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.
As usual with me, this challenge was put together at the last minute. I’m not sure where the weeks go, but I always seem to be scrambling to do every challenge at the last minute, despite my best intentions. And then there was a drama involving a crashed iPhoto and missing photos (the photos were not on the camera or on the computer). Cue 4 hours of scanning SD cards and panicking.
But crisis averted, and here we are We had a choice of four different recipes for this challenge. I went for Alton Brown’s Yeast Doughnuts as I figured I could do with some practice working with yeast. Here’s the recipe! (0riginal linked before the jump.)
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
What You Need:
1.5 cup / 360 ml Milk
1/3 cup / 70 gm Vegetable Shortening (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 14 gm Active Dry Yeast
1/3 cup / 80 ml Warm Water (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
2 large Eggs, beaten
¼ cup / 55 gm White Granulated Sugar
1.5 teaspoon Table Salt
1 tsp Nutmeg, grated
4 2/3 cup / 650 gm All Purpose Flour + extra for dusting surface
Oil for frying – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (you can use any flavorless oil used for frying. I used vegetable oil)
What To Do:
Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening (I used margarine). Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside
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. 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. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
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.
Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
At this stage, the ‘dough’ was seriously sticky, and almost like the consistency of cake batter. This is what the mixing bowl looked like after I scooped all the dough out:
This was just a regular photo until ‘iphotogate’. Weird.
After about 1.5 hours, my dough looked like this:
Ooh! Springy! Yeast dough success!
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. Seriously.).
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 hole.
Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel
and let rise for 30 minutes. They will look like this:
Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C. I used my biggest saucepan. My sugar thermometer picked a fabulous time to stop working, so from here on, it was all guesswork as to the temperature of the oil. The scary, scary pot of oil. Test splodge of dough:
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). Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.
For the glaze, I used Alton Brown’s recipe for Chocolate Glaze.
What You Need:
1/2 cup / 113g unsalted butter
1/4 cup / 60ml whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (I used golden syrup)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 oz / 113g dark chocolate, chopped (I used less than this. I can’t remember why)
2 cups / 250g icing sugar, sifted
What To Do:
Mix the butter, milk, 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 icing sugar, and whisk until smooth.
Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water (I didn’t do this, and didn’t need to, probably because I used a ridiculously small amount of chocolate. What was I thinking?? I blame dodgy scales. Or the fact it was 11pm.) and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.
I rolled the doughnut holes in cinnamon sugar. Oh yeah.
And back to the main attraction:
Thanks to Lori for a great challenge, and for helping me overcome my fear of deep-frying Be sure to pop over to the Daring Kitchen for a look at all the fine creations from the Daring Bakers!