Ever since the event announcement about it being Time To Make The Doughnuts, well, I really wanted time to make the doughnuts. I really did. So, here I am, at the last possible second, posting about the doughnuts Aidan and I hurriedly made this afternoon. It wasn’t the recipe I wanted to make for this, though this was a recipe I have been meaning to try for a long time.
As good, basic yeast doughnuts go though, I must say that these are really good and pretty fool proof. Since I am a fool in the kitchen lately, that is a really good thing. No matter how hard I tried I fully expected to either (A) get burned (B) burn all the doughnuts or (C) do both. Well, none of those things happened and we ended up with just a big platter of really good doughnuts.
I am glad of this, because I was really looking forward to trying to make the more “gourmet” doughnuts I had planned and never did end up having time between baby, home preschool with Aidan and working full-time from home and my first event I hosted. I’m not giving up on them yet, because what I had planned still has me too twitterpated with the idea to let go. You’ll just have to check back in the near future for another doughnut surprise.
This recipe comes from the one and only Alton Brown, my favorite person on Food Network. I remember watching this show a long time ago, and a few times since then, and just never really getting around to it. Now I am so glad that I did.
The only changes I made to Mr. Brown’s recipe below was to half the chocolate glaze recipe and make a half amount of maple, per Aidan’s demand that he have doughnuts (YUM!!) with the peanut butter frosting. Yes, he means maple. He just never remembers that is what it is actually called. Silly boy.
Yeast Doughnuts Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2004
Show: Good Eats
Episode: Circle of Life
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 ounces vegetable shortening, approximately 1/3 cup
2 packages instant yeast
1/3 cup warm water (95 to 105 degrees F)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
23 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying (1 to 1/2 gallons, depending on fryer)
Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. 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. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined. Add the remaining flour, combining 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.
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. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or pastry ring and using a 7/8-inch ring for the center 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 degrees F. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time.
Cook for 1 minute per side.
Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.
Chocolate Doughnut Glaze Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2004
Show: Good Eats
Episode: Circle of Life
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth.
Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.
For Maple Glaze:
Follow the same directions as for the chocolate glaze except add 1 Tbsp Maple Extract and increase the confectioners’ sugar to 4 cups.