Monday, November 8, 2010
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.
I had good intentions of getting this done in time but life keeps getting in the way. We are supposed to use the recipe provided but time and my pantry got in the way.
We went out for lunch and pigged out on beautiful seafood and then were still full at dinner time.
Now I knew that we needed at least something or we'd be awake at midnight with grumbling tummies so I thought AHAH doughnuts I have to make them so I looked up the recipes and didn't have the time or most of the ingredients so I used a tried and true recipe.
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.
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.
Nancy Silverton's Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts
Cake doughnuts are different from yeast-raised doughnuts in that they get their lift from baking soda and baking powder. Here, Nancy has used a bit of yeast for just a little extra rise. But don't worry, these still have the soft, moist interior you associate with the best cake doughnuts.
OLD-FASHIONED BUTTERMILK CAKE DOUGHNUTS
serves 15 doughnuts and holes
• 1/4 crème fraîche or sour cream
• 3 1/4 cups unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon (0.3 ounce) packed fresh yeast or 1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
• 1 extra-large egg
• 2 extra-large egg yolks
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• For decorating
• 1/2 cup nonmelting icing sugar or powdered sugar
In a small stainless-steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, heat the crème fraîche until just warm.
2.Heat the oil to 375°F.
3.Over a large mixing bowl, sift to combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg; make a large well in the center. Place the yeast in the well; pour the crème fraîche over it. Allow it to soften, about 1 minute.
4.Pour the buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into the well; whisk together the liquid ingredients. 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 and forms a very sticky dough. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour.
5.Sift an even layer of flour onto a work surface. 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 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 thickness, and cut out remaining doughnuts and holes.
6.Fry doughnuts and holes immediately according to these instructions.
7. Sift a layer of nonmelting icing sugar or powdered sugar over doughnuts and holes.
My version of Cake doughnuts.
2 cups self raising flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. oil - sunflower
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk (don't add it all at once you might not need it all)
1 egg, beaten
Heat oil. Heat about 1 – 2 inches oil in a large skillet over medium heat, or heat 2-3 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven. The oil needs to register 170˚C before you begin frying. Use a candy thermometer or an electric thermometer that can be attached to the pan to measure temperature while frying. Oil must stay hot to keep donuts from getting too greasy.
Heat oil in Dutch oven. Use a wire rack over a sheet pan for draining the oil off the donuts.
Make dough. While oil heats, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add butter or margarine and beat until combined. Then add milk and egg until combined.
Shape and fry. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. You want the dough to be about ½-in. to 1-in. thick. Using a glass or scone cutter, cut out circles. Then, using a shot glass or similar small glass, cut out holes in the center of each circle. I went to the kitchen shop and bought a donut cutter.
Fry donuts about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Be careful to not overcrowd the skillet. The holes will fry up in about 2 minutes. Drain on wire metal rack on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
This is a lovely recipe but don't make it too sloppy. You have to cut them one at a time and put them straight into the oil or they soften up and end up mishappen.
We ate them anyway. We drizzled them with real maple syrup and cream.