October 27, 2010

Yeast Doughnuts for Daring Baker's Challenge!

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.

Yes!! I did it on time! Its been a couple of months since I've posted on the blog, and I've missed a few of the challenges as well... But I'm more than happy to be back, that too with a successful completion of the challenge! There is a reason I've highlighted the word "successful". Its because it had every reason to be the opposite when I attempted the challenge! Of course, I kind of "planned' it for the last minute.. Starting the challenge the evening before the posting date is never easy.. My little girl's school harvest festival being on the same evening didn't help much! We just went through a move (Yay! We are in our new home!!) and my baking/measuring stuff are still somewhere in the boxes.. Eyeballing 2/3 cup of flour is not fun! And the weather has gone berserk here- extremely windy, rainy and a bit cold. Doughnuts rising well..? I didn't think so! Ages old yeast also added to the chaos...



But even after everything that could've gone wrong, I completed the challenge - "successfully". The yeast didn't froth initially, but I still went ahead with making the dough. I didn't have a stand mixer, so I just mixed with a spoon and then later kneaded the dough a bit. But it came together in just a few minutes, nice, soft and smooth! I left the dough in the pre-warmed oven to help it rise a bit and left for my little one's school. But the dough didn't seem to have risen (maybe it did a bit!?) when I came back, but since there was no going back, I rolled the dough out and cut out the doughnuts.

I just wanted to test whether the doughnuts would be any good with the seemingly flat dough! But it wasn't as bad as I thought and showed some promise. So I cut out the rest of the doughnuts and let it sit in a warmed oven for about 30 minutes. I didn't have a thermometer so again, it was hard keeping the temperature constant. Anyways, the doughnuts fried beautifully to a golden brown color quickly and was crisp on the outside with a yeasty chewy inside. I was surprised at how "well-rounded" they got once they were in the oil. My only issue was many of them cracking open in the oil (which I assumed was due to the oil being heated up too much?).

Anyways, despite everything, the doughnuts turned out really nice. I really didn't know how to dress up a doughnut, so a sprinkle of powdered sugar did the trick well..

I think this is a very solid recipe which would give consistent results and even after so many drawbacks, I got it right! I'm happy to be back, and that too with some handsome doughnuts!




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. 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.




Bomboloni


Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 35 minutes
Rising time - 1 1/2 hours plus overnight
Cooking time - 10 minutes
Yield: About 32 Bomboloni

Ingredients

Water, Lukewarm 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon
Active Dry Yeast 3 ¼ teaspoon (1.5 pkgs.) / 16.25 ml / 10 gm / .35 oz
Honey 1.5 Tablespoon / 22.5 ml
All Purpose Flour 3 cup / 720 ml / 420 gm / 14 ¾ oz
Milk 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml
Egg Yolk, Large 6
White Granulated Sugar 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 75 gm / 2 2/3 oz + more for rolling
Kosher (Flaked) Salt 2 teaspoon / 10 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 gm / 1.5 oz
Canola Oil 3 cup / 720 ml / (Or any other flavorless oil used for frying)
Raspberry Jam, Seedless ¾ cup / 180 ml / 300 gm / 10.5 oz (or any flavor jam, preserves, jelly)

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (160 gm) of the flour. (Alternatively, whisk the ingredients by hand.) Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 1 hour.

2. Return the bowl to the mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (260 gm) of flour, along with the milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and the salt. Mix at low speed until blended, then add the butter and knead at medium speed until silky but sticky, about 5 minutes; the dough will not pull away from the side of the bowl.

3. Using an oiled spatula, scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

4. In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil to 360°F/180°C. Line a rack with paper towels. Fill a shallow bowl with 1/2 inch (12 mm)of granulated sugar. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough a scant 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Using a 2-inch (50 mm) round biscuit cutter, stamp out rounds. The original recipe said to not re-roll the dough, but I did and found it to be fine. Fry the rounds, 4 to 5 at a time, until they are browned, about 4 minutes (mine only took about a minute each – try to go more by sight). Be sure to keep the oil between 360°F and 375°F 180°C and 190°C. Drain the bomboloni on paper towels.

5. Roll them in the granulated sugar.

Filling Directions:

Fit a pastry bag with a plain donut tip (or a 1/4-inch (6 mm) tip) and fill with the preserves (you can also use a squeeze bottle). Poke the tip three-fourths of the way into the bomboloni and squeeze in the preserves, pulling the tip out slightly as you squeeze to fill them as much as possible. Serve warm.



Thanks for visiting me today! Have a great day!

4 comments:

uk4dz said...

They look really delicious and nicely done!

Rachel said...

Great to see you back! How have you been?

Priya said...

Great looking doughnuts..delicious!

Sophia said...

Nice! Happy new year to all, and fingers crossed for a great 2011!