Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Time to Make the Doughnuts (Donuts?)
Doughnuts, or Donuts. However you spell it they are tasty. They are not something one should make a regular diet out of, but in moderation they won't kill you. I don't believe I've had a doughnut in a few years so it seemed like now was as good a time as any to make some. I prefer the yeasted glazed doughnuts to the cake ones (although the cake ones are quite nice also). I have found that Alton Brown, of The Food Network, has a wonderfully delicious chocolate glaze that works beautifully on these. I also did a few jelly filled donuts just to round out the batch because if they have fruit in them, they must be healthy, right?
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast(1/4 ounce, one packet)
1 1/4 cups milk, warmed to about 100f
1 cup (8 ounces, 2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
5 cups flour (I used 5 1/2 this time, you want a soft dough, but not so soft that you cannot knead it...so you might need a bit more or a bit less flour)
Oil for frying (I used a vegetable oil)
-Mix yeast and milk together and let it sit about 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast begins to bubble.
-Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the salt.
-Mix in the flour alternating with the yeast mixture, so you are beginning and ending with the flour (1/3 flour, 1/2 yeast mixture, 1/3 flour, 1/2 yeast mixture, remaining 1/3 flour). You may need a little more flour if the dough seems too soft for you to knead.
-Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (you may use your mixer with a dough hook attachment if you prefer, but I figure hand kneading is relaxing, and you'll burn calories while doing it thus justifying the need for a doughnut).
-Let rise, covered, in a bowl lightly sprayed with pan spray until doubled in bulk.
-On a floured surface, roll out about 1/2" thick, cut into rounds or squares, or whatever shape you like, I did the traditional round with the hole in the center for the glazed doughnuts, and just a plain round for the jelly filled (I didn't have a cutter specifically for doughnuts, so I used a drinking glass and a cannolli mold to cut out the centers).
-Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let double in bulk again.
-Heat your oil to 375f in a heavy bottomed saucepan deep enough for the doughnuts to be able to rise to the top and float (you also don't want the oil up to the rim of the pan, you only want your pan filled halfway at most for safety).
-Carefully add the doughnuts to the oil. Brown on one side and turn the doughnuts
over to brown the other side (the best way to turn these is with two chopsticks, but tongs will work. Make sure when you turn your doughnuts over that you turn away from you so any oil that might be cheeky and splash, splashes away from you). Depending on the size of your pan you can do up to 3 doughnuts at a time. Drain the doughnuts on some paper towel. Glaze while still warm. If you fry up the holes (and why wouldn't you fry up the holes?), put some sugar (powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, coconut, etc...) into a brown paper bag and when the holes come out of the oil, put them in the bag with the sugar and shake it up to coat them. You can also fill your doughnuts with a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip and filled with jelly or your favorite custard filling (lemon curd is quite good in these, yum).
Alton Brown's Chocolate Doughnut Glaze (can also be found by doing a recipe search on Food Network):
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed (I did not have whole milk so I used half heavy cream half 1% milk)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
-Place the butter, milk, corn syrup and vanilla extract in a saucepan and heat over medium until the butter melts.
-Turn the heat to low, add the chocolate and whisk until smooth.
-With the pan off the heat, whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. Set glaze over a bowl of warm water to keep it fluid and dip doughnuts immediately.
-Allow the glaze to set up for about half hour (yeah, right....just try to resist the goodness) and eat!
This post will also appear at Just Baking.