Friday, May 25, 2012

Who Wants Donuts? (Or Doughnuts)

My dad is ending his two week visit to my house. He goes home tomorrow. For some reason, he loves the heck out of doughnuts. Not just any doughnuts, cake doughnuts.  What is the difference between a cake doughnut and any other type of doughnut, you ask? Glad to give you the 4-1-1. All my work experience at Dunkin' Donuts those many moons ago is coming screaming back to me now.

There are two types of doughnut dough: yeast and cake. The difference really boils down to the kind of leavening used in the dough. Yeast dough is of a fluffier, more airy consistency and the doughnuts are easily filled and frosted after they are cooked, but they take a lot longer to make due to letting the dough rise, rest, and rise again (also known as "proofing".) Usually, yeast doughnuts will take about 3 hours to make from  from start to finished product.

Cake doughnuts usually use baking powder or baking soda as  leavening and require no proofing time at all. They just go right from the mixer to being rolled out to the fryer. The resulting doughnut is a lot denser, with a crispy outside. They are more difficult to fill because of their texture, so they are usually either glazed, frosted, or dipped in powdered sugar/cinnamon sugar. If you want to get very creative, you can also dip them in glaze and then roll them in some coconut or chopped nuts and let them dry.

My family is divided on the type of doughnuts they like. Hubby prefers yeast doughnuts filled with custard and topped with chocolate frosting (AKA the Boston Creme doughnut). Daughter enjoys both but prefers yeast doughnuts with homemade chocolate frosting, and Dad loves those Old Fashioned doughnuts -- hence, the making of the cake doughnuts.

And you know I would normally post a picture, BUT.... can you believe they ate them all already? And I only just made them 2 hours ago. I guess he doesn't get to take any home with him. Heck, I'll just send him the recipe.

Now, I know you are saying "Doughnuts are not healthy cooking", and you'd be correct. However, I believe everything in moderation is always a good thing and a doughnut every once in awhile isn't going to kill you. Eating the entire batch, like my family just did, might though.

The recipe I'm about to post was passed down to me from my grandmother and it makes a helluva good cake doughnut. I experimented with them some time ago, and if you want to cut some of the fat in them, then opt for the baking directions.

Without further ado, here's the recipe:

Old Fashioned Doughnuts (yields 8-12 doughnuts plus Munchkins... ahem... doughnut holes

1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp melted butter (you can also use canola oil instead of butter if it's faster or easier)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
6 cups Canola oil for frying*

Preheat oil to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and roll to 1/2" thickness. Cut with doughnut cutter, setting aside doughnut holes for frying as well. Fry doughnuts and doughnut holes to golden brown on each side and set on paper towels to absorb excess grease. Let cool completely and use toppings of your choice. Or eat them plain.

* If you want to bake the doughnuts and you have a couple of doughnut pans, reduce the flour by 1 cup and pour the dough into lightly oiled pans. Bake 8-10 minutes at 325. They won't be as crispy as the fried doughnuts, but still good.

** If you don't have a deep fryer and you do have a wok, you can heat the oil up over the stove in the wok over medium heat and then check it with a candy thermometer.

If you want to make a simple glaze for topping, use 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp butter, and start to beat with a wire whisk or mixer. Add 2 tbsp milk and continue beating. Keep adding milk gradually until the consistency of the frosting is not thick, but rather runny and the lumps are gone. (It should probably take 3-4 tbsp milk total to get it there). Dip the doughnuts in and let drip dry on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath.

OK, the pizza dough is now calling me from the bread machine, so I gotta run and get it going. If you like the doughnuts, post a comment and let me know :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment