Monday, November 8, 2010
I've had doughnuts on my mind since I wrote this doughnut post last week (by the way, is the spelling "donut" or "doughnut"? I've seen it both ways...whatever). I did some research and settled on a delicious-looking recipe from 101 Cookbooks.
Homemade doughnuts are a pretty major time committment. You first prepare the dough and then let it rise for an hour. Then you punch down the dough and roll it out to 1/2 inch thickness. Some recipes call for a doughnut cutter but I used a round glass and shot glass to cut the large and small holes. After you've cut the doughnut shape you have to let them rise for another 45 minutes. There is a lot of downtime with this recipe which meant I had a pretty lazy Saturday; consumed a ton of the Cooking Channel, hung out with my kitty and played around on my new iPad (it is quite obvious I don't have children yet).
Baked doughnuts (recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Cinnamon sugar topping
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments - if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.
Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don't have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.
Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen medium doughnuts.
These doughnuts are really good and best served straight out of the oven, still warm and with a glass of milk or coffee. They taste different than fried doughnuts so if you are expecting that, don't attempt this recipe. Baked doughnuts are a bit denser and breadier (yes I just made up that word...) but delicious in a different way. I got a thumbs-up from my sister who loves all sweets.
I made a cinnamon sugar topping from the recipe above and also tried a glaze from a recipe on The Pioneer Woman. The sprinkles were a nice touch.
Glaze (recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
3 cups Powdered Sugar
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Vanilla
½ cups Cold Water Or Milk (I used milk)
1. Mix all glaze ingredients in a bowl until completely smooth.
2. One by one, dip doughnuts into the glaze until halfway submerged. (Note: completely submerge doughnut holes, then remove with slotted spoon.)
4. Remove from glaze, then turn right side up on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (to catch dripping glaze.)
5. Serve warm if possible, or room temperature.
I'm not very good at taking pictures of each step when I'm baking in the kitchen but this is what the doughuts look like after I cut them and prior to them rising for 45 minutes.
Homemade doughnuts take a lot of time and effort but there is something so special about creating one from scratch. I would definitely make these again and serve them for a brunch or even dessert. The doughnut holes are especially tasty little bites and would be perfect to be served with skewers with different dipping sauces; chocolate, jam, butterscotch, etc. That would be especially fun for a children's party.