The Pantry: Homemade Doughnuts

A year and a half ago, when we moved, we left our beloved Krispy Kreme goodbye.  I didn’t think I’d miss it much.  I was wrong.  The 30 minutes that it now takes to drive there is simply too far.

While these still don’t quite hold a candle to Krispy Kreme, they’re still pretty good.

The truth of the matter is that I am still fumbling my way through the wonderful world of yeast-risen breads.  I am not in any way, shape, or form a baking master.  In fact, I’m a step below novice–if that’s even possible.  On a number scale, I’m completely negative two.  If you are a dynamo in the kitchen when it comes to baking breads, please remember this, and feel free to adjust accordingly.

NOTE:  This, along with about four other recipes, has been sitting in my computer files for about three months, mocking me.  I’m serious.  For some reason, writing the recipe was more daunting than making the doughnuts.  SO, even though it’s probably not obvious, I’m thrilled to finally be finishing this one! 

Homemade Doughnuts

recipe adapted from Fleischmann’s Bread World

Ingredients:

Doughnuts:

3-3/4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup warm water (approximately 120-140 degrees)

3/4 cup warm milk (approximately 120-140 degrees)

1 envelope Rapid Rise Dry Yeast

3 tbsp butter

2 large eggs

oil, for frying

Glazes:

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup apple juice

2 tsp powdered sugar

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar,

1 teaspoon of salt,

 and 1 packet of yeast.  I just the other day read something that said not to put the salt in direct contact with the yeast because it retards growth.  Oops.  Maybe put the yeast and sugar on the bottom and the salt on the top– or the other way around?  Don’t know.  I’m not a master bread-maker, but what I did worked for my purposes, so don’t let it scare you too much.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl.

In a measuring cup, combine both the water and milk and heat for a minute or so in the microwave– not with the thermometer attached!  Attach that after the fact.  Rapid Rise Yeast requires a temperature a little higher than Active Dry Yeast, or so the package says.  Again, I was fumbling around trying to figure it all out.

Add the eggs, milk, and butter (not pictured–oops!) to the mixture, and then add enough flour to make a soft dough.  I ended up adding almost all of it, but it was a pretty humid day.  Knead with the dough hook until the dough pulls from the sides.  According to the original directions, if you do this by hand, you can knead for about 6-8 minutes.  I don’t remember how long I kneaded this in the stand mixer. 

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl– make sure you flip the dough in the bowl so both the top and bottom of the dough is oiled.  Cover the bowl with a slightly damp towel and let it rise in a warm place for around an hour.  Now, the South in the late spring is a warm place pretty much no matter what, so I’m not sure what to tell you as far as what constitutes a “warm” place.  I did see something the other day that suggested that you could place the dough in a cold oven with a pan of hot water below it.  I’ve not tested that method myself, but it makes sense.

Once the dough has doubled,

remove it from the bowl to a floured surface.

Roll it out

 to around a half an inch thickness.

Then cut your shapes.  Because I was experimenting, the boy and I broke out the awesome cookie cutters that a most-awesome library friend sent me a couple of Christmases ago.  I’m in love with these cutters.  Anyway, they are about 2-1/2 to 3 inches across.  I used the round cutter for my circular doughnuts.

I cut the centers out by using the base of a piping tip–one of the large ones.  I tried a baby bottle cap, but it was too large. 

Once your shapes are cut, place them on parchment paper– look at those stars and hearts.  Heh.  Silly looking, huh.  Lay the doughnut holes out, too– just don’t make them too big.  Ours were, and some of them didn’t cook through all the way.

Cover the doughnuts with a cloth, and allow them to double in size.  It takes about an hour.  I didn’t use the damp towel this time because the towel was touching the dough.  Oh, and I used a baby blanket, not a towel.

I didn’t photograph this part, but this is a good time to make your glazes.  I made two.  In one bowl, I combined granulated sugar and cinnamon.  In another bowl, I combined apple juice and powdered sugar. 

Heat a pan of oil– I think I had around 2 inches of vegetable oil– to 375 degrees.  You can test the oil by tossing in a piece of bread–it’ll toast up quickly if the oil is ready.  Too hot & it’ll burn.  Too cold, and it’ll just sit soaking up oil.  Then cook your doughnuts.  Drop ’em in–no more than a few at a time.  I started with one to test things out.

Then carefully flip it.

Remove the doughnuts to a counter covered with paper towels.  Dip the warm doughnuts into the glaze of your choice and let them dip dry on a cooling rack.

Repeat until you’re done.  Then eat up the results– not all of them, though.  Make sure you share with your neighbors! 

The doughnut holes were my favorites.  However, like I said earlier, be careful because the larger ones didn’t cook all the way through.

These were okay the next day– pretty good with a cup of coffee–but not much past that.    Overall, they scratched the itch, but I still miss Krispy Kreme!

Yield: about 2 dozen doughnuts

 

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2 responses to “The Pantry: Homemade Doughnuts

  1. Love that you displayed multiple photos! Very good effort!

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