Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Doughnuts! - The October Daring Baker's Challenge

Doughnuts generally fall into two categories: yeast and cake. Yeast doughnuts take a little longer to  make to allow for rising time, but they create a lovely, fluffy and airy doughnut.   I am not a huge fan of doughnuts and prefer the Louisianna Beignets that I often make for Elliot, but these were quite good and fun to make too!

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 must say these Doughnuts were very easy to make!  The dough is meant to be very wet so you have to stop yourself from adding extra flour to work with it.  Also 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.

The doughnuts tasted great when they were served fresh from cooking, but after they rested a bit, I didn't love them.  They were a little too chewy and they just tasted better hot!

Here is the recipe:

Equipment required:

•A Dutch oven or deep skillet (I prefer using a Dutch oven to reduce splatter)

•Deep fry thermometer, candy thermometer or any thermometer that will withstand and measure temperatures of up to 380 degrees

•Metal slotted spoon, metal slotted spatula or tongs (do NOT use plastic - it will melt!)

•Cookie sheets or a wire rack lined with paper towels to allow doughnuts to drain

•Electric hand mixer or stand mixer, or a bowl and a spoon if you are able to utilize a lot of elbow grease

•Doughnut or biscuit cutters or you can use a glass and a piping tip for the center (I used the top of a vanilla extract bottle)

Yeast Doughnuts:

Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size


Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml

Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
(I used butter - because I loooovvvvvve butter)

Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz

Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)

Eggs, Large, beaten 2

White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz

Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 oz

Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / ¼ oz

All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface

Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

1.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.)

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

3.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.

4.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.

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

6.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.

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

8.On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).

9.Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) 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.

10.Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.

11.Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).

12.Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to rolling in sugar, if desired.

Until we bake again...



Anonymous said...

They look great but I definitely agree with you that they are best eaten fresh. We had a few left over the next day and I popped them in the microwave for a few seconds to 'refresh' them.

Audax said...

Lovely colour you got on those doughnuts and wonderful work on this challenge. Yed doughnuts are best eaten immediately after deep fried. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Mary said...

Your doughnuts look lovely! I agree that they did not keep well at all. We ate ours as soon as they cooled down. I did save a couple for taking pictures, and they were chewy, but a few seconds in the microwave revived them. Can't wait to see what next month brings!

showfoodchef said...

Love your pics - explains it all so well. Lovely blog, too!

Dan said...

Easy to make....easier to eat! Penny is doing her best to help me with the weight I lost in Delhi.

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