Freshly made brioche dough transforms into these delicious Chocolate Filled Donuts. They're sweet, buttery, and perfectly tender donuts filled with a delicious chocolate hazelnut spread. It's the perfect breakfast treat!
Donuts come in all sizes, shapes, and flavors. But, the secret to the best homemade donuts is using a brioche donut recipe. Fill it with Nutella, and you have yourself a delicious sweet treat.
Making bread dough might seem intimidating. But as a pastry school graduate, I’m all about creating approachable, flavorful recipes using quality ingredients. And this recipe is no exception. I’ll walk you step-by-step to create the perfectly fluffy, chocolate filled donut.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- You’ll create fluffy and buttery, chocolate filled donuts that your friends and family will rave about!
- It’s the perfect base brioche donut that pairs well with your favorite fillings!
- The dough is made the night before, making the day of the process shorter and easier!
What is Brioche Dough?
Brioche is an enriched dough, meaning it’s made with eggs and butter, which gives it that sweet, rich, and buttery flavor with a perfectly tender texture. With some patience, brioche is a simple dough to work with. It makes the perfect brioche donut recipe.
Before You Begin
Take out the following baking equipment.
Digital kitchen scale
Stand mixer fitted with the dough hook
3 small bowls
1 medium bowl
2 baking sheet pans
2 round cutters
Wire cooling rack
1 pastry bag
Round piping tip
Allow all your ingredients to come to room temperature.
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
- All-purpose flour: contains just the right amount of protein to produce a soft and tender brioche.
- Instant yeast: my preferred yeast to use because you can just add it straight to the mixer and mix. No need to mix with a liquid first!
- Granulated sugar: flavor enhancer in the dough. Also adds a nice texture to the outside of the donuts.
- Salt: helps control the speed of fermentation (the rising of your dough!). Also enhances the flavor.
- Milk: will bring together all the ingredients. Use whole milk!
- Eggs: adds a rich flavor and texture. Set eggs at room temperature 1 hour before using.
- Butter: also adds a rich flavor and texture. Use room temperature butter!
- Canola oil: its light color, mild flavor, and high smoke point makes it a great choice for frying donuts.
- Nutella: creamy chocolate hazelnut spread makes a perfect chocolate filled donut!
How to Make This Recipe (step-by-step)
- Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a mixer using the dough hook.
- Add the eggs and milk and mix for 5 minutes.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and continue mixing for 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth.
- With the mixer on low, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until it is all incorporated. Mix for 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rest for 1-2 hours until the dough doubles in size.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and stretch and fold the dough to gently let out some of the gases. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Note: When the dough ferments in the refrigerator overnight, it allows the flavor to develop and the gluten to fully relax, resulting in a fluffy texture.
- Roll the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness.
- Use a round cutter to cut out donuts and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Loosely cover the sheet pan and allow the dough to rest for 1-2 hours until the donuts are puffed. If you gently press the dough with your finger, the dough should slowly spring back and leave a slight indentation.
- Carefully fry the donuts in 350°F/177°F canola oil for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Transfer the donuts to a wire cooling rack set over a parchment-lined sheet pan. Cool for 2-3 minutes.
- Coat the donut in granulated sugar and place it on the wire rack to cool completely.
- Make a small hole in the side of each donut and fill it with Nutella.
How to Fill Brioche doughnuts
To prepare your piping bag, fit a pastry bag with a small round piping tip. You can also use a resealable bag (I prefer freezer-safe bags since they are thicker and less likely to pop a hole in the side when you squeeze the filling).
Use a knife, scissors or a large skewer to create a hole in the side of each donut. Pipe the filling into each donut until they feel slightly heavy and the donuts begin to expand.
Chocolate filled donuts are my favorite! But, if you want variety, you can fill these donuts with your favorite jam, 5-ingredient lemon curd, sweet and tangy lemon cream, or an easy 2-ingredient butterscotch ganache.
You can also make pastry cream like the one from these vanilla bean cream puffs. Because pastry cream needs time to cool in the refrigerator, you can make it with the brioche dough and let it refrigerate overnight while the dough proofs.
How to Store
These chocolate filled brioche donuts are best enjoyed the same day they’re made! For any leftovers, you can store the donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.
Yes, you can use bread flour, but because it has a higher protein content, you’ll have chewier donuts. All-purpose flour is ideal for a soft and fluffy texture.
A stand mixer is ideal (do not use a hand mixer because the dough will strain the motor). However, you can knead the dough by hand, but it will require a lot of patience as the dough will be sticky and wet until you achieve the ideal consistency. Kneading by hand will take double the time.
Because this is an enriched dough (made with milk, butter, and eggs), the dough needs extra time for kneading compared to traditional bread dough. The dough will be sticky and wet until the gluten develops. With higher temperatures and humidity, this can take longer. Be patient!
Technically you can skip the overnight proofing, but I highly recommend not omitting this step. Refrigerating the dough for an extended time develops more flavor and makes it easier to handle the dough. If you omit the overnight proof, refrigerate for a few hours before rolling the dough.
Yes, you can! But, the more you reroll the brioche dough, the chewier the donuts will become. Try to make as many donuts the first time you cut the dough to minimize any scarps.
If the temperature of your oil drops below 165°F/74°C, the donuts will take much longer to cook and soak up more oil. Use a digital thermometer or candy thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature of your oil so that it stays between 170°F/77°C and 180°F/82°C for the perfect donut!
You can bake these donuts in a 350°F/177°F oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Brush the surface of the donuts with an egg wash before baking. The texture will be different, but they will still be delicious!
Baking Success Tips & Takeaways
- Making brioche dough requires patience. You cannot speed up the mixing process or rising process and hope to achieve great results. Do not add extra flour to speed up the mixing process. Let the mixer do the work.
- If your kitchen is on the cool side, you can allow your dough to rise in the oven. Turn the oven on for about one minute and immediately turn it off just to slightly warm it up. Place the covered dough into the oven and allow it to ferment.
- Fry just a few donuts at a time. Overcrowding the pot with donuts will cause the oil temperature to decrease. You want a golden brown exterior and fluffy interior so keeping the oil temperature between 170°F and 180°F is ideal.
- This dough is versatile. You can make smaller rolls (dinner-size), a large braided loaf, or a loaf with your favorite filling.
Please leave a starred rating and comment below if you make these Chocolate Filled Donuts. I love reading your feedback! And if you’d like to make this recipe later, don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest! Happy Baking!