Daring Bakers Go Nuts for Donuts!

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.

DONUTS!!!!

I was so excited when I read that this months challenge was to make homemade donuts!  Being Canadian we have a certain stigma of really liking our donuts, and well….it’s mostly true lol.  There are not too many corners that don’t have at least one Timmy’s on it.

We were given 3 recipes to choose from, but really how can you pick one donut over another so I made all 3, I had donuts coming out the wazoo.

Donut attempt #1

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.

4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
7. 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.
8. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

9. 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).
10. 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.


11. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.

12. 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).

13. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

I chose to just use a simple glaze on my donuts. I did not want to get all fancy, I prefer donuts in a simple form.  Let the donut do the talking, not the topping.  I choose Alton Browns Donut Glaze

Alton Brown’s Doughnut Glaze

1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

1. Combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm.

2. Sift confectioners’ sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined.

3. Remove the glaze from the heat and set over a bowl of warm water.

4. Dip doughnuts into the glaze, 1 at a time, and set on a draining rack placed in a half sheet pan for 5 minutes before serving.

These donuts were very good!  I fried a few the same day I made the dough and then the rest the following morning.  I think the ones that sat in the fridge over night were much better, better texture.  I would definitely make these donuts again.  The simple glaze was just enough sweetness to accent the light donut flavour.

Donut Attempt #2

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)

Directions:

1. Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.

2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (the mixture will be grainy and not smooth).

3. Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla.

4. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin.

5. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.

**I got a little too into it and forgot to take pictures of the next few steps**

6.  Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Using 1-inch (25 mm) diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.
10. Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels.

11. 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).

12. 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.

13. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely. ***I put mine directly into a bowl of cinnamon sugar and tossed to coat, then on a cooling rack.  I also did a few with the same glaze after they were cooled**

Note: again with this batch, I fried a few and kept the rest of the dough in the fridge until the next morning.  The ones fried the next day were just as good.

These were my favourite!!!  They had just a hint of pumpkin flavour and the cinnamon sugar made it all come together.  They were very addicting and I will definitely be making these again.

Donut Attempt #3

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

4. Make a large well in the center

5. Place the yeast in the well; pour the sour cream over it. Allow it to soften (if using packed fresh yeast), about 1 minute.


7. Pour the buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into the well.

8. Using one hand, gradually draw in the dry ingredients. The mixture should be fairly smooth before you draw in more flour.

9. Mix until it is completely incorporated. The dough will be very sticky. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour.
10. 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.

11. Working quickly, pat dough into an even 1/2-inch (12.5 mm) thickness.

12. 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.


13. 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.
14. Once cooked, place on a baking sheet covered with paper towels to drain.

15. Once cooled I glazed the donuts.

This was one of my favourite challenges.  I love donuts and they turned out very well.  I would have to say that my favourite one was the Pumpkin with cinnamon sugar, but I had no problem eating any of them.   I made over 70 donuts one morning to take to work and there was none left at the end of the day. The only down side to this challenge was the smell of the house after deep-frying, it stayed for days!  Next time I will make them outside with and electric frying pan.

Thank you so much for such a great challenge!!!

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7 thoughts on “Daring Bakers Go Nuts for Donuts!

  1. WOW – now that is a LOT of donuts! I am amazed and impressed that you found the time, energy and stamina to try all three of those recipes. They all look so amazingly delicious. Great work!

  2. Oh my goodness that’s a lot of doughnuts! They all look fantastic. You make me want to try the pumpkin ones. I ended up going with the bomboloni and I also took them to work 🙂

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