Monday, February 11, 2008

Just in time to make doughnuts...

So I really thought that I would have time to make doughnuts. Seriously. When I heard about this event, my interest was immediately piqued. Doughnuts? I'd never made them before, wanted to, but didn't want to have my entire (tiny) apartment smelling like a fryer. That wish led me to this tried and true recipe, which stood me in good stead as I ran around like a mad woman making doughnuts after work today.

Since I still need to draft my TWD post, I'll merely leave you with a photo montage of my venture into the land of doughnuts...

Comment #1: This made a LOT of doughnuts - 3 dozen plus nearly 4 dozen donut holes!

Comment #2: Not all of them looked very normal coming out of the oven. This batch for example, I leave up to your imagination the first thought that came into my head...

Comment #3: But they all looked so pretty after a dip in butter and a roll in cinnamon sugar!

Comment #4: And oh goodness, the dishes they left behind.......

But I must say, this was definitely worth it. To bite into a doughnut mere seconds after it was pulled out of the oven, dunked in butter, and rolled in cinnamon sugar - heaven! I didn't miss the frying one little bit!

Baked Doughnuts (101 Cookbooks)

Don't over bake these, if anything, under bake them a bit - they will continue baking outside the oven for a few minutes. You want an interior that is moist and tender - not dry. Also, be sure to cut big enough holes in the center of your doughnuts - too small and they will bake entirely shut. Remember they rise, and they rise even more when they are baking. These really need to be made-to-order, but you can make and shape the dough the night before if you want to serve them for brunch. Instructions: after shaping, place doughnuts on baking sheet, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Pull them out an hour before baking, and let rise in a warm place before baking.

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
2 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour (alternately, white whole wheat might work - haven't tried it yet)
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

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.


Peabody said...

Make sure you email this in asap...I don't remember seeing it.

Engineer Baker said...

I did, it just (oops) managed to be riiight before the deadline...

Tartelette said...

Thansk for takig part in the event, they look wonderful and I bet the house smelled wonderful.

Madam Chow said...

I have Heidi's cookbook, so I'll have to give these a try. I won't feel as guilty about eating them!

Ann said...

So many doughnuts, so little time... :-)

Cheryl said...

This must have been the hot recipe to use, I used the same one. Isn't it great. I love the cinnamon sugar ones.

Cakelaw said...

Wow these look good - I could use one now to go with my coffee!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Wow, that was a lot of donuts. I would be happy to help. :) Great job!!

Terry said...

I made these last week-end - - SOOO easy! Their taste is really nice and it's wonderful that they're NOT greasy! Not EXACTLY like "real" doughnuts, but the taste is so yummy that it doesn't matter! One thing I will do different the next time is to brush the tops with butter and then sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon on them. Dipping them just left tooooo much sugar on top. Overall rating???? Above and beyond 10!!!!!