Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts


 
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche

Hi Hi and Happy Sunday! Things are kind of chaotic around here - we head to New Zealand on Wednesday, so are furiously packing / cleaning / trying to shoot as many things as I can so I have content while I am away. I love going back home to visit so, so much, but the lead up to actually leaving always has me a little frazzled. Which makes it easy to sleep on the plane, but it is never not stressful. We have got a bunch of things planned while we are home - a mixture of some extreme adulting and then catching up with friends and family. I can't wait! 

One thing I have already promised to do when I get home is to make doughnuts! They are such a fun thing to make for a morning or afternoon tea - still nice and simple, but different enough that everyone is always super excited by them. Up until now I have only really made sweet doughnuts before (I actually have three doughnut recipes up and coming for you!), but wanted to try a savoury version this time, so turned to the classic combination of Pesto and Feta. And let me tell you right now - I'm hooked. 

I used my go-to brioche dough, which is insanely versatile and can be used for knots, babkas, twists, doughnuts, hamburger buns, you name it, it probably works. I developed it maybe a year or so ago, and I love how reliable and adaptable it is. I added a little lemon zest and cracked pepper to the dough, then once it had done its first rise, I divided it into 12 balls, then stuffed each one with some feta, and Filippo Berio Basil Pesto. The combination of Pesto and feta is a well-loved one, but it never gets old. The salty feta compliments the herby pesto, making the perfect filling for so many things, including savoury doughnuts. It is such a nice change to have a doughnut that isn't sweet or fruit filled - these will be making their way into my recipe rotation, and I do hope that you give them a try!

This is my fourth post in partnership with Filippo Berio, helping to showcase their amazing product as part of their pestonality tour. Until now I had made most of my own pesto because I wasn't able to find a good jarred pesto, but all of that has changed Last weekend Rich and I went to Bridgehampton to visit them at the Hampton Classic, and had the best time! I had no idea horse jumping would be so, so exciting to watch, and the setting was so beautiful. I've attached a few photos underneath of the day. Happy Doughnutting!

A few wee tips:

  • If you want to make these early in the day, you can do the first rise in the fridge - the dough may just need to sit out slightly before you start working with it.

  • When you roll these, you kind of cup your hand over the roll and move it in a circle so that the friction between the dough and the surface seals off the filling. Make sure to give it a good pinch too. Because you need the friction, don't heavily flour your surface.

  • I use a dutch oven to fry doughnuts in and love it because of how well and evenly it retains the heat. A digital or candy thermometer that clips onto the side is also very helpful - make sure your oil is deep enough and that the tip of the thermometer is in the middle of the oil in order to get an accurate reading.

 

 

Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts

- Makes about 12 Doughnuts -

Brioche Dough
240g (1 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
2 1/4 tsp active dried yeast
2 Tbsp Sugar
565g all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lemon
A few turns of black pepper
2 eggs, at room temperature
90g unsalted butter, soft

Filling
110g feta cheese
50g Filippo Berio Basil Pesto

Vegetable Oil for Frying
Flaky Sea Salt such as Maldon to finish

 

- PROCESS -

BRIOCHE DOUGH

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 1 Tbsp of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, remaining 1 Tbsp sugar, lemon zest, and pepper. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. If it is not coming together, add extra milk a teaspoon at a time. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. 

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth. 

Place in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Place all of the filling ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well to combine.

Turn out the dough onto a very lightly floured surface. Weigh, and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and place under plastic wrap. 

Fill a dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan half way with neutral oil, and heat to 350˚f / 180˚c. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten it out using your hands until it is about 4 inches (10cm) diameter. Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle, then pinch closed with your fingers, then roll it on the work surface into a ball, taking care not to puncture it so that the filling does not escape. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

Working in batches and frying 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time, fry the doughnuts in the oil, flipping frequently to ensure even browning. Fry for 5-6 minutes per doughnut, until golden brown and cooked throughout (break one of the first ones open and give it a little test to make sure it is done). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack to drain.

Repeat the process with the remaining doughnuts. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving. Best eaten on the day that they are made. 

Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche
Basil Pesto and Feta Stuffed Savoury Brioche Doughnuts - Brioche dough is wrapped around a basil pesto and feta filling, then fried to golden brown perfection #savoury #savory #briochedoughnut #pestoandfeta #donut #brioche

Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for Sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own. 

Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper and Fennel Seed Scones


 
Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.
Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.
Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.
Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.
Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.
Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.
Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.
Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.
Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.

 

One of the things that gets super confusing when you move countries is holidays. Christmas and New Year etc are always the same (mind you I got asked the other day if when it's July in America, if it's also July in NZ, so go figure), but things like Father's day etc are often at very different times. This leads to some frantic googling every now and then, just to make sure you haven't missed anything back home. I've found buying my diary from NZ helps with this too, but the internet still catches me out every now and then when I see all the Dad pics and then realise the dates are different. 

Just to make things more confusing, our Mother's day is the same as in the US. So I figured seeing as it's a worldwide celebration of sorts, I will add my contribution of food ideas to the internet. It seems as if 'Mother's day brunch' is a thing over here - for our Mum it was always just a cup of tea in bed with a piece of badly buttered toast, but brunch is always something that I can get behind. My own Mum is actually here in NYC with me right at this very second! She hasn't been here for close to four years, so I am having the best time showing her all of the things that have changed since she was last here. It's the best.

Scones for breakfast are one of my fave things! I grew up in a house where emergency scones were whipped up on the regular - our house was somewhat of a community train station with people popping in to say hi or to have a cup of tea all the time. Savoury scones are so under rated - you can add whatever you like to them, they come together fairly quickly, and are perfect to whip up in the morning for a morning tea or a light lunch. That goes for scones in general, but I do think that Savoury scones need a little more loving. 

I love the combination of Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper and Fennel seed, although it happens less than I would like around here, because I am married to a staunch cheese and bacon dude. However I figured these were too good not to share with you, and so Rich had to suck it up just this one time. The process for making these is very similar to regular scones, except you fry up all the delicious things first, leave them to cool slightly, then incorporate them in just before you add the milk. They are so delicious fresh out of the oven, but will be just as awesome the next day, warmed slightly and served with loads of good quality butter. Happy Scone-ing!

A few wee tips:

  • These are super versatile - feel free to play around with the fillings, but just be aware that you may have to adjust the amount of milk accordingly - for example if you left out the feta, you would need a little more milk to replace the moisture.
  • With that being said - you may need more or less milk depending on the water content of your feta, the size of your red pepper etc. I like to add most of the milk and give it a mix, then see if I need the rest, just to prevent them being too wet.
  • I find that freezing the butter in little cubes works best for me! Make sure that your scone contents are fairly cool before you add them to the flour and butter mixture, in order to reduce the amount of melting that happens. I either cool the mix in the pan, stirring frequently to release heat, or I spread into a shallow dish. 
  • These keep in an airtight container fairly well! They are best eaten fresh, but if you want to have them the next day too, send them for a spin in the microwave first. 
 

 

Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones

- Makes about 8 large scones -

2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 medium red pepper (capscicum), diced
225g (8oz) feta cheese, crumbled
300g baby spinach, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper to season
4 cups (600g) all-purpose flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into small cubes and frozen for 10-15 min
1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
Cream to brush

 

- PROCESS -

Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a non-stick skillet or frying pan, toast the fennel seeds over medium heat, moving constantly, until they are lightly toasted and beginning to smell fragrant. Remove and set aside. Return the skillet to the stove, and heat a little olive oil over high heat. 

Add the chopped onion, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the red pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add the spinach, and cook until wilted. Season the mixture well with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes until cooled, or just warm. Add the crumbled feta and toasted fennel seeds. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add the butter, and rub in with your fingertips until well combined, with a few lumps remaining. Add the cooled spinach and red pepper mixture, and stir gently to incorporate. Add most of the milk, and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon to combine. Add the remainder if required (This will vary on the size of your pepper etc) - the mixture should be wet enough that it sticks together, but not so wet that it is sticky and gloopy. 

Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface, and pat into a rectangle. Gently fold the top third of the dough down to two thirds of the way down, and then fold the bottom third on top of it - as if you were folding a letter. Pat the dough out into a rectangle again, turn the dough 90 degrees, and repeat the letter fold again. Repeat one more time, before patting out into a rectangle approx 2 inches thick.

Cut the dough into 8 even pieces. Lightly dust the bottoms with flour, and space evenly on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with cream or milk. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the scones have risen, and have turned a light golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

 

Spinach, Feta, Red Pepper, and Fennel Seed Scones. Perfect for a quick morning tea, a savory brunch option, or a light casual lunch.