Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Doughnuts!!

It's been almost a year since my last doughnut-making experience.  I decided to make them for Valentine's Day this year.  It wasn't as much fun making them this time, as my mom wasn't here to help like last time, but I still got it all done.  I decided to make a double batch, because if I was going to go to all that trouble, and use all that oil, I'd better make it worth it!  I was frying for a long time, and my oil kept getting too hot and making my doughnuts too brown, but they still taste great. 
I made half of the doughnuts pink using the same glaze from last year's recipe (just tinting it pink), and I dipped the rest of them in a chocolate glaze.  I used a Joy the Baker recipe for the doughnuts this year. 

During kneading (with my Kitchenaid) I added quite a bit of extra flour, and the dough was still very soft and sticky.  I didn't want to add too much, though, so I just followed her directions of lightly flouring the top of the dough before rising for two hours, and when I went to roll it out, it was perfect- just a teeny bit sticky but not sticking to my hands or anything.  A little bit of flour on my Silpat did the trick for rolling. 
With the recipe doubled, this made 24 doughnuts and about 70-80 doughnut holes; I'm not kidding!!  They were everywhere!!  Joy says not to re-roll the scraps, so first, with the scraps, I cut out as many doughnut holes as I could.  Then, I did gather the scraps together, lightly knead them, and rolled them out again, cutting a few doughnuts and as many doughnut holes as I could.  I'm not sure why we're not supposed to re-roll the scraps, but nothing terrible seemed to happen when I did.  To cut the doughnuts, I used this round cookie cutter set from Ateco- the 1 inch for the holes, and the 3 inch for the doughnuts. 

Valentine's Day Doughnuts
adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 12 doughnuts and 30-40 holes
Easily doubled for 24 doughnuts and 60-70 holes
(do not have to double the oil! :))

1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons warm water (105–115°F)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for sprinkling and rolling out dough
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional; I added just a sprinkle)
About 8-10 cups vegetable oil for deep frying

1.  Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

2.  Mix together flour, milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture in mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more.  If dough is incredibly wet and sticky, add more flour until it is only a little bit sticky.  Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  I use the turned-off oven with the light on.  (Alternatively, let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours.)

3.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with 3-inch cutter, then cut a hole in center of each round with 1-inch cutter and transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet or cutting board(s). Cover doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel (I skipped the towel covering) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes (45 minutes if dough was cold when cutting out doughnuts).  With the scraps, cut as many doughnut holes as possible from them.  Then, gather the remainder, knead lightly, pat out again and cut doughnuts and holes again. 

4.  Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a deep 4-quart heavy pot until it registers 350°F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts, 2 at a time, turning occasionally with a wire or mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350°F between batches.)  Glaze with glaze of your choice, or either the pink or chocolate glaze recipes below.
Pink Glaze
adapted from Allrecipes

1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water, or as needed
pink food coloring

1.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar, vanilla and food coloring until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set glaze aside until doughnuts are ready to glaze.  Add sprinkles to wet glazed doughnuts.

Chocolate Glaze
from Alton Brown via Joy the Baker
a half-recipe is enough for one batch

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1.  Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Add sprinkles, if desired.  Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.
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