I am in the minority of those who like fried glazed doughnuts. After the first few bites, I feel totally grease laden. But give me one of these Baked Doughnuts chosen for the June challenge of We Knead to Bake and I’m in heaven! As someone who has probably made hundreds of batches of cinnamon rolls for my daughters, their boyfriends and now my grandchildren, I now have a new weapon in my arsenal of sweet breads to make for my family.
There are many doughnuts cutters on the market. The first one I bought which I used for the doughnuts pictured was 3/4-inch thick, but made very small doughnuts. Just after I finished making the doughnuts, the 1-inch thick doughnut cutter arrived in the mail. If a big fat doughnut is what you want, I recommend buying the thicker cutter. Both cutters have a detachable “hole” and works as an ordinary cookie cutter. Aparna has detailed photos on preparing the dough, cutting out the doughnuts, baking, glazing and filling them.
Lara Ferroni’s “Doughnuts”
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup warm milk (45C/115F)
3/4 tbsp instant yeast (or 1 tbsp active dry yeast)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (or 1tbsp cornstarch + enough all-purpose flour to make up to 1 cup)
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
100gm (7 1/2 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
For the topping:
About 1/2 cup melted butter for brushing
1 cup superfine sugar + 2 tbsp cinnamon (more or less, depending on your taste), mixed together
Glaze-I used a Maple Glaze (recipe on Saveur, although my glaze was not as dark as the photo on the website)
Jam for filling doughnuts-I used apple butter and a plastic squeeze bottle with the top cut out about 1/4″ diameter. This was easier to me than using a pastry bag and tip.
Using a processor to knead helps but you can do this by hand.
Put the sugar, milk, yeast, salt and vanilla in the processor bowl and pulse to mix well. Add the cake flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour and process, adding a little more of the flour as necessary till the dough is thick and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Now add the butter pieces one at a time and process till there no large chunks of butter are left in the bottom of the bowl. Now add a little more flour until your have a soft, pliable and elastic dough, not overly stiff.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased large mixing bowl., turning it to coat well. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise till double in volume. This should take about an hour.
Punch down the dough and roll out to a thickness of 1/2″ thickness. Cut out doughnuts using a doughnut cutter or whatever you have on hand to cut out 3” diameter with 1” diameter holes. If you’re making doughnuts to fill with jam, then do not cut out the holes. Place the doughnuts and the holes on parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheets, leaving at least 1” space between them.
Re-roll the scraps and cut out more doughnuts.
Let them rise for about 20 minutes or till almost double in size and then bake them at 200C (400F) for about 5 to 10 minutes till they’re done and golden brown. Do not over bake them.
This recipe makes about 12 to 14 doughnuts and holes.
Take them out of the oven and immediately brush them with the melted butter and then dip them into the cinnamon sugar mixture. If filling the doughnuts with jam, let them cool. Put the jam into a piping bag with a writing nozzle/ tip and press into the doughnut from the side and gently press out the jam into the doughnut till it starts oozing out. Jam doughnuts do not need too much jam to fill them. If glazing your doughnuts, let them cool completely and then dip one side of the doughnut in the glaze of your choice and let it set.
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