Have you ever had the experience of biting into a fluffy, airy, sweet, delicate doughnut warm and fresh from your own kitchen? There’s nothing quite like it. As you savor the pillowy pleasure you cannot help but smirk knowing that your own hands lovingly fabricated this jewel of culinary perfection. Dreaming with me yet?
Make this doughnut fantasy a reality this weekend. Your family will love you, promise. I was thinking of naming these “makeup doughnuts” as I initially made then with two purposes in mind: 1. To satisfy a craving I’d had ever since watching Alex Guarnaschelli fry these up on her new program last Sunday morning 2. To impress husband and make up for the very veggie girly meal he suffered through the night before (roasted veggie wraps, steamed cauliflower, and chayote-carrot puree.) Whatever you name these and whatever the motive, be certain that you will become a star in your household, and with whomever you gratefully share these very impressive doughnuts.
Recipe courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli
1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough and baking sheet
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour I used all-purpose flour
1/2 gallon frying oil, plus a little for oiling bowl
- In a medium bowl, stir together the yeast and the water. Set aside to proof.
- After 10 minutes, stir in the 1 cup of all-purpose flour, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 8 to 10 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the vanilla and salt. Add the bread flour and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.
- Stir in the yeast mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Put the dough into an oiled bowl and allow to proof for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Lightly flour a cool work surface and roll the dough out to about 1 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough with a round 3-inch cutter and turn them onto a floured baking sheet to rest, about 20 to 30 minutes, before frying.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to 365 to 370 degrees F. Drop the dough rounds, in batches, into the hot oil and cook until golden brown on 1 side. Using a slotted spoon, turn the dough rounds on the second side and cook until golden brown. Remove them from the oil to paper towels to remove any excess oil. Roll the doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar and arrange on a serving platter.
Stir together and frost to your fancy.
Dark Chocolate Filling
Yields 3 cups
1 c. milk
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. margarine
1c. granulated sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
1/2-1c. cocoa powder to taste
2T-1/2 c. milk, as needed
powdered sugar (optional)
1. In small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together milk and flour. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens and resembles a paste.
2. Decrease heat to low and continue cooking 2-3 minutes until it is very thick.
3. Remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours, or until cool.
4. Beat remaining ingredients 5 minutes until they loosen up and fluff.
5. In 4 additions, mix in the flour paste. Beat, scraping the bowl often, until frosting is a lovely uniform
texture with no sign of graininess. This took me about 12 minutes.
6. Slowly stir in cocoa and milk until the flavor is pleasing. Add confectioners sugar if needed, to sweeten
things up a bit.
7. Fill a pastry bag with the filling and add a large nozzle. Insert nozzle into the side of doughnut and fill.
*Alternately, you make insert the handle of a wooden spoon into the doughnut first to make the hole, and
continue to fill with pastry bag.