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.
Just under the wire, I’m sharing the donuts I made for this month’s Daring Bakers challenge. (I would have been earlier if it hadn’t been for that inconvenient 6 hour, wind induced power outage!). I’ve made donuts before but I’m always up to make more! I chose Alton Brown’s yeast donut recipe for this challenge, since Alton has never let me down.
I had already read that the dough was really wet, so I just went with it and resisted the urge to add more flour when mixing. By the time it had finished it’s first rise, it was perfectly rollable on a well-floured surface. That said though, the dough is very soft and while easy to cut, it was difficult to move off the counter and into the fryer without it becoming a wonky shape. I may try refrigerating the dough on a baking sheet before frying next time.
Despite all that, these were fabulous donuts! They were incredibly light and not greasy at all. In fact, after frying my dozen donuts, it seemed like I ended with the same amount of oil I started with.
I halved the recipe below and ended up with an even dozen donuts. Donuts really don’t keep well, so unless you’re feeding a crowd or freezing them, you may wish to make a smaller batch. (I did halve the yeast as well. Not sure if I was supposed to do that but 2 packages of yeast seemed like a lot for 2 cups of flour.)
I made several different kinds of donuts, including the raspberry jelly filled and donut holes (or Timbits :) pictured above, some sugar and cinnamon ones and my personal favourite, chocolate buttercream iced (a basic cocoa/butter/icing sugar/splash of milk frosting).
Thanks for the great challenge, Lori. It was yummy!
Summary: These are classic yeast donuts that can be cut into a variety of shapes and topped with granulated sugar, sugar and cinamon, icing sugar or regular icing.
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
- 4.5 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
- 1/3 cup warm water (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1.5 Tbsp. table salt
- 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
- 4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (650g) + extra for dusting surface
- Canola Oil for deep frying (amount depends on size of vessel you are frying in – you will want three (3) inches of oil (can substitute any other flavourless oil used for frying)
- Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm to the touch.
- Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Stir until the shortening is completely melted.Set aside.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, 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, combine the ingredients on low speed until the flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
- Add the remaining flour, mixing 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 (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.
- 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 3/8-inch thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
- Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter, pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch ring for the centre 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 365 °F.
- 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 on top of baking pan to catch any drips. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired. These are best on the day they are made.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 5 min | Total time: 1 hour 20 min
Number of servings (yield): 12
Adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe