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Recipe courtesy of Sarah Sanneh

Butter Pecan Donuts

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 16 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 1 hr 30 min
  • Inactive: 15 hr
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 24 donuts
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3 tablespoons active dry yeast

11 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

40 ounces cold milk

86 ounces flour, plus more for dusting

2 tablespoons salt

4 whole eggs

4 ounces egg yolks

20 ounces shortening

Butter Crunch:

2 pounds butter

30.4 ounces granulated sugar

1 tablespoon salt

62.4 ounces toasted pecans


32 ounces milk

8.5 pounds confectioners' sugar


  1. For the donuts: Add the yeast, granulated sugar, milk, flour, salt, eggs, egg yolks and shortening to a mixing bowl (in the order listed). Mix on low speed with a dough hook attachment until the dough is very smooth and elastic and makes a slapping sound against the sides of the bowl, 25 to 30 minutes. Scrape the dough into a greased container, cover and refrigerate overnight. 
  2. Two hours before you want to roll the dough, remove it from the refrigerator to temper. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and roll to 1/2-inch thick. Cut the donuts using a donut cutter and place on a tray with parchment paper that's been greased and floured. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 hour. 
  3. Turn on your deep fryer to 325 degrees F. When they are ready to fry, the donuts will be very light and airy feeling; they should barely hold their shape when handled. Fry for 2 minutes per side. Drain on a wire rack or paper towels. 
  4. For the butter crunch: First, make the toffee. Heat the butter, granulated sugar and salt in a nonreactive pan on medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until deep golden or camel colored. Pour onto a silicone baking mat or sprayed parchment paper on a tray and let cool completely. It will be very hard and shatter if you tap it. Then, grind the toffee in a food processor with the toasted pecans. It should be uniformly finely ground. 
  5. For the glaze: Whisk the milk and confectioners' sugar together until perfectly smooth. Strain to remove any lumps. 
  6. To assemble: Dunk the cooled donuts in the glaze. Let it drain for 1 minute. Roll the donut in the butter crunch, making sure to completely cover all sides.

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