Wednesday, October 27, 2010

let's go nuts for doughnuts!

This month, I had the pleasure of hosting the Daring Bakers' challenge.

I must admit all sorts of options were running through my mind when I was asked to host. Should I try something really fancy? A real show stopper? Instead I decided to keep things simple, but hopefully offer up something that perhaps some people wouldn’t think to try making on their own - doughnuts!

Doughnuts can be quite simple to make and really don’t require a lot of special equipment. However there are a large number of varieties and many cultures have some version of a tasty fried dough such as beignets, crullers, fritters, Sufganiot, and krapfen, just to name a few.

In Canada (my home) doughnuts are quite popular, and apparently Canadians consume more doughnuts per capita than anyone else. Considering the multitude of Tim Horton’s shops in this country, it’s not too hard to believe. 

Doughnuts generally fall into two categories: yeast and cake. Yeast doughnuts take a little longer as naturally one has to allow for rising time, but they create a lovely, fluffy and airy doughnut. Cake doughnuts are also popular and the batter allows for many different variations. 

Some people may be a little timid of deep frying. Don’t. The most important thing is to be sure that you have everything at hand and are ready to go. Preparation is key when making doughnuts. 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 challenge was simply to make doughnuts! Daring Bakers could decide if they wanted to make a cake or yeast doughnut. I included recipes for two types of yeast doughnuts (one filled) and two types of cake doughnuts.

I encouraged everyone to try both a cake and a yeast doughnut, and I strongly encouraged them to get creative with toppings and fillings. The sky was the limit! I suggested they feel free to dip them in chocolate, sprinkle them with sugar, or fill them with preserves, custard, or whatever appealed to them.

Recipe Source: I am including four recipes:
The raspberry jam bomboloni recipe is a Kate Neumann recipe:
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/raspberry-jam-bomboloni

Note: I recommend placing your uncooked doughnut on your slotted spoon first and lowering it into the hot oil that way to reduce the chance of injury. Also, try to always turn the spoon away from you to reduce the chances of oil splashing back up.

Preparation time:
See recipes for prep/rising/cooking times for each.

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
  • Pastry bag (if you choose to make Bomboloni or any filled doughnut) or a squeeze bottle with a good tip that will poke a hole in your Bomboloni. Another way to fill a doughnut is to use the tip of a sharp knife to poke a hole in the doughnut and then use a ziplock bag filled with filling and cut on one corner to fill the doughnut.
Yeast Doughnuts:
Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes
Rising time - 1.5 hours total
Cooking time - 12 minutes
Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size

Ingredients
Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
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)

Directions:
  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 glazing, if desired.



Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts:

Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes
Cooking time - 12 minutes
Yield: About 15 doughnuts & 15 doughnut holes, depending on size

Ingredients
Sour Cream ¼ cup / 60 ml / 60 gm / 2 oz
All Purpose Flour 3 ¼ cup / 780 ml / 455 gm / 16 oz + extra for dusting surface
White Granulated Sugar ¾ cup / 180 ml / 170 gm / 6 oz
Baking Soda ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Baking Powder 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Kosher (Flaked) Salt 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz (If using table salt, only use ½ teaspoon)
Nutmeg, grated 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / .3 oz
Active Dry Yeast 1 1/8 teaspoon / 5.6 ml / 3.5 gm / .125 oz
Buttermilk ¾ cup + 2 Tablespoon / 210 ml / 225 gm / 7 ¾ oz
Egg, Large 1
Egg Yolk, Large 2
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 Tablespoon / 15 ml
Powdered (Icing) Sugar ¼ cup / 120 ml / 65 gm / 2.3 oz (Used for decorating and is optional)

Directions:
  1. In a small stainless-steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, heat the sour cream until just warm.
  2. Heat the oil to 375°F/190°C.
  3. Over a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg; make a large well in the center. Place the yeast in the well; pour the sour cream over it. Allow it to soften (if using packed fresh yeast), about 1 minute.
  4. Pour the buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into the well. Using one hand, gradually draw in the dry ingredients. The mixture should be fairly smooth before you draw in more flour. Mix until it is completely incorporated. The dough will be very sticky. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour.
  5. Sift an even layer of flour onto a work surface. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of flour. You don’t want the doughnuts sticking to your counter. Scrape dough out of bowl onto the surface; sift another layer of flour over dough. Working quickly, pat dough into an even 1/2-inch (12.5 mm) thickness. Dip cutter in flour and, cutting as closely together as possible, cut out the doughnuts and holes. Place holes and doughnuts on a floured surface. Working quickly, gather scraps of dough together, pat into 1/2-inch (12.5 mm) thickness, and cut out remaining doughnuts and holes.
  6. Drop three to four doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. Once they turn golden brown, turn them and cook the other side. Cooking times may vary, but with my oil at 375 °F/190°C, I found they only took about 20 to 30 seconds per side.
  7. Once cooked, place on a baking sheet covered with paper towels to drain.
Sift powdered sugar over doughnuts and serve.








Bomboloni:
Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 35 minutes
Rising time - 1 1/2 hours plus overnight
Cooking time - 10 minutes
Yield: About 32 Bomboloni

Ingredients
Water, Lukewarm 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon
Active Dry Yeast 3 ¼ teaspoon (1.5 pkgs.) / 16.25 ml / 10 gm / .35 oz
Honey 1.5 Tablespoon / 22.5 ml
All Purpose Flour 3 cup / 720 ml / 420 gm / 14 ¾ oz
Milk 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml
Egg Yolk, Large 6
White Granulated Sugar 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 75 gm / 2 2/3 oz + more for rolling
Kosher (Flaked) Salt 2 teaspoon / 10 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 gm / 1.5 oz
Canola Oil 3 cup / 720 ml / (Or any other flavorless oil used for frying)
Raspberry Jam, Seedless ¾ cup / 180 ml / 300 gm / 10.5 oz (or any flavor jam, preserves, jelly)

Directions:
  1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (160 gm) of the flour. (Alternatively, whisk the ingredients by hand.) Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 1 hour.
  2. Return the bowl to the mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (260 gm) of flour, along with the milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and the salt. Mix at low speed until blended, then add the butter and knead at medium speed until silky but sticky, about 5 minutes; the dough will not pull away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Using an oiled spatula, scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil to 360°F/180°C. Line a rack with paper towels. Fill a shallow bowl with 1/2 inch (12 mm)of granulated sugar. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough a scant 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Using a 2-inch (50 mm) round biscuit cutter, stamp out rounds. The original recipe said to not re-roll the dough, but I did and found it to be fine. Fry the rounds, 4 to 5 at a time, until they are browned, about 4 minutes (mine only took about a minute each – try to go more by sight). Be sure to keep the oil between 360°F and 375°F 180°C and 190°C. Drain the bomboloni on paper towels.
  5. Roll them in the granulated sugar.

Filling Directions:
Fit a pastry bag with a plain donut tip (or a 1/4-inch (6 mm) tip) and fill with the preserves (you can also use a squeeze bottle). Poke the tip three-fourths of the way into the bomboloni and squeeze in the preserves, pulling the tip out slightly as you squeeze to fill them as much as possible. Serve warm.




Pumpkin Doughnuts:
Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 15 minutes
Chilling time - 3 hours
Cooking time - 10 minutes
Yield: About 24 doughnuts & 24 doughnut holes

Ingredients
All Purpose Flour 3.5 cup / 840 ml / 490 gm / 17 ¼ oz
Baking Powder 4 teaspoon / 20 ml / 24 gm / .85 oz
Table Salt 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Ginger, ground ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Baking Soda ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Nutmeg, ground ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml / 1.5 gm / .05 oz
Cloves, ground 1/8 teaspoon / .6 ml / ¾ gm / .025 oz
White Granulated Sugar 1 cup / 240 ml / 225 gm / 8 oz
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 gm / 1.5 oz
Egg, Large 1
Egg Yolk, Large 2
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon / 5 ml
Buttermilk ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon / 135 ml /
Pumpkin 1 cup / 240 ml / 285 gm / 10 oz (Canned pure pumpkin or fresh cooked and pureed pumpkin – DON’T use pumpkin pie mix!)
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)

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

Powdered (Icing) Sugar 2 cup / 480 ml / 250 gm / 9 oz
Whipping Cream (About 32% butter fat) 4 Tablespoon + more if needed / 60 ml

Directions:
  1. Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (the mixture will be grainy and not smooth). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.
  2. Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch (12 mm to 15 mm) thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) -diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
  3. Using 1-inch (25 mm) diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches (40 mm). Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F (185°C to 188°C). Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.

Glaze Directions:
  1. Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze.
  2. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead.
  3. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat.
  4. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with powdered sugar glaze.
  5. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.



19 comments:

Lori said...

This was a perfect challenge. I loved it. Great recipes, variety, freedom and something I have been meaning to do for a while. Thank you.

Deeba PAB said...

Thank you for the wonderful challenge Lori. I enjoyed it, and have to add that the Alton Brown Yeast Recipe is an absolute winner!Have a good day!

Mary said...

This was such a fantastic challenge--one of my favourites so far! Great pick, and thanks for hosting!
:)

coolblogger said...

This is a gr8 idea and good event. Good job Lori!

uk4dz said...

Your doughnuts look wonderful and so beautifully done! I made the Alton Brown's but I think I need to try the cake doughnuts next just to find out what the difference is!

Thanks very much for hosting a great challenge this month! ~Nicola

Jamie said...

Love them! Loved this challenge even though I couldn't make the gorgeous yeast dougnuts - but I will! Love doughnuts and this great challenge pushed me to make something that I've wanted to make for a long time! Nun's Farts! Yep - a wonderful French treat.

Anita said...

Thanks for the challenge Lori!!! I loved it. My cinnamon doughnuts were loved by all.

Audax said...

This was such a popular challenge, well researched and so many great recipes well done on this challenge and your results are excellent also. Thank you so much. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Renata said...

Lori, once again, I would like to thank you for the great challenge! I'm Brazilian and doughnuts are becoming more popular here now, but we don't have much tradition on them. So I learned quite a lot from all other DBs who came up with all sorts of ideas. I loved the yeast doughnut recipe you provided and I still want to try the others. Your step by step was very clear and easy to follow. You did a great job hosting this month's challenge.

madeinthepresenceofnut said...

Thanks so much for a great challenge Lori! Loved making these :) The recipe is definitely a keeper!
Linda

Kris Ngoei said...

Thank you so much, Lori!!! These doughnuts are so delicious... I only managed to make Bomboloni for now, but very interested to try out the rest ....

It has been fun taking up this challenge and I am sure all DBers agree with me!

Sawadee from Bangkok,
Kris

Suzler said...

Fantastic challenge this month! I had so much fun with it and the doughnuts were delicious. I'll definitely be making them again. Thanks so much!

Denise Michaels - Adventurous Foodie said...

If there was a contest I'd always, always go for the cake-style donuts rather than the raised one. I know it's a personal taste kind of thing. guess it's just what I grew up with. Love 'em with hot cocoa or with a glass of freshly squeezed apple cider. Oh, be still my beating heart.

Tara said...

Thanks for the awesome challenge!! I'm excited that I finally got to try my hand at doughnuts.

Marcellina said...

Lori, thanks for a great challenge! I love doughnuts and have made them at various times of my life but Alton Brown's yeast recipe is really the BEST!

shaz said...

HI Lori, thanks for the fabulous challenge. Had lots of fun, plus the bomboloni I made tasted fantastic! Yay.

Junglefrog said...

Thanks so much Lori for this perfect challenge! I loved making these doughnuts!

Sandy-Christine said...

Would love the directions on how to stuff the lihapiirakka....please and thank you.

Mess Maker said...

Hi Sandy - I think you may be thinking of Audax. I'm pretty sure that's who had the recipe. Lori