This month I joined a cook-a-long group called The Daring Kitchen. It has been so much fun!!! I am signed up as both a “Daring Baker” and a “Daring Cook.” Once a month everyone who is a member gets a new challenge to cook something that is unique, interesting, or challenging. Only the members can see what each month’s challenge is and then on a pre-determined reveal date, everyone shows their projects on their cooking blogs. It is a way to learn more about cooking techniques and to learn along side other people. There is a forum that the members can comment on and post their results all month long. I have learned a lot this month from everyone else’s tips and hints. Daring Bakers’ reveal date is on the 27th of every month and it is more baked goods or desserts. Daring Cooks’ reveal date is on the 14th of every month and it is more entrees or side dishes, but can be anything to do with cooking.
So today I am proud to present my first Daring Baker challenge:
The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make DOUGHNUTS!!! She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious. Perfect for October! I don’t know why, but doughnuts remind me so much of Halloween. These babies are perfect for a Halloween party. I made two different kinds of doughnuts and they are both wonderful! I don’t fry foods very often, but it was worth it for doughnuts. I also fried up some okra, while I was at it. Take a Look.
PUMPKIN CAKE DOUGHNUTS:
This is a dense, sweet doughnut. It is really good with the spiced glaze. Click here, here, here, here, here, and here to see some other amazing pumpkin treats. These make around 24 doughnuts and doughnut holes depending on the size.
- 3 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 C. white sugar
- 3 TBSP. unsalted butter
- 1 Large egg
- 2 Large egg yolk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 C + 1 TBSP buttermilk
- 1 C. pumpkin puree
- oil for frying
Powdered Sugar Glaze:
- 2 C. powdered sugar
- 4 TBSP whipping cream + more if needed
- Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (the mixture will be grainy and not smooth). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.
- Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch (12 mm to 15 mm) thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) -diameter round cutter (or you can just use the rim of a glass), cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
- Using 1-inch (25 mm) diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes (I used the coupler from a icing bag tip, but you can use anything that is small and round. you can even make the hole heart shaped!)
- Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches (40 mm). Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F (185°C to 188°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, just make sure it is nice and hot. If it burning the outsides, but not cooking the insides then your oil is too hot. You will know it is too cold if the doughnut soaks up the oil and comes out really really greasy. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon or a sieve, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.
To make the glaze (can be made up to 3 hours ahead):
- Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze.
- Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat.
- Spread doughnuts on 1 side with powdered sugar glaze.
- Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.
- For a yummy variation, sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg into the glaze like I did in this recipe.
ALTON BROWN’S YEAST DOUGHNUTS (best doughnuts ever!!!)
These doughnuts are more like the glazed doughnuts you buy at the store. They are so light and fluffy and yummy! They are some of the best doughnuts you will ever eat! Gobble them down fresh! They don’t store very well. If you have to store them, put them in an air tight container. I left mine out on the counter and they got stale really fast. But you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 4 days before rolling it out and cooking it. This makes 20-25 doughnuts and doughnut holes, depending on size.
- 1-1/2 C. milk or buttermilk
- 1/3 C butter
- 4-1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (2 pkgs.)
- 1/3 C. warm water
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 C. white sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. grated/ground nutmeg
- 4-2/3 C. all purpose flour
- Oil for frying
- Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the butter.Or just melt butter in the microwave in a bowl. (Make sure the butter is melted well so that it incorporates well into the batter.) Place the butter in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk/butter mixture, first making sure the milk/butter mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
- Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
- Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
- Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky. (The dough will be very sticky, so resist the urge to add flour. It is supposed to be very sticky!)
- Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. I found it easiest to pour the dough into the bowl. It is so sticky and difficult to scoop or pick up.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
- Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole ( I used the coupler of a decorating tip). Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 more minutes.
- Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
- Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature). You will know if the oil is too hot if it burns the outside, but leaves the inside doughy. It is too cold if the dough absorbs a lot of oil and comes out extremely greasy.
- Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired. Use the same glaze as on the pumpkin doughnut recipe above. They are also tasty dipped in sugar or with any other kinds or frostings and fillings. Get creative!!!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!! Keep reading for a yummy Halloween treat this Friday!