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.
Doughnuts, who would not love them? I don't know about anyone who'd turn down this fried dessert. We know them as koblihy in my country and they're a little bit different from what is know as doughnut in America. In fact they're pretty similar to bomboloni and it is said that a good kobliha has a yellow circle around in the middle because it wasn't soaked in the oil during frying :) But let's get to the challenge.
We had to use the recipes provided, but were allowed to make any changes - e.g. add some other ingredients, spices and so on. Oh, and the recipes were for classic yeast doughnuts, cake doughnuts, bomboloni and pumpkin doughnuts. As I've never had the real American doughnut I chose to stick to the tradition and not to add a thing (except for glaze). And my choice was the recipe from Alton Brown's Yeast Doughnuts.
I made them in the evening and it was a mistake! They're pretty good and I ate 5 of them! Anyway, they're best the day they're made. The next the dough wasn't crispy anymore and well, it was like old doughnut (but of course, still edible :)) And I also found out it didn't matter whether it's called donut or doughnut - it's the same thing.
As a glaze I chose chocolate (from Alton Brown) and maple one (created myself). The donut holes were simply sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and gosh! pretty good, too. Okay, the recipe's below (I changed some stuff like sugar amount and so on, and it worked) :)
14g active dry yeast
80ml warm water (35-40C)
2 large eggs, beaten
110g white granulated sugar
1 tsp nutmeg, grated
650g all purpose flour + more
canola oil for frying (DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in)
560g pure maple syrup
56g light corn syrup
4 tsp vanilla extract
310g bittersweet chocolate
700g icing sugar
Dough: 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.) 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. 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. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 9 mm thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter). Cut out dough using a 65 mm doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 22 mm ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 185°C. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.
Maple Glaze: Sift icing sugar and add maple syrup. Stir well until smooth. You may add more sugar or syrup to reach the required consistency. Use immediately.
Chocolate Glaze: Combine butter, milk, corn 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 powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving. Well, I didn't wait and it was OK.
- The ingredients for each glaze is the exact amount you need for 56 donuts. So if you want half with chocolate and hafl with maple glaze, half the recipe for both of them.
- The dough looks much more like batter - DON'T add more flour otherwise your doughnuts won't light and airy, but chewy and gum-like.
The best doughnuts ever indeed! The surface is nicely crispy and inside there's airy light dough with no yeast aftertaste at all. They're just sweet enough and with glaze - simply spectacular experience! Now I don't want any store-bought fake donut. Just be careful and share them, because they're so good you'll want more and more with every other bite.