Beignets & “Brionuts” – Variations on Tartine Brioche, BBB

My fondness for the brioche bread, a buttery enriched bread with the morning latte, led me to the search for a brioche dough. I found it in the reliable and versatile dough leavened by an overnight poolish and a young natural leaven from Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. That has led me to the Tartine olive oil brioche, which has no butter in it and uses a lighter and healthier alternative to butter. Many variations later: brioche tart, tarte Tropépienne, Brie in brioche and bostock, I thought I have explored and exhausted all manners of using the brioche dough. When Elle at Bread Baking Babes suggested beignets, which I have not made before, and Elizabeth, also at Bread Baking Babes, mentioned the Tartine beignets, by deep frying the brioche dough, I am in.

I made the brioche dough with olive oil. (See the cheat sheet below for details.) For some reasons, the dough was extremely sticky even after freezing and chilling. I guess the warm summer kitchen makes it more challenging for the dough to absorb all the butter or olive oil (45% of flour weight). Stretching and shaping the dough into a cylinder and cutting them into pieces of beignets is almost impossible without dusting the dough with lots of flour. In the end, they came together in the frying pan, although they didn’t take on a uniform and pretty shape as I’d have liked.

I made the maple pecans and the lemon glaze to garnish the beignets. Highly recommended. They added sweet and tart and bright flavor to the otherwise rather plain beignets. (The recipe can be found in the cheat sheet below.) These beignets were addictive: spongy and soft inside, with a lemony, thin crust outside. The chopped pecans enhanced the crunchiness, even on the next day. I had a few of these delicious beignets in a roll, unable to stop eating.

One idea suddenly dawned on me as I was taking a bite: “This tastes like the cronut.”

Don’t laugh if I tell you I was one of those who had waited in line for over an hour and a half on Sullivan and Spring Street in Soho until the opening hour at Diminique Ansel Bakery to buy a cronut for $5.50 a piece. There was a guy there, not far from where I was standing in the queue, hustling for your business. He would wait in line and buy a cronut for you for $35. It was early in the morning. It might as well be in the depth of the night. It was a jovial party scene in full swing with people of all ages, from all walks of life, and every corner of the world. An ultimate New York experience.

The cronut inspiration carried me one step further with this beignet project, I shaped the remaining brioche dough in a donut shape. Let them rest for a short while, then deep frying them in the 375°F safflower oil. Voila, I just made my own version of “brionut,” a brioche and donut hybrid.

No waiting in line. And the taste, especially with the maple pecans and lemon glaze on top, it’s unbelievable and priceless!

tender lattice-like crumb and crispy thin crust
“Brionuts” and pecan and lemon glazed beignets


I’m sharing this post with the Bread Box, hosted by Karen’s Kitchen Stories.

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  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Totally awesome! Love the brionuts and that glaze with maple pecans is outstanding. Will have to try my next batch that way. Thanks for baking with the Bread Baking Babes! Your badge is on the way.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2016 at 3:59 am

    "Brionuts" are sort of a serendipitous discovery from making the beignets, thanks to you for suggesting them.

  • Reply
    hobby baker
    September 1, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Those look absolutely amazing and delicious! Love the spin you gave them!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 7:36 am

    wow wow wow can I please come over and take a bite. These look so mouthwatering. Very good job and with brioche dough that makes them even better tasting (and more hip-attaching as well 🙁 ) Brionuts, I love that

  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Why didn't I just go ahead and make maple pecans and lemon glaze?! I KNEW it must be fabulous. And how brilliant are you to have made an olive oil brioche dough?

    Many thanks for proving (ha, no pun intended there) that the Tartine version of the beignets is indeed delicious and well worth the effort.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Don't need a lot of dough to make this crowd pleasing treats. You are welcome to take one or two; it is hard to stop at one.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I owe you as many thanks as you say wow. This brioche dough has amazing versatility. The glaze is very well suited for the beignets.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Hi, may i share the link of your post in the FB group, Perfect Sourdough?

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Yes, you are welcome to share the link.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you so much!

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