After Croissants the family choice is doughnuts or donuts for quick filling bites on the go while abroad trips. They are easy to be be tucked in our back packs and serve as anytime munch with no much mess. After every US visit I have a strong urge to try them and I you hadn't come across this winner recipe of fried homemade donuts (with egg), they're there still staying warm.
National Doughnut Day is celebrated in the US on the first Friday of June which was June 1st this year, so perhaps it’s somewhat apt that the We Knead To Bake group is baking yeasted doughnuts chosen by Aparna this month. Baked Donuts are the ones which I haven't tried so far and I am excited to have it around.
So now to talk about baked Doughuts, what type you make is entirely up to you. You can make plain cinnamon sugar ones, jam filled ones or even glazed ones. You are free to use any glaze of your choice. You can try sugar gazes, chocolate glazes or be more adventurous with them. Here are some recipes for glazes.
You need to be a bit careful about a couple of things when making these doughnuts. The first thing is make sure your dough is 1/2” thick before cutting out your doughnuts. Also make sure that the doughnuts do not lose their shape when you transfer them from your work surface to the baking sheets or you will end up with “wonky” looking doughnuts when they bake! Also make sure that whatever you use to cut the doughnuts is sharp so that it makes it easy to lift them off. Also that you do not too much of a twisting motion while cutting them out, as these can cause your doughnuts to not rise properly.
Baked Yeasted Doughnuts
Adapted from Lara Ferroni’s Doughnuts
Makes about 12 to 14 doughnuts and holes
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 1 tbsp cornstarch + enough all-purpose flour to make up to 1 cup)
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I needed 2 1/2 cups)
100gm 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 of your choice (Scroll down to refer my choice)
Jam for filling doughnuts
Using a processor to knead helps but you can do this by hand as I did.
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 that is most but not overly sticky. 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 ( I don't have a cutter. So I used the rim of a wide juice glass and a syrup measurer for the inner circle.) Press steady and firm till you feel it has cut through the dough and touches the hard working counter. Pressing firm enough to the working surface, wobble a little and lift your cutter (glass in my case). The donuts would have cut out clean. Do not twist the cutter or else you will end up with multi circles as you see in the middle one above. Such ones will be disfigured after the rise. After cutting the donuts, pull away gently to gather the scraps, I removed the middle one along the scraps as you see in the picture.
Re-roll the scraps and cut out more doughnuts. The very last left over scraps of dough can be rolled them into marble sized balls and baked. Don't forget to roll them in powdered sugar after baking :).
If you’re making doughnuts to fill with jam, 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.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.
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.
Easy Chocolate Sauce
Since my children prefer a thin coating on top which would say a little moist and sticky, I whipped up my own chocolate sauce. These aren't exact as I did it in a haste and didn't measure precisely. So adjust the ingredients a bit +/-
Combine 2 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder + 2 tbsps powdered sugar + 3 tbsps of water + 1 square of cooking chocolate. Melt in slow flame until saucy and coats the spoon/spatula. Drizzle hot water if required or the sauce is too thick. Check sugar. Dip the tops of donuts while the chocolate sauce is still warm. Invert and keep aside to set.
The glaze has to get set further before I clicked the pictures, getting impatient :)
I halved the recipe which yielded 12 small baked donuts for 4 of us.
6 of them were dipped into sugar cinnamon mixture and the rest into the chocolate sauce.
You don't have to worry about the std size of the donuts. They can be of any size but be careful while you cut/shape them out.