Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Glazed Doughnuts

We didn't make paczki for Fat Tuesday like we did last year. So sad, I know. But don't worry - we did make doughnuts! Yummy, delicious, comparable-to-that-famous-doughnut-shop doughnuts! 

Yeah, they're that good.

I had been wanting to make doughnuts for ages now. Leighton looked for a doughnut cutter for Christmas, but couldn't find any. I found the one I want on Amazon, but who wants to pay shipping on a $5 item. I added it to my cart a month ago, waiting until I purchase something else too. It's still sitting in my cart. We don't order online very often. I wasn't going to let my lack of fancy doughnut cutter keep me from making delicious doughnuts on Fat Tuesday though. No way! I just compromised and used my biscuit cutters. Not quite as easy, not quite as pretty, but they got the job done.

The recipe gives directions for proofing the yeast and mixing the dough in a bowl. But why go through all that work though when you have a bread maker???  I just had the kids dump the wet ingredients in the pan, followed by the dry, and finally the yeast. Ninety minutes later, and our dough was ready for step 3.

I rolled the dough out on a floured surface, being careful not to overwork it. Then, I used my 3 inch biscuit cutter to make the doughnut and my 1½ inch cutter to make the center.

I transferred the doughnuts and the holes to floured parchment paper. They rose covered on the counter for 90 minutes before I moved them to the oven to finish. I let the oven warm to 200° for a few minutes and shut it off. I placed the doughnuts inside for 10 minutes. Normally, it would take about an hour for the dough to double in size while sitting on the counter. Normally - as in if your house is warmer than 68°.

I talked Leighton into frying the doughnuts for me. I figured it was fitting since I was teasing him about taking control of the funnel cakes we made. (We made them again this past weekend for a banquet at church. He fried and I de-greased and helped with toppings.) The electric skillet is perfect  to use since it keeps a constant temperature. Just make sure you don't put too many in at a time and drop the temp, making them cook unevenly.

Also, make sure you very, very, very carefully place the dough into the oil. Otherwise, the doughnut will deflate, leaving an ugly flat blob. Tasty, yes; pretty, no. 

It was my job to coat the doughnuts. Some I dipped just the tops in the glaze and covered with sprinkles. Others I used a slotted spoon to fully coat  with glaze. 

The kids had fun coating the doughnut holes in a cinnamon/sugar mix.

As soon as the first doughnut made it to the racks to cool, all 3 kiddies started begging for one. And can you blame them? The fresh, warm doughnuts melt in your mouth and are absolutely delicious! You could easily eat 3 or 4 without even realizing it. The consistency and flavor truly resemble Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The kids and I love them fully coated in the glaze, but Leighton thinks it's a bit much.  It could be because I added only half the water in order to keep it thicker, thus causing more glaze to remain on the doughnuts, but most likely it's because he's more of a savory guy. The rest of us will take one any which way we can! We've already talked about next time we make them.

Mmm, next time. 

Make these and you will not be disappointed! Unless you eat the whole batch by yourself. Then you might be a wee bit disappointed in your waist size. But the doughnuts themselves will not let you down! 

* I halved the doughnut recipe, but forgot to halve the glaze. We ended up with plenty glaze left over. The dough made 12 full-size doughnuts and 20 doughnut holes. The original recipe is below.

Yeast Doughnuts
Dough Ingredients:
2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast or 4 1/2 tsp                  2 eggs
1/4 c warm water (105 to 115 degrees)                                      1/3 c shortening
1 1/2 c lukewarm milk                                                              5 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c white sugar                                                                     vegetable oil for frying
1 tsp salt        

Glaze Ingredients:
1/3 c butter                                                                               1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c confectioners' sugar                                                             4 Tbsp hot water or as needed

1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
2 In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.
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