Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Homemade Doughnuts

Whenever I think of doughnuts, I think of Homer Simpson. Mmmm.... doughnuts... He's right though. Doughnuts do deserve a loud mmmm.... They are wonderful, light, airy, sweet breakfast treats. There's just something about having a doughnut in the morning with a glass of milk. The day before Halloween, my daughter got up unusually early (of course), so I decided to attempt homemade doughnuts. I have made them a couple times before, but I think they're fun to make. When my husband finally crept out of bed on Saturday morning, he saw the doughnuts that I had fried already. He said, "They actually look like real doughnuts!" Well, thanks. :) Then, he tasted a chocolate-glazed one and remarked, "Man! These are the best doughnuts you've made so far! The texture is perfect!" Woohoo! I love hearing comments like that. They really were good though. They take a few hours of your time, but if you've got the time, why not make something memorable? It's a bit better than, "Hey... our bread was going stale, so I made you some toast. It got a little cold though, and we're out of milk... sorry." Talk about a bummer breakfast! Give the family something to smile about. I'm going to make this picture even bigger so you can see them with more detail. *enlarged to show texture*
source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur

1/4 oz package of active dry yeast
2 T warm water
3/4 c warm milk
2 1/2 T butter
1 egg
1/3 c sugar
1 t salt
2 3/4 c flour
3 c oil

5 1/3 T butter (1/3 c ) butter
2 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/3 c hot water

chocolate glaze:
1 c chocolate chips

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Make sure it's warm- not hot. Don't kill the yeast! Add the milk, butter, egg, sugar, and salt. Put it all in the bread machine. Turn it to the dough setting and let it start to combine. Add half of the flour. Let it mix it up a bit. Add the remaining flour. Let the bread machine work its magic. 90 minutes later, you'll have this:
It just brings a tear to my eye. I love my bread machine. Prepare a floured surface for the dough. I have pastry cloths, but you can use a clean counter top just as easily. Sprinkle it with flour.
Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Mine ended up a bit too thin in some parts. I think they would be better to turn out slightly thicker than 1/2 inch as opposed to less than one half inch.
My awesome husband surprised me with a doughnut/biscuit cutter for Christmas last year, and I love it to pieces. If you don't have one, you can use a clean opened can, or a 3 inch circle cookie cutter. For the doughnut hole, you can use the lid to lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce or something- make sure it's clean unless you love Worcestershire flavored doughnuts. Mmm..
You'll have a lovely pattern of doughnuts in your dough.
Carefully transfer them to a cookie sheet. As you can see, my doughnut holes were all different sizes. They all turned out delicious though.
I made a twisty doughnut with my leftover dough. Nice!
Set them in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes or until double in size. When they are almost double in size, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. You want the oil to get to about 350 degrees. If you have a deep fat fryer, you can use that as well. I always do my doughnut holes first to make sure I get the temperature of the oil right before I start to fry the dozen doughnuts.
Keep them in the oil for about 30 seconds per side. They may take longer, they may take less time. Keep an eye on the bottoms to make sure they don't get too dark. Flipping them and keeping them flipped can be a hassle for sure! I was about to body slam some of those doughnut holes right to the bottom of the oil, but I think I'd end up with more damage since my skin wouldn't handle a plunge into 350 degree oil very well. If they give you trouble, you can hold them down with tongs or a metal slotted spoon. Take them right out and put them into a bowl of sugar. Swirl them around to evenly distribute the sugar.
There you have the doughnut holes. You can use the glaze on these as well, but I like them dipped in sugar to have a little variety.
Get ready for the doughnuts. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can drop a little piece of dough in the oil. It should bubble all around the dough. If the little blob of dough turns black in five seconds, your oil is probably too hot- just a guess. Drop the doughnuts in the hot oil. I did two to three at a time. In the picture below, you can see the bubbles and how the bottom half looks a little swollen.
Turn them over when they are golden brown underneath.
When they are a good color on both sides, take them out and drain them on a paper towel. While they are draining, prepare the glaze. Melt the butter in a bowl.
Put the melted butter in a mixing bowl and add the powdered sugar. Mix it up.
Add the hot water and continue to mix it. It will turn into a nice glaze.
Hold a doughnut like shown below and dip it in the glaze. I only glazed the top, but you can feel free to do both sides if you'd like.
Here you can see how the glaze just sticks right to the doughnut. Enter Homer Simpson Mmmm... here.
To make chocolate glaze, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and add to the glaze. I did half plain and half chocolate. If you split the glaze in half, you'll only need to use 1/2 c chocolate chips. The white chunks on the doughnuts are little pieces of powdered sugar that didn't break up... darn powdered sugar. No worries! they were still delicious.
Look at that lovely plate of doughnuts! Are you hungry yet? :)

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