Mmmm Donuts…

freshly decorated donuts and fritters

A few weeks back, I made peach fritters and teased that I will show you how to make the donuts that are actually the beginning of the fritter process. Raised donut are pretty easy to make and the ingredients are inexpensive. The process takes a few hours, but that’s mostly idle time waiting for the dough to rise and proof a few times. Donuts are also a fun way to get the young’ns in the kitchen to help and have fun decorating their own donut creation. So without further stalling, here is my recipe for Yeast Raised Donuts.

Yeast Donuts Recipe

Ingredients

2 packets instant yeast

4 cups All Purpose Flour

1 ½ cups whole milk

⅓ cup shortening

⅓ cup warm water

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

¼ cup buttermilk powder

Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer, bloom the 2 packets of yeast in warm water and set aside.

yeast getting frothy.

While yeast is blooming, melt the shortening in the milk over low heat then set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix salt, flour and buttermilk powder.  The yeast should be frothy by now. slowly add the milk shortening mixture, beaten eggs to the yeast mixture.

Gradually add the flour and mixing with the paddle attachment until all the flour has been added. Switch to the dough hook and mix for about 5 minutes or until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be quite sticky but that’s ok. Turn the dough out into a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel or grease cling wrap. Let the dough rise until its doubled in size. Pound it back down and let it rise a second time.

Once the dough has risen a second time, turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes, adding bench flour if the dough starts to stick. Then roll the dough out to about ½” thick and cut to desired shape and fry at 350F until golden brown. Let drain and cool on a wire rack before decorating.

The decorating

For me, the fun part is the decorating and coming up with interesting taste combinations.

Basic Glaze

Classic donut glaze

2 cups powdered sugar

2 TBS melted butter

Pinch of salt

1 TSP Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup whole milk

In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, butter salt and vanilla extract. Gradually add the milk until you have a fairly loose mixture. This glaze is good for fritters or for basic glazed donuts.

Chocolate Glaze

S’mores donut with easy chocolate glaze

its basically the same recipe as above with the addition of 4 TBS cocoa powder.

Chocolate and Coffee Glaze

chocolate and coffee donut with dark chocolate and coffee topping

2 cups powdered sugar

2 TBS melted butter

Pinch of salt

4 TBS Cold Brew Coffee

1/4 cup milk whole milk

4 TBS Cocoa Powder

In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, butter, salt, cocoa and coffee. Gradually add the milk until you have a fairly loose mixture.

Maple Glaze

Maple glaze with crispy bacon

2 cups powdered sugar

2 TBS melted bacon grease

Pinch of salt

8 TBS premium maple syrup

1/2 cup whole milk

In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, bacon grease, salt, and maple syrup. Gradually add the milk until you have a fairly loose mixture.

Or..

You could just keep it simple and toss the donuts in some powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar or plain ol’ white granulated sugar.

Bonus…

I made passionfruit curd and filled some of the donuts with it. Here’s how to make passionfruit (or any) curd:

6 Egg Yolks

3/4 cup granulated sugar

½ cup Passionfruit juice

3/4 stick chilled butter cut into cubes

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan combine egg yolks, sugar, passionfruit juice, in a heat bottomed sauce pan over low heat, stir constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Run mixture through strainer to remove any large pieces. Then slowly stir in the butter until all the butter has been added and is melted. Cover curd directly with cling wrap to prevent a skin from forming and let cool in the fridge before using.

To use as donut filling, Put curd into a pastry bag fitted with the largest round tip you have. Insert the tip directly into the side of the donut and slowly but firmly squeeze the pastry bag. You should be able to feel the curd filling the donut.

 

 

 

 

Peach Fritters

Fried and glazed with buttermilk peach glaze just waiting to be eaten.

The inspiration for this week’s post was a sort of necessity is the mother of invention kind of thing. I had been toying with making donuts for several weeks originally planning on making malasadas, which are a type of donut popular throughout Hawaii. So I’ll save that idea for another time and make buttermilk peach fritters. Why peach? Well as has been the theme of late, I have a whole lot of peaches and apricots that need to be used up. I’ve had my fill of fruit salads and cobblers for a while, since that’s how we’ve been using up the fruit so far this summer.

Now my goal was to make the style of fritters you get from donut shops versus drop style. So first things first. I’ll need to make a yeast based donut dough.

Yeast Donuts Recipe

Ingredients

2 packets instant yeast

4 cups All Purpose Flour

1 ½ cups whole milk

⅓ cup shortening

⅓ cup warm water

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

¼ cup buttermilk powder

Instructions

Bloom yeast in bowl of warm water.

yeast getting frothy.

While yeast is blooming, melt the shortening in the milk over low heat then set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix salt flour and buttermilk powder.  The yeast should be frothy by now. So put the yeast water mixture in the bowl for a stand mixer and slowly add the milk shortening mixture and beaten eggs.

adding milk, egg, shortening and vanilla to mixer.

Slowly add flour.

gradually adding flour and mix with paddle attachment.

Once all the flour is added, Switch to dough hook and mix on medium until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, this should take about 5 minutes while mixing on medium.

See the video below to get an idea of the texture you’re looking for.

Place dough into a greased bowl and cover with a clean towel or cling wrap and let rise till doubled in volume.

Peach Fritters

Now for the fun part, the actual making of the fritters. I rolled the dough out to about ½” thickness and cut out 8 donuts using a 3″ round biscuit cutter (we’ll get back to those another post). I gathered the scraps and kneaded them into ball, periodically dusting with bench flour if the dough started to stick. I rolled the dough out ½ thick and then spread approximately 1 cup of chopped up peaches (reserving some of them to use for the glaze) . I then dusted the peaches with pumpkin pie spice and some of the bench flour. Then I rolled it all into a log and used a bench scrapper to slice the log into ½ thick slices and then cut again diagonally. You should have a bunch of dough and peach pieces that are about the size of the peach chunks you started with. Now form into tennis ball to baseball sized balls and flatten those into disks and dust with bench flour. Place on a floured baking sheet  and cover with a tea towel and let proof in a warm area until the dough doubles in size.

Here’s a video to walk you through the process:

Once they’ve doubled in size like this:

fritters doubled in size and ready for the fryer

Fry at 375F until golden brown

Let them drain and cool on a wire rack for about 15-30 minutes before glazing.

Buttermilk Peach Glaze

½ cup of chopped peaches that were reserved from earlier

1 cup water

2 cups of confectioners sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 TBS buttermilk powder

⅛ tsp of ground ginger

¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp salt

In a small sauce pan over low heat, heat the peaches and water until the peaches soften. Remove from heat and mash the peaches with a fork. Let mixture cool. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer, but reserve about a tablespoon of the mashed fruit. In a Medium sized bowl, mix the confectioners sugar, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, salt and buttermilk powder with a whisk. Slowly add the peach syrup and mix until the mixture is the consistency of honey. Add the vanilla.  Using a couple of forks, dip the fritters into the glaze then turn over to coat the other side. Let excess glaze drain off then move to a wire rack. Let the glaze set up before handling the fritters (about 5 minutes).  Enjoy

Pumpkin bread pudding with a twist…

I was talking with some collegues over the weekend while we were enjoying some pumpkin flavored donut holes, it occured to me that leftover donut holes would make an awesome bread pudding. Bread pudding is a really easy to make, particularly for folks that find baking and all its precise measuring and special equipment too much of a bother.

Another great thing about bread pudding is that you can flavor it with a variety of different spices depending on the season or your mood. If you want chocolate bread pudding, substitute some chocolate milk for some of the half & half, or add in chocolate syrup and chocolate chips.

There’s 2 parts to bread pudding, the bread and then the custard that binds it all together. Day old bread works best because it tends to absorb more of the custard than fresher bread. For a decadently rich custard I usually use evaporated milk, half & half, sweetened condensed milk as the sugar, and whole eggs. The donuts are quite rich on their own so I’m using evaporated milk only. The glaze on the donuts and the sweetness of the dough itself, will make the pudding plenty sweet. The sweetened condensed milk might be a bit much here. So I suggest using 1/4 cup of brown sugar instead.

Pumpkin Donut (Bread) Pudding…
serves 4 to 8
2 Dozen day old assorted glazed and pumpkin do(ugh)nut holes, timbits, munchkins
whichever they’re called in your geographic area, cut in half
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk or equivilent in 1/2 & 1/2
2 whole eggs
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each ground nutmeg, ground ginger and ground mace
1/2 cup pumpkin purée (preferably NOT pumpkin pie filling)

Preheat the oven to 350º F, rub the sides and bottom of a deep sided casserole dish with butter (this will make cleanup and serving a little bit easier) and set aside. Cut the donut holes in half, and place in the casserole dish. In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs, brown sugar, spices, pumpkin purée, and evaporated milk until well incorporated. Pour the custard over the donut holes and let set until most of the custard has been absorbed into the donut holes.

Place the casserole dish into a roasting pan, make sure there’s at least an inch of space gap between the sides of the roasting pan and the casserole dish. Place the roasting pan on the top oven rack, then pour water into the roasting pan until it comes half way up the sides of the casserole. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil if the top starts to brown too much.

CAUTION!!! Be very careful when moving the pan out of the oven. The water will literally be boiling hot. Make sure that pets and little people aren’t under foot.

If you cook the puddings in individual ramekins, you can cut the cooking time in half.

For a more traditional bread pudding
8 cups of cubed stale bread
4 whole eggs
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
a dash of salt
2 cups of half & half

Mix the custard ingredients together and pour over the cubed bread. Allow the custard to soak into the bread and bake as directed above.