Donuts! And No Scars!

DonutsI totally blame Boyfriend for this. He just HAD to take me to Buckeye Donuts last Friday on a random donut run. (And you know what? After writing “doughnut” 100 times in the past couple days, I think I actually like “donut” better. Call it what you wish, but it’s my post. So donut it is!) After shamelessly devouring 2 huge cream-filled chocolate-glazed donuts, one Friday night, the other Saturday morning, the monster was unleashed. By Sunday I was craving more. When I called Boyfriend on my way home from work, I jokingly demanded he bring me a donut and give me a foot massage when I got home, not realizing he’d respond with, “Be ready in 10 minutes. We’re going to Dunkin Donuts.” He’s such an enabler. Driving around only somewhat lost for a half an hour only increased my desire for a soft, fluffy, sugary shot of deliciousness, so imagine my sheer devastation when we pulled into the parking lot, only to be met by a dark storefront and not a car in sight. Closed?? What do you mean closed? Who closes at 10:30 at night on a Sunday?? Oh yeah... Just about everyone. But the monster inside, screaming for donuts, doesn’t understand the concept of business hours, so I had to take matters into my own hands.

Completely certain there were tons of donut recipes in my multitude of cookbooks, I started scouring as soon as I got home. Believe it or not, out of my stack of nearly 50 cookbooks, I found ONE recipe for donuts. One. One recipe that called for the dough to proof both in and out of the fridge for almost 6 hours. I’m an instant gratification person. I can’t buy things online because I want it in my hands RIGHT NOW. 6 HOURS?? I can’t wait that long for a donut! 2 hours is pushing it. But 6? No way. I’m hitting the internet for something a little less time consuming.

Not only do I need instant gratification, but I’m also completely indecisive. I need things NOW and since I can’t pick, I need it ALL. And I used to think I wasn’t high maintenance. Since I couldn’t decide between my two favorite donuts, cream-filled chocolate glazed, and just regular sugar glazed, I decided to make them both. With some cinnamon sugar donut holes thrown in for Boyfriend. The dough is totally simple, using my mom’s method of “throw it all in and beat the crap out of it”, but the rolling out part was a bit tricky. The “lightly floured work surface” turned into a very heavily floured work surface to keep it from sticking to EVERYTHING. And I broke the rules and rerolled the dough. I know the recipe said not to, but hey—I’ll suffer through some not so soft donuts if it means I’ll get more than 5 out of it! I’m not letting all that precious donut dough go to waste. It might go to “waist” but it’s not going in the trash!

Rerolling the dough wasn’t the only rule I broke. Ever heard of that #1 kitchen rule, mise en place? Having everything prepped and ready and “in its place” so you’re not scrambling at the last second? I still haven’t mastered that. Or even attempted it. The dough was supposed to rise in its second proof for a half an hour. A half an hour that I should have been preparing my sugar glaze, chocolate glaze, filling, and the most important part... Heating the oil. Instead, I was on Twitter. Needless to say, my dough proofed for about 50 minutes. Oh well, it seemed to be okay.

Frying DonutsThe part that I thought would freak me out the most, that boiling hot oil just waiting to fry my hand off, actually ended up being not so scary. It stayed at a steady temperature, with no splatters, and the only batch I slightly burnt was one of the last batches of holes. And that was only because I thought, “Hey I’ve got this down! Let’s see what’s happening on Twitter while I wait.” Word of advice—Don’t do it. Twitter will be there when you’re done. Your very dark donut holes might not be.

Overall, they weren’t quite Krispy Kreme quality, but they were pretty good! I put a tad too much milk in my filling, so it was a little runny, and the sugar glaze was a bit thinner than I would have liked, but all in all, pretty darn good. After devouring 75% of the batch all on my own… in a matter of 2 days… I think the donut monster is finally satiated. Which is a good thing because I only have a month to look good in my cute new dress for Boyfriend’s brother’s wedding! So I’m swearing off donuts until then. Well. Maybe I can have just one…

Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 12 donuts and 20 donut holes

1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 ½ teaspoons)
2 tablespoons warm water
3 ¼ cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling out dough
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
About 10 cups vegetable oil for frying (or enough to fill your pot with 2-3 inches of oil)

1. In a small bowl, stir together yeast and warm water until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together flour, milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture on low speed until a soft dough forms. Raise speed to medium high and beat 3 minutes more.
3. Scrape down sides of the bowl, bringing the dough into the center of the bowl, then sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 ½ to 2 hours. (You can also let dough rise in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.)
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with a 3 inch cutter, then cut a hole in the center of each round with a 1 inch cutter and transfer donuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet. (If making cream filled donuts, do NOT cut out center hole.) Cover donuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes. (45 minutes if the dough was chilled). Do not reroll scraps.
5. Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a deep 4-quart heavy pot until it reaches 350F on a thermometer. (If you don’t have a thermometer, place the end of a wooden spoon or a chopstick into the oil. When bubbles rise up from the bottom of the spoon and bubble around the top edge, the oil is ready.) Place the donuts on a wire mesh strainer, Chinese spider skimmer, or a slotted spoon and drop them into the hot oil. Fry the donuts, 2 at a time, turning occasionally with the strainer, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Return the oil to 350F between batches. (Donut holes will cook quicker, about 1 minute per batch.) Top with desired glaze or sugar.

Glazed DonutSugar Glaze:
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
(Honestly I can't remember if I halved the recipe or made the whole batch for my 1/2 dozen, so I'm putting the 1/2 recipe here. Feel free to make more if you need to!)

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cups cold water or milk

1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Once donuts have come out of the oil, and been blotted on paper towels, dip, one by one, into the glaze, turning to coat completely. For a thicker glaze, turn several times. Remove from the glaze and transfer to a wire rack set over a cookie sheet or paper towels to catch any drips.

Note: I found it easier to pick the hot donuts up with a chopstick through the center hole to transfer it to the glaze and turn it.

Chocolate Glazed Cream Filled DonutChocolate Glaze:
Adapted from Joy the Baker and Alton Brown
Makes enough to glaze a little more than ½ dozen donuts

¼ cup unsalted butter
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) whole milk, warmed
1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1. Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Lower heat to low, add chocolate, and whisk until melted. Remove from heat, add powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Dip cooled, blotted donuts immediately. Top with sprinkles if desired. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving

Cream Filled Chocolate Glazed DonutsCream Filling:
Adapted from cdkitchen.com
Makes enough to fill ½ dozen donuts

¼ cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup butter or margarine
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Gradually add sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating until incorporated. Add milk and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Transfer to pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip.
2. Using a chopstick or a wooden skewer, poke a hole into one side of the cooled donut. Wiggle around, hollowing out the center, without breaking through the donut. Remove skewer and insert round tip on pastry bag into the hole you just made. Pipe filling into center of the hollow donut.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut HolesCinnamon Sugar Mixture:
Makes enough to coat 2 dozen donut holes

¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1. And sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl. Mix together with a fork until completely blended. As soon as donut holes come out of hot oil, drop into cinnamon sugar mixture and roll around with a spoon to coat completely. Transfer to a plate or baking sheet to cool completely.
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Heather said...

Oh no. So not what my pregnant self needs to see right now. Those look amazing!

Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy said...

I need to make some more doughnuts. This time around, I'm going to make some lemon-filled ones.


sarahe said...

i am so very impressed! I have never tried to make them 1. because i'm scared of hot oil, 2. because I would eat every. last. one. and 3. b/c in my town, we have a 24 hour donut place, loving called the "dojo" by college students. I can't tell you how many times I went there at 3 am...the owner is a tiny asian man that stays there and makes them throughout the night so you can always get them fresh, and he has a window into the dining area so you can watch him make them--perfection!

Anonymous said...

Great job and they look wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Very impressive! I would never do that after not being able to find donuts and just wallow in despair instead. haha. They look super professional. I think it's time for you to open a table at a farmer's market!

The College Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The College Baker said...

Wow, I just discovered your blog, and your style is so captivating! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post about donuts (I like to spell it that way, too-hehe), and I'm glad that the donut monster was finally satisfied :)

Butter Hearts Sugar said...

oh my gosh they look so delicious, i think you may have just created another donut monster.. yummm!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

I've been craving donuts sooooooo bad lately! I wish you were my neighbor so I could mooch off of you instead of making my own! Lol ;)

M. said...

I love doughnuts! so much decadence on your plate...yum!

Memória said...

These do/doughnuts look perfect!! Goodness me! I love how you showed the individual recipes for the fillings and glazes. I already bookmarked this.

Jessica said...

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one!

I am very impressed! Where did you get the brightly colored sprinkles? They would be great on some cupcakes for Easter!


ajcabuang04 said...

*Drool* I want some. Looks soooo good!!
Check my blog out at http://ajscookingsecrets.blogspot.com/ :D

Anonymous said...

I really don't like donuts, except I LOVE donut holes... and I LOVE cinnamon... so I am now drooling all over your post :) Great job!

Lisa said...

and you say you can't blog....

This is a endearing story, wonderfully written. And the donuts (i also like to write it this way) look YUMMY! They look like something out of a magazine!


Ingrid said...

I WANT....I love donuts but not unless they are freshly baked and I mean fresh! Your doughnuts look perfect! I'm gonna bite the bullet and try these, too.

Btw, don't be fooled by those that say you can make donuts with canned biscuits. :) No you can't.

scrambledhenfruit said...

These donuts look like ones in a donut shop! They are inspiring. If I made them though, I would eat them all myself. (My inner donut monster is dormant at the moment, but these beauties have started it stirring.) Thanks for sharing!

Nitin kumar said...

dunkin doughnuts has always been my favorite desert after dinner, it just have the perfect test that i need.

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