50 grams each
- Unsalted Butter. The fat tenderizes the dough, adds richness and flavor. Vegetable shortening can be used in place of butter, but the taste won't be the same.
- Mace and Nutmeg. Adds flavor to the dough. Experiment with other spices such as cinnamon, or cardamom.
- Sugar. Sugar adds just a little sweetness. Yeast doughs usually contain very little sugar.
- Salt. Salt intensifies the other flavors.
This recipe from start to finish takes about 3 hours. I made a lot of doughnuts over the course of three weeks to get this recipe right. I read through a lot of recipes to figure out the ratio of all the ingredients. Every recipe was different. Some recipes used 3 tablespoons of yeast for every 3-1/2 cups of flour while others used just over 2 teaspoons of yeast. One recipe used just 1 tablespoon of sugar, while most used 4-6 tablespoons of sugar. Like I said a lot of differences.
Throughout testing the one constant was the amount of flour as I varied the other ingredients. I always taste-tested the doughnuts without glaze, because I wanted the doughnut to taste good all by itself.
The first version used vegetable shortening, but my final recipe uses butter. The butter version had a better richer taste. I also increased the amount of salt, but the amount of milk and fat (butter) stayed the same throughout testing. The first three test batches had 4 tablespoons of sugar, but the final version has 5 and I like that extra bit of sweetness. The final recipe has 1-1/2 tablespoons of yeast. This amount gave the doughnuts a nice rise without being too yeasty.
But the thing that made the biggest difference in how the doughnuts turned out what the order in which I mixed the ingredients. The test batches made with a sponge produced a more tender doughnut than the version where all the ingredients were mixed together from the beginning. I'm still figuring out the science of why this method works best, but I can't argue with the results.
How to Make Fluffy Yeast Raised Doughnuts
The recipe starts with a sponge made with a portion of the flour, most of the yeast and a tablespoon of the sugar. After mixing all those ingredients together, it is allowed to sit for 15 minutes.
Once the sponge is ready, add all the remaining ingredients, except the butter and mix with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer until the flour is thoroughly mixed in with the wet ingredients. Switch to the dough hook and add the butter in 3 pieces. Once the butter is thoroughly mixed in the speed is increased to medium and the dough is kneaded until the pulls away from the sides and bottoms of the bowl.
When I made a dough without making the sponge and added all the ingredients once the yeast had proofed, the dough was very sticky, hard to handle and the final doughnuts didn't have the same depth of flavor.
Once the dough is mixed allow it to rise for about an hour until doubled in amount. Roll out the dough, cut out the doughnuts and allow them to rise a second time for 30-45 minutes.
How to Proof Dough When It's Cold Outside
Sometimes one of the challenges of making a yeast dough is having a cold kitchen especially first thing in the morning. I am fortunate to have a proofing function on my oven, but if you don't have that feature on your oven here are the steps for creating your own proofing box in your oven.
Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Pour 8 cups of boiling water into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set it on the floor or bottom rack of your oven. Place the bowl with the covered dough on the middle rack of the oven, close the door and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Repeat these steps for the second rise.
How to Fry Doughnuts
Now we're onto frying the dough and making doughnuts. You're almost there. If you don't do much deep frying or have never done it before it can seem a little intimidating. But it can be done and done successfully. Here are the tools you will need for frying the doughnuts.
- Candy Thermometer (or Instant Read Thermometer). These tools will help you keep track of and maintain the oil temperature. The candy thermometer will be attached to the side of the pot.
- Good Quality Saucepan or Dutch Oven. You will need a 4 or 5-quart pot to ensure you have enough room to fry and turn the doughnuts. A quality pot will ensure even oil temperature and make it easier to maintain the temperature.
- Spider Skimmer. This skimmer is great for deep frying as it allows you to easily pick up the food and quickly drains the oil.
- Chopsticks or Wooden Skewers. Chopsticks or skewers are perfect for turning the doughnuts over.
- Cooling Rack. The rack is used to drain the doughnuts as they cook and I set it over a half sheet pan.
Here are the tips for successfully frying doughnuts:
- The oil should have a depth of 1-1/2 inches at least. Use vegetable or canola oil.
- Slowly heat the oil on medium-high heat. As the oil gets closer to temperature check the rise on your doughnuts and make sure all your other tools are in place.
- Fry the doughnuts at about 360 degrees F. I discovered that this was the good temperature to create a slightly crisp exterior and keep the doughnut from soaking in too much oil. It is okay if the temperature goes up to 370 degrees F, but if it goes past 370, remove the pot from the heat and allow the oil to cool slightly.
- Fry the doughnuts for 1 minute on each side. I use the timer on my stove to keep track of the time.
- If using a 4-quart pot, fry 2 doughnuts at a time. If using a 5-quart pot fry up to 3 doughnuts at a time.
Here are a few safety tips:
- Never walk away when deep frying. If you have to leave the kitchen remove the pot of oil from the heat, turn off the heat and reheat it when you return.
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. It's a good idea to have an extinguisher in your kitchen no matter what you are cooking.
Finishing the Doughnuts
Now we get to the fun part - finishing the doughnuts. This recipe calls for a chocolate glaze and a graham cracker crumble, topped with a Swiss meringue. The taste combination is incredible.
The chocolate glaze is equal parts chocolate and butter melted using a double boiler. Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl, then place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir slowly and continuously as both ingredients are melting. As soon as all the chocolate and butter are melted and well combined, remove it from the heat.
For the graham cracker crumble take 8-9 whole graham crackers, place them in a gallon-size plastic bag, and beat them with a rolling pin until they are all crumbs. Place the crumbs in a bowl and add melted butter and a pinch of salt. Mix with a spoon until the crumbs begin to clump together.
Dip the doughnuts in the chocolate glaze one at a time and then sprinkle the graham cracker crumble over the chocolate glaze. Top the doughnuts with Swiss Meringue and have fun (but be safe) with the kitchen torch as you toast the meringue. The doughnuts are now finished and ready to eat.
If you've never made doughnuts before, then make this delicious. recipe. If you have questions send me comment and I am more than happy to reply. Please see the links above for equipment recommendations.
Other Breakfast Treats
Please check out these other recipe if you're are looking for ideas for breakfast or brunch treats:
S'Mores Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze
- 4 1/2 cups (638 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (15 grams) dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk heated to 110°F
- 5 tablespoons (67 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 3 large eggs (150 grams) room temperature
- 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
Graham Cracker Crumble
- 9 whole graham crackers
- 7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Swiss Meringue Topping
- 3 egg whites (90 grams)
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Before starting measure out all the ingredients. Place the flour in a large bowl. Pour the milk into a 2-cup measuring cup and heat it in the microwave to 110 degrees F.
- If the weather or your kitchen is cold see the Note below for creating your own proofing box.
Make the Sponge
- Place 1 cup of the flour, 1 tablespoon of the yeast, 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Add half of the milk (3/4 cups) and use a spatula to stir it together until there are no bits of flour left. Be sure that no flour is left on the bottom of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. The mixture should begin to bubble and rise.
- While the yeast mixture is sitting add the ground mace, ground nutmeg, salt, remaining sugar to the remaining flour and whisk together.
For the Dough
- Sprinkle a half baking sheet lightly with flour.
- To the sponge add the remaining yeast, the milk and the eggs and with the paddle attachment mix on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low speed add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time and continue to mix until add the ingredients all combined.
- Switch to the dough hook, start on low speed and add the butter in 3 pieces waiting until 1 piece is mixed in before adding the next piece. When all the butter is added, increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 30 seconds until you have a smooth ball. Place the dough onto the lightly floured baking sheet. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and cover with tea towel. Let the dough proof for 45-60 minutes or until the dough is doubled in size.
- While the doughnuts are rising, line two half baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray them with non-stick spray.
- When the dough has risen gently turn the dough onto a floured surface. Roll into a large circle, 1/2-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut the doughnuts and a 1-inch cutter to cut the doughnut holes. Place the doughnuts on the baking trays about 3-inches apart. Lightly spray a piece of plastic with non-stick cooking spray and cover the doughnuts. Let rise until doubled in height, about 30-45 minutes.
- Gather the dough scraps into a ball of dough and use your hands to flatten out. Let this dough rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before rolling out and cutting out additional doughnuts. This dough will rise while it is resting, but the final doughnuts will still be tasty. Cut out the additional doughnuts (4-5) in the same way.
- While the doughnuts are proofing, fill a 5-quart pot with vegetable oil to a depth of 1-1/2-inches. Begin to heat the oil on medium low heat. The oil temperature will slowly rise. Use a candy thermometer or instant read thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Place a baking sheet with a cooling rack next to your cooking pot.
- When the doughnuts are ready place them near the pot and increase the heat to medium-high heat and heat the oil to 360°F. Place 2-3 doughnuts in the pot and fry for one minute on each side. Use a set of chop sticks to turn the doughnuts over and a spider skimmer to remove the doughnuts from the pot and place them on the rack.
- As the doughnuts fry you will need to adjust the temperature on your stove to keep the oil from getting too hot or too cool. If the oil gets too hot (above 370°F), remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool. On my stove I am able to maintain temperature at medium low heat.
- When all the doughnuts are done it is to make the glaze and the graham cracker crumble.
For the Chocolate Glaze
- Combine 4 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and 1/2 cup unsalted butter in a small bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water with the heat turned to low. Melt the chocolate and butter together. Once the butter is melted and most of the chocolate is melted whisk the chocolate glaze until the chocolate is completely melted.
For the Graham Cracker Crumble
- Place the graham crackers in a gallon-sized plastic bag and beat them with a rolling pin until the crackers are crumbs. Place them in a small bowl, add the melted butter and mix together until crumbs start to clump together.
- When the doughnuts are cooled. Dip the top of the doughnuts in the chocolate, place on a baking tray and sprinkle with the graham crackle crumble.
- Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk continuously until it reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Once it reaches 160 degrees F transfer the bowl to the standing mixer and beat at high speed until cool and the meringue is light and fluffy. Scrape the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the meringue in the center of the doughnut. Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue.
Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Pour 8 cups of boiling water into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set it on the floor or bottom rack of your oven. Place the bowl with the covered dough on the middle rack of the oven, close the door and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.