Make these: Pistachio Glazed Brioche Doughnuts

I know, I know. January is for sticking to resolutions. But I can’t resist sharing these beauties. Pistachio Glazed Brioche Doughnuts. I actually made these last month for Chanukah, but think they’re a perfect anytime indulgence. Except this “anytime” should be planned ahead. Nothing good comes easy. Right? That saying must be based on brioche doughnut making endeavors. Honestly though, the hardest part of this recipe is waiting to eat the first warm doughnut. And not eating every last one yourself.  These Pistachio Glazed Brioche Doughnuts make a great weekend cooking project. Any extras can go to work with you on Monday. They keep really well if you can keep your hands off them… Good luck!

Pistachio Glazed Brioche Doughnuts


Pistachio Glazed Brioche Doughnuts

Airy and light citrus scented brioche topped with toasted pistachio glaze. Recipe takes time but it's mostly passive and the results are worth the wait.


Brioche Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup water cool, (~70 F)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 cup unsalted butter cold

Pistachio Glaze

  • 1/4 cup pistachios shelled
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


Brioche Dough

  1. Place 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast, water, and whole eggs in a mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, using the flat beater paddle, until smooth. Cover and let sit for 45 minutes. The batter will be thin but there should be a few bubbles as the yeast is activated.
  2. Add the remaining cup of flour, sugar, and salt, and beat for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl and be shiny and elastic.
  3. Prepare the cold butter by placing it on a floured work surface. Pound with the side of a rolling pin until it has become a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Fold it over several times as you pound; it will become pliable without getting too warm or soft. Add it to the dough and beat until it is fully incorporated.
  4. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise in a warm room for an hour. It should be very soft and have risen about 1/3 its size. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and fold it over several times. (Use a bench knife or dough scraper to scrape up any bits that stick to the table.) Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or up to 16). The dough will firm up considerably and be easier to work with.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to a 1/2 inch thickness. If the dough is difficult to handle after rolling, place it in the freezer for 20 minutes. Cut the dough using a doughnut cutter or two round cutters of graduated size*. Dip the cutters in flour each time to make it easier.
  6. Cover the cut doughnuts and holes and let rise until double (~1 inch thick), 30-40 minutes. At 25 minutes, begin to heat vegetable oil in high-sided stock pot to 350 degrees F.

Pistachio Glaze

  1. While the doughnuts are rising make the pistachio glaze**. Toast pistachios in a pan over medium heat. Remove any loose skins.
  2. In a food processor or blender combine the toasted pistachios and water. Blend for 1-2 minutes and strain through a fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag. Reserve liquid (pistachio milk) and discard spent pistachio solids.
  3. Melt butter in a small sauce pan and remove from heat. Stir in reserved pistachio milk. Whisk in powdered sugar until desired consistency. Set aside until ready to glaze.

Last Steps

  1. When the oil reaches 350 to 360, carefully slide 4 to 5 doughnuts into the oil. Fry for 1 minute, using a slotted spoon, flip them over carefully to fry other side for 1 minute. Finally, flip the doughnuts again and fry for 30 seconds more, or until dark golden brown. Remove the doughnuts from the oil and drain them on paper.
  2. Finish doughnuts by dipping the top half into the glaze, gently shaking off excess. Sprinkle with toppings of choice: I used flaked sea salt and slivered almonds.

Recipe Notes

*Improvise: I used a 2 1/2 inch diameter wine glass and 1 inch diameter olive oil bottle cap for the center hole. **This can be prepared even earlier during the 4-16 hour refrigerated rising step. Recipe adapted from The Pink Apron.