Friday, June 3, 2011
The Best Doughnuts Ever!
Happy National Doughnut Day! To celebrate, I made these doughnuts for breakfast this morning. I actually made the dough last night and let it rest overnight in the fridge. I had to punch it down a couple times after putting it in the fridge until it got cold enough that the rise was substantially slowed. This morning, the dough easily rolled out and it rested while the oil heated up. When the oil was ready, the doughnuts were ready to fry. These are hands down the best doughnuts I have ever made! We all loved them.
Basic Raised Doughnuts
(AKA Best Ever Doughnuts)
3 tablespoons (22 grams) active dry yeast, divided
1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk, heated to 110°F, divided
2 to 2 ½ cups (320 to 400 grams) bread flour, divided (use bread flour—not all-purpose flour)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) superfine sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
¼ cup (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter or vegetable shortening
Vegetable oil or shortening for frying
In a medium bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons of the yeast into ¾ cup of the milk. Add ¾ cup of the flour and stir to create a smooth paste. Cover and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Combine the remaining milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the rested flour mixture along with the sugar, salt, vanilla, and egg yolks. Mix until smooth. Turn off the mixer and add ½ cup of the remaining flour. Mix on low for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix until it becomes incorporated, about 30 seconds. Switch to a dough hook and add more flour, about ¼ cup at a time with the mixer turned off, kneading the dough at medium speed between additions, until the dough pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and not too sticky. It will be very soft and moist, but not so sticky that you can’t roll it out. You may have flour left over. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least hour (and up to 12 hours).
Line a baking sheet with a lightly floured non-terry dish towel. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ½ inch thick. With a doughnut or cookie cutter, cut out 3-inch-diameter rounds with 1-inch diameter holes 9for filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the holes).
Place the doughnuts on the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm spot to proof until they almost double in size, 5 to 20 minutes, testing at five-minute intervals. To test whether the dough is ready, touch lightly with a fingertip. If it springs back immediately, it needs more time. If it springs back slowly, it is ready. If it doesn’t spring back at all, it has overproofed; you can punch it down and reroll it once.
While the doughnuts are proofing, heat a heavy-bottomed pot with at least 2 inches of oil until a deep-fat thermometer registered 360°F. With a metal spatula, carefully place the doughnuts in the oil. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until light golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on a wire rack over a paper towel, and let cool slightly before glazing.
Basic Sugar Glaze
½ cups (150 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted to remove any lumps
3 to 4 tablespoons milk or water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
Place the sugar in a medium bowl and slowly stir in the milk and vanilla, a little at a time, to make a smooth, pourable glaze.
Recipe Source: Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home