Saturday, September 01, 2007


This is my first attempt at doughnuts and I'm rather pleased. Though they are yeast raised, they are not the super-light type one gets from the commercially produced doughnut shops. They really are more like Dough-Gobs ("fried dough, Nantucket do-nuts" or any other regional name for deep fried bread dough). Not overly sweet, and perfectly fried without any greasy aftertaste or sogginess, I must say these are really worth the bother. The recipe would take well to filling (I did not) and you could also use a cutter with a hole in the centre for a more traditional looking doughnut.

Rising was VERY slow. It is rather cold in our icebox where I held them overnight and it is possible that they simply needed four hours to warm-up. If you're in a hurry, place them atop a warm oven on a tray to move the process along.

My grandmother and great aunt once tried making doughnuts and nearly burned their flat down. She always told the story in such a way that frightened me off from attempting it. However, after having made the goose confit where I essentially boiled a goose in its own fat for an hour at high temperature, I feel a bit more confident of my frying abilities. I used Big Blue (enamel over cast iron) for the job and it worked well to keep the oil at a constant temperature. You really must watch it though-if your oil drops below 370 degrees F. the dough will become soggy (true of most things you deep-fry though I rarely resort to using a thermometer (this time I did). I used half Crisco and half canola oil. I was tempted to try using the goose fat but thought better of it. If you were inclined to use it, lard probably would yield the best results. If you fry them correctly, you shouldn't even taste the fat. Be sure to drain them on a rack over a baking sheet so they do not get soggy. Then, coat them. I used a paper bag filled with cinnamon sugar to toss and coat half of them, and made a glaze of confectioner's sugar and water for dipping the rest. You'll want to give them a couple of dips, allowing them to dry between (use the same rack over the pan for cooling and drying).

Depending on the size of your cutter it will make between 16-20 doughnuts. The recipe comes from Beard On Bread

You Will Need:

1 1/8 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
½ cup caster sugar
1 egg
1-cup warm milk
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons melted butter plus extra for brushing
3-¾ cups all-purpose flour
Shortening for frying
Sugar for coating/glazing

Place the yeast in a mixing bowl and add the water, stir to dissolve. Add the sugar and mix well. Let proof about fifteen minutes. With a wooden spoon (or hands) stir in the egg, then milk, melted butter, flour and salt. Add the last cup of flour gradually as you may not need all of it. Stir until the dough is springy. Brush the tops with extra melted butter and cover with waxed paper or foil. Place bowl in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, roll out on a floured board to ½ inch thickness and with a cutter dipped in flour, cut and place on a pan lined with waxed paper. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (it may take as long as four hours).

Heat 2 or more inches of shortening in a heavy pot to 370 degrees F. Put in a few doughnuts at a time (do not crowd them), top sides down. Brown well and turn to do other side. When done, drain on the rack over baking sheet and then sugar or glaze as desired.

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