If you’re a Newfoundlander, you definitely know what a touton is… but if not, let me explain. Essentially, a touton is a small piece of fried bread dough (usually made if you have a little extra dough after you make actual bread), generally served with molasses and maybe butter. I’m not going to lie, they’re a delight. And they’re distinctly a Newfoundland delight! (Even wikipedia knows. Though they refer to it as a type of “pancake”, which it definitely is not.)
My love of donuts goes way back, but I’ve always made cake donuts. So I decided that it was high time to master yeast donuts, and then finish them with a molasses glaze… so basically a dessert touton!
For variety, I also finished some with a honey glaze, and stuffed the donut holes with an apricot and basil puree that I already had on hand. But while the honey-glazed version and filled donut holes were super great, my favourite was, by far, the TOUTON donut :)
makes ~24 donuts and ~30 donut holes
for the donuts;
180 g lukewarm milk
8 g yeast
75 g sugar
385 g flour (use T55 in France)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
30 g unsalted butter, melted
1 small egg
for the molasses glaze;
90 g icing sugar
45 g dark molasses
1 to 2 teaspoons warm water
Stir together the milk and yeast, and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Form a well in the center, and add the milk/yeast mixture, the melted butter, and the egg. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until the dough comes together to form a ball. Mix on medium-low speed for another 3 minutes. Note that the dough will be quite soft.
Use a spatula to scrape the dough out into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size (the oven with the light on works great) – about an hour.
Once the dough has risen, dump it out onto a well floured surface, and punch it down. Use a rolling pin to roll it to about 1/2″ thick. Use two circle cutters to cut donut rings (I used a 2″ cutter, with a 1″ cutter for the inside). Transfer the donuts and donut holes to a couple of baking sheets that have been lined with greased-parchment paper. Lightly spray the tops of the donuts with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise until doubled in size – about 45 minutes.
Prepare to fry the donuts! Use a blade or scissors to cut the parchment into squares, such that each donut is on it’s own little piece of parchment.
I recommend using a safety fryer… but I don’t have one here in France, so I simply heated the oil in a pot with an instant read thermometer attached, and regulated the temperature very carefully! You’ll want to keep the oil at about 375°F (190°F).
Use the parchment paper to lift each donut (they’re a bit fragile!) to the heated pot of oil and drop them in. I fried three at a time, for about a minute or so on each side, until golden brown. Place the donuts onto a cooling rack lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Follow the same procedure for the donut holes, but only for for about 30 seconds per side.
I filled the donut holes with an apricot and basil puree that I already had on hand (but you could really use any jam for this). I filled a piping bag fitted with Wilton tip #230. Then I pushed the tip into the side of the donut hole, and squeezed some filling in. To finish, I tossed them in powdered sugar. YUM!
To make the glaze for the donuts, simply whisk together the icing sugar, molasses, and water, adding the water gradually until the glaze has the right consistency. You’ll want it to be able to flow, while still being quite thick. Then dip each donut into the glaze, and set aside on a cooling rack (with paper towel underneath to catch the drips) to set up. Add sprinkles if desired.
You can also substitute honey for molasses in the glaze, if that’s more your thing. Also yummy!
CHEERS TO DONUTS!