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.
I've made doughnuts several times before, both cake doughnuts and yeast doughnuts. I must say, I prefer the cake style as they taste the closest to old fashioned sugar doughnuts from Timmy's, my favourite dairy filled Tim Hortons treat. If they didn't have old fashioned sugar, my next choice was either a chocolate dip or the kind with sprinkles on it. When I saw that the challenge for this month was yeast doughnuts, I knew I had to recreate a dairy free version of a chocolate dip and sprinkle doughnut.
The recipe was pretty straight forward, even though it requires using yeast. I get nervous when using yeast because I worry that I will not let it proof enough, or let it proof too long and my treats will be ruined. This time it worked! Making the dough was really easy. I used soy milk instead of regular milk to melt the shortening, but I let it get a little too hot and had to wait a while before I added the yeast to the mix or else I would have killed the rising effect of the yeast.
When the dough comes out of the mixer, it was really sticky. After it rested for a while, it was still sticky! It didn't seem to matter though, since I was able to roll and cut them.
Instead of deep frying, I pan fried the doughnuts in a shallow layer of oil in a frying pan. I've used this method before when making doughnuts and beavertails, and it hasn't failed yet. I don't like the idea of using a whole jug of oil and then chucking it! Once the doughnuts had spent their time in the old and had turned golden brown and puffy, I let them rest for a while as I prepared the glazes. I didn't use a recipe for the glazes. I combined icing sugar and soy milk in a bowl until it was the right spreading consistency for the vanilla glaze and I melted chocolate chips with a bit of oil for the chocolate glaze. I dunked the cooled doughnuts in the glazes and then rolled them in sprinkles.
Overall this challenge was fun. Paul remains my #1 doughnut fryer and the doughnuts were delicious! I would definitely make them again, even though they probably aren't the healthiest treat. It is nice to be able to indulge in a doughnut ever now and then, even though I can't get them through the Timmys drive thru!
Soy Milk 1.5 cup
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup(can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.)
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp.
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)
1.Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
2.Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
3.In a 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 and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
4.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.
5.Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
6.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 (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
7.Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
8.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).
9.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. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
10.Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
11.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).
12.Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.