Sunday, February 8, 2009

Do You? or Do-U-Not? Do... DOUGHNUTS!!

We all know that they are VERY fattening! They are not good for you, pure and simple. But do you or do you not just crave a doughnut now and then? Do you or do you not eat them from time to time?

Every so often I sure do crave a GOOD doughnut. And a few weeks ago this craving would not go away. I thought about them day and night for two days. I did not go out to buy any. I considered it. I even considered purchasing some at the market. Can you believe that? I don't know that I have ever bought doughnuts from the regular market. Then I started thinking some more.... My mom always loved her grandmother's homemade doughnuts. Why can't I make my own. Especially since I have a deep fryer now!

Yes. The decision was made. I WOULD make doughnuts from scratch. Now for the recipe. I took a look around my cookbooks. Not much to offer in the way of doughnuts. Then our great vast web. There are plenty to be found here. It seems most doughnuts were of the yeast variety. These are good and I shall try it sometime but when it comes to doughnuts, I usually want the cakier type of dense doughnut or old fashioned glazed doughnuts. Not to say that the chewy Crispy Cream yeast doughnuts aren't tasty. They ARE.

Upon perusal I found a few recipes I really wanted to try. But one really stood out. Because I love the old fashioned buttermilk doughnuts and because I happened to have some buttermilk that needed to be used before it went bad, I tried a recipe for Buttermilk Doughnuts that I found on Stephan's site, This Engineer Can Bake. His Recipe is sited as being adapted from Baking Illustrated.

While my doughnuts were not THE most perfect shape in the world, they did come out as very presentable and wonderful tasting. The only problem is that doughnuts are only really really good the day you make them. And one doughnut is really all one should ever eat in a day. So we all ate TWO! Then I gave some to my mom and grandmother. I also froze some as soon as I though it would not melt the plastic bag I put them in. The frozen doughnuts were pretty darn good several days later. I simply heated them in the toaster oven until warm all the way through. This is definitely the way to go if you don't want to eat them all and feel like a heavy ton of bricks.

Note: I do not have a doughnut cutter. But I do have a very sturdy round cookie cutter which I used for the basic shape. For the hole, I used the cap of a water bottle. It worked well enough but the doughnut holes (which I did fry up as well) were not so perfect looking because they sometimes stuck to the cap.

Buttermilk Doughnuts
Adapted from Baking Illustrated

Makes 15 to 17 doughnuts (assuming they all work out)

3 1/2 cups (17 1/2 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup (7 oz) sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk

6 cups peanut/sunflower/safflower oil

Cinnamon Sugar

1 cup sugar (7 oz)
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

1. Mix 1 cup (5 oz) flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

2. Mix the buttermilk, butter, and eggs including the yolk in a 2-cup measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry; beat on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Decrease the speed to low and add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. Stir the batter once or twice with a wooden spood or rubber spatula to ensure all the liquid is incorporated. (The dough will be moist and tacky, like a cross between cake batter and cookie dough.)

3. Fit a candy thermometer to the side of a cast iron kettle or large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (or simply use a deep-fryer); gradually heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, turn the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll with a heavily floured rolling pin to 1/2-inch thick. Stamp out the dough rings with a heavily floured doughnut cutter (the width of the ring should be about 3/4 inch or less), re-flouring between cuts. Transfer the dough rounds to a baking sheet or large wire rack. Gather the scraps and gently press them into a disk; repeat the rolling and stamping until all the dough is used. (Cut doughnuts can be covered in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 hours.)

4. Carefully drop the dough rings into the hot far 4 to 5 at a time, depending on the size of your pot. As soon as they rise to the surface, turn the doughnuts with tongs. Fry the doughnuts until golden brown, about 50 seconds per side (mine took about 3 minutes). Drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet or wire rack. Repeat frying, returning the fat to temperature between batches and adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the oil from overheating.

5. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a bowl or pie plate. After the doughnuts have cooled for about 1 minute toss with cinnamon sugar to coat. Alternately, you can also use non-melting powdered sugar if it is available in your area.


Joie de vivre said...

You know the old Frito Lay saying, "No one can eat just one?" I think the motto for these doughnuts should be, "No one can eat just seven!"

PaniniKathy said...

Your donuts look pretty perfect to me! Plus, they'll be gone so fast no one would notice otherwise :-)

Peter M said...

OH NO YOU JUST DIDN'T? You made your own doughnuts?

These look as good as anything bought in the shops...I bow.

Elra said...
Homemade doughnut! Sure I can eat them. Delicious!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

My grandmother used to make donuts and as kids we got to eat the holes. We loved them and this reminds me of her. I've never attempted them myself so thanks for sharing.

Emily said...

I'm not a big doughnut fan but I don't mind the old fashioned cakey ones. I do not like crispy cream. They just aren't satisfying. We made doughnuts like these in baking last year which turned out really well. They were relatively easy to make too.

Nicole said...

Joie de vivre- Sometimes moderation is not easy is it!

Kathy- They did get eaten up pretty fast!

Peter- Thank you. It was rather easy. Have you tried? I have no doubt you will soon if you haven't already.

Elra- Cheers to you too! Have as many as you want.

Sam- That's what my mother said about her grandmother. Actually it isn't hard to make the doughnuts. A bit messy but not too hard.

Emily- I have never gotten the big hoopla with the crispy creams myself.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Beautiful job on the donuts Nicole!
Homemade donuts and a good cup of coffee sounds really good right now!

Michelle said...

All I can say is, in the words of Homer Simpson: Time to make the doughnuts. Thanks for telling us about this recipe, I'm really going to try this sometime.

Robin Sue said...

What a fun treat! I like the freezer idea too so you don't feel like you have to eat them all at once! My mom used to make us homemade donuts with leftover mashed potatoes- Potato Donuts, very old fashioned and cakey too.

Lisa said...

WOW WOW WOW! Good for you! I would never even think of making doughnuts! Ha!

Wish we had Krispy Kreme here... anytime I'm in London its the first place I head for, my god nothing is nicer!

jesse said...

WOW, I don't think I can wait even one minute for these babies to cool before chomping into them!!

Nicole said...

Marie- Thank you! Doughnuts and coffee were just made for each other don't you think?

Michelle- Let me know how yours turns out.

Robin Sue- I have heard of that with the mashed potatoes. They used to find ways to use everything and not waste. Something to think about in these times...

Lisa- You are a BOLD chef. Making doughnuts is quite easy. You should try it.

Jesse- Trust me, we didn't wait very long to chomp away! Welcome to my blog. Do come again.

Dee said...

Bookmarked! Hips be damned. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Yes! I do do doughnuts! Who doesn't? Yours look delicious. Very nice job Nicole!
(to answer your question, the way I helped my dil make risotto perfectly is to add the liquid little by little, always stirring. I told her it will be done in 25 minutes on medium flame. That's the magic number. 25! Good luck)
Take care,
Maryann xox

Lori Lynn said...

I think I have a doughnut about once a year, at the County Fair. Yours look fabulous, moderation's the key, no? I would definitely enjoy ONE of yours with a cup of coffee.

A World in a PAN said...

Oh, I dunt's ... (but I love them). Now and then I buy one (but if I make them, I'd eat many more!)

Kelly J. said...

Doughnuts are some of the best things when they are fresh, homemade, and topped with (for me anyway) chocolate!!!!

Those doughnuts look wonderful!

Nicole said...

Dee- Here here! That's what I said. Sort of kicking myself now though.

Maryann- Thanks and thank you for the risotto tips as well.

Lori Lynn- Wow! You are GOOD! I don't do doughnuts often. Not every month but maybe more than once a year. Your moderation is admired!

Laura- Wise woman! It is hard not to eat them when there is a pile before you.

Kelly J.- Welcome! Chocolate and doughnuts go VERY well together, I agree. These would be great dipped in rich rich hot chocolate like a churro.

Jaime said...

I love doughnuts and they love me. ;) I happen to LOVE Krispy Kreme the most, but I try to stay away and only have them on special occasions. I also like the cake-like variety and yours look wonderful!

Maris said...

These look professional! My mom loves donuts and I wish I could make them for her but I don't have the right equipment!

Nicole said...

Thank you Maris! You know I made doughnuts one other time before I had the deep fryer and they turned out well. You could do it without much other than ingredients and a pan!