• Gluten-Free Apple Cider Brioche for Holiday Doughnuts


Holiday Doughnuts

By Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg

Adapted from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg.

Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day


Gluten-Free Apple Cider Brioche for Holiday Doughnuts


Gluten-Free Apple Cider Brioche:

  • 2 cups (11 ounces / 300 grams) Gluten-Free AP Flour Mix #1
  • 4 1/2 cups (1 pound, 6 1/2 ounces / 640 grams) Cornstarch (we’ve found the recipe doesn’t come out as well when other starches are substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan (or ground psyllium husk)
  • 1 tablespoon yeast (we use Active Dry or Quick Rise from Red Star, both are gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2  1/4 cups Apple cider, warmed slightly
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Donuts

  • 1  1/2 pounds (canteloupe-size portion) Apple Cider Brioche Dough (above)
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Cinnamon sugar, for dusting


  • Deep saucepan for deep-frying, or an electric deep-fryer
  • Slotted spoon
  • Paper towels
  • Deep Fry Thermometer


Mixing and storing the dough

Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. You can also do this in any 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container, but we find we got the best results in a stand mixer.

Combine the apple cider, eggs, honey, butter, and vanilla, and gradually mix them into the dry ingredients, preferably using a heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle. Cover (not airtight), and allow it to rest at room temperature until the dough rises, approximately 2 hours.

The dough can be used as soon as it’s thoroughly chilled. Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days.

To make a dozen doughnuts

Fill the saucepan (or electric deep-fryer) with at least 3 inches of oil. Bring the oil to 360° to 370°F as determined by a candy thermometer.

As the oil is heating, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with rice flour and pull out a 1  1/2-pounds (cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and roll the dough into a ½ -inch-thick rectangle on a floured surface. Using a doughnut cutter, cut the dough into 3-inch doughnuts.

Carefully drop the doughnuts in the hot oil, two or three at a time, so they have plenty of room to float to the surface. Do not overcrowd, or they will not rise nicely.

After about 2 minutes, gently flip them over with a slotted spoon and deep-fry for another minute or until golden brown on both sides.

Using the slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and transfer to paper towels to drain.

Repeat with the remaining dough until all the doughnuts are fried.

Dust generously with cinnamon sugar.

(You can find photos of the process of making the doughnuts here)

About Zoë François

Zoë François is a pastry chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition to teaching baking and pastry courses nationally, Zoë develops dessert menus for award-winning restaurants and creates recipe content for The Cooking Channel, Fine Cooking Magazine, Cooking Club Magazine, Craftsy and zoebakes.com. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband & two sons.

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