Doughnuts Part One

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I am very excited to come to you today with the my first recipe request “Doughnuts”.   They are everyone’s guilty pleasure and coffee’s perfect mate.  We all have our favorite types and how and when we like to enjoy them. There are so many choices, from yeast, cake, filled, iced, glazed, fried or bake. I think they are the most perfect comfort food.  In one bite they can release stress and transport you back to memories from long ago.  For me it is the special Sundays after church when we would stop at the local family owned markets Little Russia’s and Delbane’s.  One sold iced cake and filled doughnuts and the other sold glazed and cinnamon doughnuts with maple icing that we as children referred to as cow plops. (It’s a farm child’s imagination gone wild)

We have so many to thank for these tasty treats, every culture has their version.  At the 1934 Worlds Fair in Chicago they billed the doughnut “ The Food hit of the Century of Progress” and at 5 cents they were in reach of most depression victims.  Clark Gable made the Dunk and Doughnut hole popular in the 1934 film “It Happened One Night,  rugged news paper man “Clark Gable” teaches a runaway heiress “Claudette Colbert how to dunk.

dunkin_donut_2In today’s society a “dunker” would be considered stale.  But in the 30’s nothing was wasted, so marriage of the dunker and coffee was born.  And the relationship between doughnuts and coffee remains strong.

Today’s focus is on the yeast doughnut!  It takes some time, but the end product is so worth effort!  It initially takes two days for the perfect yeast doughnut, but within those two days you can set yourself up to have fresh delicious doughnuts at your finger tips with little effort.

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I’ve been working hard to come up with what I think is the best sweet yeast dough recipe.  I have broken it down and tested it to make small batches.

Plain yeast Doughnut: yield 6 medium size doughnuts or 12 small doughnuts or 24 doughnut holes

1 package of Active Dry yeast                               1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 ounce of warm water                                           1/2 cup hot milk

1/4 cup sugar                                                           1 large egg room temperature

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)                         1 tablespoon of real Vanilla or favorite flavoring (optional)

1/2 teaspoon Salt                                                    3 cups of Bread Flour (I use King Arthur)

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Chocolate  yeast Doughnut: yield 6 medium size doughnuts or 12 small doughnuts or 24 doughnut holes

1 package of Active Dry yeast                                1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 ounce of warm water                                           1/2 cup hot milk

1/4 cup sugar                                                           1 large egg room temperature

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)                         1/2 tablespoon of real Vanilla or favorite flavoring (optional)

1/2 teaspoon Salt                                                 3 cups of Bread Flour (I use King Arthur)

1/4 cup +1 tablespoon Premium baking Cocoa 100% unsweetened (I like Ghirardelli or Hershey’s special dark)

1/2 tablespoon of strong coffee (optional)

Procedure for both doughs:

Soften yeast in water for 5 minutes then stir until blended. In a large bowl, add the sugar, salt, butter, nutmeg, and flavoring of choice.  Then add hot milk and stir until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Make sure your mixture is lukewarm and add the yeast and one beaten egg.  Now it’s time to add the flour one cup at a time, stir with a wooden spoon.  Dough should start to form a ball. It is time to turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for about two minutes giving the dough a quarter turn every time you  pull it into itself.  The dough should be springy and little sticky, but not so much it sticks to your hands.  Place dough into an oiled bowl flip the dough around so all sides are coated with oil.  Now cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it on the counter until morning. Make sure the bowl is double the size of the dough ball so it has room to rise.

The next morning, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll it out to 1/2 to 1 inch thickness and cut out the doughnut. If you want to fill the doughnuts don’t cut the whole out in the middle. Place the doughnuts on a sheet tray covered in parchment paper. Let rise 30 minutes to an hour, you want them to double in size.  Then it is time to fry.  Be careful and don’t fry the tips of your fingers as you gently lay the doughnuts in the oil to fry. (like I did and do…lol)

“No need for a special cutter, just use a water glass or a biscuit cutter if you have one. Also a shot glass is perfect for cutting out the hole in the middle.”

Approximately 1 inch of oil for frying: grape seed oil, sun flower oil or combination of both.  Heat oil to 350-360 F or 177-180 C in a deep Dutch oven or cast iron skillet to fry. Fry 1-2 minutes on each side (no more than 3). Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack that is sitting on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper. Cool slightly before tossing in powder sugar, or cinnamon sugar. Cool until warm and dip in your favorite icing, glaze or fill with you favorite fillings.

“ you may be thinking to yourself that you feel this dough will not be sweet enough, I like to build flavors and I tend to make my confections more like European desserts, not as sweet as most people are accustom to.  So go ahead and increase your sugar to 1/2c if you like things on the sweet sweet side, it won’t hurt the dough at all.”

Easy fillings, frosting and Glazes

Basic Glaze

1 cup of sifted powder sugar

1 tablespoon of vanilla

1-2 tablespoons of water

when the glaze falls of the spoon like a ribbon its at the correct consistency to dip your doughnuts

To make the glaze chocolate add 2 tablespoons of Cocoa to the basic recipe

For maple, add 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup or Maple Flavoring to the basic recipe

Be creative:

Chocolate Ganache/Frosting

1/2 cup scalded heavy cream, turn off heat add 1lb. of semisweet or bitter dark chocolate, stir until melted then dip or ice the doughnuts.

Fillings

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon powder sugar

mix until stiff peeks   put in piping bag with a large tip and stick into the side of the doughnut and fill.

Cream cheese filling:

8 ounce of soften cream cheese

1/2 cup of your favorite jelly or jam

whip until light and fluffy

other flavor options 1/2 cup Nutella or melted chocolate, the possibilities are endless

be creative and experiment.

Toss your doughnuts in equal parts sugar and cinnamon

Note at the beginning I told you I would explain how you can have homemade doughnuts at your finger tips at all times.  Make up a double batch of dough cut them out place on your parchment lined cookie sheet and put them in the freezer before the second rise. Once completely frozen, place in a freezer bag in a single layer. When you have a craving for fresh doughnuts, pull out as many you want to make.  Place on parchment paper.  Within 30 to 60 minutes, they will be thawed and doubled in size and ready to fry.

Once you have tried these amazing doughnuts you will want nothing else.  Don’t feel you have to make filled doughnut, I just provided you with options for you to create.  Me, I like death by chocolate…chocolate doughnut with chocolate icing.  And I like simple….a basic glazed or cinnamon and sugar.

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IMG_1196I want to send a special thank you out to SR for requesting doughnuts.  Please forgive me for taking so long with the answer to your request, but I was perfected the recipe.  I hope everyone found this helpful and informative and it inspires you to make doughnuts.  I look forward to more requests and/or feedback.  The next doughnut post we will tackle the perfect cake doughnut.

Thank you and Enjoy KK 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Doughnuts Part One

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