Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Doughnuts!

It is that time of the month again, here is the next Daring Bakers challenge.

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

I never thought I would be making doughnuts, but when this Daring Baker challenge came along I was really excited.  There are a large number of varieties and many cultures have some version of a tasty fried dough such as beignets, crullers, fritters, Sufganiot, and krapfen, just to name a few.  Doughnuts generally fall into two categories: yeast and cake. Yeast doughnuts take a little longer as naturally one has to allow for rising time, but they create a lovely, fluffy and airy doughnut. Cake doughnuts are also popular and the batter allows for many different variations.

In Sweden doughnuts are not as popular as here.  But I have had my share of doughnuts and I think Seattle makes some great ones.  Dahlia Lounge and Lola server some amazing fresh doughnuts by chef Tom Douglas. Also Art Restaurants had some great ones.  But Pike Place Market has the bet little doughnuts  you can get, Daily Dozen Doughnuts makes them fresh on the spot and served with sugar and cinnamon.   So this is what I wanted to make.

Well, the doughnuts turned out delishhh!  It was much easier to make than I thought.  I don’t even have a deep fryer.  So anyone out there waiting to make them – don’t wait anymore, they are really easy.

I had to experiment with my deep frying.  It is important the oil be the correct temperature so that your doughnut is nice and crispy on the outside. If the oil is not hot enough, your end product will be too greasy. If too hot, they’ll cook too quickly on the outside and you may have an uncooked doughy centre.   

Since my doughnuts were small they really just needed about 10 second on each side.  I also learned to keep checking the oil temperature.  At one point the oil got too hot and my doughnuts got burned.  So keep checking the temperature.

Doughnuts

Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts (large size)
Prep Time: 25 minutes |Rising time – 1.5 hours total | Cooking time – 12 minutes

 1 ½ cup milk
1/3 cup butter
4 ½ tsp (2 pkgs.) Active Dry Yeast
½ cup warm water
2 large beaten eggs
¼ cup white granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
4 2/3 cup all purpose flour + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil  (3” of oil in your pan)

Topping:
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)

Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.

Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.

Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.

Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

 On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).

Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F

Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my mini doughnuts only took about 10 seconds on each side at this temperature).

Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. The dip each doughnuts in your sugar cinnamon mixture.

Enjoy!

Other Breakfast Recipes:

Strawberry Scones
Banana Bread

Popover with Cinnamon Butter
Baked French Toast

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10 Responses to “Doughnuts!”

  1. 1

    The Gallery Gal — October 27, 2010 @ 5:53 am

    These sound incredible! Thanks!

  2. 2

    Stitchfork — October 27, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    Who could possibly say ‘no’ to a doughnut! Yum!
    Cathy

  3. 3

    Carolyn — October 27, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

    I love deep frying, and I’d love to make doughnuts. I don’t have a deep fryer right now though and I’m too afraid to do it any other way! My husband loves doughnuts, these really do look simple if I ignore the deep frying step. I tried to deep fry Asian-style breaded chicken but I just ended up burning myself. ):

  4. 4

    Maddie — October 27, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

    Ewa, you’re a woman after my own heart. I made apple cider doughnuts this weekend, and am excited to post about them soon! They’re so much fun to make, aren’t they?

  5. 5

    Renuka — October 27, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

    Love your cinnamon doughnuts, they look delish !!!!!! glad to meet fellow daring baker.

  6. 6

    Kocinera — October 28, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    These little donuts are so cute! I love the cinnamon sugar topping!

  7. 7

    L. Eleana — October 29, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    I love donuts! These look sooo good, and I must try to make these with my little cook.

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