I may never wake up from the coma I have gone into while taste-testing these doughnuts.
fried in quality oil (at a temperature that creates a crispy nutty flavored shell without taking in too much grease), and then quick shaken in a mixture of earthy Matcha Green Tea powder and organic cane sugar - it's impossible to just nibble. After several of these jeweled pillows of sweetness, I can most assuredly tell you - OH MY GOSH they are so good!
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.
From what I've read, there are several stories about how the original doughnut started. The one that I like has the Dutch frying up left over bread pieces (love resourcefulness), but the centers were often undercooked. Home cooks (always thinking) filled the dough-heavy centers with nuts to balance the problem. Hello, "Dough-nuts".
Then, according to more of the stories, there was a sailor captain who didn't like the nuts his mom had put in these sweet breads she had sent with him on a mission, so he punched those out and stacked the breads on his ship's wooden wheel prong. Hello, "hole in the middle".
(If this story has any truth, my teenage son may be on to something with his quaint way of removing all the beans from every stew I cook. Maybe someday the beans removed will be some kind of weird snack food called "Stew-Aways"?)
My favorite recipe, given by Daring Bakers for doughnuts, was by Alton Brown. This recipe is amazingly easy to follow and very successful.
For the sugared topping, I used equal amounts of Matcha Green Tea Powder and Organic cane sugar. While the doughnuts are still warm, I simply tossed them in the tea/sugar combo and let rest on a plate.
I also glazed a few of them with a glaze mixture that closely resembled Krispy Kreme style glazing:
1/3 cup milk, heated in a saucepan with 1 tsp. vanilla or caramel flavoring
Whisk in about 2 cups powdered sugar til creamy and smooth.
Dip each doughnut into the glaze, then drain on parchment or a rack.
Yeast Doughnuts: (adapted from Alton Brown)
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
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 / 1⁄2 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 1⁄4 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 / 1⁄4 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)
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. 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.
4. 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.
5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
6. 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.
7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
8. 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).
9. 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.
10. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
11. 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). 12. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.