Monday, August 25, 2008

First Attempt at Homemade Donuts

"Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?" -Homer Simpson

When I first got the idea to make donuts from scratch, my eyes almost popped out of my head. I thought, "Oh my god, how kitchy! How yummy! How fun!"

I was warned they would take commitment. These aren't something you can just stir up in a bowl and stick on the skillet.... I think I underestimated that warning as I was up until one in the morning last night making these puppies.

They were pretty good, but I definitely learned a few things:

1. I need a candy thermometer.
2. I need a round pastry cutter set.
2. I'm 95% sure that its better to fry these at a lower temperature than the recipe calls for and to take them out of the oil well before you think they are done otherwise they turn out dry and chewy instead of soft and melt in your mouth.
3. The maple frosting was a bit too thin. Next time I will add a bit more powdered sugar to thicken it up.
5. These are not super sweet like the kind you buy at a grocery store bakery or Krispy Kreme. They taste more like a slightly sweet fry bread with a touch of cinnamon.
6. Only make as much as can be consumed or given away in one day,
7. These are a great gift to give to someone who needs a little sweet in their day.

I got the idea from Joy the Baker. I did not use an electric mixer, as I do not have one. I didn't find it to be a problem, I just vigorously mixed the dough with my hands when the recipe called for it to be mixed for 3 minutes (kind of a bicep work out). Also, I think what was even better than the donuts themselves were the donut holes. I dropped them immediately from the oil into a bowl of cinnamon and sugar and rolled them around. I took the donuts and the holes to work, and the holes were first to go.

I think next time I will make these from Peanut Butter and Julie.

P.S. I know the picture isn't of the highest quality, I had to take it with my cell phone. It's just another thing I need to work on.

Gourmet, December 2006

makes 1 dozen doughnuts

1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons warm water (105–115°F)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for sprinkling and rolling out dough
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
About 10 cups vegetable oil for deep frying

Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Mix together flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture in mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more.

Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Alternatively, let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours.)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with 3-inch cutter, then cut a hole in center of each round with 1-inch cutter and transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet. Cover doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes (45 minutes if dough was cold when cutting out doughnuts). Do not reroll scraps.

Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a deep 4-quart heavy pot until it registers 350°F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts, 2 at a time, turning occasionally with a wire or mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350°F between batches.)

I also fried the doughnut holes for about 1 minute and them tossed them in powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar straight out of the hot grease.

Chocolate Glaze

recipe from Alton Brown

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.

Maple Glaze

Bon Appetit November 1995

You might consider doubling this recipe and drizzling it on everything you know and love.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons whipping cream
6 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted

Melt butter with maple syrup and cream in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Cool glaze until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Dip doughnuts into glaze or drizzle glaze over doughnuts.


raine said...

hello there, i love to try recipes too, with my four kids and hubby as critics,some of the recipes i have tried ended up good. I'll try your donut recipe and i'll keep you posted on how it went.
Happy Baking!!

Beth said...

Thanks Raine, let me know how it turns out and if you figure out any tips or tricks!