Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yes. Donuts. (Dairy)

I will state for the record, I love donuts. They are wonderful fluffy bits of sweet delight. Also they are not readily available here on a regular basis. They show up around Hannukah, but then they're mostly jelly filled. Though there are ones filled with Dulce de Leche which are to die for. The bottom line is, getting a good glazed donut during the year is not a simple matter. So, with that in mind I figured it was time to make my own. It was something of a time consuming process since we don't really do all that much dairy cooking. I was only able to do three donuts at a time, so it took a while to get everything cooked. I also wasn't super thrilled with how the glaze looked. This is the second time I've made them and the second glaze I tried. Tastes good, but doesn't look so great. That said, everyone loved them.

1/4 ounce dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (brought to almost boil then cooled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter
5 cups flour
oil for frying

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup butter
5 tablespoons hot water

Making the dough:
Disolve the yeast in the warm water in a big bowl. Let it proof for a few minutes then add warm milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter and then 2 cups of the flour. I'm all old school and used a fork and my hands, but if you're the fancy type you can use a stand mixer.
Once it's all incorporated start mixing in the rest of the flour until the dough is smooth. Cover it with a damp cloth, put it in a warm place and let it rise about an hour. It should double in size.
When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and sprinkle a bit on top so you can work with it. I had to split my dough in half since our work surface is small. Also allowed us to make it over two days. The dough kept very well in the fridge overnight. Anyway, roll the dough out to about 1/2 an inch thick. Then cut out the donuts. They make fancy donut cutters. But we went old school, a wide mouthed cup for the initial circle and then a soda bottle top to pop out the 'hole'.
The first try we put the donuts directly into the oil, but the second batch I let the dough rise for about 20 minutes before cooking them and they came out much fluffier. Anyway, to the cooking. We used a pot and about half a liter of canola oil, but any deep frying technique will work. The recipe calls for the oil to be heated to 350F (175C), but we played it by ear and ended up with some donuts being darker and some lighter. I found medium low heat to be the best, then you get a nice lightly browned fluffy result. The first time I made it I took the 'holes' and made, well, donut holes. Unfortunately, they puff up unevenly and it's hard to turn them over to cook on both sides, so I just kneaded them back in and made more full sized babies.
It ended up making about forty donuts, as I said in two batches. I think it took maybe a minute or two each side to fry them.
Next came the glazing, which as I said didn't work out as well as I had wanted. To make it, melt the butter, remove from heat and then start stirring in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Then you need to add the hot water, which dilutes it to a glaze. Do this a bit at a time until you get a nice runny consistency. I tried both dipping the donuts in the glaze and brushing it on with a silcone pastry brush. Neither looked pretty, but both tasted good.
You can add sprinkles if you want. I made an attempt at drizzling chocolate over them, but my chocolate melting skills leave something to be desired. So I don't have pictures, but it did add a nice taste.
I think the whole process took about 2 1/2 hours, with actually work time being about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 depending on how many donuts you can fry at a time.

1 comment:

  1. That looks so good and I ALMOST want to try it. But I have 3 places within walking distance if I want donuts (which I rarely do). I wish I wasn't quite so lazy, I'd be all over this project.