Monday, July 5, 2010

Donuts



What's more yummy than donuts? Yes, they are a project, but home made donuts are much much better than their grocery store counterparts. These were part of a donut tasting the next day, but believe me, the donuts are much better about 10 minutes after taking them out of the oil.

The one bad thing about donuts is - in order to justify using all that oil to fry donuts, I wanted to make a TON. The good news is they were delicious! I made some for my mom to take to one of her brothers and he loved them too!

What I did required a lot of planning. I made two kinds of donuts - yeast ones, and old fashioned. While I preferred the old fashion ones and the yeasty donut holes, once I got my method down of frying the donuts, the regular ones were just as good.

When frying donuts, it's always good to have a cooling rack on a cookie sheet to place the donuts on when coming out of the oil. Once cooled, you can move them to another rack to cool to room temperature before frosting.

I think it's easiest (and tasty) to use glazes for donuts. That creates that nice thin coating of sugary goodness that you have come to expect from donuts. I have included 3 glazes - chocolate, maple, and vanilla bean. Ideally, you want your glaze to be just the consistency when you dip the donut into the glaze, after taking it out, you are left with a thin coating. The consistency of the glaze takes a bit of practice, but after the 3rd or 4th donut, it's easy to know what you want for consistency.

If you decide to take on this challenge, it's more fun with a friend or two - you can make a donut party! And, don't worry if you don't have a donut cutter. I don't. I used 2 circle cutters I have from a collection of round cutters - that's a great investment, by the way.

A word on oil - I use vegetable oil in a very large heavy pot. The pot I use is about 7" deep, and I think is some sort of painted cast iron. Always leave at least 3" space between the surface of the oil and the top of the pan. The best way to tell the temperature of oil is with a candy or oil thermometer. And finally, the best way to heat oil is to heat to medium, then medium high, then increase the heat slowly to get to the proper temperature.

Once you are ready to fry, make sure your entire workspace is prepared before you put anything in the oil. Have somewhere you can safely put your fried donuts, have the lid to the pot close by, and have your fire extinguisher close just in case. Have tools you feel comfortable with to both flip and remove the donuts from the oil. Be careful when you are putting things in the oil and don't drop them in the oil - gently place them there to avoid splashing.

Yeast Donuts

1 cup milk
1 T. yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
3 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
Oil for frying
Glaze, as desired, or mixture of cinnamon/sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 t. of the sugar. Wait 5-10 minutes to see if yeast turns foamy. If it does, you are ready to go. If yeast doesn't foam after 15-20 minutes, you need new yeast.

In a mixing bowl, combine yeast mixture, butter, sugar, egg, milk, salt, and 2 c. flour. Mix until well incorporated. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough starts is no longer sticky. Knead for 5-10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, lightly oiling surface, and let proof in warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in volume.

Turn dough out onto floured board, and roll to 1/4" thick. Cut into donut shapes, and set aside to rise on a lightly floured surface. Let rise until double. While rising, heat 3" vegetable oil in a heavy deep cooking skillet or heavy stock pot. I have a large glazed pot that is perfect for this.

Fry donuts in 350 degree oil, 2 minutes on each side until lightly golden. Cool to warmer than room temperature before you glaze. If you are coating them in cinnamon sugar mixture, place them in the mixture while still hot.

Old Fashioned Donuts

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 t. baking soda
2 T. butter
1 t. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. nutmeg
3 cups all purpose flour

In a bowl, combine sugar, eggs, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, milk, and nutmeg. Mix until well combined. Add baking soda and baking powder and 2 cups flour. Continue adding flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until mixture is a stiff dough, and no longer sticky.

Roll out on a floured board to 1/2" thick. Cut into a donut shape, and let rest for 10 minutes. Fry in 350 oil for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Cinnamon Sugar

1/2 c. sugar
2 T. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg

Maple glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
3 T. pure maple syrup

Mix sugar and maple syrup together until glaze consistency, adding more syrup or sugar as needed to achieve the consistency you want

Chocolate glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
1 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 t. coffee
1/4 c. cocoa powder
2 T. milk

Combine all ingredients but milk, adding milk a few drops at a time until glaze consistency.

Vanilla Bean glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
1 T. butter
2 t. vanilla paste
2-3 T. milk

Combine all ingredients but milk, adding milk a little at a time until you have reached the right consistency.

2 comments:

  1. The donuts look delicious! I am hungry now!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum! I've been meaning to make doughnuts, and I don't b/c your'e right-it is a project. Maybe soon...
    Nice blog by the way!

    ReplyDelete